By Luiz Sanchez.
When it comes to iconic venues, few places have defined Bali’s party scene like KU DE TA. Day to night, Seminyak’s iconic beach club hosts us from breakfast to dinner and magical sunsets. Throughout, music is part of the experience. Creating playlists that set the tone for day to night, with DJs who define the musical direction of the venue, is the job of Music Director, Arshad (or Ash as he is known by friends). His is a job that requires passion, skill and an ability to read the crowd.
It is during high season that KU DE TA comes into its own, with new sunset sessions announced and Supper Club nights that take us into the early hours, the venue that set the bar for Bali beach clubs, continues to play to the crowd.
It culminates each year with two of the biggest events on Bali’s social calendar, the Bikini Party and the White Party, yet throughout the year the sparkling beachside venues features regular music events and an all-day music program to take guests from day to night. Finding unique talent and playing on the popular themes, is the work of a team who begin early in the year to ensure that each year’s event will play bigger than previous ones.
Organising these parties is no small feat. The White Party has been a staple of Bali nightlife for the past 20 years. Some of the biggest names in the music industry have headlined at the venue, and we come back every year with higher and higher expectations. So what does it take to run these visionary events? Meet Arshad Rizvi, Music Director and the man behind the playlists that create the KU DE TA experience.
Arshad was born in the Netherlands, a DJ himself, he has worked with event management for much of his life. Since 2016, Ash has been KU DE TA Music Director, a position which has challenged him creatively and allowed him to continuously refine his craft.
The music never ends.
“We often start planning 6-7 months ahead of the event,” Arshad explains. “Not only are we trying to create new and unique themes every time, but we also seek out emerging and established artists who fit our vision, and are able and willing to come to this part of the world.”
Bali’s high-season, Arshad explains, just so happens to coincide with Europe and the USA’s high season. “Parties in places like Ibiza are in full swing and we need to convince these artists to come play in Asia instead,” he adds. “We aim to enlist A-list artists that have never played in Bali before, or who would come and play exclusively for us. This is what makes our lineup very unique, because there are an abundance of events and artists across the island but you aren’t likely to see one of our sets repeated somewhere else.”
Arshad snagged a number of high profile artists for events this August such as Supernova, Kurd Maverick, Roland Clark & Joeski. “Supernova and Kurd Maverick are both household names in the dance music industry, but neither played in Bali before,” Arshad explains.
Groundbreaking artists, signature playlists.
Day parties are a hallmark of KU DE TA’s line-up and this year’s part, held in early August saw revellers dressing up and hitting the dance floor to some of the best music played on the island this year. Arshad’s focus is on making it an inviting and accessible event. “For the day parties, we aim to keep the vibe warm and friendly. We want our visitors to enjoy chilling on the daybeds, using the pool, and dancing to the music. But as this is also a daytime thing we have made it so that our visitors have an uninterrupted view of the ocean and the sunset. The DJs play a softer kind of dance and house music, but progress through the night.”
KU DE TA’s playlist begins at breakfast, with music designed to entertain. Each afternoon a DJ hits the deck to build momentum for the sunset sessions before settling in to a dinner set. As dinner finishes and the bar begins to fill again, the music entertains yet another crowd. Getting ahead of Bali’s new super clubs, while staying relevant and unique is very much about having your finger on the pulse of both emerging and popular music trends.
The White Party is one of the most anticipated parties on the island every year. “We really try to make a statement regarding visitor experience and aesthetics every year,” Arshad explains. “We always aim to create a full sensory experience from the moment our audience walks through those doors until the end of the party. We try to outdo ourselves every year with our themes and execution, and our guests have built really high expectations because of that. Our lineup is certainly more night-oriented than Some Like it Hot, as we open our doors at 7 pm and continue until 4 am.”
This year, Metropolis, invites us into an avant-garde, film-noir vision of the future as Art Deco and Artificial Intelligence collide at KU DE TA. The dress code this year? White of course, with a flash of Artificial intelligence meets Art Deco.
Our parties always push the boundaries. “It is about stepping out of your daily bubble, your workflow,” Arshad explains. “We want you to leave your stress at the door and just release all your tension, your sorrow, and just enjoy a unique evening. This is something we have always pushed for, which our audience has come to appreciate. We always strive to push the theme to the limit, with extravagant decorations, live shows and a line-up that is designed to have everyone up and dancing! Our guests always leave having had a great evening and a unique experience. The White Party is, at the end of the day, a statement.”
Presale: IDR 750,000
General Admission: IDR 850,000 Supper Club: IDR 2,000,000
Pure Luxe Dinner at Mejekawi: IDR 2,500,000 *Not inclusive of wine pairing option
The Ku De Ta experience.
Where once it stood on its own, defining Bali’s beach club and dining scene, Bali offers so much more choice today and some of the newer clubs have far larger budgets. Much of KUDETA’s enduring success is due to its ability to stay on top of the scene yet create a backdrop where guests can relax by day, turn it up during the sunset sessions and then play out to a dinner crowd who will often stay beyond. The beats that drive KU DE TA is a balancing act that Arshad shapes to appeal to all its varied clients from day to night. Alongside the team that creates the dining experiences, the creative bartenders who play both the classics and the modern, and the music, KU DE TA proves that success is all about style, passion and constant reinvention.
For the complete schedule and event tickets: https://www.kudeta.com/