In the city dubbed the “live music capital of the world,” booking and promoting dance music is its own animal. RealMusic Events owner Andrew Parsons dove headfirst into the challenge in 2003, when the view looked just a little different, and kept moving. Where the dance music scene was once lacking, it now has a very healthy pulse. Austin owes much of it to RME, among a handful of other dance music-promoting pioneers.
Exposing Austinites to fresh, up-and-coming producers/DJs with international headliners peppered in, RealMusic Events’ mission has always been simple: to expose music lovers to both unfamiliar and beloved artists as well as to inspire growth in the Austin dance music scene and community.
Since founding RealMusic Events, how has your vision for the brand evolved?
From day one, we started this to bring new and interesting artists to Austin, and of course to mix in some well-known acts. That is still the goal and mission. We strive to bring new, exciting artists that you rarely see in the US, let alone in Austin, along with some classics and legends who haven’t set foot in Austin in ages. We love dance music. We aren’t in this for money. We’re in this for our fellow dance music fans.
Did you always want to be a promoter?
No, I didn’t always want to be a promoter. My love for the dance music industry started when I was 13 years old. I’ve been a DJ, label owner, talent developer, and all sorts of stuff. I love music and the culture, and right now, I’m loving being a promoter and helping spread good vibes and proper sounds.
“…we changed the game and really gave others the courage to become promoters and see that it could be done, and done on your own terms.”
What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced in helping build the electronic music community overall in Austin?
We’ve been putting on events for years now (off & on since 2003, and steadily every month since 2009). In 2009, we really just started doing events to bring new artists and new sounds to Austin who weren’t already being catered to…. The scene has changed a lot, and I know we were a very big part of that.
There were really only a couple of dance music promoters bringing the same artists to town all the time. I think we changed the game and really gave others the courage to become promoters and see that it could be done, and done on your own terms. We paved the way and that was our goal. I think we’ve definitely reached that goal.
On that note, how has the musical landscape changed over the years?
The landscape has changed a ton in Austin and is constantly changing every few months. I think Austin is a very forward-thinking city. Being a college town (with the University of Texas here), the people and vibes create an ever-changing environment, and you have to keep up.
There are definitely many more promoters and venues in town catering to the dance music market than there were in previous years. Austin has always been a “live music capital,” but with the uprise in dance music culture, everyone thinks they can be a promoter.
I think the biggest challenge Austin faces now are the large corporations coming in who are trying to take over the market. Austin is a small business mecca. More small businesses and promoters need to band together and do cool sh*t to keep up AND, of course, to spread the word on how bad these large corps are for business and the community/scene.
Who is someone you’ve wanted to book but it hasn’t worked out?
Carl Cox. Been a long hard road, my son!!!
Top 3 favorite acts you’ve booked in your career?
Eric Prydz – His first ever US tour, dude came over on a boat because he doesn’t like planes and then traveled in a tour bus around the US.
Paul Oakenfold – He’s the man who virtually kickstarted my passion for dance music and love of amazing music. He’s a true legend, and someone I can even call friend now. Pretty amazing.
Adam Beyer – Dude is just a bad ass. It’s amazing to see the rise of his label and sound since we first had him. Insane. Every show we book is VERY special to me.
I only book artists I love and never just to make money, so really, they all hold a very special place in my heart <3.
In their latest endeavor at Kingdom Nightclub, RealMusic Events boasts top notch artists, sound, lighting, and vibes, complete with the talented dance troop, the GoGo Gadgettes. You can check out their shows here.