Play at the Big Green Cardigan Festival 2015

Does your band, or act, fancy playing at a local festival in September? If the answer is ‘Yes’, then read on.

The Big Green Cardigan Festival, which takes place on the weekend of 4-6th September, are looking for original local acts to grace their stage.

Here’s what they told us:

“The Big Green Cardigan are proudly announcing the launch of a competition for up and coming and under the radar musicians, bands and performers to play at their festival in East Sussex, this September.

Entries are welcome and encouraged from all areas of the community, but emphasis will be on supporting local talent.

The competition opens on Monday 1st June and runs for two weeks.

To enter – bands and musicians simply post your music, or performance, to the Festivals Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TBGCardigan, sharing a Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com), or YouTube (www.youtube.com) link to one of your songs.Then, please invite your friends to like and share those links.

The Festival are looking for original material please, rather than cover versions. 

The general public can also nominate acts, and provided the performer/band in question is happy to participate, they will be included in the competition!
 
All entrants need to be free the weekend of the 4th, 5th, 6th September 2015.

Small print:

Entrants are to travel to and from the festival site themselves; the winning entry will obtain tickets for the entire festival weekend plus a performance slot.They will also win a ‘rider’ courtesy of Langham Brewery; a case of their award winning ales.

All applicants must be over the age of 18.

Winning disabled applicants will also win an adult ticket to support or supervise their participation (discounts will also be available for additional adults and family members).

The winning entrant will be chosen by the festival organisers.”

The Big Green Cardigan Festival is held at a site on Hawkhurst Road, Cripps Corner, E Sussex, TN32 5SA.

More info can be found on the Festivals website: www.biggreencardigan.com

Entries close on Monday, 15th June 2015.

On The Road

A friend of mine shared the post below with me a few days ago.

It is called “Roadies – Unlikely Survivors In The Music Industry” and was originally published in the Wall Street Journal, not your average rock ‘n’ roll publication!

Although it’s not strictly about musicians, it is about a part of the music industry that even more people may be able to get into, maybe without realising it?

Roadies are often thought of as a bit of a figure of fun, but reading this post may make you see them in a different light, especially when you see how much they can earn per year. Yes, these may be figures from the USA, but road crew are used across the world and in ever increasing numbers too.

As mentioned in the post, touring is now an even more important part of any bands career than in the past, mainly because it’s often the best way for an act to make any money. After all record/CD and even download sales don’t exactly set any musicians bank manager wild with delight these days do they?

Another often missed aspect of a roadies world is that it’s not all about humping amps and drum kits from a truck to a stage anymore. Technology and stage shows have moved on and the skills needed and careers available are now a world away from what they were in the 1960′s and 70′s.

So, even if you’re not a musician, but quite fancy a life on the road with a band, take a look at this post. Maybe you are missing your vocation in life, or maybe you have skills that can be used to help get that show on the road, but you just never realised it?

http://www.wsj.com/articles/roadies-unlikely-survivors-in-the-music-business-1426780184

Photo by tgraham on Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Local Musical Meet Up?

Part of the recent Hastings Fat Tuesday celebrations was a two day music seminar/conference called Un-Convention, which was held over two days at St Mary In The Castle.

This was the 73rd Un-Convention event and the first to be held in the South East of the UK, that’s quite a coup. Musicians, promoters, writers, movers and shakers travelled from as far as Manchester to take part and share their own personal stories, experiences and wisdom to an engaged audience.

You can still see the aganda for the two days here, just in case you want to know what you may have missed: http://www.hastingsfattuesday.co.uk/2015/un-convention/

One of the panels was titled ‘Local Scenes – Collaboration, Co-Operations and Making It Happen’, which I chaired, and was focussed on the current music scene in Hastings, with the panellists sharing their observations of local music scenes across the UK, all with a view to attempting to see how Hastings can learn from those towns and cities and move forward itself.

One idea that came out of that session was the setting up an informal regular meet up of interested parties, whether they be musicians, promoters, venue owners, producers etc etc…

Past Un-Convention events have encouraged this idea, as getting all those people together in a room, in an informal way, can help cement and grow a local music scene. Something that Pierless Music, Fat Tuesday and The Stinger magazine are very keen to do.

On the day, people in the audience thought that a regular meet up was a good idea and that they would support it. But what about you?

Is this something that you would want to get involved with and how should we go about it? The initial suggestions is for a monthly meeting, maybe on a quieter Monday evening, in a local hostelry.

If that sounds like something you would go to, please let us know by sending an email, and any suggestions, to: contact@pierlessmusic.co.uk

As some of you may already be aware, Hastings Borough Council hosted a meeting recently all about the local music scene here in Hastings, as a part of their cultural policy.

Although this was very well attended, and the suggestion of a regular meeting was raised, many in the audience felt that any such meet up should be independent of any ‘official’ involvement. Hence why we are suggesting this idea of our own now.

Here’s your chance to get involved with the local music scene in Hastings, put your suggestions and ideas forward and maybe help make that scene even bigger and better than what it already is.

