Drinking alcohol week after week can take a toll on your health — and, not to mention your wallet — and that’s why Denver decided to try something different last year. Sundown, Colorado’s sober music festival, was created out of a desire to have something for everyone. It’s not every day that a music show promotes sobriety in a state known for its breweries and countless dispensaries. To sleep in the same way Charger 303 have teamed up to deliver a weekend of music, mindfulness and unity against societal norms. This year’s event is unforgettable as British producer and DJ Curbi grabs the headlines. Charger 303 sat down with Curbi on a video call to hear some of his thoughts on the festival, its progress and future plans.
Charger 303: How was your summer schedule?
Curbi: I did a few festivals here in Europe. Tomorrowland – I actually did this with Monstercat for their stage. I did a big German festival called Peruville. I did some [of shows] in the Nederlands. I always do club shows. My sound is not necessarily the main stage sound. I do a lot of club shows but it was fun doing the festivals.
303: Are there any festivals you would like to play that you haven’t done yet?
Curbi: I would really like to do EDC and Ultra [Music Festival], sure. EDC of course. Once I briefly confronted Tiësto, and I asked him what his favorite festival was and he said EDC, so it must be pretty good because this guy played it.
The producer from Halstead, England has big ambitions for big festivals but had no trouble saying yes to something a little different from what he’s used to. Aside from the meditation tent open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the food trucks available, perhaps the most notable aspect of the daytime show is the alcohol-free vendors. It’s only recently that mocktails and soft drinks have caught the interest of sober or sober-curious people. Here in Denver, the trend has already become very popular with several low-key bars popping up.
303: What excites you about healthy nighttime experiences like the sunset? What does this bring you as an artist?
Curbi: One cool thing is that people will definitely remember the night. It’s not that someone is going to pass out and go to bed and then wake up and feel bad and not remember the night. I think people can tap into themselves a bit more. Without substances in your system to change [the experience], it will be interesting. I think people are really going to have a different experience.
303: What brings you balance when you’re on the road on tour?
Curbi: I would say that’s the person I’m with. I know a lot of DJs who travel without a tour manager or travel partner. They travel alone – most DJs do that and I’ve always had someone with me, and it keeps me in control. Because of course people tend to feel lonely, especially on the show too, knowing that I have someone with me. I just think someone by your side is always going to help. Even though you are in a great environment, you are having a great time. It’s nice to know you have someone by your side.
Any touring artist will understand the loneliness that comes from the road, which is why it’s important to get those goals and desires flowing. Asked about future plans, here’s what Curbi had to say:
303: Is there an artist you would like to work with on a live performance or on a track?
Curbi: I really liked the techno stuff the last few years. This guy called Reinier Zoneveld – I really want to work with him. He does some interesting stuff. I saw it live recently. He also did an 11 hour live set.
303: Is there a place high on your list to play?
Curbi: I would really like to play in Printworks in London because it also feels like a very special atmosphere. I’ve seen videos of it. I really want to play there. There’s a little more underground, a little more techno, but I think one day I can get there and keep going.
303: Do you ever stop and take a moment in your sets to understand where you are in your career? Was there this type of surreal experience?
Curbi: I think maybe Tomorrowland. It was good. This festival is like a big party. It seems like people come from all over the world and you really see that everyone is connected to the same thing. In that sense, I was playing there for 30 minutes, and then I found myself looking up and taking it all in and thinking, ‘Ok, yeah, this is my life. People know my music. People love my music.
303: Overall, with your music, what can you remember from your journey?
Curbi: Like I said, I’ve been doing music for maybe eight years, and I’ve been through this journey trying a lot of different things. As soon as I was on stage, I only made music for a very short time and I was still very young. I still had to go through all these different types of favorite styles and genres that I was listening to. I’m just happy right now to be in this place where I’m still very creative but I think a little more toned down than before. I wouldn’t say toned down in a bad way, but I have an idea of what works and what doesn’t with me now creatively.
303: That said, what didn’t work or gave you obstacles?
Curbi: I would say around the year 2017, I released a lot of chaotic songs. You can kind of tell I was trying to figure out what I was actually going to do because I got bored very quickly at first of doing the same thing. So I wanted to try new things, obviously. But I think I went off on a bit of a tangent and got too crazy. Now I’m at this level where I’ve learned a lot and I think I have a stable type of sound, which I’m also very happy with now.
With a discography dating back to 2014, the artist has managed to keep busy for the past nine years. Nine years for an artist is a long time, but he’s not slowing down. In 2022, the DJ has already released seven singles (excluding his remixes) and more to come.
303: Do you have any major upcoming projects that you can tell us about?
Curbi: I don’t know if I can tell you about this one yet because it’s big for me, at least it’s going to be big. I don’t know what my manager or my tour manager said about it, but next year I’m doing a big project. It’s not necessarily an alias, but it’s more than an alias. I’m going to release a lot of music and not just my own music.
303: Finally, what advice would you give to artists, producers, DJs or music creators just starting out in the industry?
Curbi: Stay on track to be consistent in music creation. Do as many things as you can. Keep pushing yourself. Do not look at what is happening around you. Don’t compare yourself to all the music that’s coming out right now because there’s like a flood of music absolutely everywhere and you can really get lost trying to figure out where you want to go and what you want to do. Stay in your lane and keep it as a hobby as well. It’s very easy to get distracted now and compare yourself to what’s going on around you. Keep sticking to it, be persistent. If you really want to do it, you will. And if you really believe it, then it will happen. So you have to go on for that.
You can also catch N2N, SkiiTour, Doublecrush and more on the main stage this Saturday at the Tivoli Quad, located at 1000 Larimer Street in downtown Denver. Don’t miss a one-of-a-kind experience with amazing performers and be sure to catch a killer set by Curbi himself. Tickets for Sundown Colorado are on sale now.