Behind the scenes

Back in the summer of 2018, it seemed there was a gig to suit just about everyone’s musical taste buds.

Diehard fans paid witness to a performance from Bryan Adams that was straight from the heart, got right in the middle of the action at Bay Dreams for DJ Snake, and let their hair down for Canadian reggae fusion band Magic at One Love.

That’s only naming a few.

Now, it’s time to do it all over again with a full calendar of concerts, festivals and events locked in for the summer.

And the man behind it all is sharing his trade secrets.“A lot of hard work, dedication, ambition and knowledge goes into it,” says Pato Entertainment director Pato Alvarez.

The successful promoter is the brainchild behind some of the Bay of Plenty’s most anticipated gigs for 2019, some of which include Toto, The Jacksons, The Village People, Shapeshifter, Chase and Status, UB40, Ky Mani Marley and Kolohe Kai.

“Finding the right spots, towns, artists and bands that people want to see is always crucial to making summer events successful,” he says.

“There are always long days and hard work involved to ensure we’ve done everything correctly and to a high standard, but staying healthy and focused on the end goals is always a priority.”

What crowds see on the day is a result of tireless fine-tuning, managing people and - most importantly - communication, says Pato.

“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into securing some of our bigger acts, with many late night phone calls and multiple emails.

“We are always competing against other promoters to secure them.

“This has improved a lot due to our company building bigger events and festivals.

“We have proven to artists and acts that we deliver everything we say, and we always do everything to such a high standard.”

The entertainment business isn’t always smooth-sailing and when problems arise, Pato says figuring out the best solution to gain the best outcome is his best plan of attack.

“There will always be complications that arise, and we just deal with them as they come along.

“That is also when we realise how valuable our team members are, as each of them are equipped to deal with certain complications and they always achieve the best outcome.”

One example of this arose when the team lost a truck to fire two years ago.

“It had all of our One Love festival stage lighting on board, but we worked around the unforeseen circumstance by finding a replacement truck and lights within a very short time frame.

“Our team had to work through the night to  make sure we had everything we needed for the festival day.

“We have a great team of people who are extremely hard workers, passionate and dedicated to their jobs. They all love what they do and enjoy seeing the end results.”

One of those people is business partner Mitch Lowe. “We both came onto the scene about ten years ago,” says Mitch.

“At the time, I was an eager 18-year-old trying to do club events involving DJs, and Pato was promoting at a bar in Tauranga.

“I wanted to bring some of the DJs to Tauranga so Pato came on board, and we ended up bringing them to his nightclub.”

After that they went separate ways.

“We were running parallel for so many years, but in this game you’re always watching each other. We realised if we combined what we were doing, it would be the recipe for a festival.”

That’s when Bay Dreams launched.

Music and people are not only at the epicentre of the pair’s jobs – they are their passion.

“I love bringing people together and watching memories being created,” says Pato. “At the end of the day, I just want people to walk away from our events feeling like they had a great experience, which is something they can cherish forever.”

Stress is just something that comes with the job, he says.  

“Again, it’s all about finding the best solution and routine to deal with it.

“I find working out and staying healthy is a great way to keep my mind clear and focused.

“We are busy all year round, but I always make sure I find time to have a break and relax.

“This year I managed to go for a few overseas holidays with my family.”

He’s learned a few trade secrets over the years too.

“Always stick to your word, pay your bills and keep the quality,” he says. “Look after those who are around you, because events do not run themselves.”