After all a collective voice is far better and more effective than a lone one.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Local Cultural Regeneration Strategy

Please don’t be put off by the title of this post!

Hastings Borough Council are in the process of reviewing their Cultural Regeneration Strategy and are looking for the input of people involved in the local arts scene.

Obviously our main interest, here at Pierless Music, is with the musical side of things, but opinions are being sought from across the local artistic community.

To that end, HBC have set up a series of informal meetings which are open to all who have an interest in their own artistic sector. Details, dates and times are below.

The Music session is being held at the Stade Hall, on Tuesday 6th January, from 7-9pm.

We have already had discussions with HBC about this idea and we think it sounds very promising and we’ll certainly be going along to, at least, the Music session.

Here are the full details:

“Cultural Sector Conversations – the Remix:

Polly Gifford and Michael Hambridge, the Council’s Cultural Development Team, would like to invite artists, artist groups and organisations, and others working in the cultural sector to some informal meetings to start a conversation about the ongoing development of arts and culture in the town.

In early 2015 we will be reviewing and refreshing our Cultural Regeneration Strategy and we want this to be informed by the aspirations of the sector.

Where are we now?
Where would we like to get to?
How might we get there?

We hope you can join us for one of the sessions below, themed to different sub-groups:

MUSIC – Tuesday 6 January 2015, 7-9pm, Stade Hall, Rock-a-Nore Road, TN34 3FJ

VISUAL ARTS – Wednesday 7 January, 6-8pm, Stade Hall, Rock-a-Nore Road, TN34 3FJ

FILM / DIGITAL – Thursday 8 January, 5-6.30 pm, Electric Palace Cinema, High Street, TN34 3ER

THEATRE / DANCE – Tuesday 13 January, 6-8pm, Baker Mamanova Gallery, Norman Road, TN38 0EG     

WRITERS / PUBLISHERS – Thursday 15 January, 6-8pm, Stade Hall, Rock-a-Nore Road, TN34 3FJ

If you can’t make it, there will be other opportunities to join the conversation, so let us know if you’d like to be kept informed.  Feel free to pass this invitation on to anyone you think might be interested.

Please RSVP to lbolch@hastings.gov.uk, saying which session you’d like to come to.

Refreshments provided.

All venues, except the Electric Palace, are wheelchair accessible.”

This sounds like a great opportunity to get involved and maybe influence how Hastings Borough Council promotes and supports the local arts scene over the coming years.

So if you’re a local musician, venue owner, promoter, event organiser, or just have a keen interest in the local music scene and its future, why not go along and add your voice.

Maybe we’ll see you there?

Carnival FM 2014

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week is upon us once again. In recent years that has also meant that the Old Town get’s its very own radio station and this year is no exception.

Carnival FM is already broadcasting on 87.9FM locally and also online via their website at: http://carnivalfm.co.uk/

The radio station is on air until midnight on Sunday, 3rd August, so why not tune in?

As in previous years, I shall be presenting a dedicated Local Music Show on weekday evenings between 6 and 8pm, Monday 28th July to Friday 1st August.

During these shows I shall be having live sessions and doing interviews with local acts in the Carnival FM studio. These sessions will go out live, they will also be filmed and recorded for future broadcasting.

Acts already booked to come into the studio are as follows. Please be aware that these may be subject to change:

Monday, 28th July: Skinny Lister + The Tabs

Tuesday, 29th July: Louis Turpin and Roger Hubbard + The Moors

Wednesday, 30th July: The Piercings

Thursday, 31st July: Harry Osborne + Otti Albietz

Friday, 1st August: Titus + Buddha Triangle.

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing and hearing all of these acts and I’m sure I’ve whetted your appetite too.

I hope to have the pleasure of your company next week.

Andy Gunton

Local Music Show – Podcasts

As mentioned in previous posts, I am once again presenting some Local Music Shows on this years Hastings Rock broadcast.

The first two, of four, have already gone out and I have now edited the Podcasts of those shows.

For future reference you can find them on the Hastings Rock Mixcloud page. I shall be posting future shows there as well: http://www.mixcloud.com/HastingsRock/

Here are the first two Local Music Shows.

Local Music Show 1 – Hastings Rock 2014 by Hastings Rock on Mixcloud

Local Music Show 2 – Hastings Rock 2014 by Hastings Rock on Mixcloud

Local Music on Hastings Rock Radio

As you may already be aware, Hastings Rock radio station will be back on the local airwaves, for 28 days, from Saturday, 3rd May 2014.

During the broadcast I shall be doing my usual Local Music Shows on Sunday evenings between 8-10pm. But, I need some original local music to play….

This is where you come in. If you’d like to have your music played on Hastings Rock, please let me know.

