Queenstown Live Band LA Social - Lindsay rocking a barrel for Highlands Motorsport

LA. Unforgettable Events

From lost in translation disasters to a refugee camp, this entertainment company have seen it all.

Originally published in Occasion Lab

We caught up with Lindsay and Ailsa Woods as they recovered from a late-night conference performance. The married duo own multi-act entertainment company LA Social from Queenstown, New Zealand. Their teams travel globally, are highly organized, a little bit wild, and determined to give everyone at your occasion a great time. When an interview starts with “We’re like organized crime. But mostly without the crime.” you buckle up for the ride.

We’ve merged Lindsay and Ailsa’s replies into one because they finished each other’s sentences so often that we lost track. A pre-cursor to how seamlessly they operate LA Social.

This is part 1 of 3. Check it out for incredible stories of gigs LA Social have performed. We’re still reeling from their refugee camp experience.

Ailsa and Jodie from LA Social - looking great and ready to party at Peregrine winery right before they play wedding music

While hosts are busy wrangling their guests for a destination event, entertainment teams have their own unique challenges.

“The biggest challenge is organizing transport of the equipment. If we’re performing locally then that's fine, but when somebody contacts you and asks ‘Can you perform in Bangkok?’ or, ‘Can you perform on an island that we don’t know has any power?’ it takes around ten times longer to organize.”

Once a band has called a lot of people, packed up, and flown across the globe, sometimes they’re faced with a venue team whose language they don’t speak. That’s when things can quickly go wrong. “We were performing for the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok. The sound system was already set up at the venue, so we arrived with only our instruments. We plugged in, did our sound check, and it was sounding almost the way it ought to. Not awesome, because the language barrier was difficult to get through, but it was sounding approximately right. Until we started performing. That evening we got up to perform after everybody had eaten. We were ready to party, we started playing, and… nothing. Inexplicably, everything had changed since sound check. There was hardly any volume on the dance floor and half the speakers weren’t working on the stage.” Eventually the problem was fixed, but “it was frightening. They’d flown us all the way from New Zealand and we wanted to smash it like we always like to do, but there were these unpredictable circumstances”.

Time difference also goes hand in hand with global travel. Starting an energetic performance at 9pm with a body clock set to 3am is undoubtedly a challenge. “The upside is that you get to travel, you get to chill at a resort, and your Instagram looks great because you're hanging out by a pool under a palm tree.”

LA Social performing Jazz music for the Dunedin Cancer Society Ball

LA Social teams perform at hundreds of weddings, parties, and corporate events each year. The unique occasions are their most memorable.

“One of the surreal ones was a Lord of the Rings themed conference where all the guests were in costume. They looked incredible, and Lindsay dressed up as a hobbit.” Which describes exactly what sets LA Social apart: “Being absolutely shameless. Most people wouldn’t be seen dressed up like a hobbit on stage. I even curled my hair, I looked just like a Baggins”.

“A favorite gig was at a venue that was set up for a future boxing match, so the organizers utilized the boxing ring. Only Queenstown would do that!” The ring was positioned in the center of the venue and it became the stage. “It was almost a throwback to the 80s glam rock arena style of show. It was a great night, it was just fantastic.”

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