Last night we finished off the season of our staple, Food Truck Jam with the guys from Truckersdxb. To say it has been fantastic is an understatement. This is a little recap of the last 12 weeks and what it has meant to me, the company and our identity.
In early February, we were fresh off our great Quoz Arts Fest gig where we had about 8 artists perform over the course of 2 days and that got us thinking, we need to do this more often and get our next gig. We started browsing and looking for new opportunities when we saw the first flyer for the Food Truck Jam and immediately pounced and emailed the contact and everybody in charge. Within a day, Alexandre of Truckersdxb, the main organizer, and now a great friend, got back to us and confirmed us as the live music partners. Boom.
We had no idea what to expect, the night before we had just finished filming AMP’d and were exhausted by the next day. We had no idea what the set up was going to be or how we were going to arrange everything but we knew we were going to do it. The team packed up every car with cables, speakers, guitars and cameras and hoped for the best.
Hindsight is absolutely 20/20 because I see the first jam as a pleasant and slightly turbulent memory but the reality was a lot different. There was no sound system set up for us to plug in and play, we had no lighting at the time, forgot some batteries and blew out one of our speakers. Az, our head of product, worked his ass off to make sure everything went well, Nino ran around making sure we coordinated everything well with Alex and I was back and forth between the main DJ table and our own stage asking them to upgrade some of our equipment. Havoc. Serious havoc.
After all that, after all of the hiccups and mishaps, every artist, fan and organizer said they enjoyed having us and that we put on a great show.
Everything seems a lot worse when you are in it.
Week in, week out, we improved on everything we did, coordinated better and increased the scale of the jam from just singer/songwriters to full blown bands and collaborations. We started to make the jam our own and stamp our authority on it. Every other Saturday, the team and I were always prepared to bring our A game and I like to think, we (almost) always delivered.
Looking back on situations and events, it becomes easy to think in extremes; things either went really well, or really bad. I want to be a little objective about the Truck Jams and say that we definitely had huge problems in our team, communicating effectively, preparing efficiently and, to this day, never having a sound check. Our sound man, Az was also our video man which is a huge burden to bear. And the list of speed bumps goes on and on..
That’s absolutely fine. The list is supposed to be long. We are never going to get anything perfectly, and we should never want to. Everything went exactly how it was supposed to and everyone left with a great musical experience.
The Sound Gaarden team; Azarel (the backbone), Sarah (fiery as always), Jamil (our champion artist), Raz (who created most of our branding in the early days), Nino (the first person to take the plunge with us) and myself are better because of all the mishaps, solutions and long days. By the 3rd and 4th jams, we were getting larger and larger and our patience, composure and experience was exponentially higher. Last night, at we had 8 artists with us, double our usual set list but we coped and managed and had a great time doing it.
The Food Truck Jams were our coming out party and we grew as a team, company and friends because of everything we did for the last 12 weeks. We became a family. It was a very special 6 nights for us, and all the feedback, dancing, songs, and artists we got to experience solidified our mission as a company. Fans were engaging with us and the artists, all the musicians played out of their shoes every night, others earned new fans and super fans and we made friends with all the food truck owners and independent shops. Whenever we set up, it felt like we were back, we were home, and that’s how I will remember it and so will the team.
Thank you to everyone who was involved, everyone who performed and all the trucks that fed us. Here is to the next one, we’d love to see you again.