The business end of entertaining thousands takes more than a list of DJs and some shiny lights. There’s months of planning and logistics to figure out and, though the guys behind Electric Island Festival and 6AM Group have been hosting Guam’s largest electronic music festivals for more than seven years, they always look for opportunity to grow and evolve their business.
“When I first started 6AM Group I was about 22 or 23, so the brand 6AM was about the party life and afterhours – staying out and staying up,” said Jia Wang, EIF CEO and co-founder of 6AM Group. “But I started to realize that you can't always live a life of partying. It's expensive and you actually need to work for it.”
Now, 6AM represents balance. Getting up with the sun and starting the grind. Wake up, work out and get to the desk or decks to make the events happen. It also means enjoying the fruits of your labor, and not living a life of too much or too little.
“When you look at a traditional clock, 6 strikes right in the middle and it has become a huge symbol for our team and the message we push out to find balance and equilibrium, or peace and contentment in all that we do, especially finding that balance between working and playing or partying,” Wang said. “Partying is a privilege not a right, so being able to find the balance between working hard, taking care of your health and priorities is a big thing not just for me but for our industry, especially the professionals who are trying to make this last and sustain.”
The 2019 season
The team just held its End of Summer party on Aug. 24, officially pausing the Electric Island Festival tour until Fall. The 2019 season started with a packed crowd at Globe Ultra Lounge in March with Road to EIF.
The Main event grew from an almost impossible party 10 years ago, into an official 75th Liberation Day event, filling Guerrero Field in June with electronic music lovers enjoying synth sounds, bass beats and good vibes. End of Summer capped it off once again at Globe Ultra Lounge.
“Based on the feedback from everyone involved, it is safe to say the events went well and surpassed our expectations on all levels. Big thanks to the 75th Liberation Committee, Guam Visitors Bureau, and Ambros for being major supporters of EIF 2019!” Wang said.
The three events clocked in thousands of attendees with dozens of local and international acts.
“The feedback from all the DJs and performers were all very positive. We were blessed to have this year’s roster grace the DJ decks and make it unique to what we wanted to showcase at this year’s EIF, which is more local DJs,” Wang said. “Next year, we will most likely return to our usual format with more off-island DJs from Asia to continue our music tourism endeavors and hopefully work more with the Guam Visitors Bureau. However you can be sure we will continuously showcase local DJs at all of our EIF events.”
Along with using more local DJs, the organizers strategized and shifted the format for 2019 to recognize how much the festival has grown, and to give EIF fans more reasons to return year after year. The Main Event moved from the wide-open Guam International Raceway in Yigo, to the intimately designed Guerrero Field in Paseo, creating a vibe unlike any other EIF has held.
“I think the crowd usually gets wowed when the fireworks go off, but I think this year the aerial performers from Mantrasana Fitness Studio really outdid themselves. They added an element we never implemented before, which are live theatrical acts. Art culture comes in various forms and this was a piece we wanted to add and I think everyone was pleased with the performance,” Wang said.
But Wang also said there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. They’ve kept the energy and vibe consistent throughout the years and the smiles on the faces in their photo albums shows the love the crowd has for EIF.
“We serve as a beacon of sunshine for our followers by constantly posting positive and motivational messages. We boldly and proudly post these things because we know what it feels like to be down, depressed, hopeless, and sad,” Wang said. “But we also know that all it takes is to have the right mindset and attitude to break free from whatever it is you're going through. Your attitude shapes the way you solve your own problems and how you go through your own battles. Follow @eifestival on social media to see what we mean.”