For my FMP i plan to start my own independent record label for Rock and acoustic based genres. I wish to sign at least 3 – 4 artists (2 bands and 2 solo) to the label. From this if the artist wishes to release an EP/Album/Single then i will get that recorded for them and release the material through the label. Once all profits have been recouped i plan to split the profits with the artist 20/80 in their favor.
The big thing i wish to focus on is to put on a gig with the artists i sign and record all the sets to create a big live album and call it “Hot air Music Presents…”, this will most likely be a free download from the website.
I have currently written up some basic recording contracts for the label and i am getting a logo designed by a student on the art course.
Another thing i can do for the artists is manage them slightly if they require those kind of services. I will also be marketing and promoting them along with the label
Objectives for record Label –
- Sign 3-4 artists with a mix of bands and solo acts
- Organise and put on an end of term gig at bar 42 with all the artists
- Record a live compilation album of the gig
- record/release any material the artists are working on through the label
Objectives focusing on the artists –
- Organise/Record the album/Ep of each artist and release them through the label
- Promote and market the artists and any material they will be releasing through the label
- Set up social network accounts and a wordpress site for the artists
- Take press photos of the band
- Organise/locate gigs for your artists to perform at
Over the course of the project i plan to keep records and evidence of work i have done by keeping a weekly reflection that critically analyses my progress from the last week. I will also put the gig i plan to arrange a week or two before end of term to leave evaluation time.
Areas i need to research into for this project are:
- Other independent record labels
- The musical landscape and local scenes within Worthing and Brighton
- Local music blogs/magazines for marketing and promotion
- Artists to do artwork
- Photographers for press photographs
- Promoters to help promote the end of term gig
- Venues around Brighton and Worthing which i can organise gigs at for my aritsts
Roles i will be undertaking with this project:
- A&R – I will be doing this in order to search for similar bands which would work well together and compliment each other live. I will also need to find session musicians to work with any solo acts i have signed
- Marketing and Promotion – i will need to continuously market and promote the artists, the label and any material being released through my label.
- PR – in support of the marketing and promotion i will need to look into the local music scenes and liaise with members of the public who would be interested in the artists i will be working with
- Events management – i will need to undertake the role of an events management team for the gig i plan to put on, this will include some of the above roles and also new ones relating to events management.
- Artist manager – If required by the artists i sign i will also be taking on the role of their manager. I will not require any additional charges for this service. This means that i can book session musicians, recording sessions, liaise with artists, photographers, session musicians, media etc…
For my final major project i set out to create an online record label and to work with artists on releasing new material and promoting them. The main focus of the project was to help me build up my marketing and promotion skills.
I feel like i began quite strong booking three gigs in April to host three of my artists at some point. Gig aspect i feel overall have gone quite well with some good gigs, some bad but ultimately i feel that i have learned more about timing, organisation and also building up bands by organizing these events.
One thing i have picked up was a technique shared to me from Mark Knowles of Bar 42. His idea for building up bands as headliners is to get a big headliner who will bring a crowd and then two local support bands who are quite well known within worthing. You put the band you with to build upon as main support or second support. This way if you get people who are coming to the gig to see the headline and maybe the second support band whilst your band are on main support they will most likely have to listen to that band. This is good as it means that you hopefully will get people who like the band you are choosing to promote and from this you do the same again with new support and headliners and the same main support band. People who attended the previous gig may think “hey, we saw that band last time, they were really good” and may want to come again. This is a long rinse and repeat process which takes time but has worked for Mark and is something i plan to put into practice with my artists for future events.
I feel another thing i have been good at in the project is the graphical side of things with posters and websites being designed for gigs and my artists. You can check out the main Hot Air Music website here, from there you will find links to artists wordpress and Facebook pages and also evaluations for each gig along with photos and the poster. Speaking of wordpress sites i have not really used the artists sites at all since creating them which is something i should have done to post stuff to then share the posts via Facebook and other social media sites to hopefully draw traffic to the main website,
One big aspect i feel i could have improved on much more was the marketing and promoting side of things. This is something i should have researched into a lot to ensure a bigger crowd to my gigs. My planning throughout the project has not been concise or frequent as well which is something i probably could have done to help me have a focus.
To summarize i feel i have definitely improved on my event management skills but i need to focus on marketing and promotion quite a lot. I also feel that maybe i need to develop Hot Air Music not as a label but more as a promotions company which can release music through and also promote artists, this is something i feel i will work on over the next few months.
