Celebrating 20 Years of Disco Donnie Presents: The DJ is God

Disco Donnie Presents is 20 years old and to help celebrate our milestone we’ll be posting exclusive content on the site all year long that tracks our journey throughout the years.

Disco Donnie’s parties quickly became known for their wildly outrageous and unusual themes – how he came up with each theme was, at times, equally outrageous. The DJ is God was one party that was born from a questionable experience. In 1998, Donnie received a strange voicemail, “Some guy contacted me saying he was a minister and wanted to start a rave church.” Though common sense told him to do otherwise, Donnie took a meeting with the supposed minister, “The guy was a lunatic, but listening to his rants had me thinking. He said a rave was like a church – crowds facing the stage, raising their hands, all happy, expressing themselves and whatnot. In our case, the DJ was god (of the rave).”

When it came down to creating the lineup for DJ is God, Donnie set his hopes high. At the time, Carl Cox was a worldwide talent in the UK who rarely made it over stateside to perform. Best known for his hits “I Want You (Forever),” “Does It Feel Good To You,” and “The Planet of Love,” Carl Cox was definitely a long shot. Donnie jokingly lamented to some of his peers, “If I can get Carl Cox to play at my party, I’ll retire.” Speaking all but too soon, Carl Cox actually agreed to play the party, setting an unprecedented booking for the New Orleans promoter.

For the weeks leading up to DJ is God, Donnie threw three separate pre-parties – and the headliners for those were equally as impressive. The pre-parties featured Canadian techno pioneer Richie Hawtin, Ovum label boss Josh Wink, and the legendary Grandmaster Flash. After each party, excitement continued to mount for DJ is God, and when it finally came time for the main event, fans were more than ready to dance the night away.

Taking place at the State Palace Theater in July 98, DJ is God drew in thousands of attendees from all over the country. Much to Donnie’s surprise, many “rival” party organizers asked for his promotional contacts after DJ is God party, trying to make good on his “I’ll retire” comment. But we all know how that turned out.

With many claiming it was sacrilegious, Donnie turned The DJ is God party into a balanced series following it with The DJ is the Devil and The DJ is Immortal. All three parties have become some of our favorite stories to tell. Join us next week as we uncover another party from the past.