Music and Events: Setting the Musical Tone

As there are a multifaceted confluence of elements that go into each event, the music played can often be relegated as an afterthought. Events where sound is a centric theme (i.e. concerts, movies, performances) aside, creating a musical atmosphere can seem a bit daunting. You don’t want to bust out Britney Spears at a professional luncheon just as you wouldn’t want Enya to start playing during a juggling act – because both would just be too much emotional turbulence.

When setting a musical tone, you want to emulate what is called synesthetic resonance in your guests. This means that all facets of the senses are working together and conveying an analogous energy. To help understand these concepts, here are four different event type examples and the musical tone that should be set for each.

  1. Dinner Party

For a dinner party of any caliber, from a buffet to a plated five-course meal, the music should be something that fades slightly into the background, but still maintains a level of intrigue. While you can’t go wrong with classic jazz – Miles Davis, Coltrane, Charlie Parker – it could be worthwhile to dip into some of the modern jazz compilations that have been pouring into the world. Below is an example of modern saxophone that will fade into the background, but is also fresh enough to be a conversation starter. If you have Spotify, playing a playlist radio based on this song at your dinner party will certainly bring the energy for a delightful and vibrant evening.

  1. Cannabis Brand Launch Party

Cocktails are being sipped amidst laughter, joints are being shared beneath the moonlight, jovial energy fills the air – so you want your sound to play with this and serve to heighten the energy, without being too in your face. You want people to feel comfortable dancing, but also be able to take respite and converse at normal levels without bass in the face. This means no dubstep, no aggressive pop, and unfortunately for the headbangers – no heavy metal. Keep it cool, keep it light, keep it up-tempo and make sure the speakers are pointed towards the dance floor and the dance floor only. Nobody likes having to yell over music to have a conversation. The perfect artist for an event of this nature would be Glass Animals – they are funky, they are groovy, but they are also smooth and not aggressive. Below is a playlist I created for the American Hash Makers Winter Wonderland Party.

  1. Outdoor Luncheon/BBQ/Picnic

You are outside, the sun is high in the sky, the grass is green and the steaks are grillin’ – which means only one thing: rock n’ roll, of the classic variety. For an outdoor event, you cannot go wrong with classic rock. Fleetwood Mac. Bob Seger. Steve Miller Band. The Boss (aka Bruce Springsteen). A mix of these golden oldies will add an element of nostalgia and comradery to your event, and there’s no way people will be able to resist singing along to these classics. Below is a playlist of golden oldies for you to play at an outdoor event.

  1. Hip Smoke Sesh

Blue and purple lights are filtering through the swirling haze in the air. Friends sit atop cozy lounge chairs with soft fabrics and chief skunky delights. What are they listening to? Some groovy, relaxing, mid-tempo, trippy music. From Parliament Funkadelic to Childish Gambino and CloZee, below is a playlist to fuel and inspire during your next smoke sesh.

Attending Live Events in 2021: Will We See a Summer Concert Season?

“All signs point to 2021 getting back to the summer concert season we all know and love,” Bob Ruox, Live Nation’s president of U.S. concerts, tells Rolling Stone. “With vaccines being available to everyone in May, we’re confident events can return to regular capacity soon after.”

Despite the optimism of Live Nation, and the hundreds of thousands of individuals who currently have tickets for summer concerts/music festivals, major concerts during the summer still are not a guarantee. The cause of this being that live music, with its complicated indoor logistics, “cannot be profitable unless the whole system whirls up at once.”

An indoor concert
An indoor concert.

Live Nation and its competitor AEG have stated they are unwilling to resume indoor concerts unless they can operate at close to full capacity. The bottom line being – this will not be the summer for massive concerts, massive events, or global tours. This is not to say, however, that there won’t be any live music. Depending on how well we stick to the vaccination schedule, small to medium-sized outdoor events will still be a thing and we can see large-scale concerts return as soon as fall or early 2022.

Now, what to expect if attending one of these outdoor concerts or events?

  1. Masks are still a thing, and will be, for a good while

Wherever you land in the great ‘mask-debate’, do expect to be rocking one if attending any kind of large social gathering this summer. As more people get vaccinated, we should hope to see mask mandates lifted – but at the same time, lifting mask mandates is not super high on the priority list right now. The ‘better safe than sorry’ approach is still in full effect and what it comes down to is this: wearing masks can’t hurt anybody, but not wearing one could hurt someone. So, it seems like it would be an easy decision….

Concert attendees with face mask.
Concert attendees with face mask on.
  1. Events could require vaccinated-only patrons

This makes complete sense, but still stings a little bit. It is as though we are about to see our society divided by who has been vaccinated and who has not – I mean, I’m already seeing it within my small social circle. All my vaccinated friends are hanging out together and having a good time while I am waiting potentially several months before I can get my hands on one. The fact of the matter is that vaccines are still not widely available, and until they are, staying home is still the safest option.


