image of nightclub with clubbers dancing in the foreground and orange lighting

How to organise a nightclub event

Written by Tim Andresen (Culture Box, Denmark)

 

Organising a one off event or establishing a night that will one day be the stuff of legends all start off the same - with some basic good business, market knowledge, passion, good music and an eye for detail. Who better to offer so real advice on running a club night than Denmark's Tim Andresen, the DJ, label owner, producer has run monthly nights at Culture Box since 2005 and co-running the venue as a partner since 2016, establishing it one of the strongest club brands across Europe with a diverse and always impressive DJ line up.

 

How do you choose the right venue?

 

The venue is important and needs a good reputation. You need to get along with the venue owners, the staff and security and build a trustful relationship. You also need to know the venue owners are in it for the right reasons and vice versa. Bear in mind, both parts need to bring something to the table to make the partnership successful and something to last for more than just a short period of time. The venue needs to have the same focus and similar priorities like you and the crowd you are looking to bring in. If you’re bringing your posh bottle service crowd to a demolished underground venue there’s obviously a mismatch. Apart from that, it’s always important with a high quality soundsystem, lights and an option to match your visual requests. People have high expectations these days and you want the music and visual experience to be as good as possible. Logistics and prices at the venue are important to keep an eye on as well. You don’t want people to be queuing up for 90 minutes outside, waiting 30 mins when ordering a super expensive beer at the bar or not be able to pay the toilet a visit. Choosing the wrong venue once can result in people to stop following you in the future.

 

How do you book DJ’s?

 

I have always had a quality mix of label artists, good friends of the label, big headliners and brand new talents. I try to book both young as well as experienced DJs and prefer long sets wherever possible. My monthly What Happens nights at Culture Box have been running since 2007 and been the early playground for artists like Denis Horvat, Christian Nielsen, Nandu and Radeckt to name a few. They all cut their teeth here before anyone really heard of them internationally. Add to that, I’ve had an endless list of international superstar DJs including Nick Warren, Guy J, Joris Voorn, Nic Fanciulli, Steve Lawler, Amelie Lens, Nicole Moudaber, Pleasurekraft, the list goes on. Some are being booked directly where as others are booked through agencies. It’s all about finding your own formula and work with those that you and the crowd like.

 

How much should I pay the DJs?

 

It all depends. Find a fair price that will keep you all happy. Smaller local DJs and friends are usually willing to help and play at very reasonable fees when they get onboard. When it comes to big international headliner names, it’s important to get in touch well in time and be good at negotiating with the booking agents. A certain knowledge of the scene and booking artists in general will benefit you a lot. A good reputation and relationship with a booking agent can save you lots of time, stress, money and quite often get you wellknown DJs at decent prices too. If you have no idea of how to approach a booking and the agent puts out his price first, you can always rely on it to be a lot higher than what you actually need to pay at the end. Your counter offer still has to be respectful though. Otherwise the booking is not likely to happen. Work your way closer to each other but always have a backup plan or two in case you’re not getting the desired act confirmed which happens more often than not. Key things to have in mind; Don’t mess up. Act fast on the paperwork. Read the contract and the tech and hospitality rider sent to you to avoid any mistakes. Keep the deadlines and pay the invoices on time.

 

How much should I charge for tickets?

 

Charge enough to make money in the long run. You shouldn’t over charge and scare people away even before you get started and proved yourself. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and you need enough people to make a quality night and make venue owners happy. In regards to the ticket price, it all comes down to the area, the lineup, the show, the venue and your regular crowd. If the clubbers walk out Sunday morning and had the time of their life, I’m sure the ticket price isn’t the first thing they worry about. But it’s key to build up the trust so don’t push the price high without offering something in return.

 

How do you promote the event?

