THE OWNER OF HEFT
HEFT is a Swansea based Drum & Bass collective, which was founded back in 2017. In this Q&A we asked owner Tom Llewelyn what the driving force was behind him starting HEFT, and how he overcomes setbacks. Here’s what he had to say…
Tell us about your business.
HEFT is a Swansea based Drum & Bass collective founded back in 2017. We started HEFT because, at the time, there were very few nights you could attend here as a Drum & Bass fan. We’re focused on booking ever changing line ups and venues. It took a few tries but we’ve now got our formula right and have managed to sell out every DnB venue in Swansea. At a HEFT night you can expect variety, everything from bedroom DJs playing their first ever set to legendary artists who’ve had a profound effect on the scene scene such as General Levy & DJ Hazard, It’s never the same night twice!
What was the driving force behind your business?
The driving force behind HEFT Is our community, we wouldn’t be doing any of this without the guys who show up and support us at our shows. We want to give back and grow that community because we know how good it feels to be a part of or play to a lively crowd. The goal is to see Swansea’s music scene thriving like Cardiff and Bristol. We want locals to know that Drum & Bass is very much alive In Swansea, and that no matter who you are or where you’re from there’s a place for you here!
What are your core business values?
Our core values are based around innovation. Our mission Is to enrich the local scene as much as possible and keep things exciting for both our acts and our community. We’ve now hosted over 30 shows and almost 200 Individual acts. We have a few Ideas up our sleeves to try once things are back In full force.
How do you overcome setbacks?
The main thing Is believing in your mission, and knowing that you’re going to have to mess up a few times before you get It right. Hosting an empty dance floor can prove Invaluable if you accept what’s happened and make the effort to learn from It. Another day will come where you can try again. Sometimes It’s completely out of your control and that’s ok. I lost a lot of money but learned so much over the first year I was running HEFT, now almost half of our events have hit capacity. Ambition is critical!
If you had one piece of advice for students setting out their own business what would it be?
My advice is to ensure you have a deep passion for what you do. You need to live and breathe your product. Be the user and the admin at the same time, think about not only what you can do as a business but what you would want as a customer. Implement anything you come up with, especially if nobody else is doing it. Sometimes that Idea you’re uncertain about can be what helps you find success.
Are there any other brands outside of your sector that you are following at the moment?
Two of the Drum & Bass brands that I’m constantly inspired by are Concrete Junglists & Dazed. The former is a brand based down the road in Cardiff that’s come to be loved and respected by DnB fans worldwide. Dazed have built themselves up from being a small club night in Bristol and are now one of the most successful event brands In the UK. They’ve got two abroad weekenders coming up this year which we’re buzzing for (dazedpromotions.co.uk).
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Our biggest achievement would have to be being booked to support Chase & Status at Escape later this year. I attended this festival as a 10 year old child so to actually be featuring on the line up is literally a dream come true!
We’re excited and ready to welcome everybody who’s about to join us in Swansea for the first time! We’re always on the lookout for people to get involved with us, whether you’re a DJ looking for a set or a student fancying free entry in exchange for some promotion. Feel free to hit me up through our website or facebook and I’ll be back In touch!
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