Disco Donnie is one of the most respected and iconic members of the EDM scene, thanks to his work and impact on the US scene since the early 90s. His industry-leading event production company Disco Donnie Presents has effectively changed the way we experience dance music today, and his passion and love for the scene is profoundly visible by the innumerable experiences that he creates for dance music fans worldwide. The extent to which he donates his time and energy is far beyond the norm, and it seems that every time we hear his name he is doing something great for those who deserve it most.
One of Donnie's most impressive acts of kindness came in the form of a VIP package with Armin Van Buuren, which he received after placing the top bid at the DJ Mag Foundation auction during Amsterdam Dance Event. In the package, Donnie received a roundtrip flight to Amsterdam, a hotel stay, and backstage passes to the Armin Only Intense event taking place this weekend. After receiving this once-in-a-lifetime experience, Donnie decided to give this special prize to his most dedicated DDP fan, a young man named Kevin. Donnie explained, “Giving to charitable initiatives, like the DJ Mag Foundation, is a priority to Disco Donnie Presents, but when these initiatives can translate into giving back to devoted fans, like Kevin, it’s a win-win. Kevin has attended more than 90 DDP events over the past 30 months – which is testament to just how amazing our fans are. Rewarding him with the chance to meet Armin in Amsterdam aligns with his devotion to dance music and our love of our fans.”
Kevin documented his entire trip, from the airport leaving to the Meet & Greet to the final performance, and we spoke with him a about his experience step by step.
[EDM.com = EDM, Kevin = K]
EDM: Who is Disco Donnie?
K: Disco Donnie is an urban legend/myth to some. I would see his head printed on bobblehead signs and fest totems at all the big DDP music festivals, I would meet people saying they’ve partied with him and were cool with him despite having no real concrete picture proof of this relationship, and his presence just seemed to be everywhere. To me, the legend is very real. He’s a supreme guardian type watching over EDM fans nationwide and making sure we get hooked-up with the best musical experience possible. Thank you so much Donnie for this trip and making one of my dreams a reality. You have my business and unquestioned loyalty for a long time.
EDM: What sets DDP apart from other promotional companies?
K: I love DDP because they completely exceed my thoughts of what a production/promoting company should be. There’s a reason I’ve gone to the amount of DDP shows that I have because honestly they just keep getting better and better, they get more and more creative in their bookings, and their music festivals are already becoming staples to the EDM scene here in the States.
EDM: Tell us about your experience traveling to Amstrerdam
K: Amsterdam was definitely an adventure. It was my first time in Europe so I attempted to plan as much as I could (where to eat, bus/train routes, which spots to see). Even though I feel I did a pretty good job planning those out, we still had a lot of hiccups when we actually arrived. Luckily for us though, the Dutch are very, very good at speaking English and more than eager to help out tourists. One of the times we got lost was probably at the worst possible moment (looking for the Ziggo Dome entrance to begin our Armin Only evening). Fortunately there was a soccer match going on at a stadium next door and there was no shortage of locals to ask for help. Who knows if it weren’t for the assistance of the Dutch our trip experience would have been very different!
EDM: What was your experience like meeting Armin Van Buuren?
Meeting Armin was a dream come true. Trance is what got me into this type of music back in high school and college listening to old school Armin and similar trance artists at that time like Tiesto’s original style and Ferry Corsten. Guys like these really opened up a whole new world for me and I got immediately hooked. Armin is my clear #1, ask anyone who knows me and they are quick to point that out. Listening to his ASOT radio show every Thursday and following him religiously if he tours in the United States are just a couple things that have become routine in my life. I definitely wasn’t myself when Armin first stepped into the room at the meet and greet but once the initial fanboy emotions swept over and I started chatting with him, I could really tell that he cared about and wanted to give back to his fans. Definitely was a special experience that I’m getting goosebumps even now just thinking back to it. A funny bit from the meet and greet was when I tried to pry some information out of Armin about his upcoming ASOT 700 world tour but was subsequently shut down. Looks like Armin’s sponsors and management team have him locked down pretty tight on that subject.
EDM: How has this experience changed/affected you?
K: This experience really validated my passion for this music and the community. After talking and meeting with Armin, I saw he really is like the rest of us, just someone who is crazy passionate about the music and lucky enough to be a medium for it to fans all around the world. Seeing the European fans going hard during the show was also really special, showing that music really has no boundaries despite what lagunage you speak or what part of the world you’re from. This being my first time in Europe and overseas, it was crazy experiencing this firsthand.