How Flipside was born
Sonic Solutions (UK) Ltd, the limited company behind Flipside, was founded on the 4th of January 2013 by James Cooper and Michael Layton but the Flipside name has been around a lot longer than that...
Having crewed, driven, and enjoyed the camaraderie of part owning a free party Soundsystem since the late '90's, life circumstance in 2006 allowed me to kick start my own venture with a lot of input from a good friend Michael Arena (Arena Light & Sound Display) who built his own speaker cabinets. The name Flipside reflected the truism of there being more than one side to a coin (with a referential nod to the record trade).
Being the sole owner and not very technically proficient, combined with the fact that the name Flipside had practically no following of its own, it was necessary for partnerships to be formed. However this is what the London free party scene is good at: making it happen with everyone bringing something to the table. I knew that an old friend Gary Samboer (Panik, and later Redeye) had a sound system, was good with technical stuff, and also handy with a soldering iron. Although his finger was on the pulse, he was van-less, a void I was happy to fill.
The next few years were casual, but eventful. Every month or two (when working schedule and spare cash allowed) we would dust off the cobwebs. We even managed several trips to Europe for the summer Teknivals.
Sadly though, a pre-existing heart condition caught up with Gary and he passed away in September 2011.
After a year, Flipside as an entity had been out only once, and a mutual friend introduced me to James. Within 6 months we had demoed kit at the venue he was a respected engineer at, and we decided to design our own rig from the ground up and start a business. As the saying goes, the rest is history.
In 2012 an opportunity arose to take on the sound at EGG London, Kings Cross. This was the catalyst for the formation of Flipside as a business. Mikey and James set about designing and manufacturing a bespoke range of loudspeakers and swiftly installed Flipside systems in every room of the club. Some of the earliest supporters to get behind the products were Yousef, Boddika, Normski, Dense & Pika, Egbert and The London Modular Alliance to name just a few. People started to take serious notice of the brand at this point and Flipside started popping up at live music events around London.
As the business grew new talent gravitated towards it in the form of skilled and passionate engineers, crew, designers and industry peers. More general PA hires and installs started to approach Flipside and the first evolution began...
2015 was the year Flipside transitioned from a small partnership into a fully-fledged company. Harry Day joined the company bringing with him the additional drive and dedication required to accelerate the growth of the business. Sound hires began to increase and Flipside found itself doing more hires and installs than manufacturing. While maintaining close relationships with the current Flipside brand install at EGG and a handful of other hirers the company realised that there was more opportunity outside of the Flipside product range.
Increasingly they were approached by businesses and individuals looking for sound and AV installs, small scale hires and general technical services relating to existing installs. It became apparent that this group of people were somewhat disenfranchised, caught between AV companies looking for big scale projects and larger PA hire companies too focussed on big gigs to provide the level of service smaller jobs deserved.
More than happy to take up the torch Flipside made this client base it's focus, thrilled to be able to provide great products and a high level of support and service to a demographic in need. Pubs, bars, small offices, theatres, weddings, birthdays, small concerts, open mic nights, conferences etc all formed the base upon which the next step was built...
We're really excited about Flipside's future and the opportunities ahead. We're now incorporating more and more AV into what we do as a result of listening closely on our customer's needs. We can now design, install and support all sorts of projects and offer a huge range of products and solutions.
It's always been about the service, we like to build relationships with our customers rather than just cut and run. As we've grown as a business we've identified the need for a go-to-company fully committed to the needs of end users and small businesses.
At the end of the day what we enjoy doing is delivery an amazing end product that has a positive impact on a customer's life, even if only in some small way. We're going to continue investing in new products, learning new skills and expanding...