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Happy Fifth Birthday, Brotherly Love Productions

Happy Fifth Birthday, Brotherly Love Productions

This weekend, South Florida-based music promotions, PR and marketing company Brotherly Love Productions will celebrate five years in the industry. After moving to Florida more than a decade ago, music junky Matt Beck realized his need to cultivate the underground music community. It was his stint as an intern at the very first Langerado where Beck discovered his love for behind-the-scenes action, along with his emerging desire to get further involved.

This weekend, South Florida-based music promotions, PR and marketing company Brotherly Love Productions will celebrate five years in the industry. After moving to Florida more than a decade ago, music junky Matt Beck realized his need to cultivate the underground music community. It was his stint as an intern at the very first Langerado where Beck discovered his love for behind-the-scenes action, along with his emerging desire to get further involved.

As a bartender in Delray Beach, he found himself caught in the transition of the next premier live music venue at City Limits, where he became part of the booking team. It was in 2007 when Beck’s relationship with local jam heroes the Heavy Pets began to flourish, birthing BLP’s first official show with the Pets at Cheers, the late-night follow-up to Pompano’s D.U.M.B. (the Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee) tour stop.

Since then, Beck has been involved in the bookings of some of South Florida’s most memorable shows. Along the way, he met his female partner (in life and in crime), Destiny Spang, who acts as BLP’s courageous PR liaison, always working to link the right media to their ideal artists. Together, BLP has propelled South Florida’s live music scene to great heights, and BLP has no plans in slowing down anytime soon. We caught up with Beck to talk about BLP’s growth, its increasing involvement with music festivals and what to expect at this weekend’s big bash – and beyond. 

Melodysiac: The name BLP obviously pays homage to Philadelphia. Tell us about the meaning behind the chosen moniker.
Matt Beck: It came about in a brainstorm session as we frantically tried to find a name for what it was we were trying to do prior to that first show. It obviously does pay homage to the region I spent my formative 22 years in, but we also felt it really encapsulated the vibe and sense of community that was needed to make this work the way we were envisioning it.

Each week, BLP rolls out its weekly newsletter, which features a bevy of artists, shows and interesting scene tidbits locally, regionally and nationally. Why is this item so important to BLP’s purpose?
I was handed the opportunity to review the four-night 2010 New Year’s Eve Phish run at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami for the New Times. It awoke a stirring passion to write, and really gave me a chance to legitimize what I was doing by allowing me access to another realm of the community and a broader. I decided that a great way to engage our community was to share my perspective of what was going on. “BLP Picks” highlights everything from concerts to art and sporting events, along with anything else that arouses my interest.

What has been the most challenging part about starting a new company that mostly operates off the underground music scene, as opposed to the mainstream music scene?
By not having mainstream support, the underground scene is something that fans must seek out, so we really focus on making sure that it can be easily found through our online presence and social media outlets, while also relying heavily on word-of-mouth recruiting. As an independent promoter, there’s a very careful balance between the bands, the fans and the venues. Obviously, the bands and venues are expecting solid crowds and an ability to make money, but our fans tend to be counterculture types who really feed off the vibe of an event, so we really focus on that – the overall vibe.

And, the most rewarding?
When we reach that perfect balance of a kick-ass band performing to a solid crowd of appreciative fans in a venue where everyone is comfortable enough to let loose – that is an awesome feeling.

In 2012, BLP now represents a steady roster of bands, venues and music festivals. Take us through the evolution.
As far as “representing” these entities, that falls primarily within our publicity arm which has really taken off since our publicist Destiny Spang joined the team three-plus years ago. We helped out at AURA Music & Art Festival during its first two years before officially becoming partners this year. Our success in getting coverage for this homegrown event was certainly noticed by some in the industry, and that is how we were invited to work with Catskill Chill, and bands including Kung Fu and COPE. We also began to officially manage The Heavy Pets this year, after many spent in a more advisory role, and hope to do so for more of the acts that we’ve cultivated thus far.

BLP had its name in lights in 2012 with its own stage at AURA Music & Art Festival 3 and is now working on Catskill Chill, which is scheduled for September. Are there any other music festivals BLP would like to have a deeper hand in come 2013 season?
We would definitely love to continue to grow our festival reach. They really are the pinnacle events within this community and allow fans and bands the optimum musical experience, while also allowing them to visit beautiful, and sometimes remote areas throughout the country. We certainly have our favorite events and festivals, and are ready to entertain inquiries, but I’d most like to focus on bringing our SoFla scene to broader events by producing showcases during events like Art Basel Miami Beach and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

BLP is known for its generous hospitality tent, which is erected at most festivals the team attends. Under the tent, curious passersby can collect items like glow toys, stickers and lollipops, in addition to applying complimentary bug spray, sunscreen and hand sanitizer. Why go through all the trouble?
It has always meant a lot to me to interact with like-minded individuals, and I think that’s key to building our scene. This is just another way to directly engage our community. We hope that people appreciate the sentiment and feel the Brotherly Love.

BLP is celebrating its five-year anniversary with four nights of music through a series dubbed “High Five.” Tell us about what’s in store.
We’re hosting five shows in four nights at five different venues with 10 different acts. I really wanted to include as many of the bands and venues that we’ve worked closely with over the years in order to spread the Love and thank them for putting up with us. The two main events fittingly feature The Heavy Pets and The Resolvers, who played together for our second show ever on July 4th, 2007 at City Limits in Delray Beach following the fireworks. They perform Friday, June 29 at Skipper’s Smokehouse in Tampa, along with AURA vet, DJ Craig Heneveld.

Then Saturday, the acts are joined by Tampa Bay mainstay COPE, and South Florida’s acoustic troupe Sosos at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale. Aquaphonics kick off the weekend – and our new weekly “AURA Thursday” event – at the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton on Thursday, June 28. Friday also finds three of our favorites in Ketchy Shuby, Fusik and Cypress at South Florida’s most happening craft brewery, the Funky Buddha Lounge. Then, we end the weekend the same way we have every week for well over two year, with our Rockout With Your Cookout at the Hurricane Bar & Lounge in Delray Beach. SoFla super group El Groundscoro will hold down the night, while inviting many of the players from the weekend to rotate through for an extra special night of jam.

The unpredictable scene we’re a part of means wise calculations and strategic planning. How can you prepare for the future of BLP in such an uncertain industry?
We have survived this far by staying consistent, doing things for the right reason and paying close attention to detail. We are the scene, we know what we want, and we will continue to make it happen.

Photos courtesy of Brotherly Love Productions

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victor

June 25th, 2012

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