#musicmonday Branding and The Darkroom .. #chicago #nightlife

Venues come and go. Some  owners are smart enough to reinvent when they are at their peak. We need to see venues as a business regardless to whether we are owners or subcontractors. Brands coming together to bring a particular theme and feel for events  or simply as employment must address the importance of team effort. Most of us still have yet to realize that once you step into social media you become a brand.(maybe we are this at birth lbs) The team that creates a nightlife experience is all inclusive. The venue owner, bar staff, djs, musicians, promoters and sound and lighting guy; all play a part of what makes this work.

As an independent brand, (dj for some) you’re only as good as the next event you get booked to play. If you aren’t creating your own (name) products, t shirts, cookies, mixes, events, music, and whatever; you are subject to becoming a very small factor. I started to address my djing as a full brand here. 


The Darkroom, which used to be in Ukrainian Village, was a very cool space. I was hired to simply spin what was cool at the moment, which was mostly house music. The market started changing and to continue forth I started creating a niche of my night. I always had a logo and business card for djing. One of the owners, Amy Terri inadvertently forced my hand. Event concepts and themes suddenly started to come to me. I had my bouts at The Darkroom. I started to culture events, I thought would be cool and fun enough to draw a crowd. I had some very important personal successes at The Darkroom. Bringing in vendors / artists friends, booking local talent, all under the effort to garner crowds and exposure. Surprisingly djs / promoters no longer get deals that allow them to create events and compensated in such a way. At it’s height the deal I had at darkroom was pretty lucrative.

I’ve been very blessed to keep long terms residencies and this spot was no exception. I think this is one of the experiences in hindsight that makes me who i am.

The climate has changed so much, to be able to create events, be given time and a budget to properly grow them is practically extinct.

Some really never address business as such until they have to OWN. Most  are postings random bs, as they are addicted to being seen for no reason. I see lots of people / brands, who won’t simply use social media to consistently promote their artful doings. 

So much to contend with and then there’s is money. It’s great when your making money. The ass kicking happens when you’re not.

Hmmm many looks would suggest, the darkroom and I definitely had a long term relationship. Lol (random order)

Higher aspirations have always lead me to want to own a venue. Our current markets in Chicago still has tons of stones unturned. The issues that I see are political and economical. Isn’t this always the case. Someone dared and or is daring to trying it. Hmmmm I’ll stay open minded about all possibilities.

This is in part why these 2 identities beneath exist. I am capable of helping other begin to map out how to attack their projects as brands. The artist especially has difficulty bringing ourselves to putting effort into promoting the products we create… I understand the need to have one hand wash the other..   



One comment

  1. Brandon Randall · October 18, 2015

    Awesome post! Reading and studying up on promotion.Timely!

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