Stephen Drysdale and Bryan Shipley: Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneurs

If you’ve partied late in Montreal, it’s likely Stephen Drysdale and Bryan Shipley had something to do with it. We caught up with the entrepreneur duo to find out what inspired their nightlife business and where they see themselves in five years…


Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
We are the facilitator for any event/festival you can think of. We handle promotions, turn-key VIP services and ticket distribution, music services (DJs worldwide), and management of all staff. Anything you can think of relating to small or large events, we handle.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Steve: I have always been a nightlife guy. A few years ago, I was managing bookings at Arena Nightlife, while my brother, Daniel, was bartending. Whenever our friends came out to party, they would be in our corner, at my brother’s bar, and one night somebody called it “Drysdale Group.” What can I say? The name sort of stuck. I took a break from the industry for a few years, but missed it, so decided to come back and work on some festivals over the past year and a half. After working on Ile Soniq with Bryan last summer, I loved his vibe, energy and work ethic, so I asked him to join the team. The rest is sort of history. We kept the name “Drysdale Group” because it was branded and recognized but it is as much his company as it is mine.

Bryan: We found there was a lack of overall event presentation, especially within the EDM industry. There was room for festivals to be more on point. We also noticed a lacking service for those who are more focused on the party and less on the production, a.k.a bottle service. Steve and I came together, along with Brahm Mauer, to fill this void and create amazing parties at these festivals/events.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Stephen: The best part of the day to day of our business is working on new projects and expansion. Announcing new events or a partnership is always fun and we are blessed to have a great support system around us. The most challenging part is the aftermath of an event – meeting up with promoters, going over the finances, stuff like that. Not everything in the festival business is glamorous, but we love it.

Bryan: The best part for me is interacting with the different clientele and learning how they ended up where they are now. The most challenging is getting enough sleep. I am a very busy guy!

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Bryan: Hopefully we are a part of many more festivals in Canada and the US, and maybe even running our own music show. We have lots of projects coming up but we cannot share those details yet.

What does success look like to you?
If you wake up every day smiling, have money in the bank, friends who love you, and you’re having fun while running a business from an iPhone.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Stephen: The most memorable milestone in my career was when Bryan joined the team last summer. Bryan runs the back end of the business and has helped Drysdale Group grow tremendously. He has great contacts and ideas and, like I said above, we just work well together.

Bryan: The month of February 2015, where everything immediately took off and our success was becoming a tangible goal in the near future.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Get your sleep. The sun will rise tomorrow; learn to push your body hard, and learn to relax even more. Nothing will come easy, and if it does, something else will be twice as difficult.

What to you is notable?
Stephen: Any Drysdale Group event is notable. Our events bring good times all around and we help create memories. That is notable to us.

Bryan: Unique, to stand-out; something that has taken 80-hour work weeks to build and one hell of a lot of stamina.