Scruff’s Top 5

This weekend was one for the books! I organized a few dates and after linking up with my guys JFrank and EZB we had the weekend Bring The House Down mini tour. The goal was three dates, three different cities, three different venues. It’s easy to say that mission was accomplished and this was definitely just the beginning.

It’s not easy putting together a tour, or in my case a mini tour. I skipped some of the processes necessary for success and it showed. Now that i’ve gotten my first one out of the way I can start to properly start to prepare for the next one. I’m going to give detail into my shortcomings and how it all managed to work out in the end, but needless to say what i’ve learned will be incorporated in the future.

Planning: I started booking for these dates months ago, this is because you just can’t expect venues to have open dates. This is a business and in order to keep clients in the doors you always have to have content and entertainment. Most places book weeks, to months in advance. If you want a chance at playing you have book immediately. Now booking the dates isn’t the only thing that needs to be settled in advance. When planning a tour or a multiple dated schedule you have to know that all supporting and doing acts are available as well. I asked EZB and JFrank about their schedules before I even booked the venues. I wanted to perform with these guys so making sure that all of our calendars aligned was a key factor when booking. Having a back up plan is also necessary, when you are planning your dates you have to keep that star player (yourself) in mind with all decisions. If those guys wouldn’t have been available for all the dates I would have had to find someone else to fill a spot or two; being organized and prepared for anything is required when wanting to hit the road. Ultimately the show was going to continue and that meant doing whatever was needed to keep things moving.

Promotion: Now, I should have been promoting the events and dates for about a month or two before the mini tour started. This is almost a non negotiable statement. There are many other things going on and keeping people aware of what you are doing is where you mind is at. This was one of my shortcomings. I didn’t get the promo that I wanted out there, and I can’t blame anyone but myself for that. Yes you want all members of your tour to promote but realistically you can’t just expect everyone to be on the same page financially. If you want something done to a certain standard you have to be willing to do it all yourself, not saying that the supporting acts won’t contribute, just saying that you should have it to where you can cover it all and anything added is just a bonus. This way at the very least you can say that YOU did everything you could to make sure people knew about your activities. Like I had stated before this was one of my shortcomings. Probably my biggest one to be honest. In the future I will just have to plan that aspect of things a little better. The future goal is to not only hit the two month promo plan but equally promote across multiple social media platforms according to the likeliness of observation.

Venues: I had discussed booking venues months in advance and yes that is a requirement in my opinion, but checking in with the venues after you have booked is also just as important. Keeping communication is one thing that will ensure a better turn out and more likely help you book that venue in the future. Owners love to see people that are on top of things, they have a lot on their plate and to see an act take their performance seriously is something that they will admire. Talking about things like payout and how much promo the venue will be contributing is just a small part of the communication process. Load up times, what kind of hook ups and outlet sources are available, what the security layout looks like, are there any drink specials that need to be advertised in accordance to the event that need to be pushed, etc… These things can contribute to a more successful event, and ultimately another chance to play at the establishment. In my opinion communicating with your venue should be right along side with complete communication with your supporting acts.

Set: Please prepare your sets! This is your time to advertise yourself as a brand not just a DJ, people want to see what you’ve got, what separates you from the average Joe. I understand that sometimes you have to switch things up and go with what the crowd is wanting to hear instead of what you have prepared. In situations like this go with your top tracks in that field, or if you are playing a different genre, what would provoke that reaction with what you’ve got. Being a DJ on tour isn’t just about playing your style and proving you are the best at what you do in your comfort zone, it’s about stepping out and showing the world that you belong in the class of the elite. You are prepared for whatever is thrown your way and you will excel regardless. This happened to me on the last day of the mini tour. I was prepared for play a tech house set that I had been prepping, all the other DJ’s played bass music, dubstep, and riddim. Those styles of music are completely left field from what I was hoping to play. I had to switch things up and keep the crowd engaged. Nothing feels the worse than when you have a packed room and by the end of your set it’s cleared out because you couldn’t keep the vibe going. I had to quickly grab all of my hardest hitting tracks, even though they were in a different genre I knew the bass lines would resonate like I needed them to. Was it what I wanted at the time, NO, but it was essential for the night. At the end I got compliments for my diversity in style and coming up with something that would keep the people dancing.

The first night of the mini tour started off in Sioux City, IA at Club Riviera. This was the first time I was performing here and I was quite excited about. One of the DJ’s that was on the bill to perform had thrown a few shows at the venue before and they had some great turnouts so this was encouraging. I was hoping that would bring the attendance up a little, or at least ensure that someone would show up. I had promoted the event for a couple of weeks and there was some buzz, but I know that if I would have started advertising sooner that buzz would have been greater. I felt bad for the first two acts because the establishment was empty, apparently the venue has more of a later night crowd, this is definitely good to know for the future, that means i’ll plan to start later so that everyone has a crowd to perform for. Other than the fact that the evening started a little light, after people started to show up around midnight we got the party started. The night ended well and I look forward to linking up with the owner for some future planning.

Night #2 was in Omaha at Bar 415, an establishment that I have played at numerous times. This time was different since I was headlining on a Saturday night. I know the crowd at the 415 and it was going to be a good night. I actually played two sets that night alongside EZB and JFrank. We decided to start the night off with 45 min sets so that each of us would have a peak our set time as well. this turned out great, I kicked the night off with some early house vibes, Jfrank followed with some big room tunes that kicked things up a notch, EZB hit it up with some bass and that got everything rolling in the right direction. My second set I played some tech bangers and bass driven tracks that would not only keep your feet moving but elevate the environment for more aggressive and peak hour tracks. Due to some unforeseen circumstances EZB had to leave early and so JFrank and I finished the nigh off with a little B2B action. We had the crowd really moving with our booty bouncing beats, and hip hop acapellas. This is what the 415 is known for during the last hour of business so we catered to it in our own fashion. Payout at the end of the night also reflected the success of our evening.

Night #3 was in Des Moines at Lime Lounge for The Sunday Git Down which was weekly event hosted by Mollie Downs. Now as I had stated before I was prepared to play some Tech house for my set, but the other DJ’s all played heavy bass and the crowd was now ready to party to that all night. I switched it up on them with some jersey club, twerk and house tracks to keep that bass driven theme going. Towards the end of my set I played some harder hitting tech tracks and that put things over the top. I had to adapt on the fly, and because I could I can say that I kept the crowd for the last hour of the night. This was an awesome experience and I couldn’t do it without the help of my fellow DJ’s and of course the venues. This is def not the last time I will be doing a mini tour. I will say that this is the last time it would be done like an amateur though. Now that i’ve seen the error of my ways I can correct and build the next tour the way it needs to be.

  1. Mind Sensation – Dillon Nathaniel
  2. Deeper (Gorgon City Extended Mix) – Todd Edwards, Sinden
  3. Coco Mama – Piero Pirupa
  4. MayFeels – Danny Howells
  5. Gingoba – Sllash & Doppe

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