The birth of Rockford’s first electronic music festival

• The Electric Music Factory opens at Davis Park at 4 p.m., Saturday, July 19

By Santiago Bravo

DJ Stussi and DJ VloCiTii. These were the names that Cesar Duarte and I thought of when we decided to pursue a career as not only DJs, but as entrepreneurs. Together, we would call ourselves “2AM,” and later we would establish a business known as “Night Life Paradise.”

Our goal was to become successful in the business, to expand, grow and bring a new form of entertainment to Rockford. Our plans were to host music festivals so big that it would not only take us where we wanted to go in life, but it would bring a positive outcome to Rockford.

That all changed on late Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. As we were loading up our equipment after a gig we had that night, Cesar was struck by a vehicle that was speeding through the alley. The whole incident was like a dream. He was kept on life support until he passed away on Nov. 26, 2013.

The death of Cesar Duarte was life-altering for us all. Some people would have abandoned their dream to move forward in a situation like this. But this unfortunate event only motivated Cesar’s brothers and me to move forward with our dream and succeed, no matter the cost.

So, for the past couple of months, Night Life Paradise has planned an event that will not only be a success, but will open doors to future possibilities for us and other entrepreneurs as well. The Electric Music Factory at Davis Park (320 S. Wyman St., downtown Rockford) will open at 4 p.m., Saturday, July 19, becoming Rockford’s first EDM (electronic dance music) festival.

This just goes to show that if you take up a vision, make that vision your life — think of it, dream of it, live on it, and let the brain, nerves, muscles and every part of your body be full of that one vision and exclude everything else — you can succeed, no matter how crazy your dreams sound to others.

Selected charity for this event is the Nikolas Ritschel Foundation — taking one step to enrich the lives of young adolescent adult cancer patients.

From the July 16-22, 2014, issue

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