Ever wondered what it’s like to score a number one in the charts? Reap the rewards of DJing at the peak-time slot? Or perhaps, run your own techno night?
In the final edition of our two part series ‘Seven Days in the Life of...’ we find out exactly what it’s like via the diaries of the very people that make London’s clubbing industry tick. This month, it’s all about the DJ and the promoter; read on to learn how these talented people balance everything from headlining gigs, doing their PR, to organising and running a big-scale event – impressively, still with enough time left over to unwind.
The DJ: Nathan Hadley
I’m up early and off to the Gatecrasher office for meeting with managers. We discuss how the previous Saturday went and how we can improve. We also sort out upcoming dates.
Later, I look through my set list from Saturday to see what I played, check my emails for new promos and download new music. I head to a club for a DJ slot at a student night – got breathalysed on my way as I ran into the back of someone; nobody got hurt but it was not cool.
Note to self: don't text and drive. I head home in a limping vehicle after absolute carnage at the club.
Super happy! I wake to find my track ‘Monster’ has hit No. 1 in the progressive house charts. Time to let the world know via Facebook. I ring my agent and my manager to share the good news. Social media time, too; I share the upcoming events I’m playing at and have a general nosy to see what everyone else in the industry is up to.
No gigs tonight but I have a great idea for a track so I’m locking myself in my studio to get some ideas down before some well deserved ZZZZzzz.
I’m off to scrap yard this morning to find parts for my broken van – that'll teach me. Three scrap yards later and no chuffing parts grrrrrrr!
I sort through more new music in the evening, chase up Skint Records about my remix of the Freemasons track, ‘Love on My Mind’. I also have my weekly Skype call with my US agent Dimity. We discuss my UK tour (in January) and arrange gigs for Miami Winter Music Festival, Vegas, L.A. and San Francisco next year. I call my manager Tiffiny to sort out flights.
Studio time! I drive up to Sheffield to my mate’s studio – he has better kit and more knowledge than me. We’ve got a long, long day ahead but I’m super excited about three new tracks in the pipeline. I hope to god we can get them finished! Remember, Nathan, take notes; watch what he does and steal his knowledge ha-ha!
Early morning photo shoot in London today. I take a load of my Bench gear as I promised them that I’d wear their clothes in press shots as otherwise I won’t get any for free. Not fair ha-ha. I have lunch at Covent Garden and a quick management meeting with Tiffiny.
I’m back on the train; homeward bound. I have a gig at a bar called The Pearl, in a prestigious area of Nottingham known as West Bridgeford. It’s a nice little gig, with a mixed crowd, so I’ll get to play more diverse stuff and I’m looking forward to it.
After a late night and a cracking gig I’ve got to get myself to the BPM show in Birmingham. I’ve got meetings lined up and I also want to have a nosy at all the new DJ kit.
It’s the big one tonight; I have the peak-time slot in the main room at Gatecrasher Loves Nottingham, where it’s 2000 people and me supplying the vibes.
It’s one of the best main rooms I’ve played in the world. Along with top class production from the Gatecrasher team the gig is extra special.
Sunday (early morning)
It’s 1 a.m. and the main room is blowing up, the club is packed to capacity and the sound system is maxed out. What a party!
Sunday (late afternoon)
Just woke up, wow, last night blew my mind! Today is all about sofa surfing, armed with popcorn, a Chinese take-away, and my favourite; a tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
This DJ is on lock-down today; it’s all about peace and quiet, with the phone off and only an occasional look at Facebook.
|Nathan Hadley Online|
The Promoters: Kiri & Kostas of Rhythmatic
Kostas: I check my phone, emails, Facebook and Twitter for any news before making a quick breakfast. In the afternoon, I continue with work and arrange meetings for the rest of the week. I call my brother to check in and then it’s off to the gym. I return at home to cook a healthy meal before my twin gets back. When he does, we talk and watch some boring TV before bed.
Kiri: I always prepare for work the night before, putting my clothes together, sorting my daily schedule. I check my emails and all online networks for news and updates. Usually we don’t have meetings on Mondays, but I schedule the rest of our week, email agencies and our team as a final push for our upcoming event. I get home at around 7 p.m., catch up with Kostas, and we work through until 12 p.m.
Kostas: I’m up at 6.30 a.m. I get ready then it’s off for a long day of meetings. When I return home I check my emails and make sure dinner is ready before Kiri gets home. When he does, we eat, discuss our day and try to unwind.
Kiri: Tuesday is when our schedule really kicks in and the adrenaline is pumping. I get to the office at 8 a.m., make calls, check emails and accounts, and make the final payments for our big project. It’s a fast day and before I know it, I’m home. Kostas and I get together in the evening to speak with our team and update them. The conversation will not finish until late in the evening – it’s all starting to take shape!
