I just got back from playing in Atlanta where I witnessed true unity in Deep House. Even in the largest American cities, it can still be very difficult to throw successful Deep House events. There are simply not enough fans to go around for several events on any given night. We’re all getting older and not enough potential, young fans are finding us. Atlanta is a smaller city than Chicago, New York and L.A. and they don’t have as many large scale Deep House events. However, once a month Stan Zeff throws an event called “Tambor” featuring some of the best producers/djs around today and people just seem to come together to support this special night by collectively creating an enormous amount of anticipation.
Just like anywhere else, Atlanta has its different promoters and crews of local DJ talents. They have several different smaller scale events and the fans seem very knowledgeable of the music. But when it comes to Tambor, suddenly everyone is on the same team. Not just the DJs but actually fans start promoting and hyping the event. They are genuinely thrilled to have this event and the anticipation is off the meter. They all promote heavily via FaceBook and personally reach out to the guest DJs letting them know how excited they are to hear them play. They actively share mix download links exposing the guest DJ’s mixes and production to one another. Maybe to them it’s just southern hospitality, but to me it was quite sincere.
The event itself was a huge hit and completely lived up to the hype. I could see people losing it on the dance floor and having out-of-body experiences. Several people were taking photos and video with high quality equipment and most of which were not hired to do so but were simply doing it for the love of House.
What needs to happen
Smaller cities really have to come together to make things like this happen. If they don’t, the event will fail and eventually they won’t be able to continue. The same is now true of larger cities.
- Talk to each other in order to avoid unnecessary event overlap.
- Support each other’s event (assuming there is no conflict) by sending out e-mails and inviting people to each other’s events and do it “on the love.” Remember, this is about the scene and state of House Music and not about you or any one event.
- Book a nice rotation of local DJs when possible to keep everyone involved.
- Take care of your staff as best as you can. If you do well, make sure they do well too.
- Support your promoters with your mailing lists, websites, and social media networks. Don’t count on the promoter alone to make the night successful.
- Accommodate the promoter’s needs for proper sound equipment, lighting, drink specials, etc.
- Promote your events and get people hyped about then. If you’re not excited about it why should they be?
- Explain who these guests are and why it’s great that they are here.
- Be willing to do an opening set for the guest and properly set them up.
- Bring CDs to giveaway. Nothing gets you more fan support like giving out good mix CDs.
- Share your love for this music with your friends and invite them to join you.
- Invite more people to the social media (ie: FaceBook) event pages.
- Support the event and pay to get in. These events are not cheap and the promoters work hard. They NEED you to pay admission in order to keep doing this.
- Support the venue and buy a drink. If you don’t, they will move to other genres of music where those fans will buy drinks.
- Support the DJ and dance! Let them know you’re feeling it.
- Take pictures and video.
- Enjoy yourselves!
- Post photos and video on social media sites and tag DJs, promoters and your friends, This is a powerful way to create genuine unity and get more people to come in the future by seeing what they missed.
- Talk positively about the event and start setting up the anticipation for the next one.
All of this is pretty much what I experienced in Atlanta. The anticipation for the event was through the roof with fans promoting and reaching out to me and one another for about two solid weeks in advance. Everyone had a great time and danced all night while stopping to have a drink or take photos or video. Most of Atlanta’s House DJs were there and were as excited as everyone else. All of these things can only GROW the scene which is good for EVERYONE!
So big props to all the House fans, DJs and promoters of Atlanta! I think many of us could learn a thing or two from you….at least from what I experienced.