Interview| Tropical Roast organiser Gordon Mackay


If you haven’t heard, seen or smelt The Tropical Roast over the last few months, then you need to get your eyes checked. The lads, Gordon Mackay and Graham Kennedy have been hard at work on a concept that has already taken Cape Town by storm.


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MCBN: Thanks for sitting and chatting to us Gordon. Can you tell us more about the Tropical Roast concept and how it all came about?

From my side, the concept was born as a project during my final year at Vega. Initially planned on a beach, I saw that most people in and around our age bracket spend their Saturdays in Summer either on the beach or around a braai, before going out to socialise, drink and dance. I thought if you could offer all three of those things in one place, you could pull a crowd in for lunch and keep them there till the morning.

I then moved to London and began attending festivals that had taken this concept of fun & interction and refined it for the past decade.

Graham, already with so much local event experience, began doing Summer work stints in the U.K. at these exact festivals. So in the beginning of last year, we began planning our own..

MCBN: We’ve been following both of you over the last few months and the progress you have made is incredible. We’re expecting something massive with the upcoming event. You have secured the rights of Eric Volta and Matthew Hardinge. Can we expect an international act for every event or will this just be for the launch party?

Without a doubt. We plan to spend the darkest months of Winter over in the European Summer, sourcing inspiration aswell as our artist roster. Too often in SA has a producer been brought down on his accolades in the studio only to disappoint the local audience with his performace. Djing and producing music are two entirely different skill sets and we intend to only bring the acts we’ve seen murder a dancefloor with our own two eyes.

MCBN: We have just got to experience the ‘Hidden House’ party and that went down as a small treat to everyone who pulled in. Stellar event, guys. Can we expect the same sort of thing but on a much bigger scale at the main event?

Thank you 🙂 The event was planned as a P.R. tool, but it also was a means of ‘dry running’ our event on a smaller scale to test the concept.

The crowd was congenial and well-behaved, all the food was eaten, the bar drunk dry, people dressed up and when the music was cut you heard screams for more. If we can do that next Saturday, success!

MCBN: How does the music choice work at the Tropical Roast? How did you decide on the concept of music you want to push to your listeners/fans and friends?

Graham has largely left the sourcing of acts up to me, since I tend to dig through music with the fury of an enraged mole. I then relay ideas to him and decisions are made, we have very similar tastes so it’s a peaceful symbiosis. Musically, my three years in London have shaped my tastes substantially, in particular last year as I began working for Motek. These dudes are at the very forefront of the London underground party scene and through planning and playing at their events both my taste and knowledge was broadened immensely.

MCBN: We got word that there’ll be another event in March. Can you give us a little run down of what to expect at this event!?

Same concept but different music for a slightly different crowd. Though we do hope that people will attend both. Variety is the spice of life.

MCBN: The collaboration among Cape Town creativities is something we really appreciate. Can you explain to us a little bit more about this element and how you have incorporated into your Tropical Roast plans?

This side of things is still very much under development. Together with our collaboraters, we have been discussing ways in which we can showcase their craft on the actual day of the event with some kind of off-the-wall activation. Some of the best ideas will have to wait until we have the resources, but it is something we are very much comitted to growing along with the brand. A big thank you to everyone that has worked with us so far – the produce has been amazing.

MCBN: The venue, you have multiples activities and a day full of fun. I know we got lucky in seeing the plans of what’s going to go down but what can everyone else expect, or are you guys going to keep that a secret until the 22nd of February?

I think I’ve said too much already 🙂

MCBN: What are the top three tracks on your player at the moment?

Eric Volta – Love Your Illusion

Paranoid London – Paris Dub 2

Avatism, Forrest – Different Spaces


Artist: Caroline Mackintosh

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Rumoured to have the blue-prints for Krang's TechnoDrome, stolen straight from Dimension X, he’s the type of guy who exudes so much coolness that he adds whole countries on Facebook at one time instead of just people. Always up for a party and a Tequila shot or two this is the guy who we always call first, both before and after a night out…