August Breathers

IMG_6827 (1)IMG_6816August kicked in with two concerts working in parallel. It allowed me to test my team, without me being on ground or even available to solve or help around:
Luana (my right hand) and the “minions” took care of Hiba Tawaji’s rehearsals and concert at Byblos International Festival, while I was working in Beirut with Mashrou’ Leila for this gig at Beirut Holidays in Biel.
I also got to initiate a friend in production on the Beirut concert. The result on both concerts was satisfying on our side, even though we hit a few bumps with the teams we’ve worked with.

IMG_6881

Most of the festival team was waiting for the final band to arrive, as they were all big fans.

IMG_7211 (1) IMG_7251I was highly grateful to discover that this amazing band was humble and down to earth, and so respectful and nice to the people working around and with them: Alt-J.
Some were disappointed by the live performance and their presence on stage, but I don’t know what people expect in the indie rock scene. The lights were stunning, the drummer’s performance was breath taking, and the whole band’s live music was really nice!
Sitting down before and after the show and talking about music, art and life with the band and the crew was a great finale to this August month.
I was really glad the team got to enjoy that, it was a small reward to all our interns and young stagehands after 2 months of hard work.
Plus, I got to introduce Melow to Joe, while talking about lyrics and pain and dealing with the pain this past year.

IMG_6971This month gave a bit more breathers than the last, and I got to witness a big bro, Rabih Salloum, getting married to the wonderful Sarah Hermez.
It was heartwarming and so unique, especially when everyone respected the “sneakers” dress code and grandmas showed up in dresses and adidas.

At the same time, I’m really proud to say that Diane, a young 4 a Cause volunteer, is managing our next event, which is a bit different from the rest, and supporting an awesome cause about cardiac arrest with young athletes: Foot 4 a Cause, supporting Remy Rebeiz Young Heart Foundation.
If you’re in Beirut and play soccer, join us on September 6th and support the cause.

11988642_1023122261061273_6748467687713139190_n

On a small note, I started working at a bar, just for the fun of it, and to have a bit more on my hands when I get breathers. Because in the end, we’re not young to have breathers.

Advertisements

Loop The Summer

Last week I got a call from my old boss, JC, to work on Byblos Festival‘s production again with the Buzz team. And of course, I can’t turn that down. The team is nice and the line up is amazing: Beirut, Massive Attack, Stromae, Lang Lang, Yanni (coming back this year – one of the coolest crews I worked with, so can’t wait to see them again), Epica, Marcel Khalifé, Mulatu Astatke, Ibrahim Maalouf and Guy Manoukian.
Delta Sound are on the job again too, and I got Edith and Georgy on it this time as my help with Savio and Roy. July and August will be good.

1901236_10152588150898296_2650526823892048107_n

But first thing first, I’m finishing up the last deal I’ve got with Eduvation schools for the kids’ illustrations this month. And finalizing some details on my surprise projects I’ve been keeping from you for so long.

photo 1 photo 2

And here’s a small reminder of 4 a Cause‘s two years anniversary we had with a lot of our supporters and generous artists at B018.

For a cause 54 For a cause 48

For a cause 47

‘Tis The Season, Or So.

After finishing up with Carl from Coach Inc., I sat down with him to give him the meeting’s drawings.

He asked me to talk to him about my projects. And I did. Taking his opinion mattered. He has experience, he’s very smart, and very realistic. But also very ambitious.
He asked me to choose between one of the two. “Focus on the one that will win enough money to do the second one.”
And so I did.
Working on this with my partners, I gave them a deadline to find the missing piece of our project to January 15th. After that, legal papers would be the hassle, apart from the business plan and the feasibility study.

On the other hand, we had trouble finding an editor for the 4 a Cause’s videos. But we did it in the end.

Poster Clothes EditionMeanwhile, I was preparing another charity event. We had a few bumps along the road and I had to put up everything in just a week. Which was the shortest time I’ve ever been given to work on an event.

But we did it. We did “Music 4 a Cause – The Clothes’ Edition” and the place was packed. The entrance fee was a donation of a piece of clothing.

I wanted to raise awareness that it’s not always about the money. You can help out around you in so many ways. You just have to open your eyes to what you can offer to make this world a better place.

