Packed bars and VIP table service at bougie nightclubs consume urban nightlife nowadays. If any young person in San Francisco is asked what their Thirsty Thursday night plans consist of, the answer is more than likely hanging out in a bar, feeling sardine-like as they attempt to sip on a beer without being elbowed and spilling everywhere.
But what happened to dancing? And no, not twerking or fist pumping—but actually moving and grooving and dancing with someone face-to-face as opposed to back-to-back. The music of the disco era promoted fluid body movement—arms in the air, hips swaying back and forth, moving like a wave.
Erik Haug, a twenty-five-year-old consultant at Deloitte Consulting, had a vision to reincarnate the lost art of the disco movement. Redisco is a lifestyle movement as well as a network of people invested in bringing dance culture and creativity back into the community. Haug knew that San Francisco, a diverse city full of open-minded people, would be the perfect place to begin his venture.
“I have had the idea for Redisco for a while, but we finally got a team around it in October of 2013,” says Haug, who initially began outlining his ideas during college. “We had our first launch event on Dec 12, 2013. Right now we are primarily focused on experiences, building a network, and just bringing people together through the expression of dance and music.”
Whether it be through the art of the flash mob or creating unique downloadable tunes and posting them on Soundcloud, Redisco is setting out to change the way people interact artistically and bring the arts back.
When it comes to scoping out DJs to work with, the Redisco team has an eye for finding talented artists with sounds that are very different, creating unique and memorable sounds of soulful vocals and heavy bass mixed with modern electronic dance music.
Bay Area DJ Francis Chiser, previously known as “Franchise”, has been working with Redisco in creating new music since late November 2013. He currently holds residencies in the Bay Area for Dance YourSF Clean and the GENERATIONS party.
“I love Redisco’s vision for creating a culture of positive dance and social engagement,” said Chiser. “Redisco’s passion and energy are inspiring and something I am proud to pioneer now and in the future.”
After premiering an exclusive mix partnered with Redisco back in November at Madrone Art Bar, Chiser received a ton of positive feedback from his fans as well as Redisco supporters. He could not ask for a better introduction to their partnership.
“My collaborations with Erik and the crew allow me to showcase another facet of the positive, fun vibe I give beyond the standard hip-hop, top forty parties,” says Chiser. For Chiser, the promotion of Redisco also has the benefit of self-promotion; killing two birds with one stone.
Because it is a startup, the brand currently relies solely on donations to fund the events that they host around San Francisco. With the money that Redisco gathers, the goal is to graduate from primarily throwing parties and giving out t-shirts to obtaining a permanent space to house their own events and offer art and dance classes to the public.
“Studying the disco era was a phenomenon with the dancing, freedom of expression, and no-judgment vibes,” said Haug. “We thought, ‘Let’s do disco again!’ We began connecting with different DJs to create unique and modern mixes for us so that people could get an understanding of our sound and the music we support and can really dance to.”
Since October of 2013, Redisco has really come a long way from just being a thought. Erik and his team are quickly on their way to their dream of changing the social and cultural norms of nightlife and expression in general. From a few songs on Soundcloud, they now have a strong network of people and are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.