Don't Make A Scene: A Field Guide to Putting on DIY Gigs
- Fiona Shepherd
- 9 January 2015
Rob St John and Bartholomew Owl present their step-by-step' guide to DIY gig promotion with advice from Dan Willson, Ian Svenonius and David Thomas Broughton.
The clue about DIY gig promotion is all in the name – you do it yourself. But that doesn’t mean that the eager music lover with a yen for events organisation has to lurch blindly into the minefield of guest-list etiquette and creative rider demands without some guidance from those who have boldly (or meekly) gone before.
Enter musicians Rob St John and Eagleowl frontman Bartholomew Owl, who have lovingly compiled this ‘step-by-step guide on how not to take the piss’ in the same spirit of collaboration, mutual respect and smudging of the line between audience and performer which defines the rewarding but nerve-racking realm of grassroots gig promotion.
The antithetically titled Don’t Make A Scene zine comprises a series of short, clear-sighted essays and illustrations by musicians, promoters and record labels from around the UK and beyond, outlining the many different considerations involved in putting on a gig, right down to the music you play between the bands, plus some ruminations on DIY gig culture in general from the likes of Dan ‘Withered Hand’ Willson and Johnny ‘Pictish Trail’ Lynch.
Chris Tipton of London promoters Upset the Rhythm, and Emily from Tracer Trails offer practical, logistic and financial pointers, there are fond anecdotes from John Egdell of fakeindielabel, cautionary tales from musician David Thomas Broughton, a bluffer’s guide to sound engineering, even some prized wise words from the wondrous and witty Ian Svenonius of Chain and the Gang.
In sharing their first-hand experiences from both musician and promoter perspectives, a few key principles keep popping up. Think outside the box when selecting your venue. Three bands good, four bands bad (unless it’s a festival). Be honest. And please feed the musicians.
First edition out now, priced £4