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Rory Phillips
© Sam Benjafield

Five tips for club promoters by Rory Phillips

The man behind some of London’s best nights including Trash and Durrr tells us the five things all promoters need to know

By Time Out editors

1. Don’t try and tear the roof off as soon as the doors open.

Your party is a chance to showcase the music that you love, but remember: you have the whole night. Nobody wants to walk into a club at 10pm where the music thinks it’s 4am. Treat the warm-up slot as a chance to dig deeper, but keep a plan B in place for when that cosmic Turkish funk record doesn’t go down as well as you thought it would.

2. Remember: bums are for sitting as well as shaking.

Music is key of course, but lighting, mood and visuals are all equally important. Plus, as one of the co-promoters of Durrr taught me, it’s good to have somewhere for the girls and boys in heels to sit down.

3. Take good care of your talent.

Your artists are your guests, so make sure they are fed and watered. Keep an eye out for the smaller items on their rider. Things I’ve had to hunt for include postcards, razors and ‘a small plastic snowglobe of the locale’.

4. Try and spring the odd surprise on your punters.

In 2006 we wanted to book a band called The Coachwhips for Trash, but they already had a show that night. We put them on anyway without telling a soul – loading their gear through a packed crowd, setting up in the corner and letting rip. It caught everybody unawares and made for an unforgettable night.

5. Don’t forget: the club is the star.

Booking big names can ensure a busy club, but relying on them is short-sighted. Finding new acts that excite you, alongside solid resident DJs and the occasional superstar, will ensure people trust the night and return regardless of your guests. The best clubs are social spaces all of their own and goodwill is the best hype of all.


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