A football chant backed by a bass-punchy beat rings through the packed room. Balloons litter the floor. Looking like a website from the 90s, visuals showing colourful patterns and 3D modelled faces play behind the DJs. The music suddenly shifts; a smash cut into the theme tune from Friends to shouts of excitement from the crowd, and someone comes around passing out cupcakes. The DJ set takes another right turn, hammering into a bass heavy happy hardcore mix of Chop Suey by System Of A Down. Planet Fun was quite unlike any event I had ever attended.

a smash cut into the theme tune from Friends (…) and someone comes around passing out cupcakes

For two years Planet Fun have been putting on events in Bristol and London, celebrating interesting pop, meme music and happy hardcore. Their future-via-early-days-of-the-internet aesthetic and tongue in cheek online persona have helped garner a loyal fanbase, one that enjoys music that on paper may sound trite, but enjoyed unironically becomes something much better. It becomes something incredibly fun.

music that on paper may sound trite, but enjoyed unironically becomes something much better

Last month, Planet Fun teamed up with PC Music alumni Danny L Harle to throw an event in Exchange that doubled as a birthday party and a farewell to Bristol as the collective move home to London. 

The event felt like a house party; both rooms of the venue were open with different performers in each, baked snacks were being handed out, and the atmosphere was chatty and personable. This made the event feel like a safe space for people to enjoy themselves and relax without retribution, translating into a friendly and communal dancefloor and one of the best clubbing experiences I’ve had.

one of the best clubbing experiences I’ve had

The sets throughout the night were also great. In the main room, DJ Fingerblast opened with a torrent of kitsch but chantable bangers. DJ Cryalot, the lead singer from indie pop band Kero Kero Benito, brought some trance influences in her set, before lashing out with some breakneck drum and bass or dipping back into hue pop anthems. 

Berlin based artist Rui Ho closed the night with a tight set of hardcore that had a tired crowd still give it their all. The artists who played the basement stage weren’t as interesting as what was happening upstairs, but their often charming use of cultural touchstones and unexpected remixes made for a nice break from the sweaty fistpumping and jumping in the room above.

cultural touchstones and unexpected remixes made for a nice break

Elsewhere on the main stage, Lil Data’s set was a standout. Relying less of the meme culture aspect of Planet Fun and leaning instead into the hardcore one, Lil Data played a live-coded set of bass heavy rhythms alongside artist Cherry B Diamond. Their music was captivating. Rhythms suddenly jumped to undancable speeds, or came to a halt before rushing off again, and the resulting messy dancefloor was exhilarating fun to be part of. 

the resulting messy dancefloor was exhilarating fun to be part of

Danny’s set was also a blinder; an hour of music skirting the boundary between the twinkling production he is known for, and viscous bass-infused hardcore. What resulted was a set that would build up pretty layers of euphoric futuristic trance, with Danny comfortably keeping the crowd on the hook until he dropped them into a hardcore maelstrom. Within ten minutes Danny had an enraptured crowd on his hands who were moving in step with the dips and peaks of his music, his mastery of the art of DJ clearly far more prominent than you’d expect from an artist known mainly for his production and songwriting.

a night with an uncontrollable grin plastered across my face

Planet Fun’s birthday bash was an incredible night. Great music, a brilliant venue used well, a friendly crowd and free cakes all led me to spend a night with an uncontrollable grin plastered across my face. Planet Fun exist to deliver exactly that, fun, and it’s a shame they’re leaving Bristol, as they’re clearly incredible at what they do. 

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