The rise and rise of ABODE
Relaxing in his Ibizan abode, with his partner making dinner as one of his cherubic, curly-haired children plays around his feet, it seems like Kai Cant has the life we all envy. But for the Kent born 33-year-old it hasn’t been that easy of a ride.
After joining the army at 16 with no education, Kai went on to become a Club 18-30s rep around Europe, organising parties that are rather different to the ones we’ve come to expect from him now (think boozed-up Brits abroad, with a penchant for minimal clothing, cheap, lurid-coloured shots of alcohol, and no regard for their own safety). This was swiftly followed by a succession of sales jobs back in Blighty, before he landed himself a comfortable job as an investment banker in London’s Canary Wharf.
Abode has also become “a real industry hangout”
It was during this time that things took a dramatic turn for the worse. The company went bust, leaving Kai and his pregnant girlfriend destitute. “We lost everything- our house, our car, our home. We literally had nothing….we were looking down the back of the sofa for money, that’s how bad it was.” It was at this point Kai decided to turn his hand to promoting.
Having become known as something of a social media whizz kid, the ex-investment banker approached Studio 338 about doing a party of his own there. The club knocked him back time after time, but his persistence eventually paid off. Kai’s idea for a party was simple: take it back to the good old days. “I’d stopped going out because I’d found the rave scene….had become quite moody. There were lots of gangs with what he felt ruined the vibe inside the venue.
One of the key factors in Abode’s success is that Kai and his team have created an environment that is safe, with a vibe similar to that of Fuse- a Sunday day party that he respects and admires. DJs who have provided the musical fuel for the dance floor have included; Fur Coat, Nic Fanciulli, WAFF, and Max Chapman, as well his core group of six resident DJs- all of whom are friends of his. Not wanting to restrict his parties to one sound, you’ll find house, techno, dub and garage are all the order of the day. “I’ve got a guy playing a classic 90s garage set [at the next party].”
Despite being in its relatively early stages, Abode continues to grow. One of their first parties resulted in a loss of £17,000, even though they’d sold 1,000 tickets. The next one saw them break even, and now they’re slowly “starting to claw money back”. However, it’s not just about making money. In January they threw a free “pay back party” for their fans, attracting 21,000 requests for tickets. Last December they did a charity event for one of their regular clubbers- a girl named Courtney “who’s a loyal, die-hard Abode fan”. Her father was in the final stages of his battle with cancer “and we ended up raising £35,000 and bought them an ambulance to drive their Dad to the hospital to have his chemo, donated some money to the family and also donated money to Mcmillan cancer charity”.
Abode has also become “a real industry hangout” due to the level of hospitality provided by the venue itself. “…you’ll find a lot of big DJs who don’t go out in London and come on a Sunday…..there’s a big green room….it’s become a real industry place where other promoters [and DJs] come and just network and chat”.
So what’s in store from ‘Family Abode’ this summer? Having made the move to the magical White Isle last year, they’ve snagged themselves a 12 week residency at Sankeys in Playa Den Bossa, as well as a long anticipated boat party- the aptly named ‘Aboat’. There’ll also be a series of free workers parties out there, alongside We Are FSTVL back on English shores. Kai’s aim is to create a brand similar to that of Elrow who have a greater focus on the production side- “the dancers, the confetti, the CO2, LED screens”. There are also plans to launch an Abode record label, and an artist management company. “There’s loads going on. So yeah, it’s good times man.”
The next event is a street party this coming Easter weekend in Maidstone in Kent that’s already sold out, then back to their home of Studio 338 on 3rd April. To get tickets, you need to contact Abode through their Facebook page (‘HERE’) and apply.