Interview: Robert Cummings of Cosmic Synergy shares his story

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Cosmic Synergy has established as a rising electronic music event production vision and community based in Denver, Colorado, and is expanding minds.  From hosting the freshest artistic live experiences filled with the hottest underground musical gems ranging from local to international acts, he illuminates in an atmosphere that brings about elaborate stage design, full sound system of Evo7 Funktion’s, to top-notch stage visuals and collaborates with visionary artists and live painters.  Robert Cummings continues to share a big vision with us.  Having debuted with Final Friday’s at The Black Box only one year ago, on October 2016, he quickly expressed his dreams into reality that had been evolving since 2015.  Prior to this, Robert’s experience stems back from 2009, where he co-founded his first event production company in his hometown Minneapolis, Minnesota.  One thing to know about him is that he works hard and through those consistent and passionate actions, he will continue to bring forth memorable experiences.   I reached out to him to further dive into the root of all his inspiration and for him to share what’s happening as well as plans for the future.  Let is flourish.  Enjoy!

A Chat w/ Robert of Cosmic Synergy

You’ve had quite the exhilarating year debuting your vision, Cosmic Synergy, on October 2016.  Tell us about how your creation and intention came about?

I’ve always been inspired by music. In 2009 I co-founded my first promotion company (in my hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota), so it was a long time coming when I found the time to start Cosmic Synergy in 2015. After living in Colorado for a few years, we co-hosted a sold-out Tipper Red Rocks afterparty with Sub.mission, and the sell-out show inspired me to host a free pre-party that same weekend to give back to all of my friends and supporters. When I found out that a new venue would be opening in the fall of 2016 (around the same time Tipper would be returning to Denver for a massive 3-night run), I was inspired to host 2 nights of after hours to compliment the Tipper shows. Around that same time that The Black Box announced its Grand Opening and I had the chance to sit down with Nicole of Sub.mission to pick out a night I felt fitting for her new venue project she was undertaking – I chose Final Fridays. It was a good place to start building my brand, but also a great place to build a consistent event in Denver.

Focused on hosting every Final Friday’s monthly based in one of Denver’s newest rising venues, The Black Box, how have your shows evolved since your debut?

Like any new project, it took some time and a lot of work. Following the success of our After Hours events, we wanted to step outside the “norm” and make sure every lineup was maxed- from start to finish. We wanted our events to stand out, and we wanted to differentiate our events by stacking line-ups with 3 or 4 (or more) headliners, along with making sure our production was beyond anything that had previously been done in Denver. We knew if we followed our gut and provided an over-the-top event that people could enjoy themselves, and it wouldn’t take any time at all for them to become a staple in the Denver scene. This year has been so amazing – from all of Colorado’s top-notch producer’s support for our vision, to hosting so many of our favorite international producers from around the world. We set a standard for ourselves and choose to only raise the bar as we move forward. For our 14th straight Final Friday, we will start the New Years Eve weekend with our biggest production to-date at The Black Box.

Who’s one of your main musical inspirations, musically speaking?

I have so many it’s hard to narrow it down… I grew up listening to punk rock bands like Choking Victim / LOC, The Descendants, Operation Ivy and many others. That music was so different from the norm and from what my peers were listening to, but I liked that about Punk Rock. Those bands and that time of my life has given me a lot of inspiration and still fuels me to this day. One of the biggest inspirations in the electronic realm has to be Dave Tipper. After first hearing his music in 2008, I’ve only grown to love it more throughout the years.

 

Binary is one of your main VJ’s / Visualists for your events.  What do you like about his style?

I got introduced to Zac by Lostinsound, who we teamed up with for our After Hours events for Tipper’s 3-night run in October 2016. It was Zac’s attention to detail and all-around genuine personality that made me realize I wanted to collaborate with him on a continual basis. He saw something special about those nights and was glad to get on board with our vision of Final Fridays.

Who’s one of your favorite live painters you’ve hosted?

This is another tough one to narrow down. Colorado is filled with so many great artistic visionaries. There is one night at Final Fridays that does stand out, though – when a close friend Chris Surposa agreed to bring some of his friends out to paint at our February Final Fridays with Enspirus Arts aka Blais & Pher01. We also had Rez & Bohl, Andrew Norris, Megan Walker & Clinton Reynolds with us that night, and probably the most live painting we’ve ever had at a Final Fridays event.

