Our friends over at Purple Sneakers have been kicking massive goals throughout their existence, and this weekend they’ll be celebrating their 13th Birthday at The Lansdowne in Sydney with a massive lineup. We caught up with their Managing Editor Caitlin Medcalf to talk all about it!

Can you tell us a bit about what made you get involved with Purple Sneakers originally?
I started with Purple Sneakers in 2012 as a contributor. It was kind of a very transformative period of my life as I was in year 11 in high school and those conversations that you have saying ‘What are you going to do at university, what are you going to do after school’ and it became very real, very quickly. I always had an interest in music but didn’t really know how to pursue getting a career in music outside of being a musician, so I was looking around online and Pedestrian had an advertisement that Purple Sneakers were looking for contributors and I was enjoying writing at the time, so I thought why not apply for this? Since then, I’ve been with Purple Sneakers for 7 years now and it feels like I started yesterday!

What have been your career highlights as a writer into now the Managing Editor?
I’ve been very lucky over the years to have had the opportunity to speak to artists I really enjoy listening to in my personal time. We actually have a podcast that we’ve got 10 episodes for which I recorded all, and it was really great and actually changed my perception of interviewing. I got to speak to artists like Mark Knight, Claude Von Stroke, Anna Lunoe, Motez, The Kite String Tangle and PNAU. That period for me made me realise that there’s a lot more to music journalism, there’s an opportunity to tell people stories which I think that has carried onto me as Managing Editor. It’s a lot of work putting together a long interview but it’s very rewarding getting to flesh it all out, hear from them about the challenges they faced and what they’ve enjoyed about the process.

Some people may not know that you manage and are 1/3 of the renowned Purple Sneakers DJs. How did this come to fruition and what made you want to go down the DJ path?
Purple Sneakers DJ’s has been a thing for quite a while, I think a couple of years after the parties started in 2006. Martin Novosel and Randall Stagg were involved, and over the years Purple Sneakers DJ’s has had quite a few iterations and then last year I started DJing and Martin and I sat together. We wanted to keep it alive and had the opportunity to not only rebrand but inject some new life into it and give some new DJs the opportunity. I’m so grateful for some of the opportunities we’ve had, like we’ve played a lot of festivals that I would not have been able to play if I was on my own. The roster now is me, Eddie Diamond from FBi Radio and Chloe O’Neil who was part of FBi’s Dance Class a few years ago, and it’s been a great opportunity to know the girls and tour. It’s a really rare opportunity to tour as a DJ, so it’s been a transformative experience and we’re really big on diversity at Purple Sneakers so it’s nice to have a little female collective going.

Purple Sneakers’ 13th Birthday is coming up and is being held as part of Vivid Sydney, down at The Landsdowne. What can punters expect from the show?
Expect the unexpected. The line-up we’ve put together reflects all corners of Sydney’s electronic underground. We’ve got Rebel Yell who’s a live techno hardware producer so that’s gonna be an insane live set, and on the other side of things we’ve got Mickey Kojak who has a live band, Lex Deluxe who plays a bit of disco so if you love electronic music and you love dancing there’ll guaranteed be something there for you.

Who are some of your recommendations on the ripper lineup?
This will be Chase Zera’s second live performance with her first at Curve Ball. She’s a dancer and is going to have choreographed dancing accompanying her. Would also really recommend Merph. I went to a vinyl workshop the other week and she really knows her stuff, she’s a passionate collector outside of DJing! You can really tell she lives and breathes this. Also DIN, they’re a collaborative project and they do a live set and they’re gonna be great too.

This party also marks the transition from the founder and owner Martin Novosel to yourself. Can readers expect much change in future?
I think that since I’ve taken over the role at the end of last year, I’ve been trying to slowly shift it and bring a focus to the live space, mainly putting on some live events and even put on some workshops as well. As well as setting the standard for other media outlets with diversity as it’s something really important to us, so I want to be as diverse as I can with our coverage. Expect to see a lot from Purple Sneakers in the next 12 months!

Finally, what music are you listening to and vibing at the moment?
I would recommend Skepta‘s new album ‘Ignorance is Bliss’, KLP‘s new track ‘Heater’ is a real slapper and the new single from Chase Zera ‘Mess’.

Purple Sneakers’ 13th Birthday is taking place this Saturday night at The Lansdown in Sydney – check out the lineup below and then get your tickets here.


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