Promoters are the unsung heroes of the music world. While we happily gaze in awe at every rock band onstage or bump-and-grind to the sounds of the latest DJ, we rarely think of the people behind the scenes who work to bring our present and future faves all the way down to Miami. And in the city's male-dominated party industry, we don't often expect to encounter women.
“Here in Miami, we have very few of them,” promoter Rebecca Lange, better known as Becks, says of the lack of female party promoters in South Florida. “It’s an honor, I guess, to represent the women as well.”
Becks is one of Miami's few female promoters, and she's also one of the best. For ten years, her agency, PL0T, has held events that are consistently more interesting than much of the commercial, machismo-infected parties on the Miami nightlife scene. Her expertise has made her the subject of an episode of the Red Bull Music series Inspire the Night, which releases today on YouTube. The feature puts her in league with events such as Chicago’s Canvas and Los Angeles' A Club Called Rhonda.
“To be among people that I actually personally admire myself,” she says of the video, “that was definitely humbling and inspiring.”
Born in Venezuela, Becks spent much of her life in geographical transience. During her childhood, her family moved frequently because of her parents’ work in air travel. They eventually settled in Miami shortly after Hugo Chávez took power at home.
Later, a job as a visual merchandising manager for Louis Vuitton shuttled her around the globe, where she encountered eclectic, wide-ranging music scenes in London, New York, Berlin, and elsewhere.
“I find travel very inspirational,” she says. “I’d rather invest in a trip than invest in a bunch of things. That’s where a lot of the work that I do or try to re-create comes from.”
Working with a close group of friends, Becks founded PL0T in 2007 as an attempt to re-create the same type of scene she saw abroad. At the time, there was no outlet in Miami for what she begrudgingly calls "underground" music ("I hate the word"), and the friends spontaneously decided to work their connections. Their first booking was crate-digging duo Soul Clap at White Room, now 1306 Miami. Another early bill presented Seth Troxler at an art gallery.
“It was born out of the necessity of going to parties that we wanted to do,” she says, “and one day we just said, ‘Why don’t we just throw a party?’”
Ten years on, PL0T's promoters continue to produce excellent lineups and earn plaudits for their curatorial palate. They have yet to establish an official club night or residency out of a desire to maintain their position and integrity in the music market. They make their choices based on what they think is about to break, but also out of the enthusiasm they have for an artist, searching for ways to simultaneously invest in both the performer and the local scene. Usually, this means putting likeminded local and out-of-town talent on the same bill, but occasionally Becks and company invite their bookings to dinner so artists can meet, socialize, and build connections, linking the Miami scene with the rest of the globe.
“That’s been the philosophy,” Becks says: “How can we push what we believe are the sounds of tomorrow?”
Becks and her PL0T crew are planning a series of events celebrating the company's tenth anniversary. They’re also working on a two-day "boutique event" for this year’s edition of Art Basel. It will be difficult to top last year, when they curated a Resident Advisor showcase featuring Floating Points, Dâm-Funk, and the Black Madonna, as well as other events covered in the episode. Expect details in June.