HANON Meets: FLY for Nike Air Max Day

For Air Max Day this year, Nike shared the untold story of Tinker Hatfield's Air Max 86. The holy grail of sneaker lore returns along with the uncovering true story of visible Nike Air; the one before the 1.
**Shop remaining sizes of the Nike Air Max '86 'Big Bubble' by hitting the button below.**
Extending the telling of creative stories, we sought out inspiration in our home community and headed down the road to Scotland's capital, Edinburgh, to link up with the team at FLY to showcase their journey to the top. FLY started as a party by friends for friends in Edinburgh, 2013. Now, FLY Open Air is an award winning, bi-annual festival at locations all over the country.
Chatting at FLY's HQ with Tom Ketley, FLY Open Air Director, we heard from the team about their original inspiration, path to success and the learning process along the way. Plus, what we can expect in the future from FLY. All whilst wearing a pair of '86s of course.
So tell us, what was the moment that it all begin for FLY? Take us back to day one.

Cabaret Voltaire had recently reopened following a refurbishment in 2012. We were approached by a guy called Paul McVey (the godfather) to start a new night after a promoter had moved on. Initially it was going to be a monthly thing but instead we decided to base it around a team of residents rather than big one-off guests… since then we’ve run events every Friday night since February 2013. Over 10 years!

Is there a meaning behind the FLY name?

Yes, FLY was initially branded up & built around the origins of house music. From where it started in Chicago & New York, with the values of those parties which were based on respect, togetherness and community. At those parties people very much focused on the fashion of being FLY and looking FLY… We felt this would fit well as it fitted with the fact it was on a Friday night = double F lettering for the posters!

What challenges did you face as you began to level up, finding bigger and bigger venues? FLY Open Air is known for its iconic settings such as your May edition taking place in grounds of Hopetoun House, a fine stately home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Is there a dream location to set up next?

Growing from a student club promoter to organising festivals comes with its challenges, stresses and has been extremely hard work. We’ve learned so much along the way and are still improving with each show we do. The key for us has been finding & working with some extremely experienced professionals to help us level up as you move out of venues and into greenfield sites which require a higher level of health & safety.

Our next escapade abroad with FLY is at La Terrrazza, Barcelona for Off Week.

Has there been a favourite moment during this journey? You now showcase some of the world's biggest names in house and techno!

I think seeing the residents go on to do big things internationally is what fills us with the most pride. LF System gaining a #1 hit record in the charts was also unbelievable.

From our parties there have been loads of amazing gigs but some of the early shows at Cab Vol with Denis Sulta were special - notably the Isla Sorna event where Big Miz & Sulta went back to back and the venue was dressed full Jurassic Park theme, that one was mental.

Championing homegrown talent and rising stars has always been a priority in your line-ups, what excites you going forward about the future of clubbing in Scotland?

Recently there has been a wave of new, young promoters coming through the ranks so the future is definitely looking bright and it’s great to see.

FLY Open Air returns to the dance floor for its tenth edition this May. Can you give us a few words on what's to expect?

Hopefully sunshine and loads of your pals!
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