Behind the Scene: Dan Bi Mong from Optimist Club

Long before Dan Bi Mong set up the Optimist Club and The Observatory, he was a DJ in his home country of Switzerland. From the beginning, Dan was drawn to daring electronic music and the scene that surrounds it. His own taste was apparent in his DJ sets and before long, Dan ventured into event promotion.

Upon coming to Saigon, Dan wasted no time in getting involved with the growing music scene, bent on bringing in more underground electronic sounds that weren’t yet making waves in the city’s bars and clubs. He launched his primary party venture, Optimist Club, alongside several other projects and collaborations, including Sound Adventures with Linh Phan, and Eclectic Aesthetic with DJs Dan Lo and Nic Ford.

Not long after his first foray into the city’s music nights, Dan took it one step further when he opened The Observatory, which has become one of the city’s important hubs for culture and music. Since opening the venue, Dan has brought in acts like Alton Miller, San Soda and Kokolo Afrobeat’s Ray Lugo, along with a collection of other international names in electronic music.

“The Observatory is many different things to different people — but hopefully, over time, Saigon will start to share an idea of who we are and what we’re about,” he says.