Kostas: I go to work, or the gym if I have a morning off. Sometimes I don’t get home until 10 p.m. and by that time Kiri will be back. We spend the next couple of hours organising our production and ensuring that everything is in place, including calling the hotel, cab company and restaurant to guarantee that everything is sorted.
Kiri: Wednesday is when we do most of our meetings with our team, usually in Shoreditch, and mostly at the Hoxton Hotel. My day will finish pretty late and at this stage I am worn out, but I look forward to a long bath when I get home. Before bed, Kostas and I put everything that we need for Saturday together, ready for it to be picked up ahead of the party.
Kostas: I’m up at 6 a.m. Today, I have meetings with our suppliers and the final meeting with the venue. Once I finish work, I head to Shoreditch where I meet with the PR team for a catch-up. We finish around 5.30 p.m. and then it’s off to the warehouse where I meet the production team, Kiri and the rest of the crew for a long de-brief. We get home pretty late, but I’m happy after a productive day.
Kiri: Thursday; can it be any more mental?! Up at 6 a.m. and getting ready for the office, I've emails to deal with, phones going crazy from as early as 9 a.m. for the guest list, ticket sales and people constantly calling about whatever you can think of! It feels like you run a shop and you have a 100 people wanting something from you. I’ll be doing our online marketing push with our press lady and ensuring that there’s a buzz around our event on social media.
I confirm all tech requirements are in place with Stathis Lazarides, and ensure all promotional emails have gone out. Next, it’s off to the warehouse and I will finish late, but my adrenalin is so high that the last thing I want to do is go to bed. I get home around 10 p.m., Kostas and I spend a few hours going through the stuff for the event to make sure we are happy, then it’s time to call it a day.
Kostas: It’s the day before our event and as you can imagine, we're hectic! I have to be at work and then off to Shoreditch. It’s another long day, finalising all the last details for our event. Tomorrow is the big day.
Kiri: It’s the day before our project and I am pretty nervous. I can’t sleep and I’m up from 6am counting the hours. Off to the office early in the morning to deal with emails and make all the necessary calls for the event. The guest list is always compiled by me, so it can be a long process chasing everyone to send through the info and to monitor hundreds of emails. In the afternoon I print out all the documents for the event: cash flow; payments; guest lists. I get home at 7 p.m. and both Kostas and I are buzzing!
Kostas: With little sleep, knowing that in a few hours our night is on, I’m up checking emails, Facebook and Twitter. A quick bath and big breakfast, then we’re off to the space to set up our event. At the venue I start putting together how I want everything to look – I want it to be as special as possible for our friends and fans.
The set up will carry on for a few hours and around 7 p.m., we will be done. It’s at this time the phone goes crazy, the guest list is getting longer and ticket sales are going through the roof! There are always a few arguments during the set up; I think everyone is pretty tense and high with excitement, but we are almost ready. Before it all kicks off, we get ready, try to relax and listen to some quality sounds.
Kiri: Like Kostas, I haven’t slept much. I’m constantly checking my emails and monitoring the tickets sales. Kostas is in control of the venue set up and I and help out. The set-up is fun, but at times can be very stressful. There’s a lot of shouting, but at the end the result is pretty impressive, from what we’ve been told. Once we’ve eaten and are ready, it’s back to the warehouse. The first two hours are always stressful; waiting for things to happen and people to arrive. Come midnight, things are in full swing; the artists are here, the place is in party mode – what an atmosphere! The event will finish at 6am and that's when we head to the after party.
Kostas: It's been a long, crazy day, so I can’t wait to arrive at the after party; it’s the moment I’ve been waiting for and I can’t wait to share it with friends. I will stay for a few hours to enjoy myself and unwind after all the organising. After working and partying for 24 hours there is no better way to finish off than to head home to chill out and switch off.
I’m feeling rather fragile by 10 a.m. so I try to sleep for a few hours. Around 5 p.m. I’m up to prepare a big meal for Kiri and I before my favourite dessert; pancakes with chocolate, nuts and biscuits! I’m feeling completely knackered, but I’m happy.
Kiri: Sunday is the most fun and the most laidback time for us; depending on what time the after party finishes, we might get home around 10 a.m. I’m completely worn out after setting up for six hours, working for eight, and partying for four. My brain is totally numb. I get to bed around midday until five-ish. I don’t like sleeping too much, especially if the event has been successful as I want to make the most of it. Once I’m awake, Kostas will cook one of his master meals. The night will finish pretty early… one event has just ended and the next one is already around the corner. I’m so tired, but I'm looking forward to doing it all over again.