Management Coordinator Daria Khovanova shot by Isabella Behravan
Though it’s pretty easy to notice the music events that leave us feeling amp’d and energized compared to those that leave us feeling somewhat dull and uninspired, it’s not always easy to decipher exactly what was missing from the latter-- especially when the performance is from a band or DJ you already know you love. The reason it’s hard to pinpoint what makes one a success and another a failure is because it’s usually not about one specific thing, instead it’s more about the overall “vibe.”
The energy of an event is what pulls us in, and managing coordinator Daria Khovanova knows more about this most-- that’s why the events and shows she curates are so successful.
As the managing coordinator for Reverberation Radio, the band Allah-Las, shows at the hip Los Angeles venue Zebulon and more, Daria handles everything from the major aspects of booking the acts and making sure the event gains proper traction through social media and internet outlets, to things that probably seem miniscule to most outsiders-- like choosing the event’s decorations and drink specials.
Some of the major events Daria has coordinated in recent years for the respected group of DJs known as Reverberation Radio include their monthly night at Zebulon, the Flaunt party x Fendi event celebrating Flaunt Magazine’s Fantasy issue back in March, Panache's Valentine's Day Village Of Love at The Teragram, which was a charity event for Planned Parenthood, and many more.
Anna Benefield (left) from Panache Booking and Daria Khovanova (right)
Out of all the flocked to events Daria has curated as management coordinator to date, she marks the monthly Reverberation Radio event at Zebulon as one of her favorites, as do a considerable portion of Los Angeles’ music lovers.
“The Reverberation Radio dance party grew from playing smaller bars to the most popular dance party to go to on the east side of the city on a Saturday, often with lines of people forming outside of the venue trying to get in. No-one expected that kind of success, and it’s become a monthly event,” admits Daria.
Often times it’s the little ‘pizazz’ she adds that sets the mood and helps propel audiences into the vibe of the show, and keeps them coming back for more.
“Coming up with drink special ideas and names, choosing the right band to play to kick off the night, taking trips to Party City to stock up on balloons and lights to create that unique Tiki-party atmosphere that everyone loves,” is among the many things Daria admits that she loves about curating this event in particular.
While a vast portion of her current role as a management coordinator requires a level of refined skill, such as booking the bands, contract negotiations with sponsors and venues, not to mention the publicity aspect of getting the word out, one thing that seems to be a part of her ‘natural’ gift is her talent for bringing together the creative elements that makes each show a hit.
“Every time a band I like would come and play in my hometown, in most cases I would have mutual friends with them, so, in a way, I would act as an artist liaison for them,” says Daria. “Even when I had jobs in fashion and art, I made sure to incorporate music in any capacity I could, throwing events and getting DJ’s to play, inviting live acts to play at art openings and corporate events, making playlists and so on.”
The events she’s curated for Reverberation Radio and those featuring Allah-Las, such as the Off the 405 show Allah-Las played at the world famous Getty Center earlier this year, wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if Daria didn’t have such a strong relationship with the band and the members of Reverberation Radio.
Daria says, “Maintaining personal contact with the artist is of great importance to me... It’s important to be in it together... It means that you’re always on the same page, you share the same or similar sense of aesthetic and can anticipate what they would and wouldn’t be into.”
Working from Los Angeles, Daria curated the film portion of the three-day Oh So Slow Festival of music, film and art, which was held at The Slow hotel in Canggu, Bali back in May.
Daria Khovanova and the Reverberation Radio Team at Oh, So Slow Bali
“That’s where the importance of a shared aesthetic comes in,” says Daria pointing to curating an event on behalf of Reverberation Radio that took place on the other side of the globe.
“Reverberation Radio has been helping with sound design for the hotel for a couple of years now. The guys went over to Bali for the first time in 2017 to DJ under the Reverberation Radio name and do an Allah-Las’ live set,” she explains. “It went so well and the locals really got into the vibe, it’s hard not to, the similarity in climates and the surf culture served as a unifying factor here, that it was decided to take it to the next level and make a three-day festival out of it.”
Selecting films from some of the best surf film and independent directors, as well as two Oscar Award nominated animated shorts, Daria brought in work from cult directors including Jack Coleman, Thomas Campbell, Layne Stratton, Kristofski and Tin Ojeda to be included in the film portion of the festival. Audience were not disappointed. Daria worked in close collaboration with Reverberation Radio in order to curate an event that fit their recognizable laid back surf-style vibe, while acting as the liaison between the filmmakers and the festival, as well as their media partner Monster Children and distribution partner Miyu Distribution.
With Daria handling things from behind the scenes, the Oh So Slow Festival of music, film and art went off without a hitch and earned impressive praise from media outlets and attendees, with the The Bali Bible writing that, “The festival is truly leaning on a cultural revolution… it makes you feel to be part of a mystic underground ritual, the festival is indeed the brightest and loveliest synchronize of a western chorus and Balinese sound.”
Daria says, “The film night was so popular, the organizers in Bali decided to do a rerun of it a few months later.”
Whether she is working as the management coordinator on events in the states or those half-way around the world, Daria Khovanova knows exactly how to create the kinds of events that people want to come back to again and again.
The most recent even she curated was for Tim Hill’s single release party, a touring member and keyboard player in Allah-Las who is now launching his solo career, and the launch of Calico Discos record label in Los Angeles, which also falls under the Tiki Rocket umbrella that includes Reverberation Radio and Allah-Las.
“The night was a success, the turnout was great and everyone was on the same wavelength. We did a lot of promotion, including all of the social media channels, I ran a designated email blast via Zebulon’s mailing list,” Daria explains. “We collabed with Madre Mezcal for the drink special that we called ‘Groove Burro,’ a name special to Tim, which also happens to be his instagram handle. The cocktail was one of best sellers we went through 10 litres of it in one night and it was decided to bring it back for the Dublab Anniversary party on Oct 29.”
Up next Daria will coordinate the record release for Allah-Las member Pedrum Siadatian’s psychedelic solo album “Paint,” which takes place at Zebulon on Nov 2 before the Reverberation Radio dance party.
Daria says, “It’s going to be huge.”