03 May Interviewing The Real VIP
Last year, Mondo Roots had a huge increase in attendance, and it was filled with festival goers, young and old, white and black, and every combination under the sun. Speaking of under the sun, that’s the one thing that the first weekend in June is known for…sun. There are different ways to cool down at Mondo Roots this year but there is nothing cooler than the VIP Lounge that is totally new to this year’s festival. As Mondo Roots has grown so has the demand for a true VIP experience, and with that in mind this year’s festival organizers brought in an up and coming event coordinator to lead the charge on the first VIP Cocktail Lounge.
Nikki Wolfe has not been in the festival game for long but her impact has been noticed in every festival that she has worked. We chased down Nikki and asked her to sit down with us over coffee; she chose tea, to get a perspective on this year’s festival and find out the what’s and whys of this year’s VIP Experience.
MR – Nikki, some of us might know of you from 2017 Shindig Festival (that’s hosted at the same spot) as you were the head coordinator and designer of that VIP Experience What got you in to doing VIP Premier parties?
NW – I have volunteered at festivals in the past and always had such a great time working at the shows. In 2017, Earth Plow Productions (the production company of Mondo Roots) approached me and asked if I would be interested in heading up the VIP Lounge for the Shindig and I guess the rest is history as they say. Recent history, but history none the less….
MR – What can patrons expect to see in this year’s VIP area at Mondo Roots?
NW – Once you step inside the VIP Area you will instantly be transported back to the era of 90s hip hop, which let’s be honest we are all nostalgic for. We have some incredible artists that have agreed to display their artwork inside the 30×30 covered tent equipped with fans to keep you cool on a hot NC June day. The VIP area also boasts a party deck, misting tunnel to keep you cooled down, multiple beer tastings from local craft vendors and Bedlam Vodka mixing drinks behind the bar. On top of it all you will get the chance to come face to face with some of your favorite bands and artists performing at Mondo that day; so, while I may be a little biased, I would get my tickets now before they sell out.
MR – What lead you to that type of design in the tent?
NW – To be 100% honest, I had an entirely different theme picked out for awhile and then I just started constantly listening to Nappy Roots, Public Enemy, 2 Pac, Biggie, Snoop, Dr. Dre all the greats from the 90s and I trashed my entire idea and started from scratch. This entire theme was inspired by 90s hip hop culture. My goal is that when anyone walks into the VIP area they momentarily forget that it is 2018, that they can leave the struggles and worries of everyday life at the door and party like it’s 1999.
MR – Out of all of the performers that day, what band are you most excited to see?
NW – Hmm, this is such a tough question. I genuinely enjoy watching all the artists, but if I had to pick, I would say Nacynze. They are a local duo out of Durham and I have been absolutely blown away by their talent. The fact that they are not more widely known completely baffles me, and if you give them a listen you will know why.
MR – So, circling back to the experience of the tent, once someone purchases a ticket do they have to buy anything else in the tent?
NW – With your VIP ticket purchase you get access to the VIP area equipped with shade, fans, misting tents, and all around just great ways to escape that NC summer heat. You also will receive drink tickets to sample some tasty mixed drinks made by our great friends over at Bedlam Vodka, a rolling beer tasting from multiple different breweries, and there will also be a few activities/demos going on in the tent throughout the day. All of this comes with the $30 ticket price
MR – Anything else you want festival goers to know?
NW – Mondo Roots is so much more than just a festival, in a way I feel like it is a movement. A movement to do better, to be more involved with your community, to give back to those less fortunate, even to just step outside your comfort zone to immerse yourself in a different cultural experience than what Clayton or any small town is used to. Not only does all the money made during Mondo Roots go right back into the community via the Clayton Visual Arts, The Archway Foundation, and countless other local charities, but Mondo Roots itself has become a shining beacon for change in this once sleepy little southern town and I am so grateful I get to be a small part of that change.