Thinking of starting up my own night...advice please!!

Discussion in 'Drum & Bass' started by dj_merlin, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. dj_merlin

    dj_merlin Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    123
    So me and a mate are thinking of starting up a night in our local town, and I have a ton of questions to ask and would really appreciate some help.

    We are looking to get this off the ground within the next couple of months, with the night being at the start of summer. To start off, we are really not bothered about making any money, just hosting a good night where everybody has a good time and somewhere for local djs to play out.

    How does it tend to work with hiring out the club, is it normally an agreed rate for the night which is paid upfront? And then all ticket sale money goes straight to us and the club takes the money for the drinks etc? Or could there be the possibility of them agreeing to let us do the night and then they take a percentage of the ticket sales? We were going to suggest to the club doing the night on a Thursday as they are not normally open then so they might be more keen on that because it wont affect their regular Friday/Saturday nights. But thinking about that would they need an extra license to open up on a Thursday?

    How much do you think is reasonable to pay the djs? They would all be people I know who I'm sure would be keen to help get the night going so I was thinking around £30 for an hour set?

    I have missed out alot of stuff as my mind has suddenly gone blank, but generally any advice on how to get it started would be most appreciated as I want to be able to put together a proper plan with my mate that we can then approach the club with to discuss getting it off the ground!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  2. Xerxes UK

    Xerxes UK D&B Producer & dj

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oxford
    your correct in thinking you can hire/book out a club. they would supply the venue and staff, bar staff, door men that kind of thing. You would supply the dj's and party goers. Money arrangements are normally mutually agreed prior the event, but if this is your first time it would be wise to prove ticket sales, the last thing the club owners want is to lose out. Most cases the club will keep drink sales while yourself the ticket sales but would incurs a small percentage for the venue itself and overheads.

    This can all be agreed upon with the owners by way of proposal. If its planned and researched well it can be easily pulled off.

    Hope this helps

    edit:
    I missed a couple of things too. They will arrange any licencing costs and the some dj's would accept 30 quid for the night and or drinks, make an offer, they will take it. But get a demo off them first, you don't want half your audience leaving cos the Muppet can't mix.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  3. Harry3

    Harry3 Chuki

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,045
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Canada
    Most local DJs would happily do a set for free.
     
  4. dj_merlin

    dj_merlin Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    123
    Thanks very much for the advice! Think I will get a solid plan put together and arrange a meeting with the club, have a look around and make sure the soundsystem is up to scratch, then will probably go in with a fairly low offer to begin with, worth a try!

    Does anyone have rough ideas on venue prices? Obviously there are many variables but I'm just looking for a ballpark figure. The club probably has the capacity for 300 people.

    Edit: Just spoke to the club, and they said £500-£600 for the night, including all staff, dj etc....I then went on to explain it would be a dnb night and that we would be providing all of the djs, but they said the price would still be the same as it was fixed. Think we will be looking elsewhere! Really isnt a good club anyway but thought it would be a reasonable price...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  5. PhorceOfHabit

    PhorceOfHabit Seldom

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    London's Home/Bournemouth's Uni
    That's ridiculously expensive. There's plenty of clubs that will even give you it free, which is rare for the first night but it can be found. Where abouts are you based?

    If you're paying, it should still be much less then that, 300 capacity is pretty small as far as clubs go, we payed £200 odd for a 400 capacity club once and I've since regretted paying even that much. Then again, there's some clubs that have a good enough reputation and crowd pull to mean I would pay that much for them. Even so, £600 is ridiculous unless the clubs seriously got something going for it.
     
  6. Dubsta

    Dubsta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    49
    Merlin......please dont pay that for a venue mate...thats well over priced.....ive been doing my own events sincec 2004.....if you search facebook for "reformed" or "gary dubsta creffield" you'll see the events i put on......

    so lets start off with the venue.....You need to remember its your first event so dont be under any illusion that promoting is easy and you'll fill the venue up and make loads of money, maybe you will but from my experience it takes a good 4-5 events until the event really takes off...and thats if you stick with it.....so with the venue you want to start small and build it up, maybe go for a bar rather than a full blown club, you could even find one that would not charge a hire fee....
    My first event was at the back of a pub, then i used a basement bar and just built up to using a club...start small and build it up.

