This article is the third in a collaborative series with Astro Audio Video Lighting (AVL), one of Los Angeles' leading retailers, installers and integrators for audio, video and lighting equipment. These articles will provide insights into how the Astro AVL team has used X-Laser systems to fit their clients' needs in all sorts of entertainment and production disciplines.
By Cypher, Sales Manager / DJ Instructor / Installation Designer & Foreman at Astro AVL
The Mobile DJ - Plant the seed
I’ve found that for many DJs, lasers tend to be generally toward the tail end of lighting purchase upgrades when it comes to their priority list for a sufficient mobile DJ setup. We see this all the time at our store; Los Angeles’ first DJ and lighting shop for entertainers gradually growing in their craft and looking for the optimal DJ gear bundles.
There is an observable growth cycle in a DJ's purchasing habits. Their first concern is achieving quality sound: loudspeakers, dj consoles, subwoofers etc. This is natural because it’s what they can assess, value and relate to the most.
Then they move to wash lighting because that gear essentially qualifies them to be an eligible vendor for higher-paying formal gigs like weddings or corporate events. It’s usually after they’ve checked these boxes and want to scale up to more robust presentations that they realize their production value is missing a key component: party-rocking lasers.
X-Laser recognizes this market and the White Label series is fair play for that demographic in need of elevating their beginner DJ setup. That mobile DJ is ready to invest in something that will pack enough punch to make them gladly ditch the $99 laser they bought years ago as a beginner DJ. The audience response they receive after the first few laser-infused live gigs will give them all the endorphins they need to feel confident in their X-Laser purchase and will bring them back for more.
Getting Booked for Electronic Music & Other Live Music Events
Some music genres just simply go hand-in-hand with lasers. If you get the opportunity to provide the lighting production for an EDM concert or festival, that means you have already proven yourself as a professional in your craft.
But for many aspiring production companies or independent lighting designers planning on expanding into these new territories, this journey may be best begun by shooting for less-mainstream venues that bring in top performers, such as colleges and universities.
During my college years on the East Coast at Rutgers University, I was the Sound Tech Vice Chair of their Music Programming Council. I dealt primarily with fulfilling tech riders and quite often they were for high-profile artists you wouldn’t normally expect to play at a local college.
If you can properly uncover the right individual in charge of booking vendors for school shows and can establish a working relationship with that person, then you are presented with an excellent opportunity to build some great artist-related brand name recognition. This is gold if you’re currently working on your resume as a lighting production service.
Over time as the manager of Astro AVL, things have come full circle for me as I frequently observe the ongoing correspondences for event production plans passing between our rental department and the surrounding local universities. Quite often they encompass Astro AVL providing sound, lighting and lasers for well-known acts in those aforementioned genres, but aren’t largely publicized as they cater to the enlisted students of the institution.
I’ll use the electronic music artist A-Trak for this example, where we recently provided a powerful and dazzling laser show to transform an otherwise ordinary multipurpose room (MPR) setting into a properly stageworthy presentation. It was quite fitting for the touring talent who's jumping from premier clubs to smaller-scaled productions as they fill in gig dates on their travel calendar.
Use this information to your advantage to better understand your clients, and you will find the opportunities needed to close the deal with these institutions. In my next blog, I will discuss the independent designer’s needs and additional resources you have at your fingertips to tap into the lighting production market.
ABOUT ASTRO AVL
Astro AVL has been a landmark resource in the entertainment industry since 1974. As LA’s first and original DJ store, it has helped legendary and local artists launch their careers and has provided Hollywood's top production studios with the tools they need to bring their sets to life through visual artistry. Beyond sales, Astro offers a rentals & repair service department and a school for educational instruction in DJing, Music Production, and Lighting Programming. The company also designs and executes customized systems across hallmark LA venues and nationwide chains. If you find yourself in Los Angeles, Astro AVL invites you to check out its award-winning showrooms. To learn more about Astro AVL, please visit astroavl.com today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cypher has 20 years of experience as a DJ and as a producer with track releases on five internationally recognized record labels. Along with performing for venues from NYC to LA he designs audio and lighting systems, giving him a wide base of knowledge of products in the entertainment industry. He is the Manager, Lead DJ Instructor, and Installation Foreman of Astro Audio Video Lighting in Glendale, California.
To see all of the blog posts in this series, click here for the archive.