Dallas twenty-somethings are the living embodiments of the age old, “work hard, play hard” adage. Many of us deal in competitive industries and have stressful jobs and relationships but we know at the end of a long commute down 75, there’s a number of events we can attend to relax and unwind. Bored on a Monday? Pick almost any restaurant in Deep Ellum for drink, food and hookah specials. Need a midweek turn up? Wingsday or Trappiest Hour probably has you covered. Seeking weekend opportunities to disregard your morals and/or show off your wardrobe? Level and Park Avenue should suffice. But with summer finally here, the typical Dallas club/bar circuit may no longer be satisfactory. With the creation of Dallas based event company, Live 25 Entertainment a year ago, your options for going out in Dallas have gotten a lot more varied.
4MP: Live 25 recently celebrated its first birthday so congratulations on that!
Brit: Thank you!
4MP: No problem! Now that you have your first year out the way what are you hoping to accomplish in this next year?
Brit: We’re definitely hoping to push more events. Take Art & Soul Festival on the road and hit more cities. Outside of Dallas we’ve only done Houston which was pretty recent so we are looking to go ahead and get that on the road maybe at the end of this summer or next summer. Where we are reaching out to other cities getting their local artists and businesses involved in it. We also have another big event Black Expo. We’re trying to have another one at the end of the year. We want to just expand all the events that we have, reach as many people as we can & get as many people involved as we can.
Toria: Definitely to keep traveling to different cities. To bring the Art and Soul Festival to other places in the United States. It’s really our signature event so we really want to branch off and go different places with that. We started with Houston, and hopefully we are in LA and Atlanta coming up here soon. So definitely to expand Art & Soul Festival and also just when people hear “Live 25” I want them to be like “Oh yea they do dope events!” We really like doing series of events where they’re the same style but each one has different aspects. So for our series to be recognizable just by name would be really dope.
4MP: Why did y’all choose to get into event planning?
Brit: Well, Toria did event planning previously. I’ve also worked in a couple bar/club scenes where I helped put together events. We went to an event in Dallas, maybe like a year and a half ago and personally I didn’t think it was that organized. I thought it was a great event I just felt it could be put together better. So we gave it a shot, it was actually a bar crawl that they were doing so we tried to do our own bar crawl and it was...okay (laughs). But after doing that event we were like “You know we should just keep doing events. Keep putting on events for people in Dallas or wherever that may not want to go to the club. They maybe wanna do other stuff and connect and meet other people”
Toria: I actually started event planning in college I used to do a fashion show and also I helped plan a couple big events like the Miss Oklahoma pageant so I really, really enjoyed it. My major was marketing with a minor in fashion. So I was really knee deep into planning by the time my Sophomore year rolled around. It’s really fun I like that I get to overthink for a good reason (laughs).
4MP: It seems like there is a very big focus on incorporating local artists into the events that you all do. Is that intentional?
Brit: Definitely! Whatever city we go to we would like to give their local artists a chance to take on a big event and perform in front of a big audience and get their brand out there in front of a lot of guests. We don’t exclusively deal with local participants. We’re open to everyone but of course the most people that we get are local and we really do like working with them especially because when we start traveling we’ll get to see different cities, different sounds, styles of music and businesses with the local people from those cities.
Toria: It’s very intentional, I love giving people that platform that they might not have gotten otherwise.
4MP: What has been your favorite event so far?
Brit: Of course the art and soul festival. That was our 1st real event and it really took off. We did not expect that big of an outcome. We were kind of going in it blind and it just came out amazing. When we first planned it we did not expect what we got out of it (clearly people in Dallas felt this need too) We were just thinking “Oh this will be a small event, we’ll get to [the point we’re at now] eventually” We brought out so many more people, way more than we planned or than we were expecting and the fact that is was just us two? That’s the main thing. My memories of the art and soul festival were all the little bumps we hit, that we overcame and still had a very successful event.
Toria: Definitely the BrunchAF. I really, really love that. It’s my favorite even over Art and Soul Festival. I love Art and Soul Festival but [BrunchAf] is s so laid back and we have free brunch and free mimosas. Who doesn’t love that? It’s just cool to see everybody laid back and enjoying themselves.
4MP: Speaking of bumps you’ve hit along the way, what is the hardest part of being an event planner?