    The bar i use sometimes charges 100.00 if i do free entry and they must take 1000 behind the bar or i pay the outstanding, but if they reach over 1000 i get 10% of the total sales. Im not in it for the money by the way but it is nice to be able to walk way with a cab fare home......

    Ok.....the key thing is promoting, youll need flyers and printing....unless you can do graphic design or know someone that can it could also cost......cheapest printers i use is 120.00 for 5000 (a6)......i flyer all record shops, give a batch to all djs / mcs, kebab shops , cab stations, hairdressers, you name it i do it......then spam spam spam the internet, fb, dnbforums etc...

    as for djs....yes, local djs should play for free, and you can get some good deals on headliners...ive had total science, ash a tak, rhthym beater, icandy (koollondon)......to name a few for good prices if you neg with them and leave the agencys alone......get out there and speak to them......a good headliner always makes your flyer look better and gets a crowd in..

    Ok.....hope this hasnt put you off so far lol.....
    if you want a ball point figure of costs.......my event is now run by four promoters and we all put in 100 each....thats for everything....we never make a penny back if im honest but 100 is nothin to us for the love of dnb.....and it gets our names out there.....

    If you need help with flyer design Pm me...i do flyers, and im sure we could work out something maybe a set for a flyer etc....also if you need any advice on the promotion side just hit me up man......

    ....keep us updated with how it all goes....and good luck.

    ---------- Post added at 13:00 ---------- Previous post was at 12:53 ----------


    100%....all my djs i use play for free except for the headliner of course......and ive played for free even when ive had to travel and stay in a hotel......I cant speak for everyone but i feel if you love dnb money should never come into it.....unless your playing in front of 10,000 ravers and the event is raking in thousands of pounds.

    and i use the same djs because they have helped to build up the event from the begining, so they are reliable, consistant and enthusastic....why sit at home mixing to yourself when you could be out there dj'ing to a crowd....fuck the money, i just enjoy playing out......
     
  7. dj_merlin

    dj_merlin Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    123
    I know I was pretty shocked when they said that price, was expecting them to say around the £200 mark. Im based in Ascot, which is near Reading. Might phone around venues in Reading and ask for a price and their capacity, and then see which are the most reasonable while still being suitable for the night.
     
  8. HIGH INTEGRITY

    HIGH INTEGRITY The art of excellence

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Never far from the edge of a cliff!
    Dubsta: You represent everything that is great about this site. The amount of advice and help you have given to Merlin, someone you don't know from Adam, is amazing.

    Top man.:2thumbs:
     
  9. Jwood27

    Jwood27 VICTIM

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    8,128
    Likes Received:
    1,340
    Location:
    Cardiff
    mostly this ^

    get chatting to people in your local area who are in the scene, the vast majority will be more than happy to help you out with starting up a night in terms of playing for free and so on.

    venue, like dubsta said start small, a night i help run started off in a pub with a back room which held around 150 people, but when you get even half that number in it feels busy and adds to the atmosphere, and that is one of the main things you want to generate from your first nights : atmosphere - will get the punters interested, too big and the room will feel empty with no vibe. (also small venues tend to not charge a lot at all, we currently get ours for free)

    postering and flyering is essential. find out where the main group of people your aiming at usually go on nights out ( 18-24s for instance near us go to a certain club who like more underground music and so we always flyer it every thurs/saturday).
    get as many people to help as possible. getting mates to change their profile pic to the event and other small things like that help.

    also pick your date carefully. if possible get a friday when nothing else is on, thursdays are hard because you tend to exclude the mon - friday 9-5 crew...
     
  10. dj_merlin

    dj_merlin Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    123
    Thanks for the advice mate! Very helpful. Dont worry I have no intentions of paying that much! Ideally would be looking to spend about £200, a bar would be ideal really to begin with.

    Likewise I'm not fussed about the money, just want to host an enjoyable night and be able to play out, have played out once before and recently have been itching to play again!

    My mate is pretty good at graphic design so I'm sure he would be willing to help out with the flyers, thanks for the offer though and will be in touch if I need promotion advice!
     
  11. Dubsta

    Dubsta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    49
    cheers man. i know how hard it is to start up a night......i done mine with no sound advice and made so many mistakes along the way......so dont want to see anyone else jump in feet first and loss loads of money and most importantly the events rep....we all in this together at the end of the day. hope hes event goes well.

