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Do you run a night? Give me some advice...
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Shad0wmaster
So I had the idea of starting an "open decks night" for electronic DJs in my lame-ass hometown of Boston. Everyone I've asked seems to think it's a good idea, which means I now have to start looking for a venue to host it (i.e., a small-to-medium sized bar).

If you run a night, or know anything about promotion, tell me how you got it started. What advice do you have for a first-time promoter trying to start a weekly night?
Ray_Chappell
Every venue is different, so it's hard to offer advice on that... but the one thing I recommend if you secure a venue is being really, really picky about who spins. Focus on quality - it's pretty annoying to show up someplace and it clearly be an extension of open decks in the living room with anyone that can can almost beatmatch getting the ok to spin. If you're serious and want it to last (which it will do if it helps the venue owner), just be picky about who's spinning. My $.02. Good luck.
Shad0wmaster
quote:
Originally posted by Ray_Chappell
If you're serious and want it to last (which it will do if it helps the venue owner), just be picky about who's spinning.


Oh, there will definitely be a standard of quality. I just don't want to keep the lineup restricted to certain styles/people.
tvmann
I don't run one but know of a weekly open decks that has been going for over 5 years - actually it's a pub that is part of a community association hall thing. The place has a pair of good self-powered speakers plus subwoofer and the organizer brings in his own 1200s and mixer and anyone can spin for a 20 minute slot, more time if less DJs. The pub has a special little DJ table since it's a smaller place, and a regular table is too low.

It's OK for people to bring in other gear such as a laptop and hook up to the mixer as long as this is arranged beforehand.

They specify DJs should have music that is good for a small low-key place, meaning no trance usually, it's not a rave.

On the rare occasion a DJ will excessively trainwreck or something, no worries - it's all for fun.

20 minutes is probably too short, 30 would be better. I noticed they sometimes have a "deck hogs" issue since there is no pre-arranged timeslot list. My impression was nobody gets paid but DJs get reduced booze price.
Watts
This is way off topic, but what is wrong with Boston? I had considered living there at one point.
RJT
When you find a venue, be absolutely clear about the terms. This includes (but is not limited to):

- Payment
- Equipment
- Start and end time
- What kind of music you'll be playing
- If there's a cover, what's the split
- etc.

Make sure the expectations you have of the club are clear, and make sure you understand exactly what they expect of you. If you're getting paid (whether it's in cash or drinks), make sure you get paid (sometimes easier said than done). If they don't pay, don't play.

Treat it like a business and let the venue owners know you expect to be treated like a professional.

This might sound like overkill, but let me tell you, I've tried to do many, many nights before and the only ones that have gone off without a hitch were the ones that ran like clockwork because they were well planned for.

And remember, just because other people don't act like professionals doesn't mean you should too.
Nemesis44
quote:
Originally posted by RJT
When you find a venue, be absolutely clear about the terms. This includes (but is not limited to):

- Payment
- Equipment
- Start and end time
- What kind of music you'll be playing
- If there's a cover, what's the split
- etc.

Make sure the expectations you have of the club are clear, and make sure you understand exactly what they expect of you. If you're getting paid (whether it's in cash or drinks), make sure you get paid (sometimes easier said than done). If they don't pay, don't play.

Treat it like a business and let the venue owners know you expect to be treated like a professional.

This might sound like overkill, but let me tell you, I've tried to do many, many nights before and the only ones that have gone off without a hitch were the ones that ran like clockwork because they were well planned for.

And remember, just because other people don't act like professionals doesn't mean you should too.


Also find out if the owner is willing ot put up some money for promotion of if it has to come from you but make sure you actually 'promote' your night properly. That's the thing a lot of people who run nights tend to forget... They just think it's arranging the venue etc. There is a lot of work to be done before hand to make sure that people know about it.

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail" some wise geezer once said.
Cheers
Nem
Shad0wmaster
quote:
Originally posted by Watts
This is way off topic, but what is wrong with Boston?


The biggest problem, I think, is that the music scene in Boston is centered around bands, not DJs. So we only have a few "underground" electronic nights, and they all feature the same set of DJs playing the same style of music (minimal and tech-house). Major international talent does pass through here, but only one club hosts and promotes those events.

The irony here is that this is a major college town, and the city is full of DJs who are just sitting in the shadows because nobody is willing to invest any time in building a diverse electronic scene...end of rant :toothless:
TheKidsWantTechno
i will probably be moving back to boston from europe in a few months, i'm definitly interested in starting a night or helping out with an ongoing night. what style do you spin, or are you hoping to promote? i spin techno/tech-house. and what do you think of the scene there in boston? underground nights are cool as long as the crazy people are there to back it up ;)

i hear a lot about rise as an afterhours spot, and estate for bringing the big names. i guess avalon is closed now, rip :(
Ray_Chappell
quote:
Originally posted by Shad0wmaster
The biggest problem, I think, is that the music scene in Boston is centered around bands, not DJs. So we only have a few "underground" electronic nights, and they all feature the same set of DJs playing the same style of music (minimal and tech-house). Major international talent does pass through here, but only one club hosts and promotes those events.


Sounds like a good biz opportunity.

Tony Morello
i don't think there's much more i could add than what RJT and Nem posted

quote:
Originally posted by Nemesis44
"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail"


+1
EvilTree
proper planning prevents piss poor performance...

i haven't ran a night yet, but i know guys who do... like nem and rjt said, ensure you have proper understanding with the owner, even if it means getting a written contract if you really want to cover your ass.

delegate. if you have load of crap to do, and you need a buddy, get a trustworthy one.

have fun. don't stress out so much

good luck :)
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