EDMTunes Chats with Markus Schulz About NYE & More

Exceedingly few entertainers are able to command sales of their performances week-after-week, city-after-city, country-after-country, for years on end. Markus Schulz is indisputably among that select group. His New Year’s Eve performances at Los Angeles’ Avalon Hollywood are a thing of legend, now in its ninth year, remarkably not having missed a single event throughout the pandemic closures of the last two years. A key feature of Schulz’s New Year’s Eve shows at Avalon Hollywood is that his events are “open-to-close” DJ sets, where he plays from the moment doors open, through peak-hour and until well past the next morning. The “Schulz army” of trance and progressive music fans are fervent in their devotion to these open-to-close parties, which may best be described as an electrifying blend of lovingly curated tracks primed for opening, peak-time and after-hours portions of the night. EDMTunes caught-up with Markus Schulz in the midst of his pre-show planning for a peek into what’s in store this December 31st.

EDMTunes: From both in and out of the trance and progressive genre, you’re known for your now-legendary “open-to-close” DJ sets. What’s the significance for you, when you can just as easily play a 90-120 minute set as a headliner, at this point in your long career? 

Markus Schulz: You know, like a lot of the globally touring DJ/producers these days, I started out as a resident DJ playing every Friday and Saturday night. I think that’s really priceless in terms of letting you hone your skills as a live performer; nothing can replace playing in front of a crowd, weekend after weekend, live. Over time, my sets got shorter and shorter…so playing open-to-close is like a journey back to my roots. It shows respect to all the other resident DJs still playing. It’s not that I think a resident DJ isn’t good enough to open for me. Instead, it’s recognition for doing all these [opening] sets all the time. Like ok, this is something all the resident DJs do, every weekend.

EDMTunes: Are you ever worried that playing open-to-close will stretch you too thin? Do you ever worry about sustaining a crowd’s energy levels for an entire open-to-close set?

Markus Schulz: No, definitely not! Not at all. I have very eclectic tastes in music, and the open-to-close shows allow me to spread my wings and be able to do that in a coherent setting, for people to be able to experience live. I program the night like three different DJs: an opening DJ, a headlining DJ, and a closing DJ that can go really twisted and down-the-rabbit-hole, musically speaking.

EDMTunes: About how many hours do your open-to-close sets usually last?

Markus Schulz: Not all cities have the same curfew restrictions. If you’re talking about New York City, Los Angeles, Montreal or Miami, it’s a minimum of 10, 12 hours. Then, in some places you have curfews where I’ll play from 10:00pm until 3:00am, but the concept is still the same where there’s an opening build-up, then the main festivities, then a weird and wonderful afterhours vibe.

EDMTunes: Which brings us to your long-running New Year’s Eve shows at Avalon Hollywood in L.A.! What makes you keep going back to that venue and city?

Markus Schulz: L.A. is amazing! I have a long history with Los Angeles and I’ve been playing there since the beginning of my career. The city, and especially the trance music fans, really embrace me there and support my sound. Avalon Hollywood is an historic, legendary venue that was built in 1927. The Beatles performed there for the first time [on the West Coast] when they came to the U.S. [in 1964], and actually, my grandmother used to watch “The Lawrence Welk Show” which was filmed there! There’s so much history to the building itself. Obviously, the live event space has been thoroughly restored and maintained over the years and it’s got a world-class, state-of-the-art soundsystem as well as top-notch lighting and visuals.

EDMTunes: What’ll you bring to your Avalon New Year’s show this year that’s new?

Markus Schulz: I took a few weeks off from touring last month to work on my next artist album, which I’m aiming to release in the summer 2023. It’s really special. The stand-out songs I’ve earmarked for the album haven’t been played out anywhere yet, so the Los Angeles faithful can be assured they’ll be the very first to hear these new songs. I’ll also drop some tracks from my new “X” series, which are all collaborations. The latest one is “Prestwick,” that I made with the legendary BT, and the reactions to it have been amazing. I have a couple more from that series that are finished and ready to be released in early 2023, so I’ll be sure to play them during the night at Avalon, too.

EDMTunes: What genre resonates the most with you at this moment?

Markus Schulz: This has been the year of euphoric techno. Techno mixed with euphoric melodies made a big jump this year and took up a big part of my live sets around the world all year long. I’m really looking forward to expanding my journey into euphoric techno as we go into the new year.

EDMTunes: Has the pandemic changed how you approach open-to-close sets?

Markus Schulz: Believe it or not, we were lucky enough to not miss a single New Year’s Eve show [at Avalon Hollywood] due to the pandemic. In 2019, when the clock turned to [the year] 2020, I remember thinking it was going to be the most amazing year ever, but boy were we wrong! Even still, we were very lucky to not miss a single year. This year, we’ll be back to normal. All the events around L.A. and California, everything’s back to normal.

EDMTunes: A lot of celebrities come out to your Avalon Hollywood shows on New Year’s Eve, is that right?

Markus Schulz: First of all, it’s Hollywood, so of course it’s saturated with celebrities. Everybody is very respectful and L.A. is a place where people can go to different early-evening New Year’s Eve parties and end-up at Avalon because they know I’ll be playing ‘til well into the next morning. It’s one of those events where everybody lets you just be who you are and nobody bothers you for photos or selfies for their social media. It’s Hollywood at its best! People are all equal inside the club and everyone just vibes-out to the music and has a great time dancing and being together. It’s true, we’ve had a lot of celebrities coming and just hanging-out. There’s no paparazzi there. It’s just people having a great time with an amazing soundsystem, music, lightshow, visuals. It’s the perfect way for people to blow-off steam and say “goodbye” to the previous year and “hello!” to the new year.

Get tickets to see Markus Schulz on New Year’s Eve at Avalon Hollywood, Los Angeles HERE!

Follow Markus Schulz online!

Official: www.markusschulz.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/markusschulz
Spotify: here

Instagram: www.instagram.com/markusschulz