When you’re swaying on the dancefloor do you ever wonder about the blood, sweat and tears that go into staging a club night? The path can be a winding and obstacle-filled one, particularly when it comes to certain types of music.
First and foremost, a thirsty audience is required, as the venue’s main concern will be the takings at the bar. The promoter needs to persuade the venue that they will attract enough punters to make them money, then ensure their promises become reality if they want to get booked again. In a city as competitive as London it’s difficult to drag people to anything, particularly when your main guy is a DJ who makes great beats but has never been seen outside his mum’s basement. Naturally, certain events are simpler to host than others. “It’s way easier to have a guy in the corner with an acoustic guitar and a little PA than put on a huge light show, but it depends what the venue really wants” says Jules Parkinson, Membership Development, PRS for Music.
Planning is key, and the promoter should start advertising their show a few months in advance. “Build a relationship with local reviewers, and obviously listings in great sites like All in London and Time Out. Treat the bands well and if you can afford to pay them or give them a couple of drinks the bands will remember and your reputation as a promoter will spread. A lot [of promoters] don’t seem to care, so the good ones do stand out. If the bands like you then you’re more likely to get better bands and better audiences.”