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Promoter Profile - GMAN
By: Jessica Grajczyk
Date: 2006-02-09 15:39:34
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by Jessica Grajczyk

With thousands of Vancouver party people heading through the doors of Int’l Gold Fridays at Atlantis and Big Up Saturdays at Plush each week, we thought you might like to know just what it takes to get to the level of promoting expertise possessed by the infamous GMAN & Rizk. GMAN talks about his formula for good business, taking it to the next level, and how to look good while doing it.

What have you learned during your 16 years in the biz?

The most important thing that I have learned in business is that there is no easy way out except good old hard work. If you don’t bust your ass 24/7 you will not be the best at what you do. You also have to be good for your word, solid and honest. Pretty simple standards when you think about it, but not easy for most.

What were some memorable moments from the first party you ever threw? How have your parties evolved since then?

I would say there was almost no ’good’ memorable moments from the first party I threw, except the final result of having 2,000 people show up... haha. That was mind blowing. Other than that, it was probably the most stressed I had ever been in my life for about a month long.

When you are inexperienced (being your first party) at organizing something to these levels, it can be pretty crazy. The parties are pretty much clock work today. We run at least two events per week, and have had up to 4 events on the weekend. Most of the time there’s over 1,000 people coming through at a time and there is pretty much no stress now and Rizk and I could do this in our sleep.

What was the best party you ever attended and why?

The best party I have attended was probably one of our infamous annual staff Timebomb parties at a house or space. These are great as they were private parties, no charges at the door, whatever music we wanted to hear, free drinks, great people, no work and pure positive vibes. Kind of like a big house party.

I really have been to a lot of great events and parties to nail down one but a great fairly recent one was DJ Kid Capri at Plush. This was a DJ that we had tried to bring for many many years and the dream finally came true. Everyone that was there will say this was for sure going down as part of Vancouver’s history. He brought 15 crates of records and went through them all.

You also present concerts. Which artist would you love to bring to Vancouver?

Well we have basically crossed off many on our lists over the years, but due to an artist being out of the price range, or not touring to Vancouver these are the ones that I would want to be involved with.... Sade, A Tribe Called Quest (reunion), John Legend, Michael Jackson, LL Cool J, Madonna, Mos Def, Nas, Outkast, Public Enemy (again), and Stevie Wonder would be a few.

The most important thing that I have learned in business is that there is no easy way out except good old hard work!

What are your observations on the evolution of Vancouver’s street wear industry, with new stores like Alife and the Adidas Concept Store popping up?
Well you would have to mention our store Livestock ( ) for sure... haha. And we are opening a new store around the corner from Livestock called IE that will have lots amazing street styles, so be on the look out. Street wear was here long long before those new stores.

Don’t forget I have been distributing for over 15 years to stores that have long before pioneered carrying street wear. I think that the stores have for sure gotten a lot cleaner and people are most definitely way more educated..but there’s still an education process going on. I don’t think we will ever hit the NYC or Japan level of awareness but it is what it is. Vancouver only has 2 million people and really it’s a pretty laid back city so we have our own style.

How has the night life industry evolved since you’ve been in the game? For better or worse? What would you like to see change?

Well people can sit here and talk about the ’good old days’ but if you are not evolving, you are out of the game. I think that’s one thing that GMAN & Rizk have always done...we have always evolved with our crowd, have been creative, have taken chances, and always cater to the new up and comers as well. The scene certainly has grown a lot from 1 urban night a week, now up to 5-6 in one night. That small vibe essence may be lost a bit but I would for sure have to say the scene has gotten better. We could have never have had 1,200 people a week before in a club night. When we did our first night at Big Up Saturday at Plush, I knew this was another milestone in Vancouver’s club and urban had never been done.

As for change..I guess it’s up to us to try to make the changes as we are part of evolving our scene. I feel that you are either the problem or the solution (not that’s there’s a real problem). It’s just sometimes you hear people bitching about this or that, or our night life etc... I was never one to bitch, we just do something about it. We will continue to bring the best acts and DJ’s around the world to help educate the masses on that quality shit.

Share something you wish you knew about promoting when you first started ? some advice for promoters just starting out.

You have to be passionate about this and don’t expect to be GMAN & Rizk overnight. This took a lot of paying dues. Advice for promoters starting out? Stay away from our shit and we’ll be straight haha! Also don’t bite, be original... we already did it.

Check us out at:,, or come to Livestock
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