When we’re not busy slangin’ skateboards and snowboards, the Windward crew likes to get our party on.

The last week of September 2012, Chicago played host to one of the world’s largest DJ competitions, the Red Bull 3Style Event. 18 different countries were represented with finalists coming from all over the world, to the big final event, right here in the Chi. We headed out for the 2nd night of pre-qualifiers at Double Door featring DJ DNS (Netherlands), DJ Drummer (Chile), DJ Pandol (South Korea) and Four Color Zack (USA). Each competitor had 15 minutes to blend at least 3 different genres of music and keep the crowd moving.

In classic Chicago form, the night turned into a total dance party and the crowd certainly seemed to enjoy themselves. By the end of the night it felt more like a basement house party that all of your friends showed up to. The judges watched over the crowd to see which DJ was really getting the job done and in our opinion, definitely had some tough choices to make. Our personal faves for the evening were (by far) DJ Drummer and Four Color Zack.  

The judges table was a small lineup of party-rocking legends including Cosmo Baker, Skratch Bastid and DJ Jazzy Jeff. After each DJ got their 15 minutes in, the round table (if you will) of judges crowned DJ Drummer the champ of the evening. Four Color Zack would then go on to become the ultimate champ at the final night of the competition. 

After the battle was over, two legends in their own right took to the stage to keep the party going. J5’s man behind the tables, DJ Numark hit the stage and did what he does best, giving the crowd the best in old and new hip hop. This is the part of the evening that turned straight up house party on us. The crowd was done watching and it was definitely time to dance. Numark handled business and left the stage with a very hyped up crowd. 

Closing out the night after a lineup like this is no easy task – that’s why Red Bull brought in heavy hitter and dance party starter, Gaslamp Killer. His hair alone can make you want to party. Originally from San Diego (hence the name Gaslamp Killer) and now based in Los Angeles, this guy has played every relevant festival / club / party that you can imagine. His stage presence is second to none and his sheer energy gets the crowd on their feet. His musical knowledge is insane and the random back to back tracks this guy chooses will blow your mind. If you get a chance to see Gaslamp Killer live, don’t pass it up. 

Needless to say, this was one of those nights where you feel like you’ve gotten a work out when you leave the club. To all those that came from out of town, we are sure you enjoyed Chicago and got a little taste of our love for music and roots of true Chicago dance parties. For those of us the grew up on this, it’s great to see Chicago get the recognition we deserve when it comes to the DJ circuit.

From the 90’s warehouse parties to underground hip hop to straight up house parties – Chicago’s deep love for music (and home grown talent) was put on the center stage during the week of this competition – and for that Red Bull, we thank you. Hopefully this event will swing back around Chicago in a few years. Until then, keep supporting your local DJ / band / music scene and most importantly, keep those dance parties coming.