Australian Festival Promoter Excited For Tech N9ne’s Arrival [Strange Music Exclusive Interview]

Jan 11 2012

Tech N9ne - Heatwave

Patrick J Whyntie is the promoter of the Heatwave Festival, going down January 12-22 in Australia and featuring Tech N9ne on every date, where he’s also headlining in South Australia, Perth, and Canberra. Heatwave also features Kid Cudi, D12, Obie Trice, and many more.

Despite his insanely busy schedule, we were able to get ahold of Patrick who discussed the biggest challenges of putting on Heatwave, his love for hip hop, and why Aussies love Tech N9ne.

What inspired you to book Tech N9ne for Heatwave?

Blatant truth is I would have booked Tech N9ne whether his following was as big as it is now or not. He is just one of those artists whose music is like a drug and when you hear it you have to let everybody else know, that’s why his fans are so crazy! Tech, as he does with a lot of people, inspired me a lot and I was just getting into the whole trying-to-be-a-rapper thing, finish school, and find a future in this. So when Tech had his first Australian tour I had to find a way to jump on as a local support act and pay my way to tour with him on two dates–you know soak in the experience.

We went through hell and back at a very young age dealing with industry politics, rival promoters, trying to gain respect as a new company with a fresh attitude, look, and idea. If you know Tech N9ne you know how hard he has worked for the industry to accept him and that is where we were at until the start of this year!

Now, three years later after touring him, I’m at the helm of a million dollar festival and touring company. When we started looking at our lineup I was like, “Tech N9ne, the guy is huge right now, his story is us,” and it was my dream to tour him.

Tech N9ne has a big following in Australia. Why do Aussies love Tech so much?

What’s not to love? It’s the most picture perfect story of dealing with hardship, overcoming everyday pressures and making something from nothing. Australians also have good taste in music!

On which dates is Tech performing?


January 12-15 – Middleton, South Australia
January 15 – Brisbane, TBA
January 19 – Sydney, TBA
January 20 – Motorplex, Perth
January 21 – Epic Arena, Canberra (18+)
January 22 – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

Tech is on the whole tour. He headlines Friday night in South Australia, Perth, and Canberra.

How did you first hear about Tech N9ne?

When I was on high school camp in 2003 I found Absolute Power for sale for $14.99–I still have it somewhere–and I spent my last $15 on it and the album really got me through the year. I had no idea who he was but the feature with D12 was enough to make me take a chance. Usually random buys are wack but this was life changing! I really hope D12 and Tech can do “She Devil” live, lots of Aussies have asked!

How did you first become interested in hip hop?

As a fan then, I turned into an artist myself and now a promoter. It’s an outlet–way to express. It’s cooler than writing in a diary or so you think at fifteen. I entered the battle circuit at fifteen and battled hardcore in the Aussie scene until around nineteen–always freestyle never ever written battles. Then I started getting serious with shows, had a semi-hit out here, landed some big remixes for major artists, collaborated with Bizarre from D12 and the interest just keeps growing!

How did the concept for Heatwave come together?

I live in a very small area on the South Coast of South Australia. There is a huge lack of entertainment in my area and a lot of underlying issues. I was doing nothing with my life and just got sick of it. Made some calls to friends I had made while trying to break into the music industry out here and landed Xzibit to fly out here Summer of 2010 and headline in a small town an hour out of Adelaide. It was the craziest thing anyone here had seen! The show was wild! Then we knuckled down and wanted to expand it to a well-run camping festival and test the national circuit out.

What have been the biggest challenges with putting together the festival?

Let me shoot some real straight up shit for a second…

Event managers/young people wanting into the industry…

What they teach and prepare you for in an event management course is absolutely nothing of what you can expect to happen. To be honest, throwing yourself under a moving car and getting backed over is closer to the reality.

I get asked everyday now by younger crew and I hate to say it but here is the blatant truth: once you get your dream event or artist to paper, budgets, funding or house up and build a nice team you then get into the fun stuff. The idea is fun, the execution is brutal.

Now you move to stage two. Now once you get to here, other people begin to take notice so be careful. Now you get the council rolling, sapol, cashflow, insurances, promotions, security, cfs, St John’s, fencing, toilets, sponsors, managers, staff, website, artwork, streeteam, PR, social, volunteers etcetera.

If you’re still here you’re doing great–seriously.

End your relationship now. It won’t last.

Now you begin to grow just a little, buzz is good with the public, but behind closed doors things begin turning. No one likes the new kid at school. Police start opposing anything reading nothing, complaints come in, most of them unjustified, council may or may not become a major player depending on your area, which for us was a big issue as friendly turned hostile, licensing begins, sleepless nights, legal begins, people start stand over tactics, bullying, people wanting a piece of your pie, things really turn nasty, constant threats of being blackballed. If your instincts and team get you through this stage there is no doubt about it, this is what you where made to do!

Now this is all not counting the artists, flights, hotels, per-diems, transfers, riders, production etc. If you’re lucky like us you have a great bunch of artists, no visa issues, cool agents and a great payment relationship with them all.

My advice is never shit on anyone no matter how small they are. Every time a rumor is spread someone hears. A show could flop one day but in a few years you never know who they will be and that could be karma.

This comes from someone who has a mouth too big for his own good sometime, but someone that is real as hell. I would give anything for my team and they would do the same for me. I was never the smartest kid at school, the coolest, the best at anything. I am as average as anybody you see.

“If someone puts their hands on you make sure they never put their hands on anybody else again.” ― Malcolm X

What are you most looking forward to about putting on Heatwave?

The whole buzz of it! It really feels like we’re blowing up and starting something big here with this year! We are setting the tone for a festival which will grow and grow!

Click here for more info on the Heatwave Festival.

– Interview By McClain Johnson (@mcclainjohnson)