For some time now, we have been thinking about putting together some sort of “promoters’ roundtable” to get a little insight into the magic of events promotion. It really is a science, with a lot of money and reputations on the table. It’s a carnivorous business, as you are only as good as your last event. But in every discipline, there are success stories. And at Dance Music Authority, we really love success stories.
Timing is everything, and we recently had the good fortune to pick the brain of one of underground dance music’s most prolific and well-respected promoters in the business—Robbi the Promoter.
His story is the classic example of turning tragedy into triumph—and he has the accolades to prove it. As a 5-time “promoter of the year” winner, Robbi has gained international recognition as a genuine “New York legend.” His reputation speaks for itself, and he is successfully flexing his skills to promote records. clothes, websites, documentaries…and, of course, parties!
In our efforts to reincarnate Dance Music Authority Magazine online, we are flat-out amazed by how much the game has changed. To us, event promotions has always been a science, but it is now far more apparent due to the myriad techniques they use to get the word out on their events. There is a specific methodology to what they do to ensure that the club is always packed for their events. And with so much on the line each time they promote an event, there is little room for error.
So, before we get the roundtable together, we’ll take this opportunity to ask a few questions and celebrate the birthday of one of the classiest individuals in the promotions arena—Robbi the Promoter.
DMAclub: First off, Robbi, thanks for being supportive of us in our efforts to “come back from the dead” online! You really lead by example, as your work really speaks for itself! How did you manage to turn a tragic situation into a stellar career? What made you stand out when given that critical opportunity?
Robbi Promoter: I actually never counted on it reaching to that level all I wanted to do was live….I stood out simply because from the getgo, I created literally completely different ways (of getting the word out, ed.) than the average promoter.
DMAclub: What do you consider to be the keys to your success in the ultra-competitive New York party scene. As the song goes, “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere…”
Robbi Promoter: I m an extremely creative person….I can come up with 5 different ideas at the snap of a finger……I also have ways of marketing myself in conjunction with parties, music, djs–or anything else I promote.
DMAclub: How many events do you promote each year?
Robbi Promoter: About a little over 100, or so, events I guess.
DMAclub: You have been named “Promoter of The Year” a remarkable FIVE times. What do you think sets you apart from your peers?
Robbi Promoter: Well the awards thing thing was judged by people casting their votes to a website which is no longer in service, called undergroundarchives.
The thing that sets me apart from other promoters is I don’t only promote events, I push websites, clothing and records–in which a lot of them have became dancefloor hits.
Now, I utilize the Internet to put all this stuff out there on global level …..people see this and vote for me plain and simple.
DMAclub: We absolutely love the beautiful pluggers that we receive for your events, how have the Internet and email changed the promotions game? In Chicago, you used to be able to pick up flyers at record stores, now with the lack of physical stores, where do you post flyers—aside from clubs and chic bookstores and coffee shops? Also, how many actual flyers do you pass out these days?
Robbi Promoter: I usually print a box of 5000 flyers. I have someone give them out…outside of parties. And I, myself, put the flyers in about 20 stores throughout New York City.
DMAclub: When I was shopping for new tracks recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see that you were also promoting tracks!? Many feel that digital downloads are a brand new opportunity for dance music artists to actually make some decent money off of their projects. Do you agree with this assessment?
Robbi Promoter: I would say yes, simply because that’s basically the best way to go………..I might be wrong but its up to the label to put their music on as many sites as possible to make this all work in every one’s favor.
DMAclub: You deal with some of the real heavies in the business—Louie Vega and other elite artists. How many blogs and web sites do you send party info to?
Robbi Promoter: I post parties on about 40 message boards and websites.
DMAclub: What are your goals for 2010?
Robbi Promoter: Just to keep pushing on.
DMAclub: What do you consider to be the biggest changes in the in the dance scene over this decade—the rave ordinance?
Robbi Promoter: The audience has almost completely changed
DMAclub: At Dance Music Authority, we love it when our icons stay healthy, prolific and at the top of their game. You’re celebrating your Birthday this Friday, how long do you want to stay in the music business?
Robbi Promoter: Yes I am celebrating My birthday at My TWO NATIONS party with resident DJ Wayne Williams+guest Jellybean Benitez+Tony Humphries with DJN project performance…….I’M willing to stay in the music business forever
DMAclub: Do you consider yourself to be a “house-4-lifer?”
Robbi Promoter: Yea.
DMAclub: Are you optimistic about the future of the underground house music scene?
Robbi Promoter: Yes, there is a lot of great fresh, young talent out there.
DMAclub: We are very thankful to have connected with you over the past several months. It has been a real education and uplifting to experience New York vicariously through your beautiful flyers.
Until our next interview, Peace, Happiness and Continued Success! Happy Birthday, Robbi!!!
Robbi Promoter: Thank you.
To connect with Robbi and inquire more about the services he provides, go to: info:firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to a lot more beautiful pluggers and exciting news from this inspirational and prolific dance music icon. – J. Medley