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  • Behind the Scenes

Socially Distanced: DnB Allstars talk safety and how to put on the best socially distant events in London

  • By Ryan Moss

  • 08 Mar 2021
  • 5 min read

Following on in our series of interviews with promoters providing socially distant events across the UK, we spoke to Will Docherty, Event Manager from popular drum and bass label and event brand – DnB Allstars.

Covering everything from the impact of restrictions, on the brand’s ability to throw parties, Will told us how promoters can go about setting up their own socially distant events in London and his first-hand experience.

Tell us about your event

“We’ve run a few socially distanced drum and bass events in London at The Cause over the past year, having previously thrown full scale pre-COVID parties there. We’ve booked numerous artists to perform at our events, such as Born On Road, Bou and Kanine.

Our events take place outside the venue with the DJs playing live from inside. The atmosphere at our events has been surprisingly good, considering the lack of dancing and shouting etc. We’ve been pleasantly surprised by this.”

Logistically, how did your event change due to COVID?

“Our event changed in various different ways. The capacity of our events was significantly reduced. The 6 person same household rule also limited what we could do with table set ups. Entry to our events had to be staggered significantly, to ensure social distancing was maintained, and the sound and level of production we were able to offer also had to be reduced.”

Did you face any challenges working with your local council? If so, how did you overcome them?

“Working with our local council to organise our events was actually, to our surprise, very straight forward and uncomplicated. The most difficult hurdle we faced was adhering to the noise restrictions set out by the local governing body, as our event was held outside.”

What has been the general feedback by attendees for your socially distanced event?

“The feedback we have received has generally been very strong. I think people were just thankful to have an event to attend and experience, albeit a limited one, during this whole ordeal.”

In your view, how have you improved the entertainment in the local area?

“Throughout the past twelve months especially, just being able to throw these socially distanced parties has improved the entertainment in our local area tenfold. Along with various other local promoters, we’ve provided the public with something to enjoy and look forward to in this troubling time.

As for the standard of these socially distanced events, it doesn’t come anywhere remotely close to the events we previously managed. I sincerely hope that socially distanced events aren’t the long term solution for live music events going forward but it’s a way to adapt to keep everything afloat until we have full capacity again.” 

What has been your experience working with Skiddle to promote your socially distanced event?

“Our experience with Skiddle so far has been unblemished, they’ve been great partners for us. Their retargeting campaigns have been hugely helpful to us as a brand and for our past events. We’d recommend promoters use Skiddle because of this. From a customer care perspective, they’ve also handled all of our queries in a timely manner and helped us promptly to resolve any issues we’ve faced.”

As a trailblazer in the socially distant events space, what would you recommend to other promoters looking to set up their own SD event for the first time? What advice do you wish you had? 

“Use the same principles as you would organising and running an event in normal times. Produce the best experience/product you can. Hit your target market with quality advertising. Ensure the safety of your attendees by referencing the advice set out by the government.”

What can audiences expect to see from your events this year, now that things are looking up with the vaccine roll out and the potential roll out of rapid testing?

“Hopefully, post-COVID, we can get back to our normal large-scale operation. We’re already working on plans to take the DnB Allstar show on a full UK tour and possibly even abroad in the not too distant future.”

About Skiddle

Skiddle is currently the UK’s biggest What’s On guide, providing a free facility for event promoters across the UK to list their events online and sell tickets through our independent ticketing service. We currently work with over 35,000 UK and European promoters, at over 30,000 venues. We specialise in helping events through that critical growing phase by providing the marketing and technology support that you need. Start listing your events today!

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