Last night was a better atmosphere i feel than last Tuesday, even though about the same amount of people came. I Feel that again the two main problems were promotion and date selection and they are something i need to improve on quite a lot if i want to begin making money from gigs.
Another problem i had was not listening to some of the bands maybe to put together a suitable lineup with similar music styles which work together. However despite this the bands were all really good.
Even though there were some minor issues it was a decent enough gig for a Tuesday at Bar 42, raising a nice £33 for Cancer Research totaling to £68 in total between the two events. Charity gigs are something i would definitely consider hosting again!
Photos by Leanne Cushnie
Tuesday may not be the best night for a gig at Bar 42. Tonight was quite dead for the most part though we did make a nice £35 on the door in support of cancer research. I feel that the main problem with this one was the promotional aspect of the gig.
One major item i forgot to do at the beginning was contact Cancer Research and notify them to the fact that i was hosting two fundraising gigs for their charity. This is something that should have been done straight from the start when i decided on the charity to raise money for as they may have seen this and thought “hey, this guy is hosting a couple of gigs to raise money for our charity, may be in our interest to give some sort of coverage to boost the event”. Another floor was the fact that it was on Tuesday night which after talking to Mark Knowles, owner of Bar 42, i discovered that actually they don’t usually host gigs on a Tuesday and that is something i really should have looked into was the best dates where he usually gets the most customers.
Another thing to address was my set… actually let’s not talk about that
- Printed out flyers and posters for the upcoming gig on 7th
- Market and promote the both upcoming gigs at bar 42
- Catch up with luke amor and red shores to find out how they are
- Re plan the live album
So Red shores are now going on hiatus to focus on separate things. Because of this i am not going to record their live set on 14th and also i will be scrapping the live album which i had planned to release with three live sets from myself, luke amor and Red Shores. I think what i will do instead is record the live sets and maybe release my set with a studio EP as a double release same with Luke’s set.
- Got confirmed headlines for both charity gigs
- Began planning the live album which i wished to record
- Designed artwork for the live album
- Market and promote the upcoming gigs
- Print out posters and flyers
- Practice for the upcoming gigs with my backing musicians
- Contact artists with more details relating to the gigs
- Write out marketing plan for live album
I should really catch up on these diaries…
So i have sorted out everything for the gigs on 7th and 14th. I am going to be practicing with my backing band soon. Need to print out flyers and posters still which i will do next week as i am going into college. I need to also write up a marketing plan for the live album.
When organising gigs as a student at Northbrook college there is a great system in place where if i do a proposal to my lecturer i can get funds to pay bands who require expenses and all. Really useful and if you don’t make back to full amount you borrow you are not in debt, pretty good huh? Well yes if you remember to do an expenses proposal!
So i woke up last Wednesday morning and realised i needed to get £90 to pay back bands so i raided the last of my wages, luckily my mother was able to loan me some money to use as payment as i didn’t have £90 in my account.
Anyway, i know this one is late but hey ho!
Last Wednesday was a panic fest for me due to the fact that my own money was going into that gig, so if i didn’t make the money back on the door i would have been broke for the rest of the month (not a great realisation). Despite this the gig went quite well! There was quite a big problem however when the main support band did not turn up for soundchecks and also were not there for most the gig. They did however turn up during the third band’s set and so were able to play with a line check between sets.
My panic was lifted when one of my door peeps turned to me and said i had made back the money… You cannot believe how happy i was not to be broke.
I actually did however leave with a small loss because i ended up paying Opportunist, Red Shores and my two door peeps some money as i was just too happy to care really but we had made a good profit!
- Hosted another two gigs (Bar 42 on 27th and The Smugglers Return on 29th)
- Began contacting venues about final charity gig
- Organised all the support bands for 18th May at Bar 42 for which i have designed a poster
- Contacted Luke amor to discuss a press package in promotion of his upcoming EP
- Uploaded proposal/preparation documents to classroom
- Contact Technicolor Limabean about expenses for 18th
- Complete the poster and event page for 18th
- Book a venue for final charity gig in June
- Begin recording solo EP
- Organise and create a press package for Luke Amor’s upcoming EP
- Research and contact music blogs/magazines and radio stations to promote and market Luke Amor’s upcoming EP and also the label
- Follow up with Katie James about new logo
I am sitting here writing this late diary at Barnham station as the trains are royally screwed this morning. Weird how i am late to college writing up a late weekly log huh?
