Mad Decent Block Party – The History


Mad Decent, the American record label helmed by Grammy-nominated & AMA winning producer Diplo (producer to Madonna, Usher, M.I.A, Justin Bieber amongst others) will be bringing their wildly popular concert the Mad Decent Block Party to India this February.

With #MDBPIndia just around the corner, we decide to take a step back and look at the history behind the concept of Mad Decent Block Parties.

To start off with the history of the annual Mad Decent Party of the year aka the Mad Decent Block Party (MDBP), we’ve gotta swell a bit into the history of the label.

Mad Decent was conceptualized way back in Philadelphia in 2005 by Thomas Wesley Pentz aka Diplo. Since then it has rocketed the careers of several artists and is most famously known for its series of concerts across the world called the Mad Decent Block Party, a concept that started off as a simple party and barbeque under a rented tent on a Philadelphia street.

“I think the most important thing to understand about [Mad Decent Block Party] is the way that it began, and what it represents. The intent wasn’t to have this giant blow-out; it was just to have a fun day and hang out with friends and play music.” – Jasper Goggins, manager, Mad Decent Records


It all started off in 2008. Diplo owned a building where they used to make mausoleums. The crew back then called it ‘The Mausoleum’. Wanting to do something cool, just to have a fun day and hang out with friends and play music, Diplo and crew decided to have a simple block party.

“We got a permit from the City of Philadelphia and it was our neighborhood block party, we put caution tape up, closed it off, got permission from the neighbors and rented some speakers. It was open for everyone.” – Jasper Gogins

The first edition of the MDBP saw a good 500-1000 people show up throughout the whole day. And it just grew from then on…

In 2009, the crew figured The Mausoleum wasn’t gonna cut it and they were gonna need a proper and bigger venue with proper security, gating, safety and permissions. Here’s a look back at 2009’s MDBP.

This was the same year Diplo played some new Major Lazer music that got the crowd hooked on! 😉

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Block Party 2010 – NYC

2010 saw the beginning of the MDBP city tours. From Philly, the concert had now moved up to New York & Chicago.

“We’ve been pumping it up, too and wanting to get bigger and bigger but every year since the first it’s also grown on its own, organically, into this legitimate live concert event… At that point we teamed up with proper events promotion and production people. We needed a bigger space, a bigger sound system, have staff to check people in, run an RSVP system, sell alcohol, involve proper food vendors -it was just beyond what we could do with the small team we have.” – Jasper Gogins

2011 was another huge year for Mad Decent as the Block Party moved to LA. It was now four cities across the country and it was gaining hype like no other concert at the time.

Now comes 2012 and this year’s pretty special cos this was the last year that the MDBP was a free event. Though this was also the year where a lot of people were left disappointed with the event management.

“We were doing it as RSVP for entry and first-come-first-served, and it’s very clear how this thing works but there’s always going to be people that want to go but can’t because it’s at capacity and they’re going “I RSVP’d, why can’t I get in?” – Jasper Gogins

And that’s when 2013’s MDBP had to be moved to a ticketed event system.

“It’s not like the goal is to make money off of this thing; the reason it had to go to a ticketed system this year is because last year we couldn’t accommodate all the people that wanted to come.” – Jasper Gogins

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Mad Decent Block Party 2014 [ Image courtesy ]

2014 was pretty massive in it’s own way. MDBP was in over a dozen cities across the US & Canada and by now, we’re pretty sure most of you knew who Diplo, Dillon Fraancis, Major Lazer & Mad Decent were! This was also the year the label launched the annual Mad Decent Boat Party.

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#MDBP15 Philadelphia Day 1 (photo by Kyle Seago)

2015! Some of you guys were lucky enough to attend a MDBP this year! Here’s a short recap of last year’s events!

And now finally we’ve reached 2016! The year where the Mad Decent Block Party finally comes to India!

So what can you expect? Well trust me guys, this party is gonna be like no other! A 3 city party in one of the world’s fastest emerging dance music communities, #MDBPIndia is set to blow your minds away. Click here for more details about the line-up and tickets!

Quotes courtesy

Khushrav Bhada
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