 

These days it’s mostly online promotion on the socials for us. Pics and videos from previous nights can be useful documentation but there are venues, nights and crowds that dislike the use of cameras so be careful. Videos and recorded sets played by the artists at other venues or festivals is also great content to use in your promotion leading up to your event. Personal content from the artists involved is another winner. If possible try to arrange features in the press such as articles, interviews and podcasts. Be active and be creative. Know how to use the various platforms and don’t be afraid to share personal stories wherever it makes sense to hype things up. People want to hear more from you than just silly one-liners. However, the easiest way to get the venue busy is word-by-mouth so make sure to have some reliable ambassadors and people around you. Always remember if the crowd is pleased with what you do they'll continue to come and support the parties you arrange. Your close friends are likely to support you at the beginning but that will end one day so look a little further and create your own network and grow it continuously.

 

In some countries or areas and for some parties the use of street promotion can be essential although to be honest it’s not something we use a lot here at Culture Box or in Copenhagen these days.

 

What makes a good event?

 

The short answer: a great up-for-it crowd and some skilled DJs who know how to create magical moments. Many DJs can beatmatch two records but few can take crowds to another level.

 

What else do I need to think of?

 

Have your company established and ready so paperwork is not an issue or gets you in some kind of trouble later on. It’s the boring part of the job but necessary when starting your own business.

 

If you’re starting up with someone else, make sure the rules and expectations are 100% clear to all of you. Too many friendships in this industry have been broken due to bad planning before the start of something new.

 

Pay attention to political subjects. Clubbing has now become a global phenomenon and with that follows responsibility. It can be anything from a fair gender representation on the musical lineups to all sorts of environmental challenges.

 

Always stay true to your own thoughts and ideas but don't be afraid to make changes if needed. What is a success now may not be next year.

 

Last but not least, always be prepared to pay money out in advance while also accept to lose money in case things don’t go according to plan. Make sure to pay everyone what you promised even if you don’t break even. You are responsible. No one else. And if things go well for you, please remember to keep both feet on the ground.

 

Enjoy the great moments.

 

More like this

image of nightclub with clubbers dancing in the foreground and orange lighting
image of nightclub with clubbers dancing in the foreground and orange lighting

How to organise a nightclub event

Written by Tim Andresen (Culture Box, Denmark)

 

Organising a one off event or establishing a night that will one day be the stuff of legends all start off the same - with some basic good business, market knowledge, passion, good music and an eye for detail. Who better to offer so real advice on running a club night than Denmark's Tim Andresen, the DJ, label owner, producer has run monthly nights at Culture Box since 2005 and co-running the venue as a partner since 2016, establishing it one of the strongest club brands across Europe with a diverse and always impressive DJ line up.

 

How do you choose the right venue?

 

The venue is important and needs a good reputation. You need to get along with the venue owners, the staff and security and build a trustful relationship. You also need to know the venue owners are in it for the right reasons and vice versa. Bear in mind, both parts need to bring something to the table to make the partnership successful and something to last for more than just a short period of time. The venue needs to have the same focus and similar priorities like you and the crowd you are looking to bring in. If you’re bringing your posh bottle service crowd to a demolished underground venue there’s obviously a mismatch. Apart from that, it’s always important with a high quality soundsystem, lights and an option to match your visual requests. People have high expectations these days and you want the music and visual experience to be as good as possible. Logistics and prices at the venue are important to keep an eye on as well. You don’t want people to be queuing up for 90 minutes outside, waiting 30 mins when ordering a super expensive beer at the bar or not be able to pay the toilet a visit. Choosing the wrong venue once can result in people to stop following you in the future.

 

How do you book DJ’s?

 

I have always had a quality mix of label artists, good friends of the label, big headliners and brand new talents. I try to book both young as well as experienced DJs and prefer long sets wherever possible. My monthly What Happens nights at Culture Box have been running since 2007 and been the early playground for artists like Denis Horvat, Christian Nielsen, Nandu and Radeckt to name a few. They all cut their teeth here before anyone really heard of them internationally. Add to that, I’ve had an endless list of international superstar DJs including Nick Warren, Guy J, Joris Voorn, Nic Fanciulli, Steve Lawler, Amelie Lens, Nicole Moudaber, Pleasurekraft, the list goes on. Some are being booked directly where as others are booked through agencies. It’s all about finding your own formula and work with those that you and the crowd like.

