Johnny Shockey's LED and Goldenvoice Bring a New Era of EDM to Indio
For four years, Voyeur in San Diego was the hot spot for the most respectable EDM DJs and the dance floor for breaking new talent in all genres of electronic music. For Johnny Shockey, that nightclub was only the beginning for his company, My Life Every Day (a.k.a. LED). It went from throwing nightclub shows, day parties and festivals at the San Diego Sports Arena to creating a partnership with mega-promoter Goldenvoice. This weekend, LED makes its debut in the desert with an LED Day Club at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, hosting the official Coachella pool parties running both weekends of the festival.
For the wild, bass-addicted crowds of the Coachella Sahara and Yuma tents, this is the perfect weekend topper as far as partying the weekend away goes. Especially in a scene in which going from day parties to nightclubs that go until dawn is just a part of everyday life--well, at least at music festivals. With artists as diverse as David Guetta to Skrillex, the turnout is bound to garner the kind of attendance Las Vegas pool parties would die for on a weekly basis.
The Canadian-born Shockey came to the States at 17 to play professional hockey. Later, one of the guys he played for approached him about opening a restaurant and bar in San Diego, but Shockey knew music and clubs were more his forte. The result was Voyeur, a very successful club that focused on electronic music. "Tyson [Ziebarth], my partner, came up with the concept behind My Life Every Day," Shockey says. "It started as a lifestyle brand based on how we were living our lives, and now moving forward, how this whole wave of dance music has taken over."
With the growing number of revelers in need of a fix, LED saw an opportunity. The company programmed and produced eight events, which turned into the whole summer at the Wavehouse the year after. Then Live Nation, who was looking to tap the EDM market, came to LED to partner on Identity Festival in San Diego--the first touring dance-music festival featuring Kaskade, Afrojack and Steve Aoki. "That was the start of something major," Shockey says. "We were already doing successful events on a weekly basis and realized that doing something bigger wasn't that much more difficult."
Today, LED produces more than 300 events per year at places such as Fluxx in San Diego, the Fox Theater Pomona, Sound in Hollywood and the Shrine Auditorium in LA, as well as its own event brands, including My Life Every Day USA; Tramps Like Us; OMFG! NYE; and most recently, a three-city takeover on President's Day Weekend in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego with Finger Lickin' and LED Anniversary. "I think in EDM, people are very brand-aware. Their social circles and rave families love concepts and new exciting experiences, which is the lifestyle that LED represents," says Shockey. Whether it's all in one city or across three cities, LED continues to grow its brand, becoming well-known for kickass parties. The company's partnership with Goldenvoice means bigger venues, more money for talent, and a poolside Day Club featuring Dirty South, A-Trak, Disclosure, David Guetta, Skrillex, Martin Garrix, Tiësto and Showtek in Palm Springs for the next two weekends.
Not bad for a former professional hockey player. In fact, it's his hockey days that brought Shockey to do events at the San Diego Sports Arena. "They used to produce our hockey games, and now they're helping me produce our dance music events," says Shockey. "It's fun to make that transition and still work with familiar faces."
And there are more transformations ahead, including LED throwing huge festivals similar to HARD Summer in LA in the near future. "I actually talked to Gary [HARD's founder] this morning," says Johnny. "It's good when you can look across the board and everyone is doing well. It's great for the industry."
LED Day Club at the Hard Rock Hotel Palm Springs, 150 S. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs; leddayclub.com. Thurs.-Sun., April 10-13 & April 17-20, 11 a.m. $40-$200. 21+.
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