|May 28, 2012|
Party With A Purpose
After last year's successful Oceans '11 event, Kristopher Sawatzky is gearing up to do it all over again for Oceans '12. The Source Asia sits down with the DJ pilot turned environmental pioneer.
Oceans '12 is taking place this year on June 8. Who is involved this time around?
We have a lot of return supporters from last year's event as well as some new joiners to the team. VnC Cocktails is back as the drink sponsor and The Peninsula Spa, The 8th Estate Winery, Coast and Antipasto are on board again with door prizes. Kactus Design did our main image design work again this year and Amiando has joined forces with Teamwork Communications for the online donations and slick E-ticketing system. New faces are Niin Jewellery with a door prize, Turtle Media for website programming and logo placement and Outsider Charters, as our one and only corporate sponsor who purchased logo placement. Of course, Volar and their public relations group Buzz Concepts have been a huge help with this event; none of this would happen without a venue. And you are back with The Source Asia as our Press Communications.
We have a few new additions for performers as well; Justin Barbaro is joining last year's performer, Ewald Jordaan, on the acoustic guitar and Malte Noak is bringing his electronic drum set to hammer out some percussion sound effects with the main set. Makha Diop, from African Dance Connection, is back on the bongos and new addition Earl Young will have a cool and hip performance on the night. Finally, Andy Stokes of Aware Visuals will be slamming out wicked animations, images and visuals (all ocean and event related, of course) to the main set.
And we have a great group of volunteers. I can't name them all, but they are already hard at work networking the event.
All proceeds go to 2 charities, Ocean Recovery Alliance and Sea Shepherd Hong Kong. Tell me more about how they help preserve our oceans.
ORA was one of the charities from last year as well. We love their work on the plastic waste issue, as it doesn't always get the mainstream media attention it deserves. This year, their focus is on the Plastic Disclosure Project which is working to reduce the environmental impact of the world's rising use of plastics in products and packaging. To put the issue of plastic pollution into context, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has pointed to plastic pollution in the ocean as one of their main three focal points in their 2011 UNEP Yearbook.
Sea Shepherd Hong Kong is active with the shark finning issue, which is apt for Hong Kong, but in general also represents a stand again cetacean slaughter and unsustainable fishing practices.
Between these two non-profit, direct action groups, we feel Oceans '12 is representing many of the human-created threats facing the oceans today.
How much money did you guys raise last year and how did the charities put it to use?
Last year we raised just over HK$75,000 and split the money between three charities. HK Shark Foundation went to work on increasing awareness around shark fin soup and decreasing consumption, specifically at weddings in Hong Kong. ORA put the money towards their Clinton Global Initiative and the Plastic Disclosure Project, as well as activities around Hong Kong regarding plastic waste awareness. Save Japan Dolphins put their money towards stopping dolphinariums and the use of captive dolphins as entertainment. Captivity is not conservation.
What are some of the highlights we can expect at this year's event?
Visuals, visuals, visuals! Andy is working hard on making the visuals a mainstay of this year's performance, and Volar is well set-up for that with dual projector screens behind the DJ booth, plus four large TV screens down the club side, all integrated into the same system. Also, with more live musicians this year, expect the set and performance to be more dynamic and fresh.
There is also Party With A Purpose? What is its involvement?
Party With A Purpose was formed in April of 2011 specifically to run Oceans '11 as a platform to accept the charitable donations for the charities. It is a non-profit society created by myself and Sev Cavoukian. So far, the only events we use Party With A Purpose for are these ocean series events.
What have you guys learnt from last year's event and is there anything you would do differently this time?
This year we are really working on getting the volunteers more involved at an earlier stage. With a group of supporters, performers and volunteers nearly over 30 people, there are some great ideas and powerful networking opportunities there; specially if everyone feels like it is their event, which it is...!
We are also working hard to ensure that the parties involved are actually interested in the issues, not just in self-promotion. As much as we are proud to display our supporters, we want them to be interested in participating for the issues, not just logo placement.
What are some of the challenges of setting up an event like this?
Since we're not 'professional fundraiser organizers', the hardest part can be just networking to make sure the event is a success. So much of this relies on everyone who is a part to help spread the word and invite their friends, who invite their friends. Also, we don't want the message to be lost in the party. So there is a balance to walk between getting the gravity of the issues across while still having a great party.
Who can join the event, and where can we buy tickets?
Anyone! Dress code is nightclub casual, if that exists [laughs]. We are looking to sell this event out and tickets are limited, so get them early! It's HK$250 online, with a chance of winnning the cool door prizes, or HK$300 at the door. I would recommend buying online in advance on www.partywithapurpose.hk. Oceans '12 on Facebook also has Buy Ticket options.