When it comes to Urban Nightlife in Houston there is only one name that comes to mind, Ikem Onyekwena. To put it simply, he runs a company that does all of the advertising and marketing for the nightclubs in the area. You can’t have a dope party in Houston if he isn’t involved. He took the time to chat with us right after the New England Patriots shocked the world at Super Bowl 51 in Houston.
What exactly do you do for a living?
I run a company that advertises events and parties in Houston.
How is Houston different from other cities nightlife?
When it comes to nightlife, Houston is different from other cities partially in the vast amount of entertainment options and affordability. Cost of entertainment is relatively cheaper than most of the more popular cities like; New York, Miami and Los Angeles. We also have a lot of venues scattered across different parts of the city. You can party in downtown, midtown, galleria, the heights, upper kirby and etcetera.
Leading up to Super Bowl, how did you feel about the outside promoters coming in?
I personally didn’t really feel any kind of way about of town promoters coming into the city to do events. Most veteran out of town promoters are pretty aware of the opportunities that the city provides so it only made sense that they take a stab. But there still has to be a considerable amount of research conducted to craft a profile event in this city. What I noticed was most out of town promoters just followed the trend of other promoters doing parties and just got ANY venue and ANY host to do parties. Some local promoters did have reservation on the raid of out of town promoters especially those that got bought out of their weekly club spots.
What event would you say was the standout Super Bowl party?
Standout events of Super Bowl 51 Houston were the behemoth line up that the Aristocrat Life guys had lined up for the entire weekend across multiple clubs and even more impressive was that every single host they advertised showed up. Having a pretty good idea of what it takes to setup parties of that magnitude, I feel it is important that they are given their credit. To be more specific The Ebony Magazine Celebration of Champions Party, The Fabolous Party at Engine Room, The Maxim Party, Gucci Maine, Lil Wayne and DJ Khaled at The Ballet, Mike Vick and Gucci Mane at Grooves and the Daytime Party at Proof Saturday, just to name a few.
How did the outcome of the Super Bowl effect the after parties?
If Atlanta won, the city would have been on fire. With a Falcon victory majority of the promoters with Sunday night parties would have fared very well. The loss and the way the Falcons lost, put such a damper on the fans that most didn’t even to do anything.
Was there any events you knew would fail when you saw the flyer?
Oh yes. I could pin point them as soon as I saw the flyers. It was quite easy to pinpoint them for sure failure parties. For instance, having a certain host at this certain club on this day won’t work because not too far from it is this other party with this bigger host. Or using a host that is part of a bigger lineup on another night. Even using a location to do a party that Houstonians don’t even go to. B & C list hosts to compete against more credible promoters with A List hosts. So many examples. I wish I could offer consulting advice to some of them but most of the time folks are so full of conviction with their ideas that its best just to say nothing.
Do you feel party goers stick to the promoters they are familiar with for these big weekends or they tend to go with the most popular host?
It varies but I’d say most party goers stick to the promoters they know. Whenever they are in doubt they will stick with who they know because they have delivered in the past. so for instance, in a 3 day weekend one would support the promoters they know for 2 nights but would try a popular host they like on another night. Novice party goes usually just pick the most popular hosts they know they can afford.
If you could change anything about Super Bowl Weekend in Houston, what would you change?
If I could change anything I would have Matt Ryan give Freeman or Coleman two run plays so they could seal the game with a field goal! Lol! But seriously, if I could I would encourage more collaborations with A List out of town promoters and local A List promoters. The revenue share is thinned a bit but the quality is better, the voice is clearer to party goers and relations are built for future events.
Do you have any plans for NBA All Star Weekend in New Orleans?
Oh yea! I’m at the Grammy’s this weekend, All Star Weekend the following week and then back in LA for the Oscar’s. But yea, I will be out in New Orleans for All Star Weekend capturing images for Larry Morrow Events.
Follow Ikem Onyekwena on Instagram @indmix1