10 min. read
The Life of an Entrepreneur in the Music Industry
Are you an Entrepreneur in the Music Industry?
Want to know what 30+ years of hard work and determination can look like?
I had the pleasure of getting to know Michael Haley, of Liquid Air Entertainment, and learning more about his 30+ year journey as an entrepreneur in the music industry. I’m so excited to share the details of his life & mission with you!
If you are looking to get into the entertainment world, you’ll want to keep reading! – You might even resonate with some of the ways that music has impacted Michael’s life.
Michael Haley of Liquid Air Entertainment
Today, we are so excited to dive into the life of an entrepreneur in the music industry. He has been working in many areas of production for 30+ years and has a lot to share with us about that journey.
Please allow me to introduce, Michael Haley of Liquid Air Entertainment.
Liquid Air Entertainment Logo
Hi Michael, thank you for joining us! We can’t wait to hear how music has guided your path and your life’s work. Has music always been a part of your life?
My first taste of music was country western from my parents, then psychedelic, classic rock and the Beatles from my sister. The 70’s later introduced Funk and Disco to my repertoire from the roller skating craze.
I was in New York during the birth of Hip-Hop, and in high school when Punk and New Wave were born. I actually started working in the music industry at 16 years old when I took on a summer job as the food & drink caterer for Harvey Corky & Tice. They were the biggest promoters in New York at the time and brought in bands such as The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, Go-Go’s, & more.
That must have been such an unforgettable & impactful experience at that age! As someone who started listening from such a young age, what would you say is the importance of live music?
I would have to say the connection between being present and hearing the music as well as seeing it be played. That unified oneness that you feel while the music is being performed is a visceral feeling far superior to listening to it by yourself in a car, or even pre-recorded and being played at a birthday party or wedding.
I love how you worded that so profoundly. I’m sure the readers can agree with you on that feeling you get at a live show.
Now, to quote Tiesto, let’s get down to business. What is the inspiration behind Liquid Air Entertainment?
Most importantly, it’s seeing P.L.U.R (Peace, Love, Unity, & Respect) live on through the younger generations who attend, not only our events, but every event.
It’s seeing the way people express themselves through dance & celebration.
It’s seeing legendary DJ’s touring. My favorite thing is still booking the pioneers and the founding fathers of the scene.
It’s booking the newest up-and-coming DJs and getting the pleasure to watch their careers blow up.
It’s the evolution of the productions, which are simply mind-blowing.
EDC & Afterlife are spectacular and truly amazing compared to the dark warehouses we started in. We – maybe – had one red or blue light, blinking strobes, a 4ft black light, two 1200’s and two speakers.
That’s amazing! It sounds like you couldn’t be more passionate about the company and the music industry if you tried! What kind of events does Liquid Air Entertainment promote annually?
In New York, we have done so many monthly shows and recurring events such as X- Rated 1-2-3. We’ve brought national & international headliners annually such as DJ Dan, Bad Boy Bill, Keoki, Donald Glaude, Czech, Low Steppa, Marty McFly, Sydney Blu, Carlo Lio, the list goes on.
Since moving our offices to Florida, we are now involved in Miami Music Week and EDC next year. We put on a great show at EarthFest this year and are currently working on EVARRAVE which is going to be held in a few different cities in Florida, New York, & Chicago.
Wow! You’ve definitely made an impact, across the country, as an entrepreneur in the music industry! How would you say Liquid Air Events are safer than others?
This is a great question, especially with so many of these tragic news stories that seem to be heard more and more these days.
First and foremost we provide proper security and onsite medical personnel for our events. I have worked for years as a bouncer, in executive protection and body guarding for over 25 years. So, not only do Liquid Air events provide a safe environment for my attendees, we also utilize the non-profit organization DANCE SAFE. I would like to give them a shout out because we have used Dance Safe at all our events dating back to the early 90s.
I’m so grateful to have someone like you in the music industry that truly cares about the health & well being of the individuals attending your events.
You’ve been working to keep dancers safe for a long time now, but I know you also set aside some time to play yourself. What are some of your favorite moments in entertainment history as an entrepreneur in the music industry?
There are two that stick out, although I’ve had many.
The first would have to be the moment Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation came to play for me at my going away party in New York when I moved to Florida. I roller skated in the early 80s to Planet Rock and all the amazing music that Afrika Bamaataa put out. To have it come full circle and him playing for me was the highlight of my career in the music industry.
