NEW YORK The city’s club scene has been responsible for bringing together many creative minds over the years, and most recently, it can be credited as the catalyst for Mister Saturday Sound, a new, all-encompassing music service company with Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin at the helm.
In 1999, Carter moved to New York from North Carolina to attend New York University and soon became immersed in the club world, landing a stint as the music director of the now-closed Meatpacking District club APT. Harkin, meanwhile, arrived by way of London in 2004. He started a weekly party dubbed “Calling All Kids,” which led to a residency at now-closed Greenpoint venue Studio B, where he also handled bookings and production. In 2008, Carter invited Harkin to be a weekly resident at APT. “Few people in the club world are as responsible and down-to-earth as Eamon,” Carter says. “We share a lot of the same tendencies, so it was a breath of fresh air when we met each other.”
In 2009, the friends launched Mister Saturday Night, a Brooklyn-based dance party thrown at an ever-changing roster of raw spaces and lofts. Attendance at their events can range from 150 to as many as 2,000 people. The popularity of their parties led to working as DJs and booking acts for corporate events. “With all the things we were doing for Mister Saturday Night—scouting venues, installing our own sound system, event production, booking acts—we realized we had developed lots of other skills beyond DJing, so we decided to give it a name,” Carter says. This past fall, they launched Mister Saturday Sound. “We can book DJs and live bands, consult on music programming and planning, create custom playlists, license a track, provide and set up sound equipment for an event of as many as 3,000 people—basically any music need a client might have, we can offer,” Carter says. Their growing corporate client list includes MoMA, Saatchi & Saatchi, Nokia, and Mulberry.
In September, Mister Saturday Sound worked on Travel & Leisure’s first Global Bazaar at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. For the three-day interactive show, the company booked and managed around 20 international acts, including a Brazilian marching band, a West African kora player, and an Eastern European brass band. The job included organizing the stage management, contracts, performance schedule, and logistics. “If a corporate client goes directly to an artist and asks them to play for an event, they can get taken for a ride really easily if they’re not familiar with the nitty-gritty of dealing with booking agents and national touring groups,” Carter says. “But we navigate that world all the time and can easily plug in to our resources.”