This country isn’t getting any better. They keep killing us, restraining us… But if we can change ourselves, our friends, our neighbourhood, our city and then our country, it would be good. One piece at a time.

 

We Made The Paper

1277831_10151691816912887_1845955119_o

To my great surprise, I woke up with one of our Music 4 a Cause’s DJ reposting a Time Out Beirut post stating in big under a picture of a dome: MUSIC 4 A CAUSE.

We got a whole Nightlife page talking about our event at The Gärten.

“Even when you’re suffering through the next morning, you’ll still feel good about yourself.”
Not that it’s our plan to get you all drunk, but let’s say it may be inevitable!

Thank you Time Out Beirut!

Music, Concerts and Artists

Roger Waters’ effect is still in my head, ears and eyes.
After seeing and hearing  that unique show and concert, my mind won’t just rest. It needs to do more.

And so the hype for what’s waiting for me in Beirut is just at the top.
We started off 4 a Cause last August with the first edition of Music 4 a Cause.

Because it was our most successful event, we’re coming back this year with a second edition. Dayna Ash, from Haven for Artists and Rabih Salloum, former singer of Slutterhouse will be hosting incredible acts:
The astonishing Joy Fayad, the cheerful Postcards, the funny duo Chris & Abe, the all-new Slowtrain and the hyper Loopstache.
After the bands are done playing on the grass of The Gärten, Beirut in the Mix are bringing in their DJs to hit it off in the Dome:
Starting with Ronin & Nesta and Phil, following up with Madjam and then Romax.

Sponsors are a bit of a problem this time, being the end of the year. But we’ll pull it off, I’m sure (I hope). The bands and DJs are more excited this year, helping more, joining the cause for Ibtissama.

I’m still enjoying Paris, working in the mornings from my friend’s studio on Saint Marcel, and going on around a lot of places in the afternoon and nights.
Meeting very different people who are just happy to be where they are and giving it their all despite difficulties reminds you of how passionate some people can still be.

Pet Shop Boys and One Republic – Hell Of a Weekend

After we were done with Yanni, Nightwish and Lana Del Rey… I had to prepare for a hardcore weekend: Pet Shop Boys on Saturday and One Republic on Sunday.
Setting up on Friday late at night with the light and laser designers for Pet Shop Boys was inspiring. Looking at them move and study every angle and position of their equipment, to build that detailed mind blowing visual show. I was expecting a great show, but never have I imagined I would say: this was the best concert I’ve seen.

Dancers Pet Shop Boys petshop boys

Saturday had an aged-varied crowd, from those people who knew them from the 50s to those youngsters who recognize quality music. Videos, dancers, lasers, effects were off the hook… I’ve enjoyed it to the MAX.
De-rigging was hard, we finished late. Took the crew out for a few drinks. Then took three of them to Beirut to experience The Gärten and what everyone meant by Beirut Night Life. The night (and dawn) was amazing. The people at The Gärten thought the young people with me were the Pet Shop Boys (3 25-year-old mistaken for 2 50-year-old… oh but well) so drinks and girls were coming in left and right.
They made me promise we’ll have breakfast the next day (or just in 3 hours). So we had that crazy plan to wake up to.
Pet Shop crew, you’re brothers at heart!

mike 935016_10151720633434441_1709306984_n 1002699_10151720851464441_1394630338_n

One Republic arrived the same day (after a 20 minute nap on site). To my surprise they were just a team of 5 people at most. Coming in, setting up on the same day. I witnessed a bit of a resemblance with Lana Del Rey’s fan crowd at the entrance.
Soundcheking a few hours before (and making the crowd at the doors scream as they made their way through in a simple modest cab).
I thought the concert wasn’t gonna be great. I was wrong.

254358_10151724262099441_6531943_n 148534_10151747068079441_1647092447_n
1ONER 1004006_10151724568524441_700686777_n

The guys were awesome on stage, the lead singer is one hell of an entertainer. Running around everywhere, jumping on the rigs, going down to the crowd… I was really wrong. Their songs stuck to my head and they amazed me with their incredible covers of some popular songs like Gold Digger and Seven Nation Army. Good show, pleased audience.

One Republic 2 one republic 1