With Raver’s Flu doing it’s best to take control of my body and the sound system safely back on UK soil, I’ll try to throw down whatever comes to mind surrounding this year’s Vocal Booth Weekender.
The most important thing to get out of the way from the off is that, as many have already claimed across Facebook, it was another contender for “The Best One Yet”. For people to say this, year after year, is just incredible and makes all the hard work worth it… and this year there was a LOT of hard work !
Plans get under way for each event no sooner than the last one has finished and in this case I had DJs confirmed for VB2016 even BEFORE one track had been played on Sept 11. Such is the demand now from some of the world’s finest to join us.
The run up to VB2015 was a strange one this year, I can’t put my finger on why. With the ‘formula’ already in place after 6 events now, the organisation follows a steady plan yet I always find ways to make life harder. Ticket sales were always slightly up on last year, with the Montepiedra Hotel selling out faster than ever before, with more people staying all week than ever. As the event got nearer, tickets continued to sell at a surprising rate so that in the end we were well over 500 people attending. Happy Days.
With so many things to take care of through the event this year, the main weekend itself was a bit of a hard slog for myself. Just trying to organise a meal on the Thursday night proved difficult enough despite making things as simple as possible. The phrase “idiot-proof” really does need to be banned from the English language because, as derogatory as it may seem when referring to such a great bunch of people (many of whom are good friends), it really does beggar belief just how thick/lazy/inconsiderate people can be at times.
Despite CONSTANTLY sending out information, updating Facebook and painstakingly detailing EVERY possible eventuality in the programme (View the VB2015 online programme here in the form of a pretty tasty personalised newspaper), it still seems not enough was done to prevent people that should know better asking me the same obvious questions every 5 minutes. This drives me insane at the time but on reflection it has led me to the fact that a much needed “information board” is long overdue at a very accessible spot in the future.
Anyway… after 2 false starts due to stupid venue owners we eventually found a great restaurant and enjoyed a lovely ‘mellow’ Thursday for once with a fair few staying up drinking and laughing until the wee hours. VB2015 had arrived.
The decor started to go up Wednesday and was all in place by Thursday evening, with Gillman’s world-famous Sound System all set and ready to go. Having two great teams for sound and decor takes so much pressure off and I cannot thank WoW Decor and Gillman Audio enough for making VB the phenomenon it is nowadays.
The rest of my wonderful team consists of Dave Tait handling the registration and wristband checks, my lovely daughter Drew to assist him, Suella on DJ transport duties, José on security and my good wife who provides a calming hand on the head when things get a little much. Together, they have it nailed.
What I did take from this year is that I need another person to assist me with ‘general DJ liaison’ and next year there’ll be a site office set up at the hotel to take some of the load off me, this year I really did burn myself out trying to do too much. This meant that, after an extremely long Friday and Saturday and relatively not-too-much to drink on the face of it, I crashed and burned, closed my eyes for “10 minutes” ahead of jumping in the shower and ended up missing all of Saturday night in the club. Bastard. Thankfully, the team managed perfectly well without me (someone did say even better seeing as I wasn’t around to complicate things) so no damage was done apart from me missing some of the best sets of the weekend, by all reports.
Musically, I do think this was one of the best VBs yet and the podcasts will start to go out in the next few days.
A truly beautiful Sunday poolside was topped off with an amazing night in the club for Sunday Lockdown, for the first time ever I remained sober (ish) throughout as I knew that a big day lay ahead for Monday.
Up bright and early on Magic Monday to mayhem trying to co-ordinate tickets/wristbands for the two boat parties and coach trip to the Beach Club. Eventually all 5 coaches took off and the beach party was under way and the first boat set sail, even if I did miss being on board. Respect to Paul Baxter & Johnny Boy for stepping in and handling things when needed and respect to the Uber Boys for a great job.
More lessons learned overall from this day with frustrations again of dealing with venue owners face to face who promise the world and fall well short of what I expect (lack of staff, shortage of food all day, no transport for airport shuttle).
I did make it to the 2nd sailing and what was apparent was how exhausted people were. The minds were willing but the bodies were weak. Poor old Grant Nelson’s sea legs were left back at his hotel but he came good and finished the day on a high as we docked and everyone made it back to Campoamor safely.
The evenings in Shumara worked really well, Monday especially despite everyone being so shagged. The venue fits itself perfectly to the amount of people still around for the mid-week fun and we are happy to confirm it will be used again for VB2016.
Once the main weekend was out of the way and a couple of nights back home in my own bed, I started to feel human again. I took the opportunity, as always, to catch up with the guys I always feel so grateful to for getting us to where we are today with the event, as well as getting to know others a little better.
The poolside sessions worked really well and all DJs delivered exactly what was required of them. The revised closing party was another emotional highlight for many and we waved goodbye to VB2015 with the final tune around midnight on Thursday.
Despite everyone doing their best on the FACEBOOK GROUP, words cannot do justice to The Vocal Booth Weekender and our Family that helped create it.
I’ve had a bit of a moan here but as it’s my own personal site I like to get these things out of my head to move forward, there are so many positives to be taken from the last 2 weeks and exciting things lie ahead for VB2016, all of which will be shared in the newsletters in the coming months. (Please subscribe to the VBW mailing list here)
Some of the world’s biggest DJs have said they’ve NEVER been anywhere like VBW, seen an event run so smoothly and be so well organised before and afterwards (you should read some of the emails I send out, you can imagine, right).
They pay testament to the sound system and the people…
The best, most enthusiastic and most musically educated crowd anyone can ever play to comes to this event year after year….it truly is a family feeling you get from being part of this!
Thanks again for having us!
The reasons it’s taken me so long to post something up re this top banana event is I’ve had to gather all my thoughts, take proper time to reflect and quite frankly, recover enough to string a sentence together.
First I would like to say thank y’all at Vocal Booth for welcoming me into the family. My VB virginity has been well n truly broken.
I loved every second of looking up and seeing smiling faces on the dancefloor…Poolside smile emoticon
We need to do that again y’all!!!
Phillip Gill salutations mister sound man! Amazing job and done with such passion for the music…We deffo have to work again!
But you find time to smash a DJ set or two as well as making sure everyone is happy and smiling.
Top man and MASSIVE thanks for inviting me to be a part of this fantastic event you’ve created.
Love and props bro.
Same time next year fo’ sho!!