Macky Gee’s Social Storm
Booking your favourite DJ is pretty straightforward and requires nothing more than hunting down a reputable agency and arranging it through them. Either that or you’re lucky enough to know the artist firsthand and he or she does you a favour. But somewhere down the line there is always a sum of hard cash to be settled.
That would be the case for the vast majority of bookings 0ut there. However, on occasion something comes along to bend the rules. In this individual situation, it came by way of a special social media campaign.
Ben Keast, a 20 year old from Cornwall has suffered with a rare disease since birth which sadly affected the way his bones grew. One side of his body was growing at a different speed to the other and in order to resolve this, he bravely underwent major surgery to shorten one of the bones in his leg.
A major fan of drum and bass music, Ben wanted to celebrate his 21st in style and although it was pretty unsafe to join any kind of dancefloor in the immediate future he had his sights set on bringing his favourite DJ to his hometown soon after his operation.
Here’s where social media comes into its own.
Ben, what gave you the idea of attempting to book Macky Gee via Facebook?
“I had seen DJ Guv do something similar for one of his fans who was given a likes, comments and shares target. If this was reached then Guv would honour his promise of doing a set. I was really keen for Macky Gee to play for my 21st, especially as I had to bring the party home due to my operation. Without a doubt he’s my favourite DJ, from tune selection to his rapid mixing. He just brings something different every time.”
So what happened next?
“There was only one thing for it – message him a proposal via Facebook. I didn’t have anything to lose and if he had said no, at least he knew I had given it a shot and I had also had the chance to tell him my friends and I were massive fans. Crazily he agreed to the idea and set the bar at 15,000 likes and 8,000 comments. At this point I knew I had to do it! Two minutes from posting the request for help I had 100 likes on my post, it was mad.”
When the wheels really started turning you must have known that your next step was some serious work arranging an event?
“I was lucky enough to have the loan of my Grandparents back garden which is huge. My brother helped out massively and we got to work arranging a big tent, portable toilets, security, tickets, the lot! As the Facebook campaign took off it was clear that we would be expecting around 300 people. We started inviting people and although the majority of the promotion side of the event was positive, we even had to deal with someone trying to cash in by selling fake wristbands. Thankfully because of how well this has been supported online, we quickly dealt with the culprit.”
The event was a huge success with over 300 people attending the 21st birthday celebrations. Here’s how it went down according to Macky Gee.
Was this your first ever Facebook booking experiment?
“Yeah it was crazy, I couldn’t believe how quickly the idea spread. I really was sceptical in terms of how much support the idea would get, especially as I set the target pretty high. It got to a point though where the buzz for the event was just going nuts, I even had one guy post on Twitter that he didn’t think I was going to Cornwall and if I did, he was going to get my name tattooed on his body! I need to chase that lad up to be honest, he’s due some time with his local tattoo artist!”
How was the event? Did you have any preconceptions of what was going to happen?
“It was mental to be honest, everything was organised really well. Ben’s Grandparents even escorted me around in their Jeep and took me to the backstage area that had been made.
I don’t think the guys looking after the door had a clue who I was though, especially when then asked who I was and my answer was.. the party starter ha ha!
My set was at midnight and by that point everyone was literally going mental to the point where someone leant over the table where the CDJ’s were sat and I had to grab it quick sharp so the lot didn’t fall on the floor. That could have easily gone on a YouTube as a proper DJ fail!”
Talk us through the set, it must have been a pretty special one considering you were playing to a tent full of die hard Macky Gee fans.
“You know what I was so humbled to have been asked to do this in the first place and the fact that I was playing to a large number of appreciating ravers that I had to make this one extra special. I kicked off with something that’s forthcoming from my label Down to Earth called ‘Calm Before the Storm’. It’s not out till 4th November but has been doing really well on dubplate.
I had to drop a little bootleg Phantasy and I put together which is up for free download via Soundcloud at present. The thing about a cheeky bootleg now and again is that it’s great for newcomers into the scene because they probably know the original version. When it switches though it’s definitely a drum and bass tune!
‘Space Hopper’, the tune we named with Drum&BassArena smashed up the birthday party (this could well have been the time the decks almost fell off!).
My set ended with something forthcoming that I can’t really say too much about at the moment apart from the fact it features a wicked male vocalist so watch out for that later in the year.”
Any final thoughts on the experience?
“It was a big experience that’s for sure. From the 7 odd hours in the car to Cornwall to meeting Ben’s friends and family and seeing how supportive they were of the whole thing was pretty special. I took my girlfriend with me so we kind of made it a little trip away for the weekend so that kept her happy too! She also did a good job of keeping me awake driving back.”
Would you do it again?
“Nah man, once was enough! I don’t mean that in a negative way at all but this kind of thing can’t be repeated.. but then saying that, who knows!”