Gareth Chubb is a name that may be easily recognised around Manchester. This guy has a crucial role behind the scenes of some of the city’s most popular venues and we wanted to know about the background of such an influential figure. We managed to chase Gareth down and in between his massively busy role as Promotions Manager for Trof, he told us more about how he climbed up the music promotions ladder…
1) At DMM, we’re curious to know your background. Tell us how you started out and got into the music/events industry?
I initially wanted to be a music journalist and did Journalism & English at uni, where I put on some events in our Student Union and that’s where I got the bug. After I finished uni, I started working for the Warehouse Project when they first started out at Boddingtons. I progressed from being a flyerer to running my own team, and it was while working for them that I started my first proper night, Micron, with some friends. That would go on to be a monthly event at Joshua Brooks for 5 years. While doing Micron, I spoke to Jon, the General Manager, to give me a full time job as Bookings & Promotions Manager there, a completely new role. We both persuaded the owner that this would be a good idea, and I’d like to think it was. A few months ago Trof (whose venues include Gorilla, Deaf Institute and Albert Hall) got in touch and now I’m working for them!
2) What were the main things you learnt as you were gathering experience and going up the ‘ranks’?
I learnt that it’s best never to fall out with people if possible as you’ll probably end up working with them in some form or another one day. Too many people are far too vocal with their opinions, especially on social networks.
3) We want to know your thoughts on the Manchester music and venue scene; what sets it apart from other cities?
Manchester has always been a really important city worldwide, especially in regards to dance music. The Hacienda, Sankeys Soap and Warehouse Project are massive names. What I’ve always enjoyed in Manchester is the scene and how promoters all help each other out where possible instead of the rivalry you might find in other cities.
4) How was it running Joshua Brooks? There’s been some big names over the past few months, from Benga to Seb Leger, and the student nights are very popular. Tell us a bit more about the big bookings and the key to bringing in students week after week with so much healthy competition around.
I loved Joshua Brooks. Maybe apart from Legends, it was always my favourite venue in Manchester. I’m very proud of what the rest of the team and I achieved, especially winning the Manchester Evening News ‘Best Venue’ award and being nominated as ‘Best Small Club’ in DJ Mag twice! As the venue got more well known it became easier to secure bigger names. We had to take risks with bookings because of course they are expensive, but knowing they will sell out the venue it was ok. We could never make much profit on nights like that but it did the reputation of the venue the world of good. Juicy is the reason why we got such a great student following. I’ll always remember the day Alex rang me the day after I started the job saying he wanted to move and I knew then it would be our flagship night.
5) What do you look for when a new night, brand or promoter approaches you to run a night?
Something that sounds different. People who think outside the box and not just want to put on a residents night for a “wicked new deep house night”. Promoters should have something about them. It’s also extremely important they are prepared to invest money in the night and spend a lot of money on promotion, initially at least.
6) You’ve recently become the Promotions Manager for Trof… How’s the role going? Managing various venues with different characteristics, we bet that’s a challenge! Can you reveal any upcoming plans for any of them?
It’s very exciting and relentless. When I feel I’ve caught up with my e-mails, I might do something else for 10 minutes and I’ve got another load sitting in my inbox, ha! Each venue is quite different really, but all of them share Trof chracteristics. I’m busy putting the calendar together for Gorilla and Deaf mainly at the moment and working on the in-house Gorilla Club events. We’ve already had Pirupa on, got Butch next and the next one after that is looking like a HUGE name! Think one of the biggest in the world – that’s all your getting. Also busy working on the in-house nights I inherited at Deaf. I went down to Goo last night which encompasses Britpop, indie, alternative, shoegaze, grunge, rock and all other manner of guitar music. I’d like to DJ at it in the future – any excuse to play Pavement and My Bloody Valentine!
Quick Fire Round
1) Main music taste? Personal tastes: rock/metal/punk and hip-hop. What I know the most about: electronic, especially house/techno.
2) Guilty pleasure listening? S Club 7 ‘Love Ain’t Gonna Wait For You’.
3) One of the best band/artist/DJs you’ve seen? Guns N’ Roses, of course.
4) Mad festival memory/experience? Glastonbury 2011 involved lots of weeing.
5) 5 words to describe yourself. I’ll. Let. Others. Answer. That.