Sweet Harmony | Rave Today
20 September 2019
Premier were engaged by Saatchi gallery for the campaign of Sweet Harmony I Rave Today, a 30 year journey of acid house and electronic dance music from the 1989 Second Summer of Love through to the present. Curated by Saatchi’s gallery director, Philly Adams and co-curator Kobi Prempeh, who continued to evolve the show’s content with exciting activations, Premier produced the column inches in the media throughout. From a July opening to a mid-September close, Premier’s campaign drove footfall and awareness, reminding the public of the show’s seismic impact.
To begin with, Premier created a magazine-style announcement release, outlining the show’s objectives which was supported by imagery of the key contributors. We believed that an early announcement release may harm the long-term campaign success, so editorial placement was secured in influential colour supplements and monthlies, to appear from early July, prior to the show’s opening on July 12, throughout August and September.
Premier then wrote separate biographies for all contributors, writing-up their personal vantages and experiences of rave culture. By doing so, we defined their stories and place within the exhibition, within the context of social history. In conducting personal interviews and getting to know, each artist, we were then able to matchmake participants and imagery to channels and editorial titles. Extensive biographies were written for Dave Swindells, Vinca Petersen, Matthew Smith, Professor Tom Hunter, Adrian Fisk, Seana Gavin, Chelsea Louise Berlin, Ewen Spencer, Derek Ridgers and Molly Mcindoe. In celebrating the personal stories within the show, we were able to develop the narratives via in-depth interviews and visuals. Excitement and momentum continued via their personal riffs and images on rave. Extensive announcement features and reviews were published in Sunday Times Style, The Times, multiple issues and supplements of The Guardian and Time Out and via radio and broadcast interviews, including Sky News, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC Radio London and more.
After a memorable opening, where Pete Tong took to the decks and guests included Kate Moss, Jarvis Cocker, Kababian, Premier then intensified campaign momentum via interviews with the artists whose work chimed with selective readerships and audiences. In-depth interviews in the FT Weekend, various international editions of Vogue, AnOther, iD, Conde Nast Traveller, The Face, Hunger, The Guardian, Wonderland, Mixmag, DJ, Elle, Red Bulletin, Square Mile and more.
Premier’s involvement ensured maximum media presence, awareness and discussion. The exhibition and the scene became widely debated, everyone had an opinion. Sky News even commissioned a Summer of Love special and the opinion editorials continued, with a second wind given by Jeremy Deller’s BBC documentary. Recognition of Saatchi’s exploration of how acid house shaped the culture and outlook for the next generation - and generations to come – remained at its peak, throughout the summer. Footfall was as heavy as it was consistent, reaching outside niche audiences of original ravers to new generations. Opinion pieces continued to dissect rave and what it meant. Our press strategy was aligned with the gallery’s unsurpassable content, until the closing show on September 12, where Carl Cox and Fat Boy Slim performed a live dual set.
As a ground-breaking retrospective of the impact of the acid house youth movement, we had every confidence this exhibition would go on to be one of the smash hits of the summer. Sweet Harmony I Rave Today exceeded all expectations and the summer highlight became part of the zeitgeist. Our involvement ensured that Saatchi, the curators and artists were supported by a campaign that was all that it should be.