Let’s face it: New Year’s Eve in San Francisco on Monday is going to be another debacle.
The bridge-and-tunnel crowd, the drunks acting out, the cab situation — it’s all horrific. That’s why people are celebrating Friday and Saturday at Fort Mason’s Wintersalt festival with Diplo, DJ Shadow, Germany’s Zedd, and major San Francisco electronic music DJ and booker Richie Panic.
The 32-year-old Mission district resident and “Lights Down Low” crew co-promoter agrees: There are no cabs on New Year’s Eve, and Muni is a violent circus. You might as well walk.
“Trust me — Halloween and New Year’s are my worst nights,” says the seasoned DJ. “I’ve ridden my bike to many a gig, let me tell ya.”
Much better to get one’s licks in early at a 50,000-square-foot warehouse with the world’s biggest DJs.
“I think Wintersalt has a really strong bunch of contenders,” Panic says. “Hopefully that date isn’t too much of an issue for people. I think there’s definitely going to be enough people to fill up Fort Mason.”
Panic says he’s not intimidated about opening for the Grammy-nominated Diplo: “I’ve met Wes a bunch of times. He does his thing. I do my thing. I’m just there to enjoy myself with what he’s doing.”
Panic will bring two or three different dance sets to Wintersalt on Saturday, and will “see who’s there and what they seem to be responding to and not responding to. But it’s all going to be with a Richie Panic trademark.”
Panic rocks a USB stick and CDJ Live to cut down on the hassle of transporting gear.
“I really like being able to just have a USB in my pocket and when I’m done put it back in my pocket,” he says. “Just playing dance music, house, disco and techno — definitely CDJs are great. They have a lot of tricks, you know?”
Born in Florida, Richie moved to California to pursue a degree in English literature at San Francisco State University.
He’s been playing Bay Area parties since around 1998 and working as a DJ full time for four years.
Panic officially joined the 7-year-old “Lights Down Low” party with Corey Sleazemore and Joaquin Bartra this year. The roaming event does one to three shows a month at clubs such as 222 Hyde, Monarch and Public Works. In 2012, they expanded into Los Angeles.
“It’s definitely been growing exponentially,” he says.
Travis Barker with Mixmaster Mike, Zedd, Dillon Francis, Paper Diamond, Revolvr, K Theory, Aaron Axelsen, Panic City, Robot DeNiro, Andy P, NitePpl, Ototoxik, EshOne
Diplo, DJ Shadow set with special guests Lyrics Born & Lateef (Latyrx), Theophilus London, K.Flay, St. Lucia, Viceroy, Goldenchyld, Richie Panic & Sleazemore, No Shirt/No Shoes DJs, Team No Sleep, The Schmidt, El Cool J