Bockoven is an electronic producer and DJ in Columbus, Ohio, who recently started throwing shows. While doing so, he learned some tough yet valuable lessons.
In 2020, Bockoven co-founded the company Ope Collective with DJ/Producers Fear & Lowe. Their shows mainly feature acts from these founders and Jimmy Jent, Benton, Govan Jones, and Zouventus. OPE Collective mainly focuses on bringing good music and good vibes through house music.
We had a chance to sit down with the deep house DJ and pick his brain about some of the best pieces of advice he’s learned after throwing shows, events, and DJ-centered parties. So let’s dive in…
But Before We Do, Check Out Our Breakdown Of Bockoven’s City
The rest of the words of this piece are from Bockoven.
Assemble The “Right Kind” Of Team
Whether loading up your first flash drive or headlining music festivals, throwing a good show by yourself would be impossible. First, you have to find the right team. Meeting the members of OPE Collective happened through being in a major city, supporting local shows, and having similar goals.
At the beginning of my music career, I moved to Columbus, OH. My long-time friend, Alex Fiehrer and his roommate Zach Lowe (Fear & Lowe), were having decent success DJing there, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. We went to local shows where we would eventually meet the future members of Ope.
I genuinely feel like I was dealt a Royal Flush; we were all good friends that happened to be DJs. We also had the same objective; throwing our events with an emphasis on house music.
Building Your Local Audience By Networking More
What does your audience want to hear? Answering this question in correlation with what you want to sound like is essential. It will be noticed if the crowd is not into what you are playing. However, don’t go out there mixing only Beatport Top 10. Be unique; Create the difference between you and the next guy.
You will be remembered for the middle ground you found by being yourself and amusing your audience.
It takes time to understand what your crowd wants. Experiencing other shows to gain some insight might speed this process up. Going to local events, showing support, and making connections, in turn, will make people more inclined to go out and support you. Always be thankful and joyous towards your supporters, especially those going out of their way to be there.
Choosing The Right Venue Is Critical
Before going out and asking every venue if they are available, be sure that the venue is right for your event. First, ask yourself these questions:
How many people am I expecting? What is the capacity? Has this venue had performers in my genre in the past? Do I need any forms such as an alcohol permit or sound level variance?
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Matching your crowd expectancy to the capacity is crucial. If the capacity is too high, you could lead yourself to a dance floor that is too spaced out, and crowd engagement will suffer. In contrast, if the venue’s capacity is too low, you could over-populate your room and possibly make you and the crowd uncomfortable.
Furthermore, If this venue only does smooth jazz, it would probably be best to avoid it if you are trying to play 140 bpm techno. This may leave the regulars confused with a wrong impression of your brand.
Time It Right And Don’t Step On Toes
When planning your show, you want to reduce as many conflicts as possible. Putting events in your city on a calendar could be beneficial for this.
Remember that you may lose out on some attendees if someone is already throwing an event like yours. When planning for our event Ope N Air (2022) at the National Veterans Memorial & Museum, we knew July 9th would be the perfect date. It was the weekend after July 4th celebrations, and not too many other events were happening that would affect our attendance.
This added up to be our biggest show yet!
Making your event go viral will take some coordinated effort from you and your team. Be creative; Creating a video or a collection of photos of past events is an excellent way to show your potential attendees what to expect.
When posting for an event or announcement, ensure to post at an optimum time for engagers. Announcing your show at 3 am would not be ideal, as not many people are on social media now. Aim between noon and 5 pm. Tell your team when you are posting and ask them to engage in three ways; Liking the post, sharing it, and commenting. Being responsive to your commenters or sharers is also beneficial and makes you seem more engaged with your fan base.
All these things are favorable to any social media algorithm and will make your event announcement more likely to appear elsewhere.
Be Ready for Adversity
You never know what to expect on the day of your event.
Planning and executing Ope n Air (2022) was no walk in the park. At the beginning of the day of the event, we had about 400 tickets sold, which was expected. We noticed a flood of sales roll through about an hour before the show. Before we knew it, we sold out at 700 tickets.
The venue could hold this capacity; the stage looked and sounded great, and there was sunshine with no clouds in the sky. So what’s the problem? We only had alcohol for 500 attendees. With our teamwork, we were able to pull through.
More drinks were on the way, and the crowd was kept happy. Be prepared for these situations even if you think you have it covered. It is better to prepare for more problems than less.
Respect Your Venue!
All in all, the show happened thanks to the venue and the workers there.
Always show respect to the hosts and follow their rules. Every measure goes a long way in an industry where professionalism is nearly a rarity. Be incredibly respectful to venues that typically do not throw music events.
Ope n Air (2022) was the case for this as it was thrown on the National Veterans Memorial & Museum rooftop. It was the first music-focused event that was done there, so we knew we had to be at our best.
If you treat the venue right, it is more likely they will let you throw a show there again, and word will spread of your character displayed.