On The Road With Leila’s Boys

Leila 4I was put to the test as a roadie with Mashrou’ Leila.
As a recap of what I’ve been trying to do for the last year: get a spot on a touring crew.
And it’s funny enough that I haven’t searched first with the band that’s closest to home, just thinking they didn’t need anyone.
But after working together on London Grammar’s concert in Beirut, they offered to try me out.

And so it started.

 

After my vacation in New York, I joined the guys in Rabat (Morocco), London (UK), Cairo (Egypt) and Istanbul (Turkey). Four concerts and a BBC shoot in London for one of the songs.
It went pretty well. I admit there are a lot of stuff I could do more, but it will come with time, as this is my first taking more on my plate that I am aware of.
A small inside look on the guys: despite rumors of snobbish and ungrateful relations, I was joyfully surprised by their respect, manners, love and dedication to the music, fans and people they work with, even if it’s just a few hours. I am more than grateful to be part of this particular team.

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Apart from the roadie work, I’ve been managing my 4 a Cause team to get the December projects up and running.
Music 4 Sara is the first: we’ll be celebrating Sara Khatib who unfortunately passed away this summer. The event will focus on how amazing and inspiring she was and still is, but also on her life goals that her parents and friends are continuing to achieve for her.

photoThe second is the first of, I hope, many campaigns: The (4) campaigns. This one will go to support Myschoolpulse, an organization that sends tutors to five hospitals in Lebanon, aiding 108 kids with life-threatening and chronic illnesses. It’s about education and support.

We partnered up with Orient Express and Radio Beirut, to sell the fundraising bracelets for that cause. Donations boxes and bracelets are already there.
Spread the message, we need your help!

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Leila’s Down The Road

As you might know already, my absence is a reflection of loads of work.

I’ve been working real hard on this “surprise project” I’ve been keeping from all of you.

Following the London Grammar gig, Vincenti’s wife called me up, announcing she needs me on her project.
So I’ll be doing this one with Clapping Hands at the Casino du Liban in February: The Sound Of Music.
If you’re a fan of musicals, the movie, or just music… there are nine shows in February for this great musical from the UK.

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Apart from that, I met up with Mashrou’ Leila’s manager, Karim, and they’re testing me out in their upcoming tour this November. If it works out well, that will be my door to the roadies, as they call them. It was the next step for me, something I’ve been searching for, for at least a year. And well, it’s here. Let’s hope I don’t screw it up so I’ll get more to come. The team is nice, respectful and focused. My kind of “colleagues”, it’s a good start.

Finally, we shot a campaign with some friends for 4 a Cause. It’s a different approach to raise awareness about our local causes, given that we’ve only focused these last two years on events.

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First, Step Up

Needless to say the concert was awesome. What blew everyone’s mind was how incredibly talented and amazing it was despite their very young age. The crew was also very easy to work with. We had some minor difficulties to set up, having the opening band Mashrou’ Leila with a very different set up to change in less than 10 min: we did it in 8!
Both bands’ crews were happy with my team’s work, and that’s something to look back on with a smile.

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The show might be the cheery for most of the people that were in Biel, but being congratulated on an awesome job when it’s your first time doing it on your own as a head of a team is what made this an incredible middle-start for me.
Sure, there were some mistakes and “holes” here and there, due to the lack of experience on some other people we were working with, but we pulled it off, helping wherever we can once we were done with our tasks.

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And… on the next day, I had to get up (with what was left of me of energy and what not) to finalize some details about my upcoming surprise to Lebanon. All that’s left to do before the revelation is funding.
Stay tuned…

Get Away to Get Back

A vacation was well deserved. It also helps you relaunch an amazing focus for work.
I recommend anyone in need of pure relaxation, meditation and quiet time to go to Naxos, a wonderful island in Greece.

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photo (1)Back in town, I started working on the second project that I’ve kept hidden from you a long time. You probably remember pictures of me and some friends in cars, going around Lebanon. Won’t spoil it, but you’ll be hopefully getting all there is to know at the end of this month. If, of course, all goes to plan. The project is speeding up, as everything was well prepared and thought of. No need to keep it locked up inside anymore.

In the meantime, I’ve put up my team for the London Grammar concert happening in Beirut next week. This is the first time I’ll be working with the Vincenti Group. I already worked with many of the suppliers hired for this concert.
Let’s hope it’s a good one. Until now, it has been fine. Let’s hope there’s even more to learn on this show.

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Byblos v. 2.0 – Finalization

Beirut was a great band to end the festival with. The music suited a goodbye, the crew was easy and fun to work with. The band was nice to meet.

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As I dropped Zach back to the hotel, fatigue kicked out of my body and the final adrenaline rush went buzzing in my system. We packed up the office, de-rigged the whole stage, sent the team home and said goodbye to the historical ruins that hosted us this year again for the music. This second year was better for me at the festival than the previous. It taught me a lot more, due to unexpected circumstances and problems, and opened a whole lot of opportunities for me. It was also a therapy against the mishaps of Rubik, which proved to be a very unpleasant experience.

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Family duties called too at the same time, as we have gone through a terrible loss.
But it’s at these times that we realize what it means to have a family we always took for granted. A vacation together was in plans. So, we’re heading for Naxos!

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