Brit: Expecting the unexpected. You try to plan but you have to understand that everything might not happen that way. When stuff comes up like rain or whatever we’re always like “Aww man are you serious?” but we always find a way around it.
Toria: I guess the hardest part is marketing. Just making sure everything we say and post is the right thing and not too many words because people don’t want to read too much. It’s important that we are saying and posting the right things at the right times.
4MP: And what’s the most fun part?
Brit: Networking and meeting different people. I’m not from Dallas, I’m from Houston and moved here about 2 years ago. I’ve met so many people with businesses. So many young people with businesses. So many performers. Some I had never heard of until the Art and soul festival and I’ve watched them grow. I’ve watched the businesses grow. A lot of people end up getting booked for other events from Art & Soul Fest. So, I would say the relationships I’ve established through Art and soul Festival and all of our events really.
Toria: I love when we get people who I’ve never heard their music but I listen and it’s like ”Oh my goodness where have you been all my life and why don't more people know about you?” I really enjoy spending hours on the applications and finding these artists I would have never heard otherwise.
4MP: So Brit you said that you’re from Houston. How do you think Dallas nightlife compares to Houston’s or even other cities?
Brit: (Laughs) it depends (laughs more) I’m going to be a little biased. When I was in Houston I was into more of the club scene. I feel like Houston is better than Dallas in terms of the club scene. As far as bars, I feel like Dallas is better than Houston. In terms of the types of events that we do I would say Dallas. There’s always some music or culture event.
Toria: I didn’t really get to experience Dallas nightlife til after I graduated college. I didn’t really go out much but when I came back after college I was like “What! I didn’t even know this existed!” There’s so many things that you can do out in Dallas depending on what mood you’re in or the vibe you’re looking for, there’s so many things that you can do out in Dallas. I loved LA but you don’t have the little areas where you can have little artsy events. I love that about Dallas , there is something for everybody.
4MP: If you could change anything about Dallas’ nightlife what would it be and why?
Brit: I do wish Dallas had more events where people could go out and dress up. And I really mean dress up, guys AND girls. For the young crowd that still wants an event that is bar-like or club-like, has a DJ but we’re still dressing up and sticking with the style of the whole you know classy night out or whatever.
Toria: It would definitely be the culture or attitude that you kind of get when you’re in Uptown. I stopped going quite a long time ago just because its like you HAVE to get dressed up, no one is really dancing everyone is standing with drinks in their hand looking at each other. I wish it was more interactive and everyone was more accepting of each other and not judged by what they have on or don’t have on.
4MP: So something like Opulence?
Brit: Yes! Oh my god that would be great if Dallas had one. Or even just something on a smaller level like a weekly thing where you dress up.
Opulence is one of Houston’s most popular formal events. Guests enjoy an open bar, PappaDeaux catering and an exquisitely curated setlist. If Houston can have Opulence, what is Dallas lacking in terms of manpower, scale or drive in order to put together a similar and successful event?
4MP: Do you think Dallas will ever be a destination cities for parties the way NYC, LA or even Austin and Houston are?
Brit: I think it can get there eventually. We just have to come up with an event that would draw those crowds out and keep it going. It can’t be like “Oh we have this event!” and then 3 months later it gets closed down. I do think Dallas is growing. There’s so much space to do even more on. I’m meeting more and more people who are new to event planning and have great ideas. I think Dallas will get there.
4MP: What is Dallas lacking? What do we need to do as a city before we can get there?
Brit: As far as getting there I would say working together and not being against each other or in competition.There are a lot of events that are very similar and I think that’s totally fine. We just have to still support each other. Go to networking events, share opinions, ideas, just come together with ways to make Dallas a great place for events, parties, celebrations, whatever it may be.
Toria: I think what I love the most about Dallas might be kind of holding us back too. When you go to Miami or LA you know there is a certain area of the city where everything is. Your hotel the beach, nightlife, everything's right there. With Dallas there’s so many different areas nothing is really centralized. I think if we had more tourist attractions and everything was more central then that would be great.
Live 25 will be celebrating their one year anniversary with a free block party this Sunday, June 10th at Deep Ellum’s Art Co. The event will feature raffles, food trucks and 2 stages for musical performances as well as 4 DJs. CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKET.