Promoter Q&A - Justin Day & Keith Thedford
Throwing shows is a lot of work. A lot of time, money, and effort goes into it. We here at Flotivity were curious about and want to help our readers understand the job promoters do. See shows don't just come together like magic. People put those shows together and spend a lot of their time, money, and energy on giving artists an opportunity to present their music to an audience. We've emailed and will email promoters in the AZ hip hop scene to ask them the same questions and help us all understand and appreciate what they do for scene. Check it out.
Today, we got Justin Day and Keith Thedford. They have a movement called Regenerate in which they put on rap shows at Spinelli's in Tempe. Dope acts who have graced the Regenerate stage include Mission Life Project, Deliyonne and Hudson, ATM, Daviphresh, and Ellie Roots. They started a new night called the Place 2 Be which is happening tomorrow, March 18. Scheduled to perform include: Lord Verse, Mission Life, Nicho Savant, TCleva, William Speakz, MITY, and DFam Colby Jack. Also there's an open mic from 8:30-10:30 for anyone looking to get a show. Just bring a USB or mobile device.
Why do you throw shows?
I know it's not gonna to be the most popular answer but, this is missional for me.
I'm definitely not on some evangelical shit, it's not that at all.
It's more like when you taste a bomb ass steak and gotta share it with someone. Or when you hear a dope new song and you gotta tell your boys. God's been super good to me, I wanna be good to people I'm return. That's my driving force.
How do you select who performs?
We start by asking artists we enjoy seeing. After that, we put anyone on who asks. When Mission Life (my group) first got started it was hard to get on a show. We worked our asses off and couldn't get on, it was super discouraging. We NEVER wanna do that to anyone.
That being said, at the end of the day, the whole goal with booking is to pack the house.
I'm an artist first, my favorite shows were the ones when the audience vibed out with us. We intentionally try to create that every show. That's why I love the way Legece hosts. He gets the crowd hyped before each artist hits that stage. As far as I'm concerned no one comes close to him as a host. The love he emits is contagious.
How much money do you make?
Money's weird. It's like you're vilified if you turn a profit and you're noble if you take Ls,
I'm not with that. Our goal is to turn a profit that can be reinvested back into these shows and these artists. I want every show to be packed. Performing in front of a crowd is the best, I want everyone to have that experience.
As of now we make a little money, all of its gone back into the show though. Any promoter has to take into account venue rental, door people, security, sound man, DJ, equipment upkeep, flyer/ticket printing, social media sponsored promotions etc... Not all of these apply to every show obviously but the costs add up quick.
What's the hardest thing about throwing shows?
The hardest thing about this is knowing I can't make everyone happy and I'm gonna leave some upset. The whole reason I got into this was to help people. It sucks when someone who doesn't invest in themselves gets pissed at you for not putting more into them.
I'll give you an example.
An artist asks to get put on the next show.
We put them on and tell them to push the event on social media, as well as to their friends.
A month passes and it's time for me to write the itinerary, I notice they haven't mentioned the show once on any form of social media.
I slot them to go on first and they hit me up angry about their spot in the line up.
That's just one example of many.
The flip side to it though is putting some young kid on for their first time and having their parents come up afterwards and thank you for giving their son/daughter an opportunity. That's the best! I love those moments.
Is being a promoter your only source of income?
Being a promoter is not our source of income. Legece is in the Behavioral Health field and I'm an AC guy. We make enough to take care of ourselves. This affords us the opportunity to be self sufficient as promoters. We're not out here trying to make money off anyone. Our goals are bigger then that. Would we like to make enough money to be full time promoters or event coordinators? Hell yeah! But we're not gonna sacrifice relationships to do it.
What's something you want the people to know?
At the end of the day we do this because it's in our hearts. We do this with out question or apologies. Throwing packed shows, making money, - for us and the artists - that's not it, that's not the goal. Those things are symptomatic and will come naturally as a consequence of what we're doing, but there're not the point. The whole point is leveraging the resources we've been blessed with to benefit those around us. Loving people who think, act and believe differently then us. Being the best people we can be. Like big boi said "you wanna change the world, ya gotta start from corner" We want to change the world.
Whatever if it sounds crazy. Think about it like this. Throughout history, anytime there have been major advancements technological, industrial, civil rights or whatever. At the center of those advancements have been 1 or 2 individuals leading the charge. One person can make the world a better place. We may not be those people but we can help build that momentum. That's the goal, that's why we're here. That's what I mean when I say "its not about us"
Check out https://www.facebook.com/Regenerate/ for more information on Justin's and Keith's shows.