  1. Big artists will not be touring

Taylor Swift, after postponing her tour several times, finally completely pulled the plug on her summer tour and issued refunds. Big artists who are used to selling out gigantic stadiums across the globe will not find small domestic concerts to be profitable this summer, so will most likely opt out. Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, & Pearl Jam all cancelled their global tours until 2022, and every major music festival, from Glastonbury to Coachella, has also been postponed until at least 2022. The verdict is still out on Burning Man 2021, however, it would seem a little silly to even attempt a socially distanced burn. I mean, there is an ‘orgy tent’, for goodness sakes.


The good news is that if you are a fan of less outrageously famous bands, then you just may be able to see them live this summer. Indie music fans: this is your time to shine.

Live band concert
Live band concert.

The Final Verdict

Knowing this about summer concerts, it is up to each individual to assess risk and decide if attending an outdoor gathering is something you are up for. Only time will tell how this is all going to play out – but the best we can hope for is that everyone gets vaccinated by May so we can all dance together in the streets once more.

As for people who think the vaccine is the government trying to micro-chip you, please take a look at the phone you are holding in your hand and understand this: THAT is your government micro-chip.

Drive-In Events: What To Expect

Now that things are slowly re-opening to the public, the concept of the ‘drive-in’ movie or concert is having a renaissance. People are hopping in their jalopies and boppin’ on down to the local dirt lot to watch films on a large screen like in times of old – but what can be expected at these events? Will there be restrooms? Snacks? Danny Zuko trying to take things further than we’re willing to go?

Drive in music concert
Ecstatic attendees at a drive-in music concert

We did some research to answer these questions so you know what to expect if attending one of these events.

  1. Will there be restrooms?

Every county across the country has different permitting regulations, but in the case of vehicular gatherings, most, if not all, will require some form of port-a-potty to accommodate patrons. Though, for this, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to have one of those little travel bottles of hand sanitizer – because even without a pandemic raging on, pot-a-potties are rarely a glamorous and clean experience.


  1. Will I have to wear a mask?

Once again, this does depend on where the event you are attending takes place. It seems to be the general consensus that masks should be worn outside of your cars or whilst walking around (especially if you are walking to the aforementioned port-a-potties), but wearing a mask in your own vehicle is up to the attendees’ discretion. It is also considered ill-advised to gather in groups outside of your vehicle, and this could get yourself or the venue in trouble. Getting yelled at for not wearing a mask is so 2020, so just, you know, wear one.


  1. Will there be snacks?

This is another question that comes down to permitting. For example, a place that may be permitted to host a drive-in event may not necessarily be permitted to sell food. But hey, let’s be real – half of the appeal of going to a drive-in movie is that you can load up your own car with your own snacks and not have to pay $10 for a dixie cup’s worth of popcorn.

Drive-in movie
Drive-in movie


  1. Will there be alcohol?

As a general rule of thumb: alcohol and vehicles do not mesh. Selling alcohol at a drive-in event where guests are expected to drive home at the end of it is NOT a liability most venues would be willing to take on. Even if you have a designated driver and decide to bring your own booze to one of these events, be careful: most states have laws against open containers in your vehicle.

As for passengers smoking weed in your car, we cannot advise this as cannabis-stench would still tip off a sobriety officer immediately, and depending on where you live you can get yourself in some serious hot water.

This just isn’t the way you want your movie night to end.


  1. Should I expect a 2+ hour post-event parking lost clusterjam?

This, of course, depends on the size of the event; but, if you’ve ever tried to leave a parking lot after a concert or sporting event, then adjust your expectations to account for some parking lot shenanigans. Particularly when dealing with a drive-in music festival, there is about a 1000% guarantee that getting out of the parking lot could take a while. Patience, is key. But, hey, if sitting in a parking lot forever trying to get out means I get to experience live music again, then that is a concession I am willing to make.

Drive-in concert
Drive-in concert

Well there you have it, a no nonsense guide of what to expect at a Drive-In event. We would love to hear about your experiences at these types of events, so if you have a story to tell please DM us on Instagram @thefarechild.

Color Theory in Events Pt. I

Color plays a vital role in establishing the mood of your event. Lighting serves to create ambiance, and different color schemes elicit certain emotions and therefore imbue feelings into your guests. ‘Color Theory’ encompasses a collection of rules, guidelines, and concept applications with the intention of appealing to your desired guest. Color theory creates a logical structure, but still remains infinitely open to interpretation. There are no concrete laws one must follow, instead it is best to simply begin by asking yourself: what type of atmosphere do I want to create? Here, we have five different examples of how color theory can be utilized to create the mood you seek.

Blue – Calming, Spiritual, Wisdom

Complimentary Colors: White, Silver, Magenta, Lavender 

Blue is often associated with calmness, peace, wisdom, and has spiritual and religious connotations in many cultures. Different shades of blue will imbue different emotions; however, the deep, royal blue is the most idyllic for events where the energy is at a medium and conversational level. Blue is also excellent to use for lighting to highlight stage performers, water elements, and beverage displays.

When not to use blue: weddings, high-energy concerts, highlighting food, trade shows, daytime BBQ’s.

