Welcome to the latest edition of Six Questions With..., a weekly short and sharp interview with a live music figure. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to take part or recommend someone for inclusion.
This week's Q&A is with Dan Gayle, promoter of The Little Festival in London.
What was your first job in music/music related events?
The Little Festival project was my first role in the music industry. We - my close pals Oli, Mark, Alex and myself - decided to create the party initially to give ourselves the chance to play to an audience, up until that point we were just four bedroom DJs! The initial idea for the event was and still is to bring a festival feel to club spaces via extensive and well thought out production and cutting edge musical performances. The atmosphere is our priority, raves can sometimes be quite intimidating places, even more so when you get to the underground end of house and techno music. So our goal has always been to create a welcoming atmosphere for people no matter what their musical knowledge.
How long have you been in your current role?
TLF was born in 2013 so we’ve been working on the project just over four years now. In terms of roles, they’ve kind of evolved as time has gone on and we’ve moved from a hobby into a fully fledged business. The first couple of years we all tended to be doing a bit of everything and then at that point we started creating more defined roles. I love the business development side of things as I like to think about the long-term bigger picture and it’s great meeting people, building relationships and figuring out ways to try turn our future dreams into reality. We’ve expanded the team over the past 12-18 months too bringing on-board Nick, Rui, Kieren and Kym, and we’re excited for this next chapter of the story.
What is your favourite thing about working in the live music industry?
I think my personal favourite is seeing the creative visions that a team of people have thought about and put down on paper then come to life in reality, and then having thousands of people to come and share and experience those visions with you, has to top it. But the ideas of how to grow, improve and develop the concept never end…we want to always keep pushing our own boundaries and hopefully keep innovating. We’ve also meet some amazing people along the way and definitely have made some new long term friend. Fingers crossed we can have more of that in the future.
What is the one thing you would like to change about the business?
As I just mentioned, you do meet a lot of great people. However one of most challenging things that we encounter is that unfortunately some people are purely out for themselves. I think that stems from it being such a competitive industry, however I believe that being supportive of others, sharing ideas and positive collaboration are the keys to success in any part of life. Something that is really important to us (as simple as it may sound) is that we always strive to treat people how we would like to be treated, and that any deal that’s entered into should benefit all parties involved.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
From a DJ perspective, performing at Space Ibiza for Carl Cox Music Is Revolution event in its final year was a magical night and a dream come true. I’ll be forever grateful for that opportunity. From a promoting perspective, the first time we implemented our own full production rig, rather than hiring an external team, and hearing the amazing feedback from people that it was by far their favourite event to date, was a serious feel good moment as we so were nervous about taking on that responsibility.
What's the best gig you’ve ever been to?
There’s been a lot of great times over the years and some amazing memories too. But I’d have to say Space Ibiza closing in 2016 before it closed it’s doors for the final time was incredible. We queued for three hours to get in and came close a couple of times to just binning it off, but I’m so glad we battled through! The energy and atmosphere in the venue was like nothing else I’ve felt before. I think every single person in there knew they were a part of something special and those memories will stay with me forever.