Smile Forever, at the Granada on Saturday, pays homage to the memory of Michael Packard

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When Lawrence EDM DJ Michael Packard went missing after New Year’s Eve in 2013, a hue and cry went up in the local music community. Packard, who DJ’d under the name Dreadheadedslut, was beloved, and when his body was found a couple days later, tributes poured forth on Facebook and Twitter. After two years, the DJ community comes together at the Granada to pay respects to Packard’s memory with “Smile Forever,” which is dedicated to him.

The Pitch spoke via e-mail with Treet Ward, one of the event’s organizers and a former co-worker with Packard, about “Smile Forever.”

%{[ data-embed-type=”image” data-embed-id=”” data-embed-element=”aside” ]}%The Pitch: Who is responsible for putting this together?

Treet Ward: The idea originally came from James Wesley, general manager at the Granada. Michael worked with us at the Granada, so it’s our way to pay tribute to one of the nicest dudes we ever knew.

We got Tyler Mattan [Positive Vibrations Productions] involved because he worked directly with Michael and his event Feel Good, which used to happen at the Bottleneck. The whole line up of Smile Forever is dudes that used to play the Feel Good shows. James reached out to me about the idea and we just put it all together.

What’s the whole idea behind “Smile Forever”?

We just wanted to throw a bangin’ party in Packard’s name, and donate any money that we make to his family. We wanted to give people the opportunity to hear Michael’s music and have fun and reminisce on good times. There will be Dreadheadedslut shirts available for anyone that didn’t get one, as well.

Since you’re specifically doing a Dreadheadedslut set, how did Michael’s musical choices set him apart?

Michael was a super-talented guy. He had an ear for catchy music. I think what sets him apart from some of the other local EDM producers is that his stuff was kind of lo-fi. It gives you all the feels.

Do you hope this gives a sense of celebrating his memory, rather than mourning?

Absolutely. Michael wouldn’t want us to be mourning constantly. Honestly, I deal with loss better than some people. I just keep it moving, trying to stay busy and not dwell on it.

Smile Forever: A Dedication to Michael Packard is at the Granada on Saturday, January 2. More details can be found here.