You’ve got a stacked dual show lineup approaching on December 29th featuring Monuman, Bogtrotter, Evac, Dubcoling, Resonant Language in the main room and artists such as Ben Milstein, Devin Kroes, Keota, Matter, Plurthlings on the lounge side.  What kind of work goes into these events?

NYE is a huge time of the year so we have to start thinking about this event way ahead of time and begin the networking process with our friends much earlier than we normally would. Like any event, there are lots of emails exchanged, phone calls, and bouncing ideas off of each regarding how we can make our production over the top for such a big weekend. We typically need to find out what artists are available, and who can support our bookings with local talent. We have to arrange flights, hotels & accommodations, load in & load out crews, ground transportation & hospitality. There’s a lot of fine details that can be easily overlooked when you have such a massive lineup of artists. RSVPhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1867098046939024/

What are you most excited about this final event of 2017?

We’ve gone the extra mile on this one – from booking some of our close friends to bringing in debut performances and fresh artists that have yet to play Denver or at a Cosmic Synergy event. We are going above and beyond with our production and bringing in more surprises for both of our stages than we’ve ever seen inside The Black Box. We have a massive LED wall for main room, we are bringing out skEYEfi to do visuals on the second stage, and we’re adding an MC host for each stage – which is something we’ve never done before. This Final Friday will be our largest one to date and will kick-start the NYE weekend in Denver.

Share with us one of your favorite moments since your debut.

This one is extremely hard as it feels like each Final Friday outdoes the one before it. There are so many amazing moments for me but one moment that really stands out is our first sold out show, which was in March 2017 and featured Hedflux & Sixis. Wolftech & Symbolico are two of the funniest guys I know so it was great hosting them as well, and I can’t forget to mention having Bwoy de Bhajan perform – that was a dream come true. Our most recent sold out show featured Chee, who on his first USA tour, headlining with Detox Unit. I have no doubt that December Final Fridays will make this list too.

Denver’s electronic scene is unlike anything I’ve experienced before.  How do you manage to stay collected and focused with its energetic night scene.

This month’s Final Friday will mark 6 years to the day that I’ve lived in Denver, CO. I quickly learned that it’s pretty common to have multiple music events happening around the city on the same night and I find myself wanting to be in a bunch of places at once so I can see everything. I’ve had to make sacrifices and miss out on artists, and with the opening of The Black Box, it makes this even more relevant as I simply can not go out every night all month long. Final Fridays has helped with this a lot as it is my favorite day of the month, but being able to explore Colorado’s vast natural landscape has really helped take my mind off the regular grind of event planning, as well as giving me the inspiration I need and don’t get from music.

What’s your favorite place to explore or nature spot to adventure out into outside of your events?

I really enjoy Strawberry Hot Springs in Steamboat, CO. I recently visited Bishop’s Castle for the first time and I don’t know if there’s anything else like that place in Colorado – I highly suggest a day trip there. My favorite thing is just getting in the whip and having no destination planned, just driving and taking random turns, and seeing where we end up. Nothing compares to this and I’ve found myself in some of the most surreal & inspirational places Colorado has to offer.

What can we expect in 2018?   Do you have any new ideas/concepts for your events you’d like to share?

We are constantly brainstorming new ideas, stage designs, content, always searching and listening to new music, networking with friends and friends of friends artist, managers & agents. We’re always looking to inspire others and collab on projects. We are constantly moving forward and look to expand more events, work on larger scale / multi – day events, and tap into new markets such as Boulder & Ft. Collins. We are growing our brand nationally with the launch of our Evo7 Funktion One sound system that we debuted during the summer of 2017, as well as adding onto the system to create the best sound experience possible. We have recently been working together with Wormhole Wednesdays in Oakland, CA to provide sound for one of their weekly events. There are lots of plans in the works, just keep your eyes and ears open for Cosmic Synergy around the country in 2018.

February 22nd, 2018.  RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1355185154587781/

What are other things you’d like to regularly start tapping into?

Summer of 2017 saw the launch of our Evo7 Funktion One Sound System. We managed to keep it active through the summer providing sound at events such as The Pirate Party, Wormhole Wednesdays, Bil Bless & Hypnotech hosted by CS in Denver, 4321 Eclipse Event in Missouri, and the Dr. Bronner Stage at Burningman, all in between hosting Final Fridays. Be on the look out in 2018 where you might catch us hosting sound around the nation. Final Fridays has also inspired me to open Ableton Live again for the first time in over 5 years. I’ve slowly been updating my studio this year and setting up a studio to spend downtime exploring new musical possibilities.  

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