The 7 essential tips for organising a successful battle

The 7 essential tips for organising a successful battle

Bat­tles bring togeth­er dancers or rap­pers who want to express their tal­ent by con­fronting oth­ers, aim­ing to judge their artistry and estab­lish their own rep­u­ta­tion. This for­mat high­lights some of the foun­da­tions of hip-hop, includ­ing exceed­ing your lim­its and healthy com­pe­ti­tion among rivals. It’s quick­ly become high­ly pop­u­lar and can be adapt­ed to any size — such as the Juste Debout bat­tle at the Accord Are­na in Paris, and neigh­bour­hood events organ­ised by local youth clubs or cul­tur­al asso­ci­a­tions — and to all audi­ences, be they pro­fes­sion­als or novices. Organ­is­ing a bat­tle is in everyone’s reach, and with good rea­son. Here are 7 essen­tial tips for suc­cess­ful­ly organ­is­ing your bat­tle.

Sum­ma­ry

  1. Struc­ture your organ­i­sa­tion
  2. Opt for lead­ing dis­ci­plines
  3. Find your speak­er or MC
  4. Select an attrac­tive and suit­able jury
  5. Choose a tick­et­ing tool
  6. Com­mu­ni­cate reg­u­lar­ly to attract mem­bers of the pub­lic
  7. Book a bat­tle DJ

1. Structure your organisation

Organ­is­ing such an event requires a first step well in advance of prepa­ra­tion: struc­tur­ing.  The sim­plest mod­el is that of an asso­ci­a­tion, based on the French law of 1901. You can tick all the box­es for organ­is­ing a bat­tle with this sta­tus, but there’s one impor­tant point that remains: the asso­ci­a­tion is not for prof­it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make a prof­it by organ­is­ing an event, but you won’t be able to pay your­self as an organ­is­er if you’re the pres­i­dent, trea­sur­er, or mem­ber of the asso­ci­a­tion. Still, with asso­ci­a­tion sta­tus, you’ll be able to declare your events to the local author­i­ties, sub­mit your dec­la­ra­tion to SACEM (the French pro­fes­sion­al music asso­ci­a­tion), invoice your con­trib­u­tors — e.g. sup­pli­ers, speak­ers, judges — and man­age your tick­et­ing sys­tem.

2. Opt for leading disciplines

Most bat­tles are asso­ci­at­ed with a dis­ci­pline. Juste Debout (men­tioned above) is an event for dancers. End Of The Weak is a rap bat­tle. In Paris, the Ready Or Not label has opt­ed for an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary bat­tle that brings togeth­er the key dis­ci­plines of rap, dance, DJing and graf­fi­ti with­in a sin­gle space. By embrac­ing the DIY spir­it, they’ve man­aged to bring about the very essence of hip-hop as it was expressed across the Atlantic at the birth of the move­ment, with events like block par­ties.

3. Find your speaker or MC

You can’t have a bat­tle with­out a speak­er. They act as the con­duc­tor for your event. They know the atten­dees and can use their extra­or­di­nary verve to give the bat­tle just the right rhythm, while man­ag­ing to cap­ti­vate the audi­ence that’s trav­elled for your event.

Their role is essen­tial: if your event lacks rhythm, your audi­ence will lose track and will no longer be inter­est­ed in the com­pe­ti­tion. Their role is also to spur on the artists who’ve come to earn the title of win­ner of your edi­tion. They are often for­got­ten or neglect­ed, despite being the mas­ter of cer­e­monies (MC) — an indis­pens­able com­po­nent of your bat­tle.

4. Select an attractive and suitable jury

Whether in dance, rap — also called a ‘cypher’ (or ‘cipher’) — DJing, beat­mak­ing or graf­fi­ti, bat­tles push rap­pers, B‑boys and artists to give their best in order to be crowned win­ner by a jury. The jury is usu­al­ly com­posed of 3 to 5 peo­ple cho­sen for their expe­ri­ence or rep­u­ta­tion, and is tasked with mak­ing the final deci­sion and select­ing the cham­pi­on of the bat­tle.

As the jury’s mis­sion is to decide between the can­di­dates, this can cre­ate prob­lems when organ­is­ing your event. An organ­is­er who lacks the net­work or knowl­edge need­ed to tack­le this role might be caught off guard and not know where to turn. Talk about this as much as pos­si­ble with those around you or call on third par­ties who can advise and guide you. These third par­ties can take many forms, includ­ing artists’ man­agers, inde­pen­dent labels, and spe­cialised agen­cies.

5. Choose a ticketing tool

Sev­er­al ser­vices for tick­et­ing man­age­ment are avail­able to you. The old­est method is still the cash reg­is­ter and coun­ter­foil books, but mod­ern means don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mean high­er costs. For instance, Weezevent offers turnkey ser­vices to facil­i­tate the man­age­ment process via an online tick­et­ing sys­tem.

This sys­tem offers sig­nif­i­cant advan­tages for prepar­ing your bat­tle. Depend­ing on the num­ber of sales or reg­is­tra­tions car­ried out at a giv­en time, you can pre­dict your atten­dance in advance in order to adjust your com­mu­ni­ca­tion cam­paigns and your var­i­ous bud­gets — e.g. on-site cater­ing, secu­ri­ty, etc. At the same time, it allows you to retrieve extreme­ly impor­tant data for your future com­mu­ni­ca­tion cam­paigns. Who comes to your events? How should you con­tact them again? Suc­cess­ful events are renewed events. If a project is suc­cess­ful, make it as easy as pos­si­ble for your­self to repeat the oper­a­tion.

6. Communicate regularly to attract members of the public

Although this may seem obvi­ous, there won’t be a show if your audi­ence isn’t there. The pres­ence of a curi­ous, moti­vat­ed and encour­ag­ing audi­ence will allow the artists to per­form at the top of their game. The audi­ence is always shy at the start of a bat­tle, which is where the role of the speak­er comes in. They can reas­sure the audi­ence and ask them to come clos­er and make noise, just as a crowd warmer would.

Suc­cess­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tion will ensure your event has an audi­ence, as well as fame and vis­i­bil­i­ty. This com­mu­ni­ca­tion can be led in dif­fer­ent ways. We rec­om­mend that you both print and broad­cast your visu­als on social net­works as effi­cient­ly as pos­si­ble by opti­mis­ing your posts and seek­ing to be orig­i­nal in how you com­mu­ni­cate. When it comes to com­mu­ni­ca­tion, reg­u­lar­i­ty is key.

7. Book a battle DJ

Now that you have a speak­er, atten­dees, a jury and an audi­ence, you just need a mas­ter of the turntable. The DJ will set the mood, and a good DJ will set just the right tone. With­out music, the bat­tle can’t take place, and the atmos­phere will be nonex­is­tent. DJs’ fees vary, but you’ll need to allo­cate a cer­tain amount of mon­ey if you want to hire the ser­vices of a DJ who’s more or less estab­lished. Beware: an excel­lent DJ for par­ties and pri­vate events might be a mediocre DJ for bat­tles. This is a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent exer­cise that requires a min­i­mum lev­el of expe­ri­ence to be mas­tered.

You’ve now got all the essen­tials for organ­is­ing a suc­cess­ful bat­tle. Remem­ber that your event might also be eli­gi­ble for a sub­sidy; find out as much as you can about the assis­tance that could be avail­able to you. Be ambi­tious in your approach, and above all plan your event in a spe­cif­ic, applied way to make a great suc­cess of it. Dis­cov­er all of Weezevent’s tools for organ­is­ing a suc­cess­ful bat­tle:

Plan­ning an event

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