Confessions of a concert organiser
Meticulous planning, excellent partners and luck are factors to success, says boss of Now/Live and Secret Sounds Asia
From Bon Iver, Two Door Cinema Club and Phoenix - the indie concerts they have organised have entertained thousands of people.
But Mr Dan Gordon, managing director of Now/Live and Secret Sounds Asia, lets us in on a little-known fact.
All that organising? It's done by just two people - Mr Gordon and his colleague.
As he laughed at this reporter's shocked expression, the T-shirt and jeans-clad 30-year-old said: "Yeah, it's just two. Lots of people are surprised to hear that."
Music fans will be familiar with Now/Live and Secret Sounds Asia, who have given people here the chance to catch big-name indie acts such as Tame Impala, alt-J and The xx.
Mr Gordon, who was born and raised in London, said that he has come a long way. At the tender age of 14, he started working at bars and event companies to learn about the industry.
After completing his A levels, Mr Gordon knew that concert organising was what he wanted to do, but he did not know where to do it.
"London was full of so many names already, so it would have been hard to start there," he said.
That ambition led him to travel and find a suitable country to set up shop in. He came to Singapore when he was 24 and has been working here since then, staging his first show with British act SBTRKT in 2012.
But Mr Gordon humbly added that he owes a lot to the many industry partners he has built good relations with.
"You can't do it all alone, and I've been fortunate to be able to work with excellent partners and link up with professionals here," he said.
Mr Gordon said that out of the more than 18 events he has organised, none of them have ever been cancelled. "This business of organising shows is calculated risk, and I've been very lucky," he said with a smile.
But pumping in so much money and effort to hope that it literally pays off can be daunting, so Mr Gordon shared that he is meticulous in planning.
When asked about the Guns N' Roses drama last month, when concertgoers were left frustrated over issues such as crowd control, transport and food and drink, Mr Gordon noted how difficult it can be.
He said: "If we were to do something of that scale, we would definitely need to bring in our experienced Australian partners who operate Australia's largest festivals.
"Organisers have to be clued up on the space that they're organising, everything must be in place."
He added: "Promoters have to take on board customers' or fans' feedback to improve."
The key to a successful event is "balance". Mr Gordon said that while he wants to ensure people have a good time at his shows, safety precautions must be put in place.
He approved of the recent amendments to the Public Order Act, which will require events with large crowds to have ramped-up security measures.
But there is also the constant worry of a show not making money. Mr Gordon said that he does intensive research before deciding to bring an act in.
"It has to make financial sense, we are a business after all," he said.
Mr Gordon's commitment, however, has and always will be to the music. For every show he puts together, Mr Gordon says that the sound quality is prioritised above all else, and even if a show is not selling well or a loss is to be incurred, the show will still go on.
"People have paid money to listen to and enjoy the music and the act. I can understand that, and I want them to have the best experience possible," he said.
As the person calling the shots, Mr Gordon admitted that one of the best parts of his job is that he gets to bring in any act he wants.
But scheduling and infrastructure concerns can get in the way, and not all bands are eager to come here because it can be "a bit far away".
Like many of us, Mr Gordon has a dream list of acts that he wants to see and he has been working on them coming here for a long time.
"I would love to bring in the Arctic Monkeys or Radiohead here one day, they are such good artists and people would definitely love to watch them," he said.
"They've said 'no' so far, but I'm going to keep trying."