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Thread: Pitching a "label takeover night"

  1. #1

    Pitching a "label takeover night"

    Hey guys! So if you've followed my previous thread in the production section, I own a small independent record label, Aced Records. We've made some great headway since we started earlier this year and I've finally found us a great opportunity.

    Where I live at (Augusta, Georgia, US) a new EDM club literally just opened this past Friday. I've got a meeting set up with the owners in about 4 days from posting this. The idea that I'm going to be pitching to them is essentially a "label takeover night". What it would consist of is solely Aced Records supported DJ's/Producers and fully promoted by us in association with the venue. So essentially the venue would become the "home" of Aced Records to really start to build our brand in our region (ideally).

    I've got the idea all jumbled up in my head and I'm currently making notes on how I plan to pitch this appropriately, but I'd like some ideas on how to approach this with more experienced DJ's than myself. I'm a little old school; I've had great success in the past with just meeting people, handing out flyers and getting people to come into my gigs. I'm halfway decent at social media marketing, but I've also got a person who is a marketing wizard who might be willing to help (she's a chick I've been seeing, but we're at a rough patch right now hahaha). The problem is that I'm not familiar with the area because I don't go out much here. There has literally almost never been a previous scene here for EDM, so the impact could be huge if it's done right given that they are flexible enough to allow me the time to do so.

    So here's what I've got so far - any additions or takeaways would be greatly valued:
    What I know: They're strictly EDM/Top 40, primarily open Friday's and Saturday's, have two resident DJ's for each day and are interested in having special events for Thursdays. Dress code is enforced.
    My plans: If they plan on opening regularly/occasionally on Thursday nights: Allow Thursday night to become Aced Records night. I would be the primary DJ for this getting started (most other local non-producer DJ's we support probably not be able to work Thursday nights). Genre's would be flexible and would reflect our current trending releases. Things like, nothing but bass, dubby wubby nights, techno nights, etc. Promotion for Thursday nights would be fairly generic to get people in the door; expenses would be light in the pocket. Maybe occasionally coming out of pocket to give incentive in the glowy form for people to come in on a Thursday night. They would pay the label their regularly DJ'ing fee if I'm the one DJ'ing to keep their costs low and give them more incentive to keep us around.

    If the Thursday night can become a decent success and/or requesting a monthly bi-monthly Friday/Saturday takeover. This is where expenses would step up to include merchandise like glowsticks and glowy shit to make people happy. These would be imprinted with the label logo, things like that. They wouldn't pay us anything so that any DJ that comes is paid for by the label. In exchange for this, we would take either all or a percentage of the cover charge at the door to support our costs. Maybe even saying something like...If you can provide receipt that you've downloaded/purchased a track from the record label within the past two weeks, then you get free entry? Possibly we'd lose money there, but it'd get more people in the door.

    I've got more in my head, but like I said it's all jumbled up. Thoughts or ideas from anybody with experience doing this would be greatly appreciated! As I said, this place has previously had no scene for EDM so it's gonna be rough. However the city has huge potential to make it work (according to the makeup of it's population) if it's accessed right.
    Facebook: DJRhox IG: Dj_rhox SC: Rhox Twitter: @DJRhox - Founder/CEO of Aced Records - YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  2. #2
    If it's not practical to make decent money for you and DJ's on Thursdays, would you still do it just to promote your label and recover expenses? Just tryna get a sense of expectations.

  3. #3
    Yes I would still do it. I'm mostly in it for the exposure for my artists and the label in the big picture. One of the artists who lives in California has already said that he will pay his own expenses to be able to get out to the club to DJ for certain events on occasion. At the bare minimum, I would like at least the artists to cover their expenses, get at least a little change in their pockets. The label can suffer the the financial hit for the hopeful reward of making a big splash.
    Facebook: DJRhox IG: Dj_rhox SC: Rhox Twitter: @DJRhox - Founder/CEO of Aced Records - YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  4. #4
    I think the idea of a label theme night is good and can help sell the night to the club. Also, if you play it right, you might be able to build some community loyalty and label loyalty since your label is local. And it gives the night a name that is repeated.

    It may be hard to get people to pay a cover charge on a weeknight. What if there's no cover, but the club doesn't pay your DJ's and instead gives you some drinks and a % of the bar if the bar is over some agreed threshold. You give drinks to DJs or to customers for encouragement. If things go well, then you and the club are rewarded and you've got some income to give to the DJs. Probably would not make much money doing this, but it might make it feasible for what you are trying to do, and get the club's buy in. Since what you are trying introduce to the local clubber community may be new for them, then the free cover could help get them in the door for your party and also build base business for the club.

