Techno and Tacos on a Tuesday? The Business Model Has Worked for Years

Joey Beltram plays Techno Taco Tuesday, December 7th.
Joey Beltram plays Techno Taco Tuesday, December 7th. Joey Beltram
Techno and tacos may sound like an unorthodox combination. However, this pairing has been a fixture in both the Las Vegas and Denver underground electronic music scenes for years with the weekly Techno Taco Tuesday event.

Founded by event organizer MNTRA, Techno Taco Tuesday hosted parties for four years in Las Vegas before opening a Denver branch in May 2018. MNTRA partnered with Denver promoter Twilight Nightlife to throw events that showcase local and touring techno DJs paired with, you guessed it, tacos. The Denver events have occurred at venues such as Milk, Bar Standard and Tracks.

During the pandemic, Techno Taco Tuesday held masked, sit-down events at Bar Standard with local techno DJs. As restrictions were lifted, it moved downstairs to Milk, where it continued to host locals. MNTRA and Twilight Nightlife have since made a deal with Temple's Mirus Gallery & Art Bar to host the weekly event.

Techno Taco Tuesday's inaugural party at Mirus on Tuesday, December 7, will include the biggest techno producer that it has booked in Denver so far — Drumcode's Joey Beltram. Beltram is considered a pioneer of techno and an influence to many artists, including Daft Punk. He has released songs on legendary labels such as Warp (home of Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Boards of Canada and more), R&S Records and Berlin techno behemoth Tresor. He has also played festivals such as Coachella, Awakenings and Tomorrowland. The event will also host local producer Lorely Mur and MNTRA's founder, Bad Beat.

Tino "Bad Beat" Gomez tells Westword about his relationship with the other venues where he's hosted shows, his plans for Mirus, and whether tacos actually mix with techno.

Westword: Why combine food with techno? Aren’t techno fans notoriously not hungry during shows?

Tino Gomez: We want to cater to attendees who want a late dinner, or a bite after a few drinks. Sure, there are plenty of extracurricular activities that might cause a guest to be less hungry, but my friends sure can eat. Pairing culinary cuisine with music is a unique experience, and we know it will resonate with foodies and electronic music enthusiasts alike.

You say that it will appeal to foodies. Are the tacos gourmet?

It’s part of our goal to provide the best taco food trucks to our patrons. This ranges from true street tacos to gourmet options, but keeping the options changing to keep it fresh. For December 7th, our taco partner is Street Side Eats.

What caused the move from Milk?

We have been working on a deal with Temple for over a year, and due to the pandemic, we put things on hold, but now we finally made it happen, and we couldn’t be more psyched.

Does Mirus treat promoters and artists better than Milk?

I don’t think that’s the case. We are super thankful to Milk Bar and their staff for hosting our event in the past and maintain a great relationship with them. It was an awesome experience for us, and I would personally recommend any of their venues. We are super excited to start this new partnership venture with Temple Denver since we have some great friends there. We are looking forward to some amazing Techno Taco Tuesday events!

You got Joey Beltram as your debut headliner. He’s a relatively big deal internationally. Is this the type of talent people should come to expect weekly?

Yes. Joey is a great example of the dynamic bookings we plan to bring to Techno Taco Tuesday Denver. Our legacy and travels have made us tastemakers in the scene, and we want to share the artists we love with a domestic audience. Some people might not have heard of our headliners, but they can be sure to enjoy it and hear some new music.

Any plans in integrating the [Mirus] art displays into the music? For instance, do you have plans for an overlap between visual and sonic arts?

Absolutely. MNTRA supports all facets of the arts, from music to culinary and everything between. It’s our goal to stimulate all the senses of our guests, and incorporating art is a great way to do that. We are currently talking with certain local artists and collectives that can potentially incorporate their art in our upcoming shows — but you’ll just have to wait and see, since I can’t spill any of the details yet.

It’s pretty bright in Mirus. Plan on darkening it?

Yes, of course, that’s something that will be part of the experience we are creating in that room. The lighting and vibe will be on par with the music we're bringing in. After a few decades in the industry, we know ambience is everything, and trust us when we say it will be a great experience at Mirus.

Joey Beltram at Techno Taco Tuesday, 9 p.m. Tuesday, December 7, Mirus Gallery & Art Bar, 1144 Broadway, $15-$20.
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