On March 2-4, 2019, Zoolu will return to the Metropolitan in New Orleans for Zoolu 25. The event will feature Kaskade, Dillon Francis, Bijou, Valentino Khan, and Ducky. On Sunday, March 3,
The gathering is a benchmark in history, representing both the 25th anniversary of Zoolu and Disco Donnie Presents (DDP). It will mark a quarter-century celebration of moving dance culture forward on a worldwide scale.
Originally debuting in 1995 at the historic State Palace Theater, Zoolu featured Mystic Bill, Terry Mullan, Reese, and Astroboy. Through the mid-1990s and early 2000s, the festival quickly became an integral part of Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. It brought EDM to the city before the term was popularized or the culture accepted by the mainstream.
In fact, a local New Orleans publication, River Beats, quoted the following about Zoolu:
Ask any old school raver about where the underground scene in New Orleans was thriving at that time and they would tell you the State Palace, especially the ZOOLU parties.
Everyone from Hunter S. Thompson to Marilyn Manson would pass through the doors of the Zoolu parties. Zoolu became a roaming party for a few years after Hurricane Katrina closed the State Palace. However it was revived in 2015. Then, Disco Donnie Presents and Amps Events formed a partnership with the Metropolitan and Zoolu has called it home ever since.
Disco Donnie made the following statement:
When Disco started, I didn’t know if we’d make it to the next event, so it’s crazy to think about Zoolu turning 25. I think that might be some sort of record — the longest running rave in the United States.
The Metropolitan was originally built in the early 1820s as a sugar refinery and offers a glimpse into a bygone era. Today the Metropolitan has three rooms with state-of-the-art production and is the premier event space. It hosts weddings, private parties, corporate events, concerts.
Disco Donnie Origins
It has been quite a journey for Disco Donnie over the past 25 years. In the beginning, the company founders would hand out paper flyers to their events. In the process, company founder James D. Estopinal Jr. transformed from rave outlaw to legendary entrepreneur.
Previously, back in the
Today Disco Dinnie hosts some of dance music’s biggest acts on international stages. In fact, the company produces events across all genres and is an unexpected symbol in the battle for freedom of speech. As an illustration of this, in 2014, Disco Donnie was ranked among EDM’s 50 Most Important People by Rolling Stone Magazine. The Zoolu parties have been a key part of the Disco Donny Presents story.
Robert Brunet, a veteran in the concert industry and former owner of the State Palace Theatre, partnered with Disco Donnie from the beginning. Today, he continues to be the local partner with Disco Donnie Presents on all New Orleans shows.
He made the following statement about Disco Donnie:
Donnie used to say, ‘All roads lead to Zoolu!’ Well, those roads have been bumpy over the past 25 years, but
expriencingthe journey of EDM and Zoolu was nothing less than magical. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 25 years.
Much has changed in the world of electronic dance music since the early Zoolu days, and Disco Donnie has been at the center of it. Electronic music culture exploded into the mainstream around 2012. Since then, it has grown into a billion dollar industry that stretches around the globe.
As chronicled in the documentary Rise: The Story of Rave Outlaw Disco Donnie, a significant portion of that activity can be attributed to Disco Donnie Presents. This is because the company who has organized some of the biggest musical events in the history of dance music. These include events such as Ultimate Music Experience, Sunset Music Festival, Freaky Deaky, the upcoming Ubbi Dubbi Festival, and thousands of individual tours for electronic artists he has believed in.
About Disco Donnie Presents
Disco Donnie has also been part of some of the biggest partnerships in the music business. Previously, in the mid-2000s he helped grow Insomniac Events into a powerhouse brand. Later, in 2012, Disco Donnie Presents became the first electronic music promoter to be acquired by Robert F.X. Sillerman’s SFX Entertainment. Although SFX wound up in bankruptcy, Disco Donnie Presents emerged intact. Today, the name lives on as part of LiveStyle.