For nearly a decade now, Houston DJ Matthew Dunn has been throwing a raucous EDM event on a yearly basis — and it's always been for a good cause.
A Little Help from My Friends began as a benefit show way back in 2011. "The first year we did it," remembers Dunn, "we did it for the Red Cross. That was the year the tsunami hit Japan. Unfortunately, almost no one came." When Dunn spent the following year working as a volunteer for Friends For Life, the local, no-kill animal adoption and rescue center, he figured that might be a charity people around here could get behind. "The next year, we did it for them — and everybody came."
Since then, Friends for Life has been the official charity for this event, which has raised up to $57,000 over the years. Since the beginning, Dunn always wanted this shindig to show that, contrary to popular belief, the Houston EDM community isn't a bunch of pill-popping, beat-mad deviants. "There's a lot of really good people that really love these events and the music, and they're not all crazy drug addicts, whatever," he says. "A lot of them do a lot of amazing things in their community."
Dunn has always managed to round up a regional collection of DJs and artists to perform. But, for the past few years, he's also gotten special-guest headliners like Israel's Maor Levi, Germany's Jerome Isma-Ae, and Russia's ARTY.
Dunn has been lucky to get people involved who feel just as altruistic as he does. "At the end of the day, you gotta do something to refill your soul, you know," he says. "You can't just take — you gotta give back."
This year's event will have trance heavyweights Super8 & Tab as the headliners. There will also be a massive silent auction, where people can bid for graphic design work, body sculpting, wine and liquor baskets, etc., as well as a bachelor/bachelorette/couples auction.
Says Dunn, "I'm pulling double duty — I'm DJing the show, and I'm in the bachelor auction."
A Little Help from My Friends spins on Saturday, September 7, at 9 pm, at Ayva Center, 9371 Richmond Ave. Tickets are $10-$30. For more information, visit the official site.