What is Bizarre Love Triangle (BLT)? BLT is a collaboration between Julien Lapierre and myself. BLT also works with a host of other DJs, graphic designers and artists. BLT’s name pays homage to the famous 1986 song Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order, a song and style that has guided Julien and my direction for BLT.
BLT is a monthly party which offers an incredible blend of djs from different universes of musical tastes, passions and energy: underground, Berlinesque, electronic with a hint of house disco. Julien and I launched BLT in 2005 with the objective of bringing many different types and culture of people together under one unifying theme and desire: to dance, reinvent and stimulate the senses, have a good time and enjoy good music. Over the years our guests and music-lovers began referring to our Bizarre Love Triangle nights as simply BLT.
Because BLT encompasses ‘paradox,’ we (Julien and I) collaborate with venues where we can seamlessly blend underground, gothic, gay, straight, chic… together, and where no matter who you are and where you come from, everybody is equal and accepted. This is why since June 2011, BLT has collaborated with Chez Maxim, a club, restaurant and salon founded in 1893 in Paris, France and known for its history and eclectic mélange of art decor.
Each month BLT unites 1,500 et 1,600 people throughout the evening. Our largest turnout so far was 1,800 for our 8th anniversary.
BLT’s 9th anniversary is coming very quickly, and we have planned an unforgettable party.
How did you build BLT into such a large event with so may faithful fans? By treating every guest with respect and equality, and by giving memories of the night back to our guests.
For example at every BLT, photographer Thomas Smith captures the essence of the night though photos and videos. Afterwards, Julien and I carefully sort through the photos, publishing only those beautiful, chic photos which bring out the best in the people being photographed. If we’re unsure about a particular photo, we will try to identify the person in the photo and get permission beforehand, or we won’t publish it.
In addition, as another way of saying thank you for making BLT what it is, the DJs that play during the event record their set live and we make the mix freely available for download on Soundcloud.
With such a diverse collection of people and lifestyles, have you ever had an issue with security, fights, or violence? BLT’s name and branding are pretty clear about what BLT stands for and what to expect, so I think that anybody who comes to BLT knows what is in store for them. If not, door and inside security are quite competent. So no. We’ve never had any problem with homophobia or anything else. We are also very careful about who we let into our Facebook community to prevent hateful and derogatory comments.
You’re about to celebrate BLT #100. What are a few milestones? In total, BLT has had 5 location changes and has gone through several phases (ultra-select private party with only friends, disco, voguing, underground New York…) in music and artistic direction throughout the years, but BLT’s core mission and DNA hasn’t changed.
At Chez Maxim’s we have two floors with two different concepts. The top floor hosts BLT’s original concept, and the bottom floor is more underground.
There were times when Julien and I had to fight to keep BLT alive, but at no point did we consider abandoning BLT.
Today the line outside the door to BLT goes down the street, and we didn’t really realize it growing along the way. Each location had a legal occupancy limit, and once that limit was reached, we closed the doors. In fact, BLT didn’t go to Chez Maxim’s because we needed more space, Chez Maxim’s proposed a collaboration and we said yes because we liked their concept.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Recall in my interview with entrepreneur Hervé Godard of Blake Magazine that when it comes to hosting events, the first Blake party was our one year anniversary house party, and everybody brought a bottle of champagne which we kept cool under ice in the bathtub! 80 people showed up for that party.
3 months later I hosted another Blake party for fashion week. By then so many people had talked about the first Blake party amongst themselves that bars and clubs and journalists began contacting me with offers and introducing me to even more brands and sponsors!
When faced with maximum occupancy restraints and the more people who are rejected, the more exclusive and important those denied entry assume the party, and thus brand, must be.]
We look forward to celebrating our 9th anniversary and 100th edition as well as BLT’s upcoming interactive website launch near the end of November… Yet another sincere thank to all of the people who make BLT what it is.
Could BLT continue without
you? We constantly have guest DJs coming through, but I feel that Julien and I have become key pieces because everyone knows us. We are expected to be there and I am expected to do a set at some point during the night. I have become known as the BLT DJ.
Ironically enough, most people know the name ‘Emmanuel Caurel,’ but don’t recognize or know me, so I can sit in the corner and watch.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Recall in Kevin Knight, owner of Expatriates in Paris’ interview that he manages his +18,000 online community by promoting natural leaders that emerge within the community so that he could actually walk away and the community would be able to continue on indefinitely.]
Speaking of art direction, BLT consistently uses stunning imagery and videos to promote each event. Tell me about BLT’s branding and marketing strategy. Just like no DJ’s music set is ever the same, every BLT event has its own concept, direction and idea. Some strategies obviously have worked better than others. I keep an archive of my ideas and BLT event promotions on my instagram account.
Concerning the BLT events themselves, all photos are taken by Thomas Smith and mostly in black in white, and the very best are shared onto the BLT Facebook page. The quality of the photos alone account for a large majority of BLT’s exposure and people are proud to use the photos as their profile photo and tag themselves in them. Followed by word-of-mouth and further social media sharing.
Concerning each BLT event communications, flyers are shared on social media, sent to our email database and mailed directly to VIP guests through the post office.
All images and videos leading up to each event change with each event and we challenge the art directors we work with to ensure that each communication is innovative and provocative, and each communication includes BLT’s next event date.
We always request permission with the artist to ensure we have authorization on any images and videos we use. Some artists even give us video rushes.
Concerning BLT’s communication and marketing strategy, to keep our updates fresh and our followers aware of upcoming BLT events. Each event communication sequence typically looks something like this:
- Event Calendar: NEXT BLT PARTY #99: SATURDAY (DATE) AT MAXIM’S DE PARIS
- Update: “DAY -5.
BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE #99. BRACE YOURSELVES FOR YET ANOTHER BLT THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“DAY -3. SAVE YOUR EVENING. BLT IS COMING”
- Update: “GUEST LIST FULL!” (depending on responses)
GET READY! BIZARRE LOVE TRIANGLE!″
- Update: “DAY -0.”
- Event: BLT #99.
- Next day: Upload photos, respond to comments, photos and videos.
- 2 days later: Thank you flyer
NEXT BLT PARTY #100: SATURDAY (DATE) AT MAXIM’S DE PARIS
I’m a brand and I want to sponsor/collaborate with BLT… Plenty of sponsors contact us, and we will keep BLT true to its identity and remain close with our fans. Ideal sponsors would understand that BLT parties are successful because they are BLT parties, and brands would be received and welcomed by BLT as guests, not as commercialization opportunities. We want our people to come to feel at home – like a second house. Money isn’t the issue.
For example, on February 13, 2015 Bazarre Love Triangle partnered with Têtu for an extraordinay night. Here is the video we released advertising the event:
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Recall in my interview with Hervé Godard, Editor-in-Chief of Blake Magazine that he actively networks and seeks sponsors for branded events. This allows him to offer ‘open bar’ and gift bags to all of his guests; a win-win-win-win situation for Blake Magazine, the sponsors, the party venue and the guests.]
What is the future of BLT? We have been asked to expand BLT into other countries: London, Tel Aviv, Italy; something Julien and I will think about.
Also, BLT’s upcoming interactive website will launch near the end of November… Yet another sincere thank to all of the people who make BLT what it is.