We’ve all been there. You hear about this hot new club and you want nothing more than to be a part of it. Ok, maybe not all of us have been there but we’ve all at least thought about it. A night filled with alcohol, celebrity sightings, and hot new tracks.
When I first moved to New York I knew I had to try and be a part of it. With a brand new fake ID in my pocket, a tight little dress and a face slathered in make-up I made my way towards the red ropes.
Being the itty-bitty blonde that I am, I learned early in life to fake it till you make it. I mastered the art of talking my way in places and even mastered the art of free taxi rides to and from clubs. How did I do that? That’s a topic for another Blogpost.
I’ll be the first to admit that it gets exhausting though. Always being on high alert and spouting lies just to get in places. As fun as it is at first, as tiring as it gets after a while. That’s when I finally took a promoter up on his offer and gave him my number. I was all ready to block this dude at the first sign of trouble, I had heard sleazy stories and rumors about these guys that tried to get in young girls’ pants, or should I say, Herver Leger bandeaux dresses.
Boy, was I wrong. Of course there are sleaze bags. We’ve got those everywhere. Promoters work for a living just like the rest of us. Except for them the workday starts when most of us are in our PJ’s keeping up with those Kardashians.
Now you know how I first got in contact with promoters, you might be curious as to how a promoter actually becomes a promoter. How do you become the guy that everyone knows and wants to know? It takes a certain type of person to keep a club popular and I really wanted to know what type of person that was.
Peeked your interest? Good, because I am starting a new series of blogposts that from now on shall be known as – A Sneak Peek Into the Life of a Club Promoter. My goal is to interview a promoter from every major party city.
My very first victim is a twenty-something-Dutchie living it up in the Party Valhalla of the Middle East, Tel Aviv.
Meet Aron Vuysje
Where are you from?
The Netherlands, Amsterdam.
How long have you been living in Tel Aviv?
A little over three years.
How did you get your start as a promoter?
I never really planned to do this type of work. When I just moved to TLV I went out a lot. When one of my best friends was moving back to The States, we decided to organize a big rooftop party. This ended up being a huge success and another party followed.
A few months later, one of my friends asked me if I wanted to combine my birthday with a Halloween house party they were organizing. This became one of the best parties I’ve ever hosted in Israel. Over 300 people attended the party; the hallway of the apartment complex was packed with people trying to get in.
After the success of that party I was asked to join 2 friends to organize weekly parties on the Saturday night in one of the nicest boutique Hotels in Israel (Brown Hotel), this became a success and was how I started working as a promoter.
From there on, I moved to the Secret Garden, one of the classiest outside bars in TLV. Over time, I got multiple offers from other places and since then I have worked/work in some of the biggest clubs in Israel (Bootleg, the Clara, Kuli Alma). Now that the summer is starting again many new places are opening and I can’t wait to see what’s next!
How long have you been doing this type of work?
Three years now.
How do you prepare?
Most of the work is before the actual party starts. For example, I keep an eye on all the big events, birthdays, friends from abroad that are coming etc. The key to a good party is being prepared and knowing what to expect during the night of the party. If your preparation is good, you can focus a 100% on being a host during the night instead of focusing on what still needs to happen.
What do you do during the night?
The most important part is making sure everyone is having a good time and to create a good atmosphere. This is pretty much a given for me, as I love being surrounded by friends. The more I enjoy myself, the easier it is to create a good vibe and let everyone around you enjoy themselves too.
Obviously, it’s also important to make sure that everything goes smootly when bottles, tables and special events are booked. The guest shouldn’t have to worry about anything. All they should be doing is having a great time.
Does it pay well?
There is not really an answer to this question, as every place pays different (some give a base, others a percentage over the whole night, and others again just a percentage over the tables you book).
In general, it is as most other jobs, the better you do the more money you make. There is definitely a potential to make a lot of money, but you do need to perform to be able to get that.
Do you enjoy the work?
I love it!
What would you say was your worst experience on the job?
The worst experience I had was during a Purim Party. All the preparations were made according to the licenses given by the government, but one police officer at the location decided to make a “judgment call” during the party and obligated us to close the door, while there were still hundreds of people standing outside that bought tickets. I’ve never had so many people scream and be upset with me. Obviously, we gave everyone their money back, but that was a horrible experience.
What was the best experience?
The most fun experience was meeting my, now, girlfriend. We currently live together and she supports me in all my shenanigans. Even when I’m entirely stressed about one of the parties I need to organize she remains understanding and helpful.
Another great experience, was my birthday party during one of the lines I organize at Bootleg. It was a perfect night. A total of 1800 people came, spread out over the entire night. The entrance went smooth, all my close friends came and we had a great night all together.
Now, tell us about your weirdest experience?
I guess one of the weirdest experiences I have had was when a whole group of people came in excited to see me, except, I had no idea who they were. After a conversation we found out that I look exactly like their friend (I saw the pictures and the freaky part is I actually do look like him) Since then, I have had many people come up to me and calling me by his name, thinking I was him.
Why do you think most promoters are guys?
That’s a tough question to answer. I do know some female promoters but I have to admit that most club promoters are guys. It’s interesting because this job would be easier for girls. It’s easier for a girl to walk up to a group of women and invite them to a party without it being misconstrued. I know plenty of female promoters here in Israel that do an amazing job. I guess it might be because women could end up with unwanted attention in this job. Honestly, these are just guesses from what I’ve heard.
Where do you like to go out?
I go out pretty much everywhere. When I’m not working I like to leave it up to my friends and join wherever they want to go. As long as I’m with friends I have a great time anywhere I go. Also, the more new places you try, the more people you get to know, and those people can come to your events.
For those of you who need advice where to go when coming to Tel Aviv feel free to send me a message on FB (Aron Vuysje)
Do people treat you different now?
I would say most people don’t, but you always have a few trying to take advantage and who expect to get everything for free.
But luckily the majority are amazing and became close friends of mine, which makes it much more fun to see them everywhere.
What is the worst thing you ever did in a club?
I’m going to keep this one private 😉
Any advice for people that want to get into this line of work?
Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Being reliable is the key to getting people to come back and be successful.
For the rest, networking is the most important part of the job. The more people you know the more people you can bring. So, get out there, start talking with strangers and make new friends
Work hard party harder.
Do you have any other questions for our promoter in the hot seat? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll promise to get you your answer.
I hope you enjoyed the first installment in the A Sneak Peek series. Do you know/are a promoter with fascinating nightlife stories or valuable life lessons? Tell them to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through the website.