Full Stop founder Charlie Artingstoll looks back on a year of living dopely

Full Stop founder Charlie Artingstoll.
Full Stop founder Charlie Artingstoll.

Full Stop is more than just a party; it’s a Yangon institution. This Friday, it’s celebrating its one-year anniversary at one of Yangon’s nicest rooftop bars, and entry is free, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

In honor of the anniversary, we interviewed Full Stop founder Charlie Artingstoll to learn more about Full Stop and his vision for Yangon nightlife.

So what’s the deal with Full Stop? Why did you start it?

It’s pretty hard to imagine, but this time last year, Yangon really didn’t have that many places to go out – Fuse, Penthouse, and Vibe weren’t built yet. 7th Joint was just opening, I think. There really weren’t that many options apart from KTV or mansion parties, but even those got boring after a while.

Another thing was that nightlife used to be so segregated – you’d have foreigner places and local places, and there wasn’t really much mixing. So yeah, I found the nightlife was repetitive back then, so I decided to have a go at doing something about it. Not reinventing the wheel or anything. The concept was just throwing good parties with good music that appeals to both groups – a balancing act that is much harder than it sounds.

Why does Full Stop throw hip hop parties?

We decided on hip hop because it’s a genre that appeals to locals and foreigners. We’re not just going to stick to hip hop though. The vision is to introduce different genres of music to Yangon. House music is a good example of this. There’s a Burmese house DJ playing this friday, and you would never have seen that last year.

What are your plans for the future?

Hmmm, good question. I’m not sure really. I guess I’ll carry on trying to find new, interesting venues. I’d like to do some collaborations with other events – that kind of thing.

What are the best things about running Full Stop?

Hmmmm…lots of things. If an event is really good and everybody is having fun because of something you organized, that’s quite a unique feeling. Flying in DJs and hanging out with them in Yangon is also fun. I think also the idea of creating something – seeing a brand develop – is interesting. Last week, I was just scrolling through Facebook and I saw that some guy I’ve never met got a Full Stop logo tattoo, which is kinda mad when you think about it.

What are the worst things?

I think it’s definitely the uncertainty and the stress. When you work a 9-to-5 job, you go to work and get paid. When you’re a freelance journalist, you pitch some articles, write them, and get paid. When you run events, you set the event up, and then…whether you get paid or not is completely up to how many people turn up, which I’ve found completely impossible to predict.

I’ve had Facebook events that thousands say they’ll attend that have flopped, and I’ve had events that I was sure were going to flop based on Facebook coverage turn out to be amazing.

Those first couple of hours when you’re waiting for people to turn up are the worst. It’s the stress of a month of work condensed into two hours. Not fun.

Gimme some Full Stop highlights?

I think the best party was the event in August last year – everything just came together. This video says it all.

What about the lows?

Nothing that serious. We’ve had some police issues, some power issues – both to be expected in Myanmar, but nothing fatal. Oh, I did get bitten by a scorpion at the Port Autonomy event, but I didn’t die, so it’s cool.

Full Stop’s 1-Year Anniversary party pops off this Friday night from 9pm to 3am at The One Bar on Shwergondine Road.

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