Red – Power, Passion, Excitement

Complimentary Colors: Charcoal, Teal, Blackberry, Gold 

Red is the color of passion, power, and excitement. Red is energy, heat, and fire. Red brings about powerful associations in people, so be mindful and deliberate when using this color for your event. It can heighten energy, so is best used for high-energy music events, to highlight speakers on topics of importance, and to create an alluring atmosphere.

When not to use red: acoustic concerts, highlighting beverages, trade shows, birthday parties, daytime events

Purple – Imagination, Mysticism, Playfulness

Complimentary Colors: Black, Electric Blue, Magenta, Blackberry 

Purple means playtime. It has been associated with imagination, abundance, and fantasy. It can be simultaneously retro and futuristic, both exciting and subdued. Purple is the color you are going to want at your cannabis party, your electronic music concert, and your brand launch. Purple is groovy, captivating, and can give your event a spacey feel, an 80’s vibe, or an upscale aura.

When not to use purple: daytime events, trade shows, funerals

Green – Earth, Renewal, Vitality

Complimentary Colors: Peach, Beige, Terra Cotta, White, Gold 

If your event is outdoors or during the daytime, deep shades of green are going to be excellent. Green is associated with nature, renewal, and vitality. It can be paired with several different colors to create different moods: pair green with peach for an outdoor wedding or dinner party, with gold for a classy event. Green is life, green is everywhere, you truly cannot go wrong with green. Green is a gorgeous color to use in any scenario, however, there is a difference between using green accent decorations and green lighting. Do not use exclusively green lighting unless it is intended to be a Halloween or spooky event. In that case, you may as well throw in a fog machine.

When not to use green: to light an entire indoor night-time event.

Orange – Creativity, Cheerfulness, Enthusiasm

Complimentary Colors: Violet, Yellow, Pink, Black, Teal, Red

Orange is kinetic and associated with happiness and movement. Orange calls to mind the sun, warmth, and enthusiasm. Orange gradients utilized in lighting with fog machines will highlight performers, decorations, and gives your guests a flattering glow. Research has found that orange increases oxygen supply to the brain, producing an energizing effect, and stimulating brain activity. Many restaurants use some variation of orange lighting because it is known to bring about more intense sensations, and to increase appetite.

When not to use orange: There is essentially never a bad time to utilize orange in some capacity. The only note is that if you use all orange lighting with all orange accent décor, prepare yourself for an intense evening.

Music and Events: 6 Songs You Can Play at Almost Any Event

While many events will have a specific musical tone, these six songs can be played at nearly any event without disrupting the vibe nor alarming those of the elder variety. Music fuels the mood and can give guests something to connect with and talk about. So, without further ado, here are six songs that will have nearly everyone feeling groovy.


  • “Heroes” by David Bowie

This song is the titular track from David Bowie’s 12th studio album, “Heroes”, which was released in 1977. It tells the story of two star-crossed lovers who are on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall. David Bowie’s performance of this song at the German Reichstag in West Berlin has been regarded as a catalyst to the later fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Needless to say, if this track can help bring down a wall, it can certainly bring people together at your event.


  • “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS 

From Australian rockers, INXS, this 1988 track is the quintessential blues rock love song. Never Tear Us Apart has an epic vibe of togetherness, this ballad is a celebration of unity and blending of differences. It is about standing together against all that life tries to hurdle your way – and depending on the nature of the event, this could prove deliciously meta.


  • “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by Four Tops 

Another titular track, Reach Out I’ll Be There was ranked on Billboard as the #4 song of 1966. Following the theme of the previous two songs, the song is about being there for those who you love. With a stunning instrumental riff, impeccable harmonization, and a sense of nostalgia for many, this track will bode well at most events.


  • “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone

Come and Get Your Love was released in 1973 by Native American rock band, Redbone. The song reached number 5 in the Billboard Hot 100, making Redbone the first Native American band to reach the top 5. The song gained a resurgence in a new generation of pop-culture with its inclusion in the opening scene of Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. With a funky baseline, an upbeat chorus, and a simple call to action to “come and get your love”, this song will always be welcome at events.


  • “Sunglasses At Night” by Corey Hart

Sunglasses At Night is the archetypal 80’s jam piece that can render nearly everybody in a state of total and complete groove. Released in 1984 off of Canadian singer Corey Hart’s debut album, it rose to number 7 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and had millions donning sunglasses long past sundown. The song combines an unflagging synthesizer hook, characteristic arpeggio, rock guitar, and lyrics that don’t necessarily need to be, well, understood. This track will have nearly anybody rocking out and re-thinking when an appropriate time to wear sunglasses is.


  • “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers 

Can’t Stop (2002) by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is a great track to have in your back pocket for when you want to kick the energy of your event up to an eleven. This is true even if a majority of the people who know and love this song don’t know any of the lyrics beyond “Can’t stop addicted to the shindig”. The lyrics are notoriously confusing, with 520 words that don’t make a lick of sense to the laymen, but that has not stopped people from losing their minds with excitement whenever they hear the opening riff.

There you have it! 6 songs that you can play at nearly any event that won’t offend, confuse, or take away from the event you are trying to produce. Stay tuned for more advice in the arena of picking tunes for you event!