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Welcome to the strange world of the London club promoter

Henry Moller is the founder and managing director of the year-old, London based outfit, Audio Doughnuts, who have already been crowned as one of the ‘Best Club Nights of 2011’. Errol Anderson caught up with Moller and found out about the world of the London club promoter.

There’s always that moment in a club night. You know, the point where your brain sways in the volumes of alcohol-initiated confusion with as much finesse as an elephant on speed and urges you outside for a breather. I may not be drunk this time around, but the smell of the not-so-fresh air is still a welcome one and as I await my interviewee, I can’t help but chuckle at the smoking area’s population. If only they knew what they looked like from my own sober perspective. On this occasion I’m actually looking out for someone, supposedly the guy that’s put this whole show together: the illusive club promoter.

They’re a misunderstood bunch, event organisers, and as I meander through the crowds of oblivious ravers and into the backstage abyss with Henry Moller – who is running this particular joint – one of the first things he explains is this common delusion.

“It’s not glamorous whatsoever. I mean I’m not broke or anything but people approach you as if you’re made of gold sometimes,” he claims whilst personifying relief in this newfound peace and quiet.

“But, no doubt, it’s probably one of the most difficult jobs out there in short.”

Moller is the founder and managing director of the year-old, London based outfit, Audio Doughnuts, who have already been crowned as one of the ‘Best Club Nights of 2011’ by Mixmag, no less. It isn’t his first venture into events and his roots in the game are as tangled as most music industry heads yet his overall vision for this latest project was always clear. At the time there wasn’t a platform for the music he liked so he built one.

“The whole reason I do it is because when you actually get to the night and it gets to around 11 or 12, you see everything you’ve led up to over the last few months and people coming through the door for that one reason. That’s what keeps me going and that’s why I love what I do,” he exclaims, eyes alight.

It always helps when the crowd is so responsive that they pretty much obey anyone with stage access. Once at London’s Cable, Moller summoned the whole nightclub into raising their lighters whilst the technician turned off all the bulbs inside. The result was 1,000 mini glimmers staring back with impervious appreciation. Just as in any profitable business, if the product’s good people will continue to flock back. During our interview Moller mentioned an anonymous person that kept turning up early and being the last to leave. I took it upon myself to find this man with just a vague description and a Facebook account to hand. He was a gentleman of few words but in reply to a message he stated: “If you love the music, why not keep going back? I was offered free entry too but I refused”.

Yet behind the curtains of brand disciples and memorable evenings lies the nitty-gritty. The planning process is both long-winded and extremely time consuming. Finding and booking venues, promotion and practices on the night, which include everything from set times to co-ordinating security, are all necessary to even dream of anything near successful. Searching for artists can prove tricky too, especially around the festival-drenched summer months.

“Places like Bloc Festival have a six-week exclusivity either side, so you can’t book anyone playing at Bloc either side of them playing at the festival. For London promoters it makes life a lot more difficult.”

Then there’s the fact that like everything else in life it doesn’t always go to plan. With evident nostalgia, Moller dives into another story about the mastery of the last-minute man. “The last event I did, I left Cable club at 9:30 because I needed to use their printers. We opened at 10 so you can imagine how much I was running around.”

“You need to be able to accept the deepest losses. You might have a party and get one person through the door and lose £4,000, but be able to get up and throw another party. Sometimes promoters are a bit too scared to think outside the box.”

Dubstep pioneer Hatcha is also quick to champion those that deviate from the bog standard. “A good promoter is one that’s dedicated to their club life and that puts time into making a sick line-up without always going for the norm,” he belts down the phone line. “I’ve got some good relationships with quite a few of the promoters that I work with. Guys at Fabric, Sub Dub in Leeds and all the Vagabondz boys. These are all people that I talk to as friends.”

But back in 2008 the withering hand of the recession didn’t ignore the event organising industry. “It massively affected things. But it took people a little while to work out the ramifications”, explains Ajay Jayaram, former head of programming at Bloomsbury’s The End. “It’s like a domino effect because each single thing affects another.”

True to this, there was a considerable amount of people choosing to stay at home during those dire times. According to Mintel, the last recession of the early 1990s resulted in an averaged 14% loss of revenue for the clubbing industry. A figure which may seem tiny but when compared to the sector today would be deemed significant. Imagine the changes that partygoers’ lack of disposable incomes would have had on entrance and artist fees. Add to that the effect of the VAT increase and the imagery of tumbling dominoes began to gain lucidity.

But that’s the past. The future of clubbing is as promising as the rich vein with which dance music continues to raid the mainstream charts. The industry remains a convoluted one but a role that will always stay clear is that of the promoter. And funnily enough you’ll still probably ignore them as you purchase your drink at their night.





November 8, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog


Wannabe PLAYAS watch and learn!

November 6, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog


Wow this is a pretty awesome. This is what playing with 4 million volts of electricity looks like

October 29, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

Nightclub Door Staff Prank

Being at the door is a really tough job as we all know but consider yourself lucky not to have to get past this JEDI DOORMAN!