    ---------- Post added at 15:31 ---------- Previous post was at 15:29 ----------


    no worries mate.....theres loads of bars in reading....try n get one along the canal and you'll be quids in, even people just passing should come in if they can hear dnb coming from within...just make sure your date doesnt coincide with another dnb night in the area. good luck once again hope it turns out well for ya

    ---------- Post added at 15:34 ---------- Previous post was at 15:31 ----------

    .....and dont forget if you need a dj i'd be more than willling to come and play....for free, im only an hours drive away and i got a few mates in reading too....i play all styles so selection isnt a problem.
     
  12. Harry3

    Harry3 Chuki

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,045
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Canada
    ^ same here, cept im 45 mins away, so blates the better choice :teeth:

    only thing with reading is theres so many promoters.. could be hard getting a crowd :-/
     
  13. sam the dnb man

    sam the dnb man Variation

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Messages:
    10,437
    Likes Received:
    562
    Location:
    Feltham
    Get a reference as well if possible. Lots of people can record a decent mix in their bedroom but can't play half as good on a system
     
  14. Dubsta

    Dubsta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    49
    i dont always agree with that mate......ive seen top names clang and empty a dancefloor......when i select my djs i dont always go for mixing abilities.....sometimes i lke to give early sets to djs that have never played out before.....dnb should be about having fun not about whos got the best mixing abilities, as long as they can hold a mix to an extent tho......of course i wouldnt book someone that clanged every mix, but to be fair i dont think anyone would ask for a set if they couldnt mix....

    and this is why i never listen to mix cds im sent by djs looking for a set,,,,,,i'd rather book djs with good attitudes and enthusiam....the crowd picks up on that more than tight mixing and the most upfront tunes.......im not the best dj in the world, i mean i can mix and ive got plenty of experience but im no randall by all accounts (mind you who is), but i love my dnb and know what to play, and thats more important,,,,,,the average raver goes to rave not to be an anorak listening to the mixing skills....
     
  15. WhoSayReload?

    WhoSayReload? Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,497
    Likes Received:
    233
    Location:
    Northampton
    Proper inspiring there. If I ever win the Euromillions expect to me hire out the NEC for an all night rave.
     
  16. dj_merlin

    dj_merlin Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    123
    Thanks for the offer Harry and Dubsta! Really cool that you guys are down for it! Do you have any links to mixes?

    Harry: I get what your saying about there being alot of promoters in Reading already, but on the other hand, sadly Bassment have recently stopped their nights, so there could be room for a new night now.

    PS...sorry to go against what you have said Dubsta haha

    ---------- Post added at 20:18 ---------- Previous post was at 20:17 ----------

    Thats what I like to hear :)
     
  17. Dubsta

    Dubsta Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    49
    ha ha no worrys mate....its just how i do things, each to there own.......well check my soundcloud page (full spektrum recordings) i got two mixes on there with all my tracks too......i think they are liquid-ish but i play across the board, jumpup, liquid, minimal, jungle, old skool.....whatever the event requires......or youncan lock into my show on www.globaldnb.com on sunday 2-4pm.

    http://soundcloud.com/fullspektrum-recordings
     
  18. alexanthony

    alexanthony Impact (Engage Audio)

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    London
    Completely agree with the above... and your right above doing it for free. have never been paid for a set, never have wanted to be paid!! the feeling when you mix infront of a crowd is payment enough!! we are also thinking of starting a dnb night in birmingham after ive been DJing at seedy sonics which less than a year ago was almost unheard of and the last event, which i managed to get a 3-4 set at sold out 1200 tickets!! being friendly with the owners has inspired me to do the same and your advice dubsta will most definatley be used! :)
     
  19. Harry3

    Harry3 Chuki

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    8,045
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Canada
    Ah I didnt realise Bassment had stopped, savage :-/

    I havnt got any mixes recorded, only played out once in Newbury and I loved it, but we got shut down after 3 nights :teeth: Ill get one recorded soon.
     
  20. danwell

    danwell BAAAAAAAAAAAAABE WAIT

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    5,634
    Likes Received:
    711
    Merlin if you need anyone to dj I'm down. Even if in on first