I've been navigating the alcohol-infused waters of the Miami nightlife since I was 16-years-old. In total, I've spent 25 years in Miami club land. And for a good chunk of those I've been working as a promoter for various musicians and parties all around the Magic City.
I put together this guide In an attempt to curb the constant onslaught of text messages I get from that guy I last spoke to in the middle school cafeteria line who still thinks he shouldn't have to pay a cover fee because he lent me an apple that one time. The life of a promoter can be hell on your iPhone. Every minute before a show my phone is dinging more than a woodpecker using a doorbell.
Damn, homie, chill with that shit. I'm always glad to show love to my fellow creatures of the night, but I want to be clear: I am in no way the patron saint of broke-ass hipsters. With that being said, here are some tips I've accumulated in my years of promoting on what to do and what not to do to get in to a show for free.
Show the door guy some love. He's had a long night.
Photo by Anuj Biyani via Flickr CC
1. Do grease the door guy.
It's been my experience that when you actually acknowledge another human being rather than treating them like a vending machine, you are more likely to get something out of them. For example, when I was on the club kid come up trail, I would never go to Churchill's Pub without bringing a sandwich for Mr. C the door guy. It's called club courtesy, people. Support your local door man's stomach!
You're not fooling anyone, Annie Leibovitz
Photo by Martinmaniac via Wikipedia Commons
2. Don't pretend to be a photographer.
A sure fire way not to get in my show for free is by showing up at the door flapping your gums with a camera around your neck. Stop fronting like you're Terry Richardson or some shit and get new batteries for that played out hustle because it ain't got no juice. Your busted DSLR isn't fooling anyone.
Get online and spread the word.
Photo via pexels.com
3. Do lift a finger.
It's a concept that hasn't really caught on here in the MIA, but in other places around the world people actually support others around them. My fellow Miamians, I implore you to put down your glasses of Haterade and send out some Facebook invites. Spread the word about the show or just stroke the promoter's ego a bit. Do something to put forth an effort to demonstrate you are willing to contribute to the music scene and I'm sure you will find yourself on the list in no time. Now drink tickets, well that's another story.
We're sure you're "best friends" with the owner, but you still have to wait in line.
Photo by Ian Witlen
4. Don't tell the door staff you "know the promoter."
If the people throwing the show are in fact "your people," then text or call them ahead of time to make sure you are on the list. Oye bro, no one likes a name dropper, especially when you don't even know the name of the person you are trying to drop.
Is this Maria? Who knows, but it's worth a shot!
Photo by epSos .de via Flickr CC
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5. Do pretend to deliver food to Maria.
When all else fails and you've exhausted all avenues and you are left without any connects, find yourself an old pizza box and proceed to the front door. Say you are there to deliver food to "Maria." This is Miami, so chances are there is some hungry chick named Maria working the venue. Once inside, ditch the pie and enjoy the show.