Sapphire Beach Club
Although relatively new to the Second Life live music scene, Sapphire Beach Club has rapidly gained a massive reputation as one of the very best venues on the grid. Through its ever changing variety of high quality stage settings and its constant stream of so many of the most talented and popular performers, Sapphire Beach attracts huge numbers to its events, many of whom are experiencing live music for the first time in Second Life.
Sapphire Beach Club was founded two years ago by Swiss based RL partners John Sinclair and Claudine Sinclair Jewell, who have kindly agreed to an interview with myself on behalf of Toggle For Music.
I caught up with John as he was putting the finishing touches to yet another blockbuster event at Sapphire......
Michael: Hi John - thank you soo much for taking time out to do this interview with Toggle For Music.
John: For you guys any time it’s a pleasure and i’m excited to do this interview.
Michael: First up - You come over as a sane, balanced kind of individual - how on earth did you get involved in the crazy world of Second Life?
John: Yes when you know me personally , I'm a simple kind of guy who normally thinks more about others than of myself. I Love my RL family, Claudine and my friends very much and would do anything for them. They're my Balance and are grounding me.
That is Claudine's fault ,hahahaa , she has brought me into this crazy world in 2010 but as you know everything was a little different back then.
Michael: In your early SL days did you plan - or even envisage - owning a successful music venue ?
John: Absolutely not, I did not own anything in my early days LOL but ive been an avid club goer so i was a guest but not an organizer or owner. My favourite Club was SLeek sadly it does not exist anymore.
Michael: So how did it happen?
John: After joining SL in 2010 and spending some time online i took a break from it for about 8 years to further my RL career and my RL club, then in 2019 Claudine and I were sitting on the balcony just talking about God and the world and we somehow ended up talking about SL, haha , and were guessing if our Avatars were still around so we decided to just try to log in.
So things in SL have changed by then and like a newbie we had to learn about mesh heads and mesh things.
We found this beautiful Sim called Skyhill and then opened a club just for DJ's for fun. We did not know anything about the Live Music Scene before we got introduced to Amber LeFavre through Terry Reddington (Red) a mutual friend.
Michael: So here you are now - tell me all about Sapphire Beach Club please.
John: The Sapphire Beach Club is a place where People can party and have a lot of fun in a beautiful and special Environment that is changing for special Themes or Seasons.
A place offering first class Music and a familiar flair. We also Support Charities or help where help is desired. We operate very professionaly and put a lot of time and effort to offer our Guests and Artists the best Venues, Events, Advertising and Pictures.
Michael: There must have been a few high points and low points on the way ?
John: High Points: What we have accomplished in two Years and hopefully will in the Future. Positive Feedback from Guests and Artists. We enjoy when people enjoy themselves listening to good Music.
Working with the Relay for Life Camping for a Cure Team is a true Highlight too it is a lot of fun and we have a lot of Respect for them and what they do for the Community and People.
Im also extremely proud of our Team at Sapphire BC without them this would not be possible. Amber LeFavre is the best Manager you can get she is very professional and organized and we are very proud to not only call her our Manager but also a dear and very close Friend we Love her very much. Then there are Foxxy Sinclair and Maggie May and Violet Echo, the work and professionalism and Love they put into Sapphire is outstanding. A Lot of time people talk about John and Claudine but it's not just us, its the whole Team and the Sinclair Family. Everybody is working so hard and everyone takes it very serious and is very Supportive.
Low Points: One of the worst things that happened to us is when we Lost our Host and Friend Jazzy (Darla Sears) she was very enthusiastic working for Sapphire BC but sadly passed away December 2019. We miss her and would have loved to spend more time with her. We will never forget you Jazzy.
Also not easy is when you feel that Coworkers that have become Friends exploit you or you simply don't have the same Vision and then you have to let them go.
The Community gives us a lot of strenght though and we are very grateful for the Support and kind words we get from the people who believe in us.
Michael: You know the Second Life live music industry inside out by now. Do you feel it is in a healthy state at this moment in time ? If you could do one thing to improve it - what would it be?
John: Yes, by now I know my way around pretty well and I know how certain things work here but there's still a lot to learn and it never gets boring. I think it's an awesome Community that will grow and even more People will come to Virtual Live Shows because it's safe and easy and you can enjoy a Party/Concert with people you would never meet in RL.
I don't think i could do much to improve it except being polite and do my work as good as possible. I would love to work together with other Clubs/Venues in the Future to achieve great things together.
Michael: At Toggle For Music we are now a few months into our crusade, with our website / blog, to promote SL live music in any way we can. Could you give us any advice on ways we could improve what we do?
John: What you do is a lot of work and is simply amazing. I can't really give you any advice on how to improve as you do everything right that's why your Website/Blog is growing so fast. My advice for staying authentic is never let people talk you into something you do not feel comfortable with. In my opinion the most important thing for a Blog is to stay as neutral and diverse as possible.
It's my favourite Website to stay up to date. It always makes me happy when somebody from Toggle of Music is showing up at Sapphire and im really looking forward to the Toggle for Music Festival at Sapphire BC in June.
I also want to thank Taila she's a great Blogger.
You guys rock!!!!
Michael: Conversely what would you say irks you the most ? (aside from annoying interviewers)
John: Haha. You're not annoying at all , on the contrary you can interview me anytime , smiles.
What irks me the most is jealousy and the competitiveness of some Club Owners. Sometimes you would think there is an unhealthy competition as trolling and pettyness is a real disturbance not only for us but for the people who come to enjoy Live Music. It’s also frustrating when you want to change your Calendar to keep it interesting for the Guests that some Artists get straigt up mad and you can’t book them in the future because they take it way to personal.
We are not here to compete honestly there's enough Virtual Space for everyone. We have not invented the Wheel we just pimped it to a Wheel we like.
Michael: Thank you!
John: It was a honor and fun thank you so much MichaelJ.