The other moment, was being invited on as the first promoter interviewed for MasterMind of the DJ podcast. Natalia interviews all of the top DJ’s in the world so, I was honored and humbled to be a part of her podcast. She is an amazing interviewer & host and I couldn’t have been more thrilled!
Both are definitely thrilling, but I can’t imagine the full circle moment you had at your going away party. That must have been truly magical and even nostalgic!
Obviously, you’re not stopping any time soon. What do you hope to accomplish in the future?
Hmm I would really want to do my part to educate the current and future generations on the history of EDM.
I feel that would be a great accomplishment to achieve. We all know the history of Rock & Roll, Country and Hip- Hop however, not enough has been done to document or educate people on the history of Electronic Dance Music. So, if I can play a part in that, then something I’ve done can live on long after I’m gone – that would be my contribution.
That is very true, not many people in the music industry have documented the evolution of EDM. I am truly excited for you to bring that to life in the near future so more people can understand the culture of EDM.
Are there any other big accomplishments or recognitions that you’d like to share from your 30+ years as an entrepreneur in the music industry?
Well, I feel that should probably come from either the artists we’ve worked with, the booking agencies & record labels, or even the Liquid Air fans that have supported us at events over the last 31 years.
I will say though, being in the music industry for 31 years and still doing what I love to do, I think that is a huge accomplishment!
Amen! Doing what you love for 31 years IS an accomplishment!
As far as recognition goes, Liquid Air has a great reputation for throwing some memorable parties in our long run in the music industry.
I know many people who have told me that their first rave was at a Liquid Air event.
Some of our attendees have even told me now their kids come to our events, which is awesome!
Some attendees have actually met their future wives at our events and then went on to get married in the future. DJ Huda Hudia met his wife at a Liquid Air event just a few years ago down here in Florida.
So, over the decades our name is pretty well known throughout the music industry here in the states, in Canada, and across the pond.
How cool that you get to be a part of piecing together those love stories and inspiring family friendly events!
Is there anything else you would like the readers to take away from our time here?
If there’s anything I’d like to share, it would be to please follow and live by P.L.U.R!
The history of that acronym, coined by my friend Frankie Bones, is the code of ethics which all ravers live by. We want the world to have more peace, more love, more unity, and more respect for each other. So PLUR will be the raver’s creed for eternity.
With PLUR in mind, support your local DJs and promoters. If you are an up and coming DJ, do your part to support ALL promoters’ events, be part of the community, stay out of cliquey circles, or at least be part of all the cliques.
Love, lift up, and support other DJs & other promoters unconditionally and unbiasedly.
Last, but not least, when you are feeling sad, depressed, anxious, or any other emotional low vibration… always remember to just dance, and dance until you can’t dance no more!
I agree with you and Frankie, we could all use more Peace, Love, Unity & Respect in our lives – inside & outside of the rave community. Plus, I absolutely love that advice! Dance is such a powerful tool for our mental health. It allows us to get out of our minds and into our bodies.
Thank you so much for joining us and sharing, not only your journey as an entrepreneur in the music industry, but also some incredible advice to follow as a society.
It was my pleasure to be here.
Take care, fellow ravers. God bless, and be well!
Michael Haley Owner/ Event Coordinator for Liquid Air Entertainment.
We look forward to all of the things Michael Haley & Liquid Air Entertainment have coming to us soon.
Michael Haley relaunched Liquid Air Entertainment’s website with many new & exciting upgrades! Check it out here!
Are you an up & coming artist looking to work with a man of knowledge & experience in the music industry? Apply here to work with Liquid Air.
Check out what Liquid Air’s newest artist – Kriz Mikelz of St Petersburg, FL – had to say about his journey in the music industry in our blog Top New EDM Artist to Look out for in 2023
New to the EDM community? Check out some of our blogs about our favorite artists in the scene and tips on creating a memorable experience for all.
- Top New EDM Artist to Look out for in 2023
- 5 Legendary EDM Artists Every Raver Should Know | (drinkraveraide.com)
- 17 Artists You NEED To Catch At Forbidden Kingdom | (drinkraveraide.com)
- Rave Etiquette – The Official Guide to the Do’s & Don’ts of Raving | Raveraide (drinkraveraide.com)
- The Ultimate Music Festival Camping Checklist | Raveraide (drinkraveraide.com)
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