Feature: Red Cup Nation and The "Go Hard x Go Home" Tour
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 09:29:41
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"It's like a festival mixed with a pep rally," says Red Cup Nation co-founder Perry about the forthcoming Go Hard x Go Home tour.
That's the perfect description for what's bound to be a blast for attendees across the country. Perry and co-founder Matt created Red Cup Nation's web site with the idea of being a one-stop for college students. However, it's become so much more. The boys have launched a series of cross-country tours that culminates on this year's biggest and best run yet, the Go Hard x Go Home tour. Bringing together DJs, bombastic visuals, and the vibe of the ultimate college party, it's always a memorable night with Red Cup Nation.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Matt and Perry talk the tour, the site, their vision, and so much more.
Where did the vision for Red Cup Nation come from?
Perry: We started this about two years ago. We were both going to college in Miami, and we wanted to start our own business we could do for ourselves. We were trying to think of something creative that no one else was really doing. We thought, "What's been the best time of our lives?" It was college. It's awesome. We loved the tailgating, parties, and college football. We started off thinking, "Why not do a college web site?" Matt went to school for film, and I went to school for business. We decided to combine both things together. He designed the web site, and I did most of the marketing. We just wanted to see what happened. We launched the web site with sports, music, and the latest trends. Right off the bat, it took off. We decided to start pushing it more so we bought a food truck and turned it into a mobile party truck. We drove it to colleges around the country promoting the site. The whole focus was the site. We wanted to get it off the ground. It started getting a lot more views so we began throwing parties. Initially, they were really small. They grew bigger and bigger. We didn't want to have a small, simple party. We wanted to have a creative concept so we made a Red Cup mascot and got Red Cup cheerleaders. We were living in Miami at the time. All of the shows and clubs are over the top. They have girls dancing, confetti, and CO2 guns. We wanted to incorporate that into our parties and shows. That's what we did. We put on these shows at different colleges. We'd also bring the local DJs from Miami with us. We'd introduce different schools to DJs who played separate styles. That caught on really big. Matt filmed them and put them online. Soon, some of the videos had 100,000 views. One exploded with over 300,000. That really took off. This is going to be our third tour. It's called the Go Hard x Go Home tour. It'll be our biggest one so far.
Where would you typically have the parties?
Matt: In the beginning, we'd host them at clubs. They would hire us as entertainment like artists. We'd bring in our DJs and do a show. That's what separated us from everybody else. It escalated from there. On our second tour, we did more venues. We'd be booked as the headliner. Our kickoff is at The Arizona Events Center for Go Hard x Go Home. It's crazy.
Perry: Our shows were free. The first tour was called Best Time Of Our Life. Some of them were 18-and-over and some were 21-and-over. That was just to get our name out there. The second one was called Sunglasses at Night. We went to 18 colleges. It was up-and-coming DJs, and we put together a show. Now, we're doing arenas and amphitheaters. People want to be associated with the brand. On that night, everyone only drinks from red cups. It's about bringing a festival feel inside of a club. That's how we treat it. We really put a lot of energy into the show and hype it up. It's all about the brand. We're going to mix it up a little bit on Go Hard x Go Home.
Do you guys personally hype up the crowd?
Perry: Yeah, I'm one of the hosts. Back in college, we always DJ'ed at the house parties together and we hosted nights together. Once we started the company, we focused on running it. On the last tour, we hosted a lot of the tour. We're really into music.
What music do you two bond over?
Matt: I like EDM and hip-hop. I love 2 Chainz. Right now, I'm really into Sam Smith. He's pretty dope.
Perry: I'm into EDM and hip-hop. I like DJ Carnage and trap. We like everything. Once people start drinking out of the red cups, it doesn't matter what the music is [Laughs]. That's one reason we started Red Cup Nation.
What can you reveal about Go Hard x Go Home? What are you most excited about?
Perry: I'm really excited about going to new schools. Our fan base is really strong on the East Coast—even the South. We're excited about going to the Midwest and the West Coast. We want to take our brand to new places. Students have been asking us to come out to these schools for a long time.
Will you be attending the tour?