Vancouver, B.C.—The attention of the DJ world turns to the Pacific Northwest this week as the Red Bull Thre3style World Finals hits town.
Beginning Tuesday night at the Bar None club, a series of DJ competitions will whittle 18 DJs—champions in their respective countries—down to four. The winners of those four semi-finals will compete Saturday night, Dec. 17, for the title at the Commodore Ballroom.
The Red Bull Thre3style competition is unique in that it requires participants to play at least three genres of music in a 15-minute program, and it relies more on rocking the room than it does pure technical abilities.
The week’s schedule goes as follows:
- Dec. 13 at Bar None, champions from Australia, Bolivia, Brazil and Norway compete, while event headliners include The Rub, Smalltown DJs and The Boyscouts.
- Dec. 14 at Venue, champions from Argentina, Canada, India and Spain compete, while the event headliner is Peanut Butter Wolf.
- Dec. 15 at Fortune Sound Club, champions from Colombia, Denmark, Japan, Switzerland and the U.K. compete, while event headliners include Just Blaze, Team Canada DJs and The Goodfellas
- Dec. 16 at Club 560, champions from Chile, France, New Zealand, Peru and USA compete, while event headliners include DJ Premier, Pete Rock, DJ Dopey and Faction Soundcrew.
The four nightly winners will square off at the Commodore Ballroom in the World Final, while event headliners include 2009 America’s Best DJ champ Z-Trip, DJ Nu-Mark and Vinyl Ritchie.
DJ Times will be there, following US champ Big Once (aka Ian Osborn). We caught up with the 30-year-old Chicagoan as he prepped for battle. We asked: How do you mentally prepare for an event like this? How do you step up to the moment?
“For all three of the [Thre3style regional] battles this year, I literally set my entire life aside for at least a month—every day, 12- to 16-hour days at a minimum, no days off,” he said. “I come from a DMC background, so I know what it takes to prepare for battles. I study all my opponents, get to know what they do and don’t do, and try to build out existing remix routines off that. I’m trying to do leave no stone unturned, so when it comes to battle time, I won’t be surprised by anyone’s techniques.”
And what should judges expect from you in Vancouver?
– Jim Tremayne