After the success of The Hydra, promoters Broken and Uneven talk plans for 2013

Emma Gritt
Hydra Crowd Shot 1 by Sarah 300x225 After the success of The Hydra, promoters Broken and Uneven talk plans for 2013

(c) Sarah Ginn

Dolan Bergin and Ajay Jayaram were already big hitters in the London party scene before they teamed up to form Broken and Uneven. Over the last few months, The Hydra, a special series of events they created featuring the best of today’s electronic music artists, labels and affiliates have been the parties on everyone’s lips.

Promoting a successful event in London isn’t as easy as many may think – the market is saturated and with clubbers offered so many options from every imaginable genre every weekend, it’s hard to stand out.

Jay and Dolan’s previous day jobs working in the industry meant that when they teamed up, their shared contacts collided into a kaleidoscope of awesome line-ups and unbelievable coups. From the start when they welcomed Ostgut Ton, the label working out of Berlin’s iconic Berghain nightclub all the way through the series – Innervisions, Permanent Vacation, R&S Records,, Deviation and Bugged Out – there wasn’t an event that wasn’t as packed as it was anticipated.

Now, with just two parties left of the series, a New Year’s Eve Border Community special and New Year’s Day dance marathon with Henrik Schwarz for those still standing (or merely prolonging the holiday spirit), they reveal what their personal highlights were and what they have planned for 2013.

What are your backgrounds?

The team is made up of Ajay Jayaram – formerly Head of Programming at The End for 10 years until it closed and founding member of We Fear Silence, and Dolan Bergin who has been running house, techno, and disco party/label Electric Minds for seven years.

What does working together as Broken and Uneven offer to you that working as individuals did not?

Working with a partner is much nicer than on your own as you have someone to support you, provide feedback and ideas. It’s also a big help to have someone share the responsibility, as to produce the events takes a huge amount of work.

How did The Hydra come to life and has it achieved its aims?

When I met Ajay we had several projects that shared the same ethos musically but we also had various connections that brought different labels to the table. After a bit of thought we decided that it would be a great idea to pull all of our resources and bring together all of the different labels and bookings we made independently to try and present a broad spectrum of the many areas of electronic music.

We’re so pleased to have reached the end of the series and really proud at what we’ve achieved. To produce a series of events in London with such fierce competition and a very difficult venue situation has been very challenging but I think we’ve proved that a series that focuses solely on credible electronic music can exist in London and we’re looking forward to doing it all again in 2013.

How much input do you have in curating the line-ups, or do you give the labels/collectives free reign?

We program all of the line ups ourselves, we do of course seek approval from the labels but every line-up and the concept for each event has been created by us. The only worrying scenario is whether we’ve picked the right line-up, I think we’ve got that right so far but have learnt a few things over the last few months, so there will be a few changes for next year.

What’s been the biggest track from this year’s parties?

Wow, pretty hard to pick just one as the music has been so diverse across the series but Joy Orbison & Boddika’s Mercy has been played a few times and sounded amazing at the Nonplus x Workshop party.

Will The Hydra return in 2013 – how will you be making it bigger and better?

It will indeed in 2013, the first party takes place on Friday 23rd August 2013 and the line-up for opening is huge! We don’t want to give too much away just yet but the Hydra 2013 will see more dates and the parties will be on a bigger scale then this years’ [party].

What was your personal highlight of 2012’s parties?

The Innervisions x Permanent Vacation party was great and the afterparty on the MS Stubnitz Boat will go down as one of the best we’ve ever staged, that was a really great night/day. The Nonplus x Workshop party was also brilliant, really enjoyed that one.

What was the most successful party – were there any surprises?

I think the Innervisions x Permanent Vacation party was the most successful as it sold out so far in advance. Behind the scenes we had to move the venue four times so that was pretty stressful but it came good in the end!

It’s been an up and down year for events with cancellations due to weather and safety. What advice do you have for budding promoters keen to start their own nights next year?

I don’t think most people will understand how much goes into producing events until they’ve done it themselves. It’s hugely challenging, costs a fortune and high risk, so unless you are pretty on top of things I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. I think the best advice is to always plan for the unexpected and make sure you have a back up should your venue fall through.

What would be your dream line-up?

I’m going to pick the line up for our Panorama Bar party on 8th March 2013 for this. Move D, Nick Hoppner, Jay Shepheard & Endian will be playing, they’re all friends so it’s really nice to have them all there for our first party at Panorama Bar.

What do the NYE/NYD parties promise?

Both the NYE & NYD parties have huge line-ups. I think they should be really special and taking place at a three-room venue that we’ve never used before. I think NYD will be a highlight as it will be the series closing party and we’re really fond of the line-up as well as seeing in the New Year with our friends. In terms of the events we’ll have everything in place and a slick sound system as ever in each room courtesy of Sound Services, oh and there is the special guest as well which we’ll announce on the day.

What trends do you predict for clubs and events in 2013?

Next year in London we hope that all eyes are on The Hydra announcing all of its dates at the start of the summer…

For more information and tickets for Broken and Uneven: The Hydra’s NYE and NYD events visit

Tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • harry

    club culture becoming too much like rock culture… Having to buy overpriced tickets months in advance, everybody facing the DJ…

  • harry

    Club culture becoming too much like rock culture… Having to buy overpriced tickets months in advance and all that business

  • twonorti

    These were the best night of 2012… looking forward to B&E 2013!

Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter