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2016 came and went, and for us it’s been a roller coaster ride. Our team has faced tough challenges just as the industry we’ve been primarily involved in – the nightlife and events industry, experienced near-crash-and-burn situations but eventually thrived.

“Change is Coming” was the top mantra of 2016 – the political landscape has changed and this severely influenced everything else. There were certain things we didn’t see coming and how everyone adjusted to these changes were painful to begin with. The entire 2016 was a tough learning process, the best lesson we can learn from it is that the journey to success is never, ever smooth-sailing – just when you think the storm is over, another one is building on the horizon.

Here we will review 2016 as current staff of Jive+ and former team members of PartyZone. We will point out certain highlights that happened per month, so let’s start.

1JANUARY – A Foreshadowing of Change

After a successful comeback in 2015, PartyZone was reaching new heights. 2016 started with PartyZone getting more social media engagement as it turned to capitalize on social media trends to drive more traffic and keep itself relevant as an industry player.

PartyZone’s following grew exponentially, its Facebook Page alone saw a growth from 6k likes to 30k by the end of the month. As a media startup, capitalizing and making trends on social media is by far the most important way to survive. Our team was pleased with the results, and that opened up opportunities for new ventures.

2February – A New Brand Venture

PartyZone’s first attempt at brand expansion came with RaveForce, a clothing line that is supposed to carry PartyZone’s branding and help it reach new audiences. Things were looking good, events like Wet and White 2 and Pyro Manila Music Festival surely helped PartyZone maintain its momentum.

Around this time, another side of PartyZone was being steered into uncharted territory, something unfamiliar to the rest of the team but there was a promise of big numbers along the way. This was somehow causing a conflict of interest from within the team and the situation would only explode later on.

3MARCH – The Heat is On

PartyZone was really gaining momentum and it was awesome. Events like Spectrum MNL and Drizzle PUP surely helped the brand reach new audiences and know what PartyZone’s all about.

4APRIL – One Colorful Summer

Perhaps the best highlight of 2016 happened in April 2, 2016 as we became part of the most successful music festival of the year – Chroma Music Festival, with its 26,000 attendance record was a much celebrated affair – featuring a healthy mix of local and international talents. PartyZone was a big part of the event with its blockbuster photobooth where ravers brought home a good souvenir from this awesome event.

Conflicts of interest though, almost caused PartyZone to fall down. The founders stood firm with their decision to keep PartyZone as a media startup and not take on a business model that is outside their domain expertise. Certain people on board had to be removed in order to affirm its commitment.

5MAY – Change Has Come

As momentum continued in April, everything went crashing in May. The month started fun with PartyZone once again becoming a part of Hydro LaBoracay but tragedy would hit the entire industry as the month closed.

The political landscape also changed, former Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte won the Presidential elections – his strongest campaign strategy that won him the Presidency was his declaration of war against drugs and crime that is imperative upon he takes his seat. This didn’t worry much everyone until drug-related deaths happened at Close Up Forever Summer, where the majority of netizens took it online and put the blame on the organizers for the alleged lack of security as some groups were calling to put an end to such events as they supposedly enable the youth to use illegal drugs.

6June – The Aftermath

This month was one big hangover everyone in the industry tried to get through. June saw several events getting postponed or cancelled. There was paranoia everywhere and it was really hurting the industry. The current PartyZone team took the time to take a break and re-think again its plans.

7July – The Struggle

Despite the casualties and tough challenges that laid ahead, the industry struggled and kept itself alive. While some events got downsized – like the last Jacko Wacko, it showed that there is still faith and confidence in the industry. The healing process has started, but within the following month, it will seem like outside forces will intervene if you try to hasten the healing process.

8AUGUST – The Swan Song

The industry was on the verge of a comeback, but it seems like the wounds were still fresh and the forces of nature would try to put you back in place. The month’s biggest event was the second Hydro Manila Music Festival, as the organizers tried to double the success of last year’s event – Mother Nature would get in the way.

Torrential rains kept the technical crew and performers from doing proper sound checks that delayed the start of the event, and halfway through it would start to rain again. The weather posed a potential threat of electrocution and the performers couldn’t risk it. The artists affected had no choice but to cancel their slots – including the top headliners Parokya Ni Edgar and Ely Buendia. The event was far from a disaster though, the organizers were still able to produce one of the most memorable experiences in 2016. Despite the challenges, Hydro 2016 was still 2016’s best music festival top-billed by local performers.

Hydro 2 would also be the last event covered by PartyZone and would serve as its swansong.

9September – The Party’s Over

The “party” ended in September as PartyZone re-branded to accommodate a more diverse audience, however it seems that the team had a difficult time getting through the next step as branding conflicts got in the way. Eventually the team settled as PressJive by end of the month.

Another “party” named startup also bit the dust around this time, Partyphile – which was one time Asia’s top nightlife mobile app had been severely affected by the events that transpired last May. Its founder detailed what happened in this blog and the lessons he learned.

10October – The Struggle Continues

As plans for PressJive got laid out, nothing was really happening. It seems that the current team had lost interest with the brand and there was no initiative to make it move forward and there was only the co-founder doing things to make stuff happen. Fortunately there were still a few people who believed in the brand and continued to make partnerships for events that took place this month.

11November – The Big Reboot

Since PressJive wasn’t working, the team was immediately disbanded and PressJive was shut down – leaving only the original co-founders to start all over again. Jive+ was born and the rest of the month was spent re-establishing the brand as well as re-negotiating with event partners who were made aware that Jive+ is the spiritual successor of PartyZone.

12December – Back In The Game

It didn’t take long for Jive+ to pick up where PartyZone left off, barely even a month in operations it was able to score partnerships from events like Maskipaps: The Crossover x Drizzle UP, After Paskuhan and Wet and White 4.

Celebrations however, were kept at a minimum as the team knew they’re only just starting again – but having learned the lessons of 2016, the team is confident this time, that Jive+ will have a more stable and secure direction moving forward.

Overall 2016 was all about change and who knows what 2017 will bring? the team is ready though – what we can guarantee is Jive+ is here to stay.

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