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Just for the Record Part Six & Seven

Author: Matt Solo aka DJ Promo
Thursday, May 25, 2006
In June 2006, DJ Promo, who played at famous UK superclub Ministry of Sound and a host of international venues will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the longest DJ session in history. His mission: to smash the existing record of 84 hours by a full 16 hours, raising the bar to a new total of 100 hours live, continuous mixing. That's four-and-a-half days at the decks, without sleep or, more importantly, illegal stimulants, and all to raise vital funds for charity. This is his story.

Chapter Six: A Crash Course In Construction

Shortly before Christmas, one thing was still conspicuous in its absence: the purpose-built nightclub. All we had was a rough idea of what we wanted and no idea of how to get it. After much searching, we tracked down a plastic and polycarbonate sheeting specialist called Ampelite. Strong and lightweight, their roofing materials let in sunlight but block UV rays. Perfect. Furthermore, the firm's about to launch a new product - which Ampelite is allowing us to use for the outer skin of our venue in return, once again, for publicity.

Ampelite then introduced us to FMSA Architects, who signed up on the spot and promptly produced a radical design for the club. Described by Peter Sandow, one of FMSA's directors, as a "trapezoidal pyramid" complete with landscaped interior garden, it'll be divided into two areas: the DJ area (containing myself, my records, decks, mixer, amps, a toilet for my use only, computers to manage the web cast and a VIP area) and the club area (containing sound system, lights, dance floor and garden). But they were still a long way off being built.

As we'd originally assumed the venue would be little more than a glorified box, the ambitious nature of FMSA's design meant we'd need more space. Fortunately, Fed Square obliged without hesitation. Still to come, however, was a series of design overhauls, unforeseen expenses and a fortnight spent frantically trying to find a scaffolder willing to try the near-impossible. For now, we were just relieved to have found the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Later, in a week of savage gym sessions (possibly inspired by a growing sense of frustration), I worked my calf muscles until they nearly exploded, completing over 600 reps with 20 - 80 kilos in four sets. I can't say it was easy - and the bicycle ride home was a killer! The next workout saw that raised again to 700 reps in just one set. It was definitely time to try something different.

Chapter Seven: Show Me The Money

Creating a sponsorship strategy from scratch proved an arduous and time-consuming task. By the time our sponsors' proposal had been polished to the requisite high shine with the help of Challenge's resident fundraising guru, Taryn Lupton, most corporations were at home stuffing their Christmas stockings.

The act of establishing who best to approach was a minefield in its own right: we were promoting healthy living, a positive image of nightclubbing and social inclusion. That's a pretty broad spectrum and the list of possible sponsors was potentially endless. But every one of the thousands on our hit list would have to be researched, contacted and then pursued - which would cost an awful lot of one of the many luxuries we couldn't afford: time.

So, an abortive festive season was spent trying to make contact with people who were invariably not at their desks. Meanwhile, I struggled to get my head around the fact it was actually Christmas. The heat over here made it hard to believe when, back home in Britain, it was as Christmas should be: several degrees below zero!