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Exploring Life & Business with Shawn Grijalva & Jennifer Romano of Rabbit Whole Productions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawn Grijalva & Jennifer Romano.

Shawn & Jennifer, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
What is our story? Well, I guess you can say Rabbit Whole Productions (RWP) has been in the making since the day we each fell in love with House Music. For us, that’s about a half a lifetime ago.

The inspiration for what is today’s event productions company accumulated over years of experiencing the house music scene firsthand. Growing up in the epicenter of culture, music, and arts… New York. We soon realized how fortunate we were to have access to as many artists as you could possibly wish to see on any given night.

It was in NY that we first met in 2012 while working for the same fine dining restaurant. It wasn’t long before we discovered our shared passion for music and hospitality. It was on Saturday nights after a long shift that we found ourselves catching a train to Queens, Brooklyn, or NYC to check out a DJ or a new venue hosting these electronic music artists. NY provided us with so many ways to experience “Underground House Music.

From warehouse parties in BK to after-hours clubs in Queens, there was no short supply of house music events. From The Barclays center to a Pier on the west side highway, the city offered many platforms to create a dance floor. Roof Top parties with deep house Djs to circle liner cruise ship trips around the Statue Of Liberty with techno DJs aboard. The NY nightlife scene had a plethora of options for the event-goer.

Fast Forward to 2017, we arrived in Raleigh with our two Siberian Huskies to begin a new chapter. It was immediately clear that Raleigh was a fast-growing city with a big demand for new and exciting nightlife events. In 2019, RWP was born. With a clear vision, we began curating immersive, mindful, and inspiring boutique dance music events in the triangle area.

Creating this company gave us the platform to host talented local and international artists. For us, hearing music doesn’t need to end on a stage and a dance floor. By involving small businesses and local vendors we are able to create a more immersive environment that intrigues more of your senses.

At an RWPs event, you could find yourself listening to an artist you’ve never heard before while having your Tarot cards read or being adorned with face jewels and body paint. You might even leave the event with a new locally handmade crystal necklace or bracelet.

When you combine the inspiration gained from traveling to countless music events near and far, with 18 years of hospitality experience, you can be sure that an RWP event is created with the guest experience mindset.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Event production has a lot of moving elements. It takes weeks of planning and anticipating all of your needs to have a smooth event.

Imagine the DJ taking you on a musical journey, performing from a custom DJ booth with LED lights and grooving through a fog of bubbles on the dance floor. That is an experience that you can have at an RWPs event. To create an immersive show everything must align from the flyer design to social media presence. It starts with creating the ticket platform and ends with transforming the venue space… It’s all in the details.

Our obstacle is finding proper venue spaces. There are not many electronic music venues here locally. More often than not we are completely transforming a bar or lounge space to bring our guests a club night experience or what we like to call “An experience that takes you elsewhere.”

If we owned a nightclub we would be able to create a more permanent vibe and installations.

As you know, we’re big fans of Rabbit Whole Productions. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Curators of boutique House & Techno Music events. We create detail-oriented experiences with the intention of connecting the community.

We host various DJs and performers, talents, artists, and small local businesses in order to build a strong community and create a sense of togetherness. These events are a safe and inclusive environment that allows our guests to come and be themselves. A space for expression and inspiration.

What sets us apart the most from other promoters and event producers in town is our attention to detail. We try our best to take all aspects of our guests to experience into consideration.

Venue decor is a major signature touch of Rabbit Whole. Each event has a different feel with different elements to captivate your senses. Another aspect that makes us different is the unique talent that we seek out and host from local to regional and even international headliners.

This is our way of bringing new sounds from record labels that most have never heard of but once they listen to these talented artists it opens their ears and minds to the diversity in the many electronic music genres.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
The most important takeaway from the Covid-19 shutdown has to be the separation from one another and the impact music has on the collective.

Music is the universal language, the connector, it provides an outlet for expression and truly provides healing on all levels. Dancing IS medicine!

Pricing:

  • We keep the ticket pricing of these events as low as possible in order to let them be accessible to many people. Most of our events range from $15-30
  • A lot goes into these events to make them as special as they are. From sound renal to artist fees. lighting, decor, door personnel, and artist accommodations. Many people need to be paid.
  • Money isn’t our motivation. A beautiful vibe and happy smiling faces are most important to us!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Katherine Strait

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