October 25, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

Dog Jumps off cliff!

There was a myth that pigs could fly well this video proves dogs can instead!



October 24, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

Unique way to ride a segway

October 22, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

JLS at Aura!

JLS-offer-their-advice-to-MK1-after-their-X-Factor-departure JLS-offer-their-advice-to-MK1-after-their-X-Factor-departure JLS-offer-their-advice-to-MK1-after-their-X-Factor-departure

Much like Tulisa, former X Factor stars JLS were pretty disappointed when so-called urban act MK1 were sent home over Kye Sones last night.

The group, who performed on the reality show prior to the sing-off, offered their advice to the duo on the Xtra Factor.

Aston Merrygold who was at Aura Nightclub said that he thought their exit was a “start for them” and suggested they should "stick together". He added:

“They have to move on and go 'what's next?'"

Bandmember Marvin Humes chipped in saying: "Someone's got to go, every week it's difficult to pinpoint the reason why... maybe they didn't connect with people at home."

When asked if MK1 have a future in the music business, Marvin seemed to think so:

"Yeah, I think they have. They were a band before they came into the show and they obviously had that solid unit and I enjoy watching them, I'm actually gutted they left. Hopefully they'll stick it out and keep going."

We’re not convinced – how many X Factor acts have gone on to be successful after getting booted out this early in the competition? Yeah, exactly.

Then, having doled out some words of wisdom to the dejected duo, Aston and Marvin headed out for a night with Tulisa (who stepped out looking like a giant sweet) at Aura Nightclub

October 16, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

Celebrities banned by nightclubs!

We all know celebrities get to party hard with all the money they have that gives them access to the amounts of booze and drugs that are unfathomable to us commoners. Not wanting a PR nightmare on their hands, most nightclubs just let these celebs blow off some stream with their reckless acts of debauchery that surely costs the venue a lot of money, but put up with all this as they feel honoured that celebs think enough of their club to go party there.

But believe it or not, sometimes even a celebrity can take things too far, and the people running the nightclub simply refuse to deal with that celeb’s crap anymore. Can’t really blame them though.

1. Britney Spears

Spears was banned from exclusive Hollywood nightclub Winston’s in October 2007. This was around the time when the world thought Britney went nuts, and it didn’t help that apparently Brit tried to force a bartender to swap dresses with her at a Halloween party the club held. You think this would’ve been enough of a lesson for Bit, but oops, she did it again in in March 2008 when she was also been from fellow Hollywood nightclub Villa because the club owners feared she would create a “media circus”. The idiots obviously didn’t realise having Britney there would give them free publicity!

2. Lindsay Lohan

It comes as no surprise LiLo’s on this list. This girl just can’t seem to keep out of trouble, making it very easy to forget she actually originally got famous from being in movies. Though she is no stranger to causing trouble at nightclubs, she was flat out banned from the Smoke & Mirrors nightclub at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood after supposedly getting into a fight with another patron. That only happened in early August 2012, so a new low for Low-han. But why does she cause all this trouble? Perhaps she’s just a mean girl.

3. Amanda Bynes

Only days after Lohan was banished, Bynes was also banned from Smokes and Mirrors after she arrived there just hours after being arrested for suspicion of a DUI in early August 2012. Maybe she should dress up as a boy like she did in She’s The Man to sneak in.

4. Paris Hilton

Paris was banned the Los Angeles nightclub LAX in December 2005 for bad mouthing her former bestie Nicole Richie. But why was a girl talking trash about another girl cause enough to get her banned? Nicole was dating the DJ working there! Talk about being at the wrong place at the wrong time!

October 10, 2012 Posted by admin in Blog

How to be a DJ?

Pick a Speciality

  1. 1
    Decide whether you want to be a crowd pleaser or a music specialist.
    • Crowd pleasing means playing songs that would, most likely, hit the taste of the biggest number of people in any given crowd. This style of DJing is best suited to private events, such as weddings or small parties.
    • A music specialist sticks to a particular genre of music, regardless of what the crowd demands. Usually, these DJs play nightclubs who have specific genre standards or they have an established following based on a certain type of music.

