Less than two years ago I was in Berlin, standing in the queue for Watergate when I struck a conversation with two Australian girls who immediately associated my Miami home with LMFAO’s “I’m in Miami Bitch”– certainly a low point in my life. This exchange, coupled with a few more during my time in Germany, offered a microcosm of what the rest of the world’s house music scenes thought of our city’s. Knowing the true Miami, I was shocked. How did everyone not know about our growing, thriving– throbbing– underground movement?
While LINK and the Rebels have been repping (very hard) for years and the Pickle was growing into one of the most sought after underground gigs in South Florida, our city was still being pictured alongside Tiesto at LIV and occasional “Fuck Me I’m Famous” nights at Mansion. But in the latter parts of last year a group, and more importantly an event, emerged, bringing together a strong local community while making international noise.
Enter the Backyard Monsters. Long story short, this party started as a quickly put together event to enjoy Sunday afternoons. However, between the daytime BBQ, the fun and social crowd that shows up and our amazing local DJs, the party has projected an irresistible vibe to the consistent international talent that is booked– in turn, stirring up a buzz within the DJ community. A perfect example coming from the tINI party last year, where the Desolat star left Miami and quickly began spreading praise of the Backyard Monster event she had just played– a few hours of music that will forever ring loud in my memory banks.
In this pop-up series of ours, Behind The Monsters, we’ll be introducing you to the group of people (and friends of ours) that came together to make the event a reality. A group that has been involved in some of Miami’s funnest, and most important, events over the past decade (and some change). Alongside Omar Rosario, Louis Diaz and Jackie Richie– Travis Rogers is one-fourth of this Monster team. Below we speak with Travis about everything from his history in Miami, to his taste in music and his responsibilities and duties in the many events he is involved in– and have a listen to the artist he says his ideal booking would be.
Visit their Facebook page for details on upcoming events, including parties with Mauro Picotto and Martinez in the near future.
1. What parties/ events/ companies are you involved in?
Travis: Club Space Miami, Backyard Monsters, Nikki Beach Sundays, Kontrol Thursdays at Mansion, Surfcomber Pool Parties, Guerra Marketing Group and Back in Black Halloween. These are current, do you want past events i’ve been a part of? It’s a lot lol
2. What is/ are your title(s)?
Travis: For Club Space, Nikki Beach, Mansion, Pool Parties and BIB I’m head promoter. With Backyard Monsters I’m a partner and at Guerra Marketing I’m the Marketing Manager.
3. What are your responsibilities under those titles?
Travis: As a partner for Backyard Monsters– the four of us work on every aspect closely together. From picking talent, venue, flyer design, marketing, PR, event set up and decorating the parties. No decision goes without every partner coming to an agreement, which is probably one of the reasons our parties has been so successful.
As head promoter, my job is to be one of the of best party followers in Miami, as well as top ticket/table seller. Also being a face of the venue is key, because we set the tone for the nights. I’ve also never been a greedy or sellfish promoter, so whenever I can I lend a hand of advice to new upcoming promoters.
As Marketing Manager of Guerra Marketing, I write proposals, marketing plans, manage ad buying, manage nights at different venues and handle creative sessions for different accounts. Most people think Guerra Marketing only deals with nightlife, but we have accounts in liquor, fashion, and other trades.
4. What was your first job in this industry?
Travis: My first job was promoting for Nocturnal and Cameo, within a couple months I started Club Space and have been there for five plus years now.
5. You told us you’ve been at Space for five plus years now– the industry for a few more– are you just taking it day-by-day, project-by-project, or does Travis Rogers have a plan? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Travis: For a long time I never saw this as a career, but the in last couple years things have grown for me more than I could have ever imagine. The opportunities in this industry are literally endless. I can honestly say I love where I work and the people I work with, I truly lucked out. As for the 5-10 years, no idea, but I’m excited to find out.
6. Where are you originally from? And what are your first memories of Miami?
Travis: I am a native, born here in Miami. I think the last white person in miami lol. I was raised in Broward 90% of my life and once I discovered nightlife I started driving down to Miami every weekend to party. Even while promoting I still lived in Broward. It wasn’t until 2012 that I made the decision to move to Miami.
7. What was the first party/ event you remember being involved in?
Travis: Well the first party I ever worked was at Nocturnal on Friday,s back when it was still fun. It was great because I wasn’t spoiled yet and just enjoyed having fun way before partying was about work as well. Now the first ticketed event that I remember doing that really stands out was Eric Prydz in 2008 at Club Space on the Terrace– his last time playing there. Eric put on one hell of a show, glad to see he will be back for WMC on the terrace.
8. What genres of music were you listening to back then? And how has your taste changed to today?
Travis: I’ve always listened to everyone, but what turned me on to Miami was actually Oscar G. Went out for the first time to Space and he was playing down in the dark Main Room. It was phenomenal and the first time I really heard anything dark and underground. After that I started going out more and more to discover more artist, I was listening to progressive, electro, tech house, house, etc. The past few years my taste has become more deep, soulful and groovy.
9. Describe a typical day, or night, of work for you.
Travis: Well Monday through Friday I am trapped in an office with an amazing view, its rough. My day to day activities mostly consist of handling anything Guerra Marketing related, if time permits I obviously promote my weekend events and try to squeeze in time for Backyard Monsters. Usually three-plus days a week I have meetings after work– usually between six or seven PM and go as late at 10-11– which relate to Backyard Monsters, meetings with venues, or preparing for large events like WMC. Now, the time in between all that consist of promoting, spending time with my fiancé and dogs, and if possible, sleep.
10. If you had the opportunity, what would your ideal booking be?
Travis: Wow, that’s an open questions ’cause I feel every venue can have an ideal booking, so it depends if its outdoors, a terrace, a dark room, etc. But my dream would be to do a Plastikman show, I mean who wouldn’t want to do that..
11. You mentioned the interchangeable roles you all share in the Backyard Monster party. What can you say about your partners and what they bring the the table? Any favorites in the group? ;)
Travis: My partners are awesome, we all get along great and I don’t think these parties could turn out as good without each of our heads in it. Plus Jackie my hoochie-ginger-bitch.
13. What (if anything) can you share with us about Conference?
Travis: Can’t say much because we’re never are allowed, but I can say keep your eyes open. Miami is going to see a lot of things that have never been done.