I started [throwing parties] when I was 17; I’m 27 now. Where I started was not by being a college promoter, but being in college and feeling the big promoters weren’t doing what we wanted to see in parties. So, we were doing some underground and rave parties, dubstep nights before it became that mainstream phenomenon when it was more like the Digital Mystikz guys. That’s where I come from.
I’ve attended Igloofest in Montreal for six consecutive years to this point, meeting different team members each time. This year I was excited to catch up with the new talent buyer, Lucas, and have a conversation about his work history with events, the hardest part about booking talent, and what makes a good party.
How did you get here? I don’t imagine you went to college to for a role like this.
■ No, no.
So how does it work?
■ You don’t go to college to be a talent buyer. I went to college, but I stopped going because I was throwing parties and I felt it brought a purpose to what I was doing and I felt connected to this. For me, the dance and electronic scene was a way of expressing myself personally. I’m not saying I’m an artist, but in a way I connect with arts and that’s the way I felt I managed to have a voice for myself.
What did your timeline look like?
■ I started throwing parties when I was 17 years old, and saw an opportunity to do something I felt represented my interests and interests of the people who were close to me.
How did you get involved with Igloofest?
■ Marie-Laure law was the talent buyer for Piknic and Igloofest and she’s been doing this for 10 years at least, so I was pretty close to her because she was coming to my parties and we bonded. We connected on a lot on the values of what a good party is, and when she decided to move on — because everyone moves on at one point — she asked me to take over in a way.
What is a good party?
■ This is the ultimate question I don’t even know how to answer. You don’t know what a good party is, but when you’re at a good party you know what a good party is. From my experience, a good party is when you end up somewhere and think, ‘This is amazing,” and being part of a community and being part of a world that makes you feel like you belong. Or, when something is very experience-driven and not trying to sell you on a headliner. I connected a lot with Piknic and Igloofest because, while having great acts performing on stage is important and part of the culture, having a good party is not looking at one focal point the whole day. I wouldn’t be able to to give steps, but one thing I’ll say is if someone wants to program entertainment, be honest to yourself, be honest to your crowd, try to do something fun, do something you enjoy and the people around you enjoy, and do something that creates positivity and well-being.
I’m ecstatic for Above & Beyond tonight — you booked them?
■ Yes. I love this act and what they represent, and for me, that’s what matters and is most important. I reached out to the Above & Beyond team and they were stoked because [Igloofest] is such a special thing — playing in outdoor winter like this doesn’t exist anywhere else in the way it does here.
Last question: what’s the hardest part about booking acts?
■ I think it’s the margins; it’s important to have a healthy business.