It all started in the winter of 2002 way up in the midcoast area of Maine…
Rick (DJ Psydways) had been hosting a radio show at WERU-FM in Blue Hill Maine for about a year. His show, The Track Lab, was a Saturday-night progressive modern music show that typically wrapped up with a recorded mix of various styles of electronic music. Towards the end of that first year is became an ALL electronic music show. A new host Erik (DJ Marquard), was given the overnight spot Saturday nights into Sunday mornings and thus they would become the perfect duo for bringing underground electronic music to the Saturday overnight radio waves in Midcoast Maine.
For several months, it was just Rick and Erik. Then gradually the two began to invite their DJ friends out to the station. Folks like Lester (DJ Illogik/Moniker) and Amanda (DJ Alchera) of the Home Planet Team – who had already been doing events in the region since the mid 90’s; Dan (DJ Seratto) and Tom (DJ Manafest/Dubsapiens) of Digital Emissions – another late 90’s Midcoast crew; as well as Kristian (DJ KTF), Brendan (DJ Unity), Jefferson Hobbs, and others from the infamous Lemon House up at UMaine Orono. They’d hang out on Saturday nights and have all-night mixing parties at the station.
Sooner or later a discussion arose regarding organizing an event like the “outlaw parties” that had been happening in Maine for a long time now. We all agreed that it would be great to find a legal spot out in the country where we could do the same kind of thing, but not risk being shut down.
HHmmmmmm… Rick had just such a property…
…an 18 acre parcel in glorious Belmont that would be perfect!!
That summer, on a cool August evening, the first ever BelTek was thrown! It was a tiny little free thing, little more than a party of friends. Maybe 40 or 50 people showed up and with a borrowed sound system, a 10×10 screen tent, a campfire, and a couple ‘a picnic tables, they mixed and partied until sunrise…
Each year after that, BelTek grew in length and attendance – attracting all sorts of funky freaks, dance music lovers, artists & attendees from further & further away… By 2007, the event was becoming big enough that it was time to move to the next step. A second night was added, and the scope was enlarged to a full-fledged festival, incorporating a variety of music styles, arts, vendors, and performances. An event that had until then attracted maybe 300 people at most, had grown to near 1500 and was bursting at the seams!
In 2008 Jen (DJ popgirl23) and Kait (Kait-Ma) were brought on board to help when a few of the original members moved on. They joined Rick, Erik, Dan, Amanda, Tommy, Tommy’s wife Carrie (DJ Calisticality) and now also Tom’s brother Tim (DJ T.Correy/Dubsapiens) with putting on the BelTek events.
Jen had put on Maine’s very first “outlaw parties” as part of the (now infamous) A Book Called Galanta crew – back as far as 1992. These events are considered legendary for, among other things, the sheer gall of it all. These events represented the more underground side of Maine’s fledgling early 90’s rave scene, that happened alongside KC and the Sunrise Gang’s more well-known warehouse raves. She became BelTek’s Art Director.
Kait spent the 90′s decade in New York City as a rave & club promoter, while also working overnights packaging vinyl orders for Satellite Records. If you bought vinyl from Satellite Records online store back-in-the-day, she probably packed it! Kait became BelTek’s Volunteer Coordinator.
Now the team was ready to up the ante as 2008’s massive influx of heads changed the nature of how we would do BelTeks in the years to come.
BelTek 2009 (aka #MudTek) turned out to be the largest, most attended yet and hosted international acts such as “Superstar DJ” John B from the UK, Grand Wizard Theodore the “Inventor of the Scratch”, New York City’s Drum n Bass pioneers DB & Dara, and the “Bass Queen” herself – Reid Speed from Los Angeles. With over 2000 in attendance throughout the weekend, and the spectacle of having to hire a full construction crew to build a new access road right into the middle of the event, Belmont, Maine was finally on the nation’s electronic music scene map and BelTek was on it’s way to becoming legendary!
Needing to give the land a rest and the neighbors a break we decided to try an indoor BelTek (aka #IndoorTek) in 2010 at Port City Music Hall in Portland, Maine which was unfortunately less successful than we anticipated… followed by a smaller, invite-only BelTek (aka – #SecretTek or “Roots”) in Belmont for 2011.
We brought BelTek back home to Belmont again in the 2012. Attempting to out-due 2009’s epic-ness we added a second stage, and welcomed the “Godfather of American Rave” DJ Frankie Bones, along with new-comers Hot Pink Delorian, FS, and JRabbit. Although BelTek 2012 (aka #HolyShitTek) was a great success from a attendance standpoint, much of the shenanigans that went on caused us to reconsider how we will go about holding future BelTeks at the Belmont property.
In 2013 BelTek Foundation formed, and took the show on the road. Rick and crew took their skills and equipment to the first Great North Festival in Norwidgewock, Maine. By setting up a third-stage area called “The Neighborhood” (aka #FakeTek) we were able keep the spirit of BelTek alive for one more year while we continued to ruminate over the future of the original BelTek Festival…
After much deliberation (and almost deciding it was over for us) we made the tough decision to make 2014 an invite-only event (aka #HomieTek). The rise in popularity of EDM-type festivals around the country had unfortunately attracted people to our beautiful scene that don’t know about, or don’t respect the underground roots this all came from, the hard work that goes into making these events happen, other party goers trying to have a good time, or their own well-being. In other words, we were done dealing with the bullshit!
2014’s BelTek went off damm near perfect! Fantastic vibes, loving people, and great music from everyone – and most certainly from our headliners; Dubstep producer AMIT who brought his deep dub from the UK, and a DJ set from Bunny of Rabbit In The Moon fame. It was SUCH a success that we did it again!
BelTek 2015 was a wonderful repeat of 2014, but with the bonus of bringing in some fresh blood to the BelTek inner circle. We officially brought in Adam (DJ Split The Adam) after countless years of volunteering for the thankless job of trash detail, as well as Dan (Turd Ferguson) with carpentry & facilities work, Annie as Copy Editor, and Johnny (DJ Slamminsalmon) & “Waychill” Raychill helping with event ambience & decor. For music that year we brought in Deep House producer Sunshine Jones from the old school duo “Dubtribe Soundsystem”, and from the UK, “The Godfather of Drum and Bass” DJ Aphrodite to rock this place down. Best of all was there were absolutely no shenanigans, just happy people grooving out with each other and enjoying a Maine weekend …except for maybe that 15 minute thunder-squal (#StormTek)! But what’s an epic weekend without a little bit of epic-ness?!
Just ask these folks! >>>
So here we are! It’s 2016 and the good news is that we have decided to open up admission yet again to the general public!! We expect everyone to come ready to hang out and have a great time, but we also expect everyone to behave civilly. We want to share the good vibes with good people. But we can’t do that without YOU. So are you ready BelTekers? Are you all ready to help each other out, and love each other? Because that really IS how the BelTek family rolls.
Grab your own poster!
Hang it on your wall. 11″ tall by 17″ wide @ 300dpi.