Gather Equipment

  1. 1
    Know what you need. If you plan to play for a venue that already has a DJ setup, you might only need a laptop with music mixing software. Some music mixing software may be hard to learn, but there are some people who love to use dubstep software. If you plan to play in private venues, you'll probably need to provide your own equipment. Scope out what you need and what you don't for your particular job.
  2. 2
    Start with the basics. A basic DJ setup includes two turntables (or two CD players), headphones, and a mixer. Later on, you can invest in speakers, a monitor, a MIDI controller, an audio interface, a mic, and various plug-ins.
  3. 3
    Augment your performance with software. These programs will enable you to access a library of MP3s on your hard drive to compliment your vinyl and CD selections. More often than not, these programs provide live looping and scratching capability, delays and reverbs, real-time control and video and karaoke options.
  4. 4
    Don't forget your home studio. Most DJs record demos, playlists and original music at home. Make sure the equipment you bring to the club compliments the equipment you use at home. For example, if you're a hip-hop DJ, you'll probably want to invest in a scratch/battle mixer at home to simulate a competition environment.
  5. 5
    Be economical. Don't invest in top-dollar equipment right away. Most of your money should be spent on turntables and a mixer. Forget the other stuff for now. And spend wisely. Buy your decks used and your mixer new

Learn the Craft

  1. 1
    Observe. Find a DJ whose style you admire and observe him or her as much as possible. Pay attention to how songs are constructed and how the crowd is managed. After you've watched them a few times, approach the DJ after the show and ask for a few tips. Most DJs will be happy to help guide you if they know you're serious.
  2. 2
    Learn to mix beats. Beat mixing involves maintaining a constant beat while moving from one song to another, and can be done with varying degrees of complexity. Some DJs pre-record mixes at home, while others mix beats live. Either way, the goal is keeping the music constant so that dancers can keep going without a pause.
    • Know the BPM of your songs. The beats per minute (BPM) of a song will determine how smoothly or easily you can mix it with another song. You can calculate BPM by counting the beats yourself and using a stopwatch. (Some mixers will have a BPM counter on the board.)
    • Learn the intros and outros. Most dance songs will have an intro, in which the music is going but the vocals are not, at the beginning of the song, and a corresponding outro at the end. Mixing usually means blending one song's intro with the outro of another. Knowing when an outro starts and an intro begins is critical to live beat mixing.
    • Cue up the second song. Have your second song ready to go as your first one is winding down. Use one hand on the turntable or CD player's pitch to adjust speed (if your BPMs don't match) and put the other on the crossfader, so that the first song's volume decreases as the second song's volume increases.
    • Keep it simple at first. When you're starting out, make mixing easier by sticking to two songs that are within 3 BPMs of each other. You can also use two songs that are in the same key.
  3. 3
    Learn about all genres of music. Often you may know of a couple hit songs in a few genres, but that is not enough. You need to be a music expert. Here's a list of genres to explore:
    • House
    • Trance
    • Techno
    • Electro
    • Progressive
    • Breakbeat
    • Hardcore
    • Downtempo
    • Dubstep
    • Drum and Bass
    • Jungle
    • Hip-Hop

There's alot more but just know all of them.


Start Performing

  1. 1
    Find a gig. Depending on how you want to advance your career, you could start playing small, private events for a low fee, or take a slow, weeknight shift at a club or bar. Ask a friend who's hosting a party if you can DJ. Be aware that if you're inexperienced, you won't make much money at first and you'll probably have to keep a second job.
  2. 2
    Know the crowd. Having an idea of who your crowd is before the event begins is critical to successful DJing. If you're playing a wedding, for instance, be prepared to play more slow songs than usual and try to get a grasp on the bride's musical tastes beforehand. If you're playing a nightclub, get familiar with what the club owner prefers and what his or her regulars like. The regulars keep the club afloat and, by extension, pay your fee; learn how to keep them happy.
    • Be careful with requests. If you're playing a nightclub that caters to a hip-hop crowd and you have a tourist or someone unfamiliar with the scene requesting a song that doesn't fit with the genre, consider carefully before you play it. Remember, your aim is to keep the core of the audience happy and coming back.
  3. 3
    Use the music to manage the event. Divide different styles of songs into different sections. Play slower, quieter songs at the beginning of the party. Slowly slip into a jazzier groove, and pull out the heavier songs at the end. Above all, read the crowd and notice what they're responding to.

    • Don't play mostly fast songs at a wedding. This will take away from the romantic atmosphere.
    • Don't play mostly slow songs at a gathering of kids. They will get bored fast.

Develop a Following

  1. 1
    Build your charisma. As a DJ, you are responsible for entertaining a large group of people all by yourself. The music you play is important, but you also need to pay attention to how you act on stage. Don't just stand there hunched over your decks. That's boring. Try to be someone who attracts attention in a good way. Also, learn when to step back and let the group dynamic take over.
  2. 2
    Be professional. Show up to your events on-time and fully prepared. Give each gig your best effort. Have fun with the crowd, but keep your interactions professional and respectful - you never know who's watching.
  3. 3
    Keep a busy schedule. As you're gaining a fan base, play as many shows as necessary to get your name out there. Book yourself on a tight schedule at first to keep your interest alive and your creativity fresh. 
  4. 4
    Develop a Web presence. If you don't have the time or money to build your own website, start an account for your DJing career on Twitter or Facebook. Promote your shows, and make time to connect with your fans and personally respond to their messages.

    • Make playlists. Build playlists on iTunes or Spotify and share them with your fans. This allows them to sample your musical tastes, and lets you introduce people to new music you want to incorporate into your shows.