Our nations capital, known for its quickly expanding daytime and nighttime culture is getting a major flex in the form of Fiction ”“ the complete top to bottom refurb of its once standing superclub Academy. Thats not all with Chinese Laundry super booker Frank Tapia tipped to lead talent through 2019 and beyond, a formula for good times no doubt!
Theres a bit more to the story (including its evolution into an entertainment space) so we reached out to Frank to out a bit about his time at Chinese Laundry booking a stack of international and local talent, a couple tips for those wanting to get into the booking game and more importantly Canberra evolution as a clubbing destination and the new club itself.
SR: So all done at Chinese Laundry, how was your time there?
FT: My time at Chinese Laundry was amazing! It is definitely a place I hold close to home. I originally left Canberra to take on the role as booker, which is quite ironic because now Im back in the ”berra” For the nearly 4 years I was there, the venue, music and historical culture taught me so much more about this wonderful industry we are in. Laundry is place that has been around for roughly 20 + years and has delivered some of the most legendary nights in Sydney and Australia.
I feel really pleased that I was able to be part of the venues history and continue its longevity. I was lucky enough to work with artists from so many different genres and scenes. From the more bass side of things like Marshmello, Jauz, Baauer. To the big house artists like Patrick Topping, Chris Lake, MK, CamelPhat. And the very cool respected Techno giants like Nina Kraviz, Marcel Dettemann, Ben Klock & Stephan Bodzin. Im forever grateful for the time I had at Laundry. I accomplished everything I set out to do in my time there. One of the biggest accomplishments while being there was being voted in the DJMAG TOP 100 clubs in the world 3 years in a row. With no other Australian club in the top 100 or non-surpassing our position, it essentially set us in the path of being recognised as the best club in Australia globally.
SR: Can you tell us 3 key things you learned as a booker in Australia?
- Stick to your guns.
- Believe in what you are doing.
- Be nice to people.
SR: Whats the go with this new superclub in Canberra? Can you tell us more?
FT: The new venue that will be opening up soon is called Fiction Club, which will be located where Academy Club originally was. The space is going through a complete renovation top and bottom. It will see the space installed with a new mezzanine level and double the space. Fiction will be more then just a super club. It will be a venue for multiple events, music, art and exhibitions. As the population grows in Canberra and lots of new places are opening up. It definitely feels like the right time for a venue like Fiction to open its doors. My plan was to always come back to Canberra and do something in nightlife. When this new opportunity appeared, it felt right to make the move from Sydney back home. Im truly excited for what 2019 holds and what is planned with Fiction Club.
SR: Why do you think Canberra has a place as a clubbing destination?
FT: Canberra has always been a clubbing destination over the years. It recently has gone through some change and the culture is definitely different. I was involved in Canberras nightlife for a number of years and can tell you now; it has a very big history for clubbing and late night events. My journey originally began at Lot 33 in Kingston then did venues like Trinity Bar, Meche & North Bar. Without Canberra nightlife, it would not have lead me to Sydney and the opportunities I had at Chinese
Laundry. My goal in the New Year is to contribute a strong and cultural brand with Fiction to grow it into Canberras nightlife. If I can emulate the success I had at Chinese Laundry in Canberra, it will only be a bonus.
SR: Where do you see dance/electronic music in Australia in a years time?
FT: As every other year, growing and getting stronger! Ive noticed over the past 3 years, more and more promoters and events are popping up. It seems to be an inspiring time for some which is great to see. Music in general is in a very exciting phase. From what Ive witnessed, people are open to so many different genres rather then just the one. This gives bookers like myself more flexibility to bring acts that may not have played here before for the first time.
So all in all a really positive step forward for Canberrans or those wanting to make a trip interstate to soak up some superclub goodness! Be sure to follow Fiction on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date on the latest.