Another two gigs have passed now, the one last Wednesday at Bar 42 which featured Operation Kino, Technicolor Limabean, Dialysis and our own Red Shores. The gig was opened by a band i am starting with the two members of Red Shores called Phantom of Eden, hopefully this is something i can continue with them. Friday’s gig was hosted by The Smugglers Return and featured headline Andy and the Echoes, The Red Smoke, Ellie Niaomh and myself. This gig has probably been the one with the most problems and things which i have talked about in a brief evaluation of the gig.
I talked to Luke Amor who has informed me that his first Ep is nearing completion which is great. Next week i shall need to put together a press package to promote the upcoming EP to radio stations, magazines and music blogs. I plan to also start recording a solo EP of some of my songs i have written which i will start recording today!
I still need to hear from Technicolor Limabean about expenses for 18th which i will follow them up on. I also need to contact Kate James who was designing a logo for me to see how that is going. Hopefully this next month will be more productive in the marketing and promotion side of things!
- Fully organised the gig on 18th may including finished all graphics/poster and a schedule. I have also written up a guest list for the gig.
- Followed up with Katie James about a new logo
- Recorded two scratch tracks for solo EP
- Began putting together a press package for Luke Amor
- Organised door personnel for 18th
- Call back the Prince albert to enquire about booking for a gig in June
- Complete Luke Amor’s press package
- Research into more venues
- Research music blogs/radio stations and magazines to promote Luke Amor and Label related activity
Back to normal schedule with these hopefully!
I have now pretty much fully organised the gig for 18th May minus a few small details which will be discussing getting payment for the bands and also wristbands. I need to step up my promotion game for this event which is something i will need to focus on this week. One thing i will need to do in aid of this task is researching into more music blogs/magazines and radio stations in the local area who might be interested in advertising the gig.
I still have had no luck with a venue for June, i contacted the Prince Albert in Brighton but have not heard back from them yet so i will follow up with them later today. My main concern for this gig will be finding a venue that is ideally free if not cheap like Bar 42 but one that has availability during the dates i am looking at. It may be a case of having to cut down to just one evening if i cannot find a booking for three consecutive nights. I will also look into more venues around worthing and Brighton which might be good for the gig i wish to host.
Hopefully i can put together Luke Amor’s press package soon and start marketing his own music as he is almost ready to release some material. Red Shores on the other hand are currently not ready to release anything due to undergoing a change in direction so i will keep checking up on them to see how they are doing.
This has probably been the most interesting gig to say the least…
We started out by going to college to grab the pa equipment required for the gig, we managed to get everything together quickly and also all the stuff to the venue in one trip with two cars. Once we had arrived at the venue we unpacked the stuff into the stage area and began setting up. Originally my sound guy had planned to get there at 7 so i was too sound check the bands and ring the system out.
We encountered our first problem when we realized the technicians had forgotten a few bits from our list which we should have checked before heading over to the venue, this unfortunately was too late to get the bits from college as the music block was closed. We got round it however by cutting certain things out of the pa such as the multi fx lexicon unit and compressor. The only effects unit we used in the end was the graphic EQ for fold back and so did not need the effects rack they lent us for the gig.
Our second problem was that the headline band Andy and the Echoes who were providing the kit for the gig were unable to arrive for 4:30 setup due to still being at work which is understandable. We got around this by setting up their kit and bass quickly and then beginning sound checks immediately. I had a problem sound checking Andy and the Echoes and The Red Smoke as i am not the best tech however had some help from student teacher Neil Allison who knew a few things about sound tech and got me through the first two. After this my sound technician turned up and sound checked Ellie and her backing band as she was first on.
As the night went on things seemed to be going smoothly, the sound technician didn’t encounter any problems he could not fix. I feel though that maybe the mix of artists wasn’t quite right for the venue though, maybe myself and Andy and the Echoes would work but Ellie’s set and The Red Smoke i feel were out of place somewhat. Also we could have either started slightly later or maybe had an extra artist as the gig ended a bit early i feel, even though we ran late with sound check.
I think the main problems i faced with this gig were a lack of promotion which is one of my biggest flaws i must work on certainly. Maybe by contacting loads of music magazines, local blogs and such within the area to get some sort of press coverage for gigs.
Despite these problems it was still an enjoyable night, all the bands were good and people did seem to enjoy the music they heard. One thing that the landlady at Smugglers suggested is that friday is not the best day to have a gig, especially one starting with covers of classic rock and heavy metal music, this is because people coming back from work won’t want to hear ace of spades as soon as they get to the pub. This is some good advice which i will take into account for future events in pub type environments.