They are the reasons why most electronic music gigs, festivals or concerts are packed to capacity. Why clubs and venues flock to them to try and make sure they hit their monthly billing target. Why most of us have at some point across years, months or days of electronic escapades have made it onto the infamous ‘guestlist’.
Now that being said, they are also the reasons why our social media handles and mobile phones are peppered with cheesy afternoon party invites, creepy SMS messages, eye-watering creatives, hilarious posts, and annoying adverts!
These hard-working, nocturnal pariahs of the night are but of course – the humble city electronic music promoter. Here’s our take on the 10 most likely types of promoters you will probably come across at some point:
1) The Neighborhood Gang:
House parties will always be a thing and those who throw them have to be admired, but for some this also the starting point for now moving the party from the house to the club.
Think of these notorious moonlighters as those being responsible in bringing up a local scene and sinking the foundations of a like-minded community who love getting botched up on weekends!
2) The College Crew:
College parties are infamous for two reasons and two reasons only. Either they are awesome and probably will be some of the best parties that you will ever go to or on the flipside, would want to make you forget you ever want to set foot on a dance floor again because of mostly infantile drinking capacities.
Promotional posts for these parties usually have their alphabet capitalizations on the fritz because of posts ThAT aRe WriTtEn LyK Dis. However, you need to tip your hat off to the crew who made sure that your days in school or college were memorable (for better or worse).
3) The Bollywood Badshahs:
Being a Bollywood promoter is big business in country that primarily listens to Hindi music. You probably have been to one and we are pretty sure you would have come across scores of people enacting their own renditions of their dance moves to their favorite Bollywood songs.
Some find it scary, some discover their friend’s favorite bathroom moves while others find it extremely enjoyable. Whatever their reason, there’s always a guaranteed turn out and that’s why we call these ballers the Bollywood Badshah’s.
4) Promoters with an Identity Crisis:
Multitasking is always a good thing, as long as you can do it right. Promoting a gig or festival and getting people to come to your party is pretty tough and those who are good at it, stick to doing just that.
On the other hand, being a DJ and performing at a club requires years of practice, experience and dedication. While there are amazing exceptions, being over enthusiastic more often than not and their careers end up like a train wreck. Neither here nor there as they say.
5) The Evergreen penny-pinchers:
Throwing a party or hosting a gig at can should generally be a managable affair for promoters financially. We mean, why would anyone host a gig that they cannot afford to pay for?
Introducing the penny-pinchers. Eternal skinflints who are dime-a-dozen in any scene around the world as they bend over backward to make sure they save a couple extra bucks.
From asking the artist if they can crash in their rooms after the check- out to asking for kickbacks from their fee, these scrooges would be better served to work at a government office of some kind than at a club.
6) The Social media phantoms:
Pushing a gig the right way on social media and grabbing eyeballs is a bit of an art. If you do frequent gigs and shows often then you will more often than not come across people on the timelines of your social handles who appear to be going to or promoting gigs every single day of the week.
You might be surprised to not find these people at the gig that you went to because they promoted it. Which begs the eternally unanswerable question, ‘why promote the gig in the first place’?
That answer we will never know.
7) The Undercover Immigration Agents:
If being a promoter could be compared to be a spy then these amazing personalities definitely have a bright future. That’s because they always seem to know how to exactly woo visiting guests and expats that visit our countries, throw down mean parties and deliver great experiences.
But then again, how do they know? Perhaps they are really undercover waiting to deport an unsuspecting dancer who’s just about breaking into a shuffle. (Just kidding)
8) The Corporate specialists:
In short, the corporate specialists are to corporates, what the Gujarati’s are to India’s diamond industry – irreplaceable. They will go out of their way to ensure that a clubbing experience is completely replaced by a ‘package deal for 50 pax’, like hiring an all-inclusive entertainment unit.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that all and honestly makes great business sense.
9) The Casanovas and Divas
The self-proclaimed alpha males & females who are so enamored by their own charisma that they need to throw a party ever so often just to be reminded of it.
Ok perhaps that was a bit harsh, but we are of course talking about the nonchalantly narcissistic folks that the designer usually hears from to make their company logo or name bigger.
Seriously, this is an industry that thrives on creativity, don’t borrow dad and mums!
10) The Underground ultras:
Champions of the lesser known sounds of electronic music or maybe just folk who despise any other form of music fall under this listing. Whichever the way you look at it, the underground ultras and their communities always ensure there is no stagnation when it comes to discovering exciting new music.
On the flipside, however, you will more often than not see these guys dressed in all black attire and might just end up in parties that have only about 20 other DJs.
11) Promotors that scare you off:
No list would be complete without mentioning these wierdos. If you have ever been to Goa during it’s ‘peak season’ hay days or have experienced creepy promoters, then you most certainly would have been approached by someone with extremely odd looking and badly designed pamphlets where the artist names resemble something right out of a sci-fi novel ( a really bad one) along with other ‘attractions’ and paraphernalia.
Honestly, if you don’t want to wake up the next day swearing to yourself never to enter a club ever again.
12) The 100% advance heroes:
Yes, these guys are heroes. If you have been a DJ long enough, then you will know that getting your fee in full before a gig is almost part of electronic music industry folklore. Now while there are a number of factors that dictate when artists get paid, the 100 percenters will leave no stone unturned into ensuring that they are treated right.
From Nailing the tech rider to extending heart–warming hospitality you will find promoters like such only once in a blue moon. (Maybe even lesser).
13) The Show-Stoppers (literally) :
There have been countless situations where some over-enthusiastic promoters decide to jump into the console even though the DJ they’ve supposedly hired to do a good job for them is probably doing it anyway and decide to go back to back with them. For no apparent reason.
Common sense is definitely not in their dictionary because more often than not they will probably ruin the vibe and the energy on the dancefloor that existed before they decided they wanted their 15 seconds. But hey, who are we to say, at the end of the day it is THEIR party, right?
14) The Dodgy after-party hosts :
Some of us still crave a great after party sesh post a great night at a club or festival and would more often than not jump at the possibility of extending our curtailed dance hours.
Enter – The dodgy after-party hosts. To be fair to them, they aren’t actually promoters in the real sense because they are almost always down to opening their homes up to almost anyone who’s up for it (that’s when you take a hint).
Once you get there, don’t be surprised if it’s just you, and your better half faced with the possibility of landing up there with 10 other guys. Not cool.
15) The Con-men:
We had to save the most notorious bunch of the lot for the end to top off our list.
The con-men are also not the brightest, simply because there is nowhere anyone can hide in the age of social media. Cases of unpaid artist fees, bookings for events that don’t exist and even promoters who lap up their artists drink coupons are not unheard of. Heck, someone even hosted a fake boiler room here in India!
More often than not though, they do get called out for it and eventually find another line work!
An avid lover of electronic music since 2008 , A content contributer at Border Movement blog & one half of Twokid Wickid and my two cents on music culture in India.