The usual conditions apply:                                                                                                  – No cover versions, all songs must be original compositions                                               – Songs must be of broadcastable quality                                                                             – Songs must contain NO swearing                                                                                     – Music must be on CD (preferred), or an mp3 (not WAV)                                                     – The band, or artist, has to be from the Hastings Rock radio/FM broadcast area                 – There is no guarantee that your music will be played

Your music doesn’t have to be ‘Rock’, but the nearer it is to that genre the more chance it has of being played.

On the Local Music Show I’m happy to play Blues, Folk etc, but please don’t send in Rap, Dance, or R and B, as it won’t be played.

When sending your music, please include some kind of biog, social media links, gig info etc.

Contact me via email for more info about sending in your music : andygunton@hotmail.com

Find out more about Hastings Rock at their website: http://www.hastingsrock.co.uk/

PS: I’m sorry, but I won’t be doing interviews with bands or artists, and neither can I do live sessions during my Local Music Shows. I’m afraid there isn’t the technical support, space, or time for that to happen.

Hastings – A Musical Town

You may have already seen the news that Hastings has been voted the most musical town in the UK.

I’m sure that comes as no surprise to most of you anyway and it certainly doesn’t to me. So, I thought I’d make a quick video giving my thoughts on this ‘award’.

Let me know what you think.

The Stinger

February 19th 2014 see’s the official launch of a brand new, free, independent local music magazine for Hastings and the surrounding area. Called The Stinger, the magazine will be published every two months.

The Stinger will include coverage of original local music, bands and artists, across different musical genre’s and age groups. There will also be gig and music reviews, local and national music news, comment pieces and much more relating to the local music scene. Another aspect that will be covered is the musical history of the Hastings area, something that is well worth talking about and reliving.

You can keep up to date with The Stinger via its website: www.thestinger.org.uk and also their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thestingermag

The Stinger is the first project of the newly formed Hastings Fat Tuesday charity, which we’ve talked about here at Pierless Music before.

As you may remember from previous posts, Pierless Music, and especially myself, are joining up with the team behind the Fat Tuesday and Voodoo Fest events to help with the running of the Hastings Fat Tuesday charity.

I am pleased to say that I am now the Managing Editor of The Stinger and my Pierless Music colleague Richard Lock is a contributor, so you may see some crossover between the two projects in the future.

When Richard and I created Pierless Music, back in late 2012, one of our initial aims was to start up a local music magazine/fanzine for the Hastings area. But, for several reasons, we weren’t able to fulfill that ambition. So, in many ways, The Stinger is the realisation of that dream.

Sometimes things take a little longer than you’d like, and as Tom Petty said, “The waiting is the hardest part”.

But, we got there in the end and we hope you’ll agree that The Stinger has been worth that wait.

PS: We now have an official launch party and you’re invited. For more details visit the Facebook Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/801133736579983/

Analyse This

Some of you may well have seen the story doing the rounds on the Internet recently concerning the rock band Iron Maiden and how they supposedly used data to help plan their world tours. While the story wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, it does show how bands can now use all that data flying around in cyberspace to their own advantage.

The company mentioned in the original article is called Music Metric (http://musicmetric.com/). What they do, for a fee, is collect the many billions of musical interactions across the Internet. The sources of that information include social media, illegal file sharing sites, music streaming services, etc.

Music Metric then analyse all of that data providing a band, record company, or even a fan of a particular artist with a snapshot of how an act is performing online, right across the world.

You can then delve deeper into that collected data to see where your music is being streamed the most, where your music is being illegally downloaded the most, and also where you’re being talked about the most, even down to the age, gender and location of your fans.

The original article suggested that Iron Maiden had used this information to select countries where it might be best for them to tour next time around, especially those countries where their music maybe wasn’t being bought, but illegally downloaded.

The thought being that maybe they could then get those people to a gig and sell them merchandise, etc. That way the band would be making money from gig tickets and merchandise, even if they couldn’t persuade the fans to buy their music. And who knows, they might even convert them to doing that, as well?

Iron Maiden have never admitted to doing this, and why let the possible truth get in the way of a good story eh? However, as mentioned before, it does help to highlight how any band can now utilise all of that online data for their own purposes and maybe ultimately profit from it too.

We all know that sales of CD’s and music generally isn’t what it was. Most bands nowadays struggle to earn a decent living from making music in this digital age. You’ve no doubt read about how bands only make real money these days from playing live and selling t-shirts. So at least there is now a way that artists can be that little bit smarter when it comes to targeting fans in the future.

Even if you don’t, or can’t afford to use a service like Music Metric, any artist can use the data from their fans social media activities, digital and CD sales, and streaming services for their own ends.

Most social media sites, YouTube and dedicated band sites, etc have some form of analytics service built into their pages, especially if you run those pages yourself.
Yes, it takes a bit of time, which is after all why a service such as Music Metric exists in the first place. But, maybe now is the time to dig a little deeper yourself and use that, often, free info for your own benefit?

If it’s good enough for Iron Maiden (allegedly), surely it’s got to be good enough for you too? Regardless of the popularity of your band.

Ultimately, can you afford not to give it a try? It might just be the thing that gives your band the edge over all the others out there.