Local man creating space for EDM in Steamboat’s entertainment scene | SteamboatToday.com

Local man creating space for EDM in Steamboat’s entertainment scene

John Fransella believes Steamboat Springs is approaching a tipping point. He believes the town’s entertainment lineup falls short of the demand for electronic dance music in Steamboat Springs, but sees plenty of reasons to assume things are shifting.

“There’s kind of a new generation of promoters and creatives in less accessible environments that want to put their stuff out there,” Fransella said. “So, it’s spawning all these little parties and I think that’s what’s happening here in Steamboat.”

There will be three EDM shindigs within a six-block radius in downtown Steamboat Springs on Friday, Feb. 17, at Old Town Pub, Schmiggity’s and Trail’s End.

Fransella himself will be spinning Trail’s End under the moniker TEAK, named after his favorite type of wood. He recently founded Feels Right, an events production company and record label that is hosting the event. His vision is to formalize Steamboat’s EDM scene, which he says is currently in its early stages.

“Right now it’s these one-off parties, which are fantastic,” Fransella said. “But I do think that there can be something bigger.”

He says EDM is different from other genres because of how much additional production and flair — whether it’s laser lights or TV screens — are needed to create an authentic EDM experience.

“I wanted to create something where you’re there for the act, but you’re also there for the event, the overall vibe and the other people there,” Fransella said. “So, somewhere that would just allow people to cut loose.”

Three different EDM shows will take place on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023 in downtown Steamboat Springs. One will be headlined by Antoinette Van DeWark, a DJ from California.
Feels Right/Courtesy photo

Fransella recently retired from a career in graphic design, branding and organizational design. His career has always been adjacent to music, but he is excited to dive into a venture where he can work directly with music and other musicians.

One of the first DJs in town he collaborated with is Whoski, who Fransella describes as one of the most recognized local DJs in Steamboat. Even though Fransella grew up in Miami and Whoski grew up in Chicago, they were on similar musical timelines and experienced similar scenes.

“So there was just kind of a shorthand there,” Fransella said. “I guess a natural easiness between us.”

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While Steamboat does have several local DJs, Fransella said it can be tough to book talent from outside the area, saying it’s difficult for promoters to recoup the traveling expenses, but he believes developing a consistent local EDM scene could attract talent from all over.  

The Feels Right Dance Party starts at 8 p.m. on Friday and will be headlined by Antoinette Van Dewark, a DJ from Los Angeles, California. Bastion, TEAK and Whoski will be the opening acts. Fransella said the performers lean toward the “house” genre of EDM, emphasizing repetitive vibe-inducing beats, and “tech-house” which combines house and techno stylings.

Meanwhile, Old Town Pub will be hosting Labrat and Elevated Mind, G-ON and Rg3 starting at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Also starting at 9:30, Schmiggity’s will feature Poldoore and Late Night Radio. All three shows are expected to go late.

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