Given how music opens the connection to the soul, artists and their fanbases must represent the body. Promotional companies, then, are the heartbeat of the music industry. These are the local street teams, the social media hustlers, the business negotiators, the backstage bookers and talent scouters — all working tirelessly at their tiers with management teams, venues, press, and so on to bring fans their favorite music. However, promotional companies often get overlooked by music goers, outshined by big names and line-ups. They don’t much care for the spotlight though, and they definitely don’t do it for the money. They do it all for the love of music.
That’s why CE is proud to present our Promo Spotlight series, where we scour the United States for local promotional companies to shine a light on the people working behind the scenes of music. They are, for all intents and purposes, music’s beating life force.
In Texas, only one festival stands up to Disco Donnie‘s widespread influence: Lights All Night (LAN). In a historic move, now the leading US-based independent electronic music promoter has announced its acquisition of the storied NYE music festival, Lights All Night, which is held every year in Dallas. LAN joins Ubbi Dubbi and Freaky Deaky to become DDP’s third annual Texas festival. With the festivals and over 300 club shows and events annually throughout Texas, DDP is the state’s biggest independent promoter.
Paired with this announcement is the official lineup for the 2022 NYE celebration taking place on December 29 and 30 at Dallas Market Hall. The 2022 lineup features prominent names across a myriad of genres including Excision, Porter Robinson, Zeds Dead, and plenty more.
Led by James “Disco” Donnie Estopinal, Disco Donnie Presents (DDP) has produced over 17,000 shows in over 100 different cities since its inception in 1994. Over twenty-five years ago, Disco Donnie discovered that Texas was a community with a Texas-sized appetite for EDM. Since then, DDP made a commitment to bring the best electronic music to the state and has produced shows in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin in addition to 11 other smaller cities in Texas. In the last ten years, the company has generated over $1 billion dollars in total economic impact and over $1.6 million in charitable donations for local nonprofits throughout Texas.
In April of 2020, DDP took a calculated risk and produced Ubbi Dubbi, the “first festival back,” after over a year of COVID-canceled events. The team innovated COVID-safe protocols and third-party post-event research confirmed no escalation in COVID cases. DDP’s operations became a template for promoters nationwide.
“After re-establishing our own independence, I am thrilled to start a new phase of growth with our first acquisition. Over 25 years ago, I felt such a strong connection with the audience at our earliest shows in Texas and since then, the demand for dance music has exploded. Scott Osburn and his team have built an extraordinary festival and it’s an honor for us to be trusted to continue and expand on their creativity.”– James “Disco” Donnie Estopinal
Disco Donnie has long served as a mentor to new promoters and he has been a proponent of LAN since its inception. With this acquisition, Donnie is committed to maintaining the authenticity of LAN and enhancing it with DDP’s magic and expertise. Osburn will remain on as an advisor, continuing to focus on creating artist and fan-centric experiences.
“Selling Lights All Night to Disco Donnie Presents is a full circle moment. Throughout the years, Donnie, his President Michele Servais and the DDP team have been great mentors and friendly competitors. DDP wrote the playbook for Texas’ electronic music scene, and we have been able to create a first-class festival with their support. I’m very excited to see how the festival evolves and feel fortunate to hand over the reins to such respected and capable producers.”– Scott Osburn (CEO, Always On)
Founded by Scott Osburn and Hank Keller, Lights All Night first launched on New Year’s Eve 2010 with headliner Ghostland Observatory and 6,000 fans. LAN has since grown to become Texas’ longest-running electronic music festival, and one of the most visible NYE festivals in the U.S. Over the years, LAN headliners have included superstar artists Avicii, Calvin Harris, deadmau5, Marshmello, Skrillex, The Chainsmokers, Tiësto, and many more, while playing host to over 300,000 attendees and 500+ music acts from across the globe.
In 2018, Osburn acquired a majority interest in LAN and started operating the festival under his company Always On with direct responsibility for operations and event production, talent buying, and marketing. For the following two years, LAN sold out weeks in advance of the festival including 35,000+ attendees in 2019 and 36,000 in 2021. In addition to his advisory role at LAN, Osburn now looks forward to exploring new entrepreneurial opportunities with respect to entertainment, live events, and other industries.
Lights All Night 2022 pre-sale will be Monday, August 1 at 10 am CST. Sign up for the pre-sale, and enter for a chance to win backstage passes, here.
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