It’s no secret that California is a mega-hub for U.S. DnB. From the Bay Area to the border, some of the biggest and best D&B nights in the country all reside in the Golden State. The same couldn’t be truer in the city of San Diego. The SD Union crew has been bringing top-notch artists to SoCal for the last nine years. From a small, locals-only monthly to being one of the longest-running drum and bass events in California, SD Union has gathered a very loyal following over the years of both fans and artists by bringing some of the very best DnB has to offer.
Ahead of their big 9 year anniversary party with DJ Craze this weekend, BestDrumAndBass sat down with the co-founders of SD Union, Tyler Rosier, and Brandon Garva, to shine a light on this hardworking crew.
Introduce yourself and tell us a bit of the history behind SD Union.
Tyler: “I’m Tyler Rosier aka MC Ridda and I am the co-founder of SD Union. Originally started back in 2010, SD Union’s goal was to bring world-renown artists to San Diego to perform on top-notch sound systems in intimate spaces.
Over the last 8 years, SD Union has grown from a small monthly event into producing large scale productions that transport the attendees to another world while giving them an experience that they won’t forget. In its history, SD Union has had the honor of hosting some of the most legendary DnB artists from around the world which includes; Goldie, DJ Marky, Makoto, Calyx & Teebee, Nu:Logic, LTJ Bukem, Friction, Calibre, S.P.Y, and so many more.”
Brandon: “My name is Brandon Garva and I am one of the founders of United By Bass, the company that runs SD Union. Like most crews, we had humble beginnings. Our shows were low budget, and we were lucky to get our hands on anyone at all, outside of local talent. Fortunately, we have had and continue to have a great team that stood beside us and worked hard over the years to build the quality of our events. We have also been extremely lucky to have had so many great people that have supported and continue to support our events.
Once the size of our crowd grew, we were able to expand into larger venues and bring bigger names. The game-changer was 5 years ago when we brought Planet of the Drums to Spin Nightclub. We decided to do a big production, so we went with a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max-inspired theme. That was a pivotal moment in our career, and from that point, we knew there was no turning back. Since then, we have been focused on providing top-tier events that have killer lineups, creative productions, and a culture that embraces people from all walks of life.”
What do you think makes the San Diego drum & bass scene special?
Tyler: “I’ve said it time and time again, San Diego is a very special place and I am truly lucky to be a part of the DNB scene here. I’ve seen so many changes over the two decades that I have been involved in this scene and especially in the last 9 years while running SD Union.
From the amazing weather to the delicious food, the beaches to the deserts, San Diego has it all plus a thriving DNB scene. We have a very knowledgeable scene here which in turn allows us to showcase a variety of different sub genres within DnB. It’s also what we like to call “Family Vibes”, after every event you feel like you just spent a night with your favorite family members.
Brandon: “Yeah, we are very lucky to have an intimate yet loyal and passionate scene. We have a lot of love in our town, and people are quick to make friends and welcome newcomers to the SD DnB family. We also have a lot of fans that are very knowledgeable about the artists that are pushing the genre forward, and you can feel the excitement on the dance floor when those artists are brought to town.
Behind the scenes, we have a lot of phenomenal DJs, producers, and event organizers in San Diego. You can go to any show and will without a doubt have a good time. It’s exciting to see so much good stuff happening in San Diego, we are excited to see a lot of local artists making waves in the scene on a local, national and international level.”
Nine years is quite the milestone in U.S.Drum & Bass! What do you attribute SD Union’s success to?
Tyler: “9 Years is a milestone, especially in DnB. I honestly never thought we would hit this mark when I started it years ago! I’m unbelievably humbled by the fact that we’re celebrating such a milestone this Friday. I would say that “dedication” is the major attribute to SD Union’s success. Dedication to the music, dedication to our community, dedication to our crew, and dedication to always moving forward and pushing through many failures and flops. Without our team, fans, and family, SD Union would never have made it to where it is! For that, I am beyond thankful and will continue to dedicate everything I have to push the music we love here in San Diego.”
Brandon: “Agreed. There are a lot of factors, but the three key factors would be having a dedicated team, dedicated fans and a consistent work ethic focused on growth.”
Looking ahead to the future, what can we expect to see from the SD Union/ United By Bass crew?
Tyler: “Without giving away too much, I’ll say that we have huge plans for all of our United By Bass brands going forward! SD Union will continue to push DnB here in San Diego and as we celebrate our 9th anniversary we’re already making plans for our 10th year which is sure to be a massive one from start to finish. We Love Bass will be back this November and we have some very special surprises in store for that which will be announced in the coming weeks. Overall, I am excited for the future of United By Bass and can’t wait to start rolling out announcements soon.”
Brandon: “By the time we hit our 10th anniversary, we’ll have even bigger productions and lineups, and more diversity within those lineups. We have a few things in the works that will help solidify San Diego as one of the premier spots in America for drum and bass, as well as make the scene in America stronger as a whole.