    Just tossing out possibilities

  5. #5
    Definitely thanks for the idea! I've got a note pad with a bunch of ideas jotted down so I'll definitely add it to the list.

    I do really like that idea. It sounds like a "sellable" idea from the perspective of the club owners. My biggest concern would be if the club is willing to give up % of bar income as I've heard from my own personal promoter that is not a very common thing around here. However, they could be from a different area where they understand that's a concept. Do you know more about how that works and what appropriate percentages are to suggest for that?
    Facebook: DJRhox IG: Dj_rhox SC: Rhox Twitter: @DJRhox - Founder/CEO of Aced Records - YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  6. #6
    I've heard a number of structures for a percentage. There could be 0% below some threshold, X% above the threshold, then maybe an additional X% if above a second higher threshold. Or one straight % on all. 10% is a number I've heard often, but without knowing the accompanying structure and the local situation, it's difficult to suggest what is a good number. I think the answer is, what structure and percentage would work comfortably for you and the club and do you believe you can trust each other. Regardless of how money is worked out, it'd be good to know expectations from both parties about promo, amount of security needed, drink specials for the night, etc.

    The club will have their own ideas about what minimum they need to make for it to be worth their while to be open on a Thursday. Beyond that number, they may be willing to give you something if they think you'll bring them additional business.

    Thinking about if from the club's point of view, if the club is part of a restaurant or bar that is open anyway, then overheads are already being paid for and some staff is already on hand, so some resources can be shared. If it's only a club, then the costs to be open an additional night would be almost all attributed to that night. That makes the economics tougher for the club and for you. The club's view of this will also depend on how good they are at business. If they are good at it, they can make a reasoned analysis and you can have a reasonable discussion. If not, well then...

  7. #7
    Awesome man thanks for the insight on that.

    I finally got to speak to the main owner and we didn't talk too much about specifics, but she was genuinely interested in being involved with the label regardless of what the details are at this point so that's a positive. She insinuated that they already weren't too happy with their Saturday night DJ, so the possibility may be there for me to take over Saturday nights on a regular basis and skip the whole Thursday night business. Got a couple more meetings set up with some other people involved there to get into more details, so we shall see how it goes!
    Facebook: DJRhox IG: Dj_rhox SC: Rhox Twitter: @DJRhox - Founder/CEO of Aced Records - YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  8. #8

  9. #9
    I forgot to update this:

    Anyway, so we got our night, yay! Our first event is on January 11th and so far it's looking fairly promising. My goal has been at least a solid 50 people to be there (which I even told the owner this number); not much by any means, but also enough to show that we mean business with our marketing and promotional efforts. According to the Facebook event stats, we're at 50 going and 118 interested, so we are in prime position to hit our goal. We ended up agreeing on us taking the cover charge at the door and everything else is theirs. So for this first event I've decided to go with $5 cover after 11pm and that's it. I'll increase it for future events, but really just testing the waters to see what we can get away with. Also with the intention of letting people in cheaply for the first event and showing them that you're definitely going to want to pay whatever the cover is for the next event.

    Luckily the owner is super open to any ideas we have and is already committed to having us for several more events simply based on our Facebook statistics and how professional everything has been thus far. They've given us 10 seconds on their usual local radio spot and giving us free reign over drink special ideas, so regardless this is going to be a lot of fun. I've never thrown any kind of event like this before, so this is unknown territory for me and I'm super excited regardless of the outcome. I bought a boat load of foam glowy batons, glow necklaces and glow bracelets to give away for free with the intent to keep some for the next event. However I'm sure I'll get carried away and just start giving it all out.

    I almost never get to actually play EDM and I don't DJ much anymore so I'm also super excited that I get to play my style of music for the first time in basically ever!

    Here's a link to the event page on Facebook: Feel free to check it out and recommend any changes or additions I could do to improve things. I will be doing a super sweet 1 minute promo video and redoing the ad here in a few days so there's that. I'm also trying to keep up in the discussion page to talk to people personally so it seems more inviting versus just a "screw you I want your money" type event.
    Last edited by DoomJockey; 12-23-2017 at 08:28 PM.
    Facebook: DJRhox IG: Dj_rhox SC: Rhox Twitter: @DJRhox - Founder/CEO of Aced Records - YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

  10. #10
    Good to hear you've worked something out and hope it goes well for you.

    Your fb invite looks good, but consider putting the lineup with the set times, earlier in the "Details" text, because sometimes people won't read through a lot of text and they'll just click out. Get the important info out early in the text and then elaborate.

    The fb invite signups look pretty good. The number of attendees will usually be more than the Goings when there are that many interesteds. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out - please let us know.

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