 

How much should I pay the DJs?

 

It all depends. Find a fair price that will keep you all happy. Smaller local DJs and friends are usually willing to help and play at very reasonable fees when they get onboard. When it comes to big international headliner names, it’s important to get in touch well in time and be good at negotiating with the booking agents. A certain knowledge of the scene and booking artists in general will benefit you a lot. A good reputation and relationship with a booking agent can save you lots of time, stress, money and quite often get you wellknown DJs at decent prices too. If you have no idea of how to approach a booking and the agent puts out his price first, you can always rely on it to be a lot higher than what you actually need to pay at the end. Your counter offer still has to be respectful though. Otherwise the booking is not likely to happen. Work your way closer to each other but always have a backup plan or two in case you’re not getting the desired act confirmed which happens more often than not. Key things to have in mind; Don’t mess up. Act fast on the paperwork. Read the contract and the tech and hospitality rider sent to you to avoid any mistakes. Keep the deadlines and pay the invoices on time.

 

How much should I charge for tickets?

 

Charge enough to make money in the long run. You shouldn’t over charge and scare people away even before you get started and proved yourself. You never get a second chance to make a first impression and you need enough people to make a quality night and make venue owners happy. In regards to the ticket price, it all comes down to the area, the lineup, the show, the venue and your regular crowd. If the clubbers walk out Sunday morning and had the time of their life, I’m sure the ticket price isn’t the first thing they worry about. But it’s key to build up the trust so don’t push the price high without offering something in return.

 

How do you promote the event?

 

These days it’s mostly online promotion on the socials for us. Pics and videos from previous nights can be useful documentation but there are venues, nights and crowds that dislike the use of cameras so be careful. Videos and recorded sets played by the artists at other venues or festivals is also great content to use in your promotion leading up to your event. Personal content from the artists involved is another winner. If possible try to arrange features in the press such as articles, interviews and podcasts. Be active and be creative. Know how to use the various platforms and don’t be afraid to share personal stories wherever it makes sense to hype things up. People want to hear more from you than just silly one-liners. However, the easiest way to get the venue busy is word-by-mouth so make sure to have some reliable ambassadors and people around you. Always remember if the crowd is pleased with what you do they'll continue to come and support the parties you arrange. Your close friends are likely to support you at the beginning but that will end one day so look a little further and create your own network and grow it continuously.

 

In some countries or areas and for some parties the use of street promotion can be essential although to be honest it’s not something we use a lot here at Culture Box or in Copenhagen these days.

 

What makes a good event?

 

The short answer: a great up-for-it crowd and some skilled DJs who know how to create magical moments. Many DJs can beatmatch two records but few can take crowds to another level.

 

What else do I need to think of?

 

Have your company established and ready so paperwork is not an issue or gets you in some kind of trouble later on. It’s the boring part of the job but necessary when starting your own business.

 

If you’re starting up with someone else, make sure the rules and expectations are 100% clear to all of you. Too many friendships in this industry have been broken due to bad planning before the start of something new.

 

Pay attention to political subjects. Clubbing has now become a global phenomenon and with that follows responsibility. It can be anything from a fair gender representation on the musical lineups to all sorts of environmental challenges.

 

Always stay true to your own thoughts and ideas but don't be afraid to make changes if needed. What is a success now may not be next year.

 

Last but not least, always be prepared to pay money out in advance while also accept to lose money in case things don’t go according to plan. Make sure to pay everyone what you promised even if you don’t break even. You are responsible. No one else. And if things go well for you, please remember to keep both feet on the ground.

 

Enjoy the great moments.

 

image of nightclub with clubbers dancing in the foreground and orange lighting