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Origin Stories & Hosting Unique Events with the Co-Founders of We Belong Here Music Festival

Issue 01

Welcome to the most epic corner of the internet, HOSTED by POSH! Every Thursday, we'll be your go-to newsletter spicing up your inbox with captivating tales of event transformations, ingenious tips for hosting unforgettable events, and clever hacks to make the most of any budget. So put on your shades because your inbox just got that much hotter. Thanks for being on this journey with us - let’s do it!

In this very first issue of HOSTED by POSH, Avante and Eli sat down with the Co-Founders of We Belong Here Festival, Justin Dauman and Charles Hochfelder, to dig into their origins, get their opinions and perspectives on how to craft unique and engaging events, and hear their behind-the-scenes war stories of how they brought a new festival to life. Trust us - it’s an epic story.

So, crack open your favorite bev, sit back, and let's embark on this wild event-planning adventure together. This is just the beginning.

We Belong Here organizes sophisticated, music driven experiences in unique settings around the world. From selling out an event at the Cipriani Ballroom (the former New York Stock Exchange) to a 6,000 person festival on Miami's Virginia Key Beach, they are one of the fastest growing event planning groups in the US. Not only have they worked with major artists like Lane 8, Kaskade, Nora En Pure, and Purple Disco Machine but they also book more upcoming and local artists than any festival we've seen.

5 Tips For Hosting Unique Events in Saturated Cities With The Co-Founders of We Belong Here Music Festival

In bustling cities like New York, L.A., and Miami, there’s a constant battle for attention when it comes to events. With so many competitors vying for overlapping audiences on the same night, how can you make your events be next-level compared to your competitors to get people to actually… you know… show up? We’re here to break it down for ya.

We linked up with the Co-Founders of We Belong Here Festival, Justin Dauman and Charles Hochfelder, to discuss how they’ve shaken up an industry that is used to sticking to the norm. Ready to learn their top tips? Check them out below and buckle up, there are some epic points here (P.S. - the last tip is our fav).

Unique Programming: Be Bold and Daring

Instead of following the mainstream, embrace your creative side and offer something different in terms of programming. Try to always think one step ahead when scheduling events. Already know of something happening in the city? Switch it up and offer an event that’s the exact opposite to make your own lane. Is there a Broadway show happening on Friday? Consider hosting a chill music gig or an immersive theater experience that'll cater to a different audience. Remember when Beyoncé dropped her surprise album? Yeah, be like that. Do the unexpected! Be bold!

Here are a few examples of unique programming ideas:

  • Art battles or live painting sessions

  • Poetry slams or spoken word performances

  • Interactive workshops, like dance or cooking classes

  • Pop-up galleries or installations

We loved these recent events in particular: The9amBanger for St. Patrick's Day, Soleful Sunday at Sphere, and this Underground Rapper Basketball Tournament.

Venues Matter: Think Outside the Box

Venues matter too! Forget the usual warehouses, nightclubs, and parking lots – yawn! Look for unconventional spaces that have something beautiful and unique to offer, like a rooftop garden, a converted train station, or a charming bookstore. Now THAT’S how you WOW an audience! Your guests will appreciate the refreshing change of scenery, and it'll make your event more memorable. Take a cue from the magical ambiance of Sleep No More or the enchanting feel of Diner en Blanc - don’t be afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to venues!

Examples of creative venue ideas:

  • Historic mansions or libraries

  • Abandoned factories or industrial spaces

  • Themed restaurants or cafes

  • Museums or art galleries

We loved these recent events hosted at the Williamsburg Hotel Rooftop, Cipriani Downtown Ballroom, or this Boat Party Around Manhattan.

Struggling to find a venue in your city for an upcoming event? Reply to this email and a member of our team would be happy to hop on a call to help you get connected with the right people.

Music: Curate a Diverse and Eclectic Lineup

When it comes to music, don't just follow the trends. Curate a lineup that reflects your tastes and appeals to a diverse crowd. Include a mix of local talents, up-and-coming artists, and maybe even throw in a surprise guest performance. This way, you'll create a unique atmosphere that caters to various music preferences, making your event feel like a personalized Coachella-meets-TED Talks experience.

Here are a few ideas to create an eclectic music lineup:

  • Collaborate with a local music school or orchestra

  • Feature a diverse range of genres, from jazz to electronic

  • Showcase an emerging artist or a local DJ

  • Host an open mic or talent showcase

Environment : Prioritize Comfort and Fun

The most crucial ingredient? Creating a comfortable and fun environment for your guests. You can have the best lights, sound, and DJs, but if your guests don't have space to dance and enjoy themselves, it's a party faux pas. Make sure everyone feels like they belong and has room to let loose. Create different zones within the venue, like a cozy relaxation area, interactive art installations, or a themed bar, allowing guests to explore and mingle. Think of the free-spirited vibe of Burning Man (minus the desert dust, of course).

Examples of comfortable and fun space ideas:

  • A designated chill-out area with beanbags and low lighting

  • Interactive installations, like a photo booth or a DIY art wall

  • A themed bar or food station, like a tiki bar or a build-your-own taco stand

  • Outdoor areas with games or seating


What’s the most important part of an event? Let us know what you think in the comments 👀 @webelonghere.world

Bonus Tip: Offer Engaging Activities and Experiences

To make your event truly stand out, incorporate interactive elements, such as workshops, games, or even live art demonstrations. Offer unique experiences that go beyond the typical party scene, and you'll leave a lasting impression on your guests.

Examples of engaging activities and experiences:

  • Craft workshops, like pottery or jewelry making

  • DIY food stations, like a cupcake decorating bar

  • Trivia or game nights

  • Silent discos or headphone parties

In summary, to make your small event a smash hit in a crowded market, focus on uniqueness in programming, venue selection, music lineup, and environment. Offer your guests something more than just music and bright lights, and they'll keep coming back for more, event after event! THAT’S how you make a name for yourself in the industry! Now get out there and throw some frikin’ epic parties!

Watch the Full Episode

Interested in a deep dive on how Justin and Charles built We Belong Here from the ground up? Watch the full episode here with the Co-Founders of We Belong Here Festival, Justin Dauman and Charles Hochfelder. Or, listen on Spotify and read the full blog.

And come hang with us on socials for sneak peeks of future episodes, get BTS content of POSH, and be the first to hear about events in your area!

P.S. - If you’re looking for events to join this week, we’ve got you covered! Here’s what’s happening:

View all events here

That’s all for this week, folks. We’ll see you next Thursday. In the meantime, happy partying.

— Avante and the POSH team