On September 7th, ID&T and Samsung proudly present the famous Sensation ‘Innerspace’ show at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg. I had the chance to meet up with Michael Hekking, Marketing and Commerce Director of Sensation and ask him a few questions to quench my expectations.
Tell us about “Innerspace” and what it entails?
Innerspace, is a spiritual experience. It’s meant to reach deeper into your soul, move you in-between the spaces of the balloons, out of your daily worries, to get you to let go and open your mind to a higher state of consciousness. To immense yourself in what is happening right there and then, and to celebrate and enjoy life. It is a collective experience.
How long does the actual planning and setup of the production take?
This particular production was 2 years in the making. There is a lot of technical beauty. There are glowing white balloons suspended from the ceiling that are synchronized to flow, bounce and move as one, whilst the DJ’s play a set that will take you on a journey through the stages of enlightenment. The centerpiece of the setup is a massive platform shaped like a giant blossoming flower, which rotates slowly around the room, so that everyone gets face-time with the DJ. The sheer scale of the production is something that needs to be seen and experienced.
What world renowned DJ’s can SA expect At Sensation?
We always say Sensation is not about the DJ’s it’s about the experience. Our resident DJ, Mr White will be coming with but otherwise we haven’t decided yet. Local DJ’s will have their chance to showcase. It’s a long show, almost 8 hours and we prefer the slow build, as compared to the hour, 2-hour shows most DJ’s are used to.
How different is each Sensation event?
The production itself is not all that different, however it’s what the DJ’s make it and most importantly how the crowd responds and resonates with the show. It’s a show about going back into one’s self, so it’s different for everyone.
What of the uniqueness about Sensation is the dress code of all white. What is the full story behind that?
Sensation had humble beginnings; it was built by a group of friends from the Netherlands simply looking to throw a great party. Our first Sensation was in 2001, and one of our creative minds behind the show Miles Stutterheim, brother of Ducan tragically died. We didn’t want a traditional funeral; he lived a very good life, like we all did. He enjoyed life, so we made his funeral a big party and we asked everyone who came to Sensation that year to wear white. The theme of his funeral was Celebrate Life – something that we carry through with us today.
What are you most excited about with bringing Sensation to SA?
We’ve taken the event to a few places, so because it’s our first time here in South Africa, we’re really interested and excited to see how South Africa parties. What’s the atmosphere, what’s the feeling, what’s the culture, what’s the enthusiasm of the South African people? What I’ve heard so far it that they are kind of wild over here, so that will be fun to see.
How does Sensation market the production when there are people unsure of the event?
Sensation has relied mainly on its online videos. Rather show the people what to expect than tell them. Let them decide for themselves if it’s their kind of party. This tactic, if you will, has proved effective in exciting peoples imagination as well as increasing their expectations, which we feel fits in with what Sensation is all about.
After a mere 18 minutes with Michael, my impressions are instantaneous – Sensation knows how to throw a party and we are in for a thrill ride promised to excite every sense. It will be a production like we’ve never experienced before and I for one am buzzed with excitement to go down this rabbit hole and see what’s on the other side.
Words by Debby Hunter