We sit down with the Tribe Team to discuss 2020’s lack of raves, their mix series and future plans

As 2020 draws to a close we continue to draw from the positives of what has been a challenging year. The team at Tribe UK found their year turned upside-down when the UK based events company had an entire year of raves, events and festivals taken away from them, however, they did not allow themselves to be defeated by the COVID climate of 2020, and instead put their energy into their newly founded Tribal Tapes guest mix series.

Guest mixes are nothing new to 2020, with the demand for them skyrocketing in a time where ravers were having to make to with not being out to go out to see their favourite artists and the professional, slick approach taken by the Tribe crew is a big part of their success with their unique mix series. Enlisting the help of the scenes biggest Bass, UKG and Drum & Bass talent, including the likes of NuBass, MPH and Disrputa, Tribe’s mixes were top quality for the get go, even incorporating a colour code system by which casual listeners could see exactly what genre they were letting themselves in for. Our very own 3000 Bass even had the pleasure of being featured, with a label takeover mixed by Altered Focus and Dom Scanlon:

To celebrate reaching a whole year of Tribal Tapes we had the pleasure of sitting down to discuss what has been a unique year, to say the least, especially for an events company, as well as some of their future plans as we move into 2021:

Q) Before we get into it, can you just explain to those who may be new to the Tribe brand, who’s behind the name and what are your roles within Tribe?
A) Definitely, Tribe is a Bass, DnB and UKG brand from Loughborough and few people know that our name actually stands for ‘This Really Is Bass Events’. There’s 4 of us that run Tribe (Greg Young, Stanley Walsh, Alfie Hancock & Connor Hastie) and we have an awesome team of promoters which help with advertising our events and Tribal Tapes series. We share the writing, scheduling and management responsibilities between the 4 of us however, I solely cover the artwork side of things for the brand. Plus, as of this academic year, we have our good friend Maya Brodie-Dowden managing the ‘Tribe Fam’ team, especially for when events come around.

Q) No doubt it’s been a crazy year for you guys! Before COVID kicked off in the way it did, how many events were you able to run at the start of the year and how did they go?
A) Yeah this year definitely hasn’t gone as we planned but I think we have made the most of the situation. Since we only run events during uni semesters, we only managed to get one socially distanced garden party in before full lockdown in Loughborough. We had Minista through for a UKG and Liquid DnB event which was sick; we had to set up in pouring rain but it held off for the event itself and we got some great feedback from everyone. Loughborough is a small place so we see a lot of familiar faces at our events and it was great to see them coming back again. At the start of the year in February we did have Disrupta and Stompz through at our old venue which was a mental night as you can imagine.

Q) What was the reaction when events began to get cancelled and venues started to close? Surely this is nothing any events company has ever had to prepare for before.
A) The most difficult thing that we hadn’t prepared for was our venue, The Kelso, closing permanently because of COVID. This meant we had to quickly find a new home for our events and the new space is double the capacity of our old one. We announced and sold out 2 sat down events in the new venue then just after we invested in a lot of new decorations, Loughborough went into Tier 3 and we couldn’t host the events anymore. Obviously, this was disappointing for all of us and those looking forward to coming but, we have had more time to prep for future events and get our plans in order for what will no doubt be more sat down events. The main positive we have taken from this whole pandemic is that we have invested a lot of time into our Tribal Tapes guest mix series and growing that.

Q) Once venues began to reopen to socially distanced events, did you manage to make the most of that period of time and what were the positives from any events that did run?
A) Like I mentioned previously, we had the one event with Minista and residents which was really good and we wish we could have fit more events in before lockdown. The main positive from that event is just the fact we managed to put on anything at all, we have a great support base in Loughborough so it was important that we put on at least one event this year for everyone. The venue we held it at was a smaller one than we usually use but they were very accommodating and super organised with the COVID regulations, shout out the Jam Garden.

Q) On a lighter note, we’re here to talk about your amazing mix series, the Tribal Tapes! Congratulations on 1 year, has the series met your expectations in terms of performance since its conception?
A) Thanks very much mate! Yeah definitely, to be honest it has picked up a lot more attention than I think we expected it to in its first year. We have definitely been fortunate in having so many amazing DJs on guest mixes for the series and Tribal Tapes is just as important to us as our events now. Since the start of lockdown we decided to double the amount of mixes we had planned, bringing a new guest mix every week so everyone at home had something to enjoy and vibe to whilst isolating. 

1 Year Of Tribal Tapes
1 Year Of Tribal Tapes

Q) What has been some of the highlights, in terms of reception or artists you’ve managed to get on board?
A) Disrupta has undoubtedly been the biggest success on our series with over 37k plays, the man is an animal to be honest and we were gassed to have him on a mix for us after we had him headline at the start of 2020. However, we were really pleased to have grime legend Spooky Bizzle on our first ever purple cover, plus having North Base to finish our first full year of mixes was something special. Whilst we appreciate the bigger names we have had on the series, having the opportunity to feature some amazing up and coming artists is equally as important and that will continue to be our prerogative as we continue to grow.

Q) The colour code system seems to be a stroke of genius for me! Such a simple, yet effective system, who was the mastermind behind this concept?
A) Haha thank you. I came up with the system when we first started the series and I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the listeners to know what kind of mix they’re getting even if they may not have heard of the artist before. We contemplated changing things heading into 2021 but decided to stick with the current design.

Q) Who can we expect to see featuring in the future Tribal Tapes and who would be some dream guests to get in the mix?
A) We have a special series to kick off 2021 featuring Burt Cope, NuBass, Stillz and Formula, ‘Founders February‘ from us 4 then a women only feature month in March with KAZ already confirmed on one of the mixes. I think some of our dream guests would be Alix Perez, Halogenix, Sherelle, DJ EZ, Flava D, Bou and the likes of them. Equally though, up and comers such as Digital Koala, Alcemist, Oppidan and Deppz are all on our list to get on!

Q) Looking forward and into 2021, what are some of the short term and long-term goals?
A) In the short term, it would definitely be to start putting on events in our new venue and sell out every one of those, we miss packed events so just getting back to that is a big goal in itself. Long term goals are to get our Tribal Tapes series to 10k followers and potentially start featuring some exclusive music through our platform.

Q) Thank you for taking the time to chat to us today and all the best for 2021, before you go have you got anything you’d like to plug or shoutout?
A) My pleasure, thank you for having us on a guest mix and interview! Shoutout to the Tribe Fam, our supporters, the DBE and Lost In Music teams and finally, all the artists that have featured at our events or on our guest mixes!

While we had them, the Tribe team were nice enough to return the favour and bang out an epic 60 min mix for our 3000 Bass Exclusive Mix Series, check it out below:

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