Few people look forward to the day after slope day, but that might begin to change if three students have their way.
Liquid Productions, a company run by students Alex Sondej ’01, Alex Miranda ’03 and Irfaan “Eef” Lalani ’03 which produces parties at fraternities and bars, plans to expand the year-end celebration to Saturday with a party at the Sigma Pi fraternity. The event, which will be co-sponsored by Hype Energy Drinks, Warp Power Mints and MTV Cribs, will take place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Liquid Productions is known for sponsoring Sweet Saturdays dance parties each week from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m at Bibi Maizoon’s. Others are more familiar with Liquid Productions’ parties at fraternities, such as Creation or Expose.
The three students started Liquid Productions in the fall of 2000. The beginnings of the company started when the three were helping Miranda move into his room. As he was unpacking some of his posters from clubs, he expressed his desire to start a company that would offer an alternative to the fraternity party scene.
“I started Liquid Productions because I missed Miami. I wanted a place were I could go that had the newest club music in hip hop and trance, and no beer all over the place to stink it up or slip while dancing,” Miranda said.
Miranda is not new to the productions industry. In high school, Miranda started Mystik Realmz in Miami with seven of his closest friends. As a high school production, they rented out Miami clubs and promoted their parties in high schools throughout Miami.
“It’s basically the same concept, but Miami was one huge city to promote in. I learned all of my promoting skills in Miami and brought them here in an attempt to start a club scene at Cornell,” Miranda said.
The entrepreneurial trio created the company’s name from one of the parties that was thrown in Miami called Liquid. After that, everything else fell into place. Creation, their first party, was held at their fraternity house, Sigma Pi, in mid-October.
“It was a complete success,” Lalani said. “There were over 1,000 people there.”
Many have praised Liquid Productions for producing parties that bring a different element to Cornell. So far their parties at fraternities have been completely dry, thus shifting the focus from alcohol to dancing.
“I think it truly is an innovative scene. It transforms the old frat party with beer covered floors and sketchy frat guys into a club scene atmosphere complete with DJs who play a variety of dance, trance, and hip hop that extends into the wee hours of the night, long after the regular frat parties have been broken up by the police or run out of beer,” said Silvia Odorcic ’03, a promoter for Liquid Productions.
In the beginning, there were some doubts about the success of trying to bring a big-city club atmosphere to Ithaca.
“Liquid Productions has been very successful in changing the social scene at Cornell. They took a chance in bringing the big-city club scene to a college campus, and it worked,” Abby Campbell ’03 said.
“A lot of people said that I was crazy, that Ithaca is no place for a club scene,” Miranda said. “I have to admit that I was shaky at first to put down money for something that might bomb, but that first party proved that there is a lot of support for the club scene. It’s just going to take time to change from the old ways.”
Lalani, Miranda and Sondej took a chance and now successfully run Liquid Productions with the support of Al Myrie ’01, their head security guard, and a promotions crew of about 40 students. The promotions team is responsible for publicizing the event through e-mails, word of mouth and flyers. Although the promotions team does not get paid, they do receive free admission to all of the events.
Next year Liquid Productions will expand to include Liquid Catering, a catering company that will rival Big Red Catering.
“There is currently a catering monopoly on campus; someone needs to change that,” Lalani said.
“Competition opens up changes,” Sondej added. “With competition everything can improve, including quality of service and prices.”
Sondej said that so far there has been a positive reception on campus to the news of their expansion. Already fraternities and other organizations have contacted them about using Liquid Catering in the future. Sondej said that Liquid Catering will be in full operation in the fall and will contact Greek organizations to cover any questions about their new services. Liquid Catering will also feature a signature drink, Liquid Hype, which will be a mix of vodka and Hype energy drink.
Although they will be expanding into the alcoholic scene on campus, Liquid Productions will still throw non-alcoholic parties in order to continue to cater to the dry demand on campus.
“I fear if they obtain their drinking license, they may revert back to the old frat party scene that so many of Cornell students are sick of,” Odorcic said. “However, if they retain their crowd pleasing DJs and develop strong theme parties, hopefully the can come up with a drinking frat party/sophisticated city club scene hybrid that will please those of us that want to dance to good music, as well as those of us who can’t seem to get our groove on unless we have downed a couple of beers.”
Sondej said that he hopes Liquid Productions will set the standard for future parties at Cornell.
“We would like to keep raising the bar. Soon there will be better DJs, some real big names coming out of New York City and other areas,” Sondej said. “The scene is building and it’s going to keep getting bigger and bigger.”
Even though running Liquid Productions requires a lot of work, Lalani, Miranda and Sondej say that they do not run into any problems with their classwork.
“Usually Liquid Productions fits in with our schedules. When we work, we really work,” Sondej said. “We get a lot done, we divvy up all of the work.”
Although co-founder Sondej will graduate this year, he will stay at Cornell to study for his masters degree in health administration. This will give the group another two years together.
Even though they are not certain what direction Liquid Productions will take after they graduate, they can foresee selling the company or training other people to take over after they graduate.
As for their personal futures, Lalani said, “Eventually we would like to own clubs in big cities.”
Archived article by Katherine Klein