In our new section ‘Promoter’s Corner’ we feature promoters around the globe that are hosting trance artisits in their country. Here’s an inspiring story of Violeta Boneva who runs Tranc3motion in Sofia, Bulgaria. In a few months they have hosted the likes of Photographer, Dennis Sheperd, Indecent Noise, RAM, Sean Tyas and more! Here’s how
Hi Violeta, welcome to Trance Hub. You are the first promoter we are talking to as a part of our ‘Promoters corner’ section.
Hi! Thank you so much for inviting me, this is exciting! J
- Tell us which was your last gig and which one is the next?
Oh last gig was one that we are still recovering from. It was actually a double hit – we did a thing called Tranc3motion weekend in June – Photographer on Friday and Indecent Noise for Saturday. Frankly after that one we needed a few months of a break, still collecting ourselves, was amazing. Next one comes in September and we are taking the big guns out in the face of Aly & Fila. It is the second time I am having them over, so this will be a great way to start off the cold season.
- What is your background, do you still have a full time job?
Oh I do so many things actually. I do have my 9-5 kinda job, I work in IBM and I manage the commercials of Design & Construction of Data Centers deals – pricing, contracts, negotiation, all goes through me. Quite a challenging job, but never dull for sure. I am also a TV Host in a local TV Station, I host a musical segment in a show called NEXT TV – I do interviews, video reports, events coverage, pretty much the dream job :) Also I am the operations manager of a Gaming Lounge that we do with NEXT TV, its an event every Tuesday where we meet up in a local club and play some games, we have PCs, consoles, all sorts of tournaments, it’s a lovely thing to do after work. And that’s not everything, I work with some DJs and manage their socials, as well as a few local FB pages. Never a dull moment!
- Tranc3motion is a crowd funded organisation, how does the commercials work
I started doing events in 2013, but at one point I couldn’t handle everything on my own, or well, with minimum help. Inspired by a similar organization in Belarus I decided to engage the fans and make them a part of it. Since I couldn’t finance the events alone anymore (as we do not have any sponsors or investors), I set up something like a petition – if you want to continue experiencing those events in Bulgaria, become a part of it. Surprisingly it worked Quickly we were like 30 people, and now with each gig we grow, we are now over 50. We set up a quarter membership, so each quarter we have a budget which we use to do our bookings.
Of course its not much and we can’t really afford the big guys, but some of the agencies are very cooperative. Bulgaria it’s a new market and at this point there is no one else who would book any trance names aside the A-list. We opened an account especially for the event’s financials, we have a private group on Facebook where all the decision making is happening, as well as any discussions about the gigs, and we have google sheets to control financials – all income and the entire spent. Our target is to have 6 events per year, however we have already done more than these and we are just halfway through :) In exchange for the help of each contributor I set up meet & greets, dinners, autographs & so on for each one of them. That way not only they are involved in the making of this event, but they also get to meet their heroes personally. It’s rewarding to see that at the end of the day.
- Do you remember your first gig? who was the artist and how was your experience?
I do remember my first gig, up to one point, ha ha! We had ASOT 600 in Bulgaria and we messaged all the DJs who played for a meet & greet. Dennis Sheperd came out for dinner with us, which was great. The day after the show we did some sightseeing, introduced him to Bulgarian cousine and we all had such a lovely time that we made a joke “hey, we should bring you for a solo night”. Just over 2 months later Dennis was once again in Bulgaria and the event had the biggest attendance to date. I was so shocked of the success! So I said to myself – why the hell not. We had such a blast that night.
- Are there any artists you are really keen to host?
I fulfilled my dream of bringing my favorite DJ and producer – Sean Tyas. If you were to tell me 7 years ago when I first got in touch with his magic that I will be the one making his debut in Bulgaria happen, I would have laughed at you. But hey, it happened. Now its all about fulfilling other people’s dreams and we are getting there. I’d love to bring Kearney, Solarstone, Orjan Nilsen, John Askew.. we are just starting, we will go through all of them! J
- What is the most difficult part of being a promoter – booking an artist or managing club’s expectations?
I have been very lucky with the clubs I have worked so far. Except for Aly&Fila all of them have been in the same place and we have had a great relationship there and we have had the freedom to do whatever we want. I have heard stories about American clubs for example demanding these surreal amounts from the bar, which is insane and if that would to happen here, we will never be able to make an event happen. I think the most difficult thing actually is to manage your own expectations. Sometimes in order to book some of these artists we go through over 8-10 months of negotiations, simply because our budget is smaller than other people’s, so we kind of have to fit in when there is no better option, but we understand that and we are patient about it. Like I said some of the agencies are quite badass, for example I LOVE to work with Assured, as it doesn’t really feel like business there, whilst with other you have to be way more diplomatic, but that’s just how things are. You arm yourself with patience.
- Which is your favourite festival and why?
Luminosity. Although in the past 2 years it has grown quite a lot for my taste, I do love it because there everyone knows each other and its like this big family gathering. I hate the big festivals, its insane, its over the top, its too many people, and I can not enjoy it at all. I do not need the A-list, I just need a good company, some good DJs and a lot of space to dance!
- Could you share any tips for young promoters who are looking at getting into artists booking and gig promotions?
Like I said above – arm yourself with patience. It is a very difficult business. There are times where you need to be very nice, and sometimes you just need to stomp your foot on the ground, because the job of a booking agent is to get the most from you. I am myself very naive and I have learned some things the hard way. It is definitely not roses and unicorns and if you have someone to give you a reality check at times – do not hesitate to keep them right by your side. Take your time and do not act on emotions and excitement. And I think the crowd funded thing is the best you can do and hopefully it will inspire your local promoters to invest in doing even bigger trance events, at least that’s what we hope for. I have seen many people on twitter “oh there is no one here to bring XYZ Dj”. Then do it yourself! Gather up some other fans, talk with clubs, see what you can do. Get involved and make a change.
Organizations like ours are the proof that when people with common interests get together, amazing stuff can happen. If we were to sit down and wait for someone to do it for us, we would have never seen Dennis Sheperd (3 times!), Aly & Fila (2 times), Sied van Riel, Max Graham, Alex di Stefano, Nifra, Arcalis (2 times), Driftmoon (2 times), Martin Roth, Photographer, Sean Tyas, RAM & Indecent Noise in Bulgaria. We would have never given the opportunity of local Trance DJs to play alongside their favorite DJs. We would have never had the opportunity to sit down and have dinner and exchange some fun stories with each and every one of them. All the stress is worth it when you see the smiles and happy tears on people’s faces during their favorite tracks.
Follow Violeta on twitter