Music is Not Our Currency

Posted on 19. May, 2010 by in STRATEGY

Hope and Social at the 'Come Dine with Us' event.

Hope and Social at the 'Come Dine with Us' event.

The new music industries work in a very different way than the record business of the ’60′s. The precious 7 inch of plastic discs of that decade (when music demand far outstripped supply) were rare; clamoured for. Music lovers saved their pennies and tens of them would gather round a single radio to hear the charts. People flocked in droves to record shops to hear the latest discs and treated their vinyl with the cotton glove respect that’s reserved for the finest of diamonds. People Treasured Music.

Today’s music environment is very different. With 13 million bands on [cough - spit] Myspace alone, a growing live scene, thousands of pieces of music becoming available free online daily, and most all forms of recorded music being easily copy and shareable, we can’t consider Music itself to be the carrier of our currency. The Democratisation of Music means more supply of music, and that means that the expectation is that it sells for less. What’s more, music is copyable, shareable, reproducable and even if only say 4% of the bands on Myspace are any good, that’s over half a million bands to compete with.

So, what can we sell?

If we can all now make, distribute and sell music, to succeed we’ve got to differentiate ourselves from the crowd & give people something they can’t get elsewhere. If we can give people something that isn’t repeatable and isn’t copyable then all the better. So, what’s unique and not copyable? A feeling, or an experience. We have a saying in Hope and Social. Have Fun, Make Art. It’s become part of our ethos. If it’s not fun we don’t do it; and if it sounds fun we should probably ask others to get involved. It may not be the same for your tribe, but for Hope and Social the currency we deal in is “Fun”.

3 Course Meal in a Crypt

3 Course Meal in a Crypt

Come Dine With Us

With the “Make Art, Have Fun” mantra resounding in our communal larynx, we took a demo of a song that sounds vaguely like French supermarket music, added the germ of an idea that a cheese and wine night could be fun and multiplied that by the effervescent mind of the brilliant Ben Denison‘s.

What we we came up with was a great way to galvanise our close fans, to get them involved in making art with us, to have a lot of fun and to raise money to fund our music making. We invited our fans to our home, the studio we’ve recorded all our albums to date in (and the venue for the Crypt Gig last year). We promised to cook great food, to have the band wait on, and play at our guests tables and finally, once everyone was suitably relaxed drunk, record a song together. We named it “Come Dine With Us” and we invited people by song.

The Event

We’ve already blogged about the amazing people who helped us pull all this together, but to see them in action is something else. A picture says a thousand words and all that:

Hope & Social • Come Dine With Us [Behind-the-scenes] from 3B Media on Vimeo.

We turned our studio into a French Bistro for the evening, we served a 3 course gourmet French meal to 70 people, the band waited tables, played at people’s tables, silent auctioned one-off items and recorded a song with our good people.

Offer Value

Our (initially flummoxed) drummer Gary Stewart (who joined us this past year) said, “I don’t understand… so you just think stuff up that you want to do, and people pay for you to do it?” and quite simply the answer is yes. When we do special events, we do our best to ensure that we give value to those who care enough to attend. We price it as something we could afford to do. Through this we’ve built relationships with our fans which enables us to sell unique events such as our Crypt gig last year and Come Dine With Us as far more than a standard gig.

People buy into our events because they know it will not only be a good time, but also that we’re not trying to bleed as much profit out of them as maybe we could. All our standard releases are Pay What You Want. People know we’re not in the game of ripping people off. Most importantly though, people know we’ll include them in the night and as in the case of our recent Come Dine With Us event, we might well make a song with ‘em for our album.

The Wine Bottle Orchestra

The Wine Bottle Orchestra

The Song

James Hamilton wrote a wine bottle orchestra part, we tuned 50 wine bottles, asked guests to bring an instrument of their choice and we made art. We recorded the song live along with our fans singing, blowing, clanking, banging and singing along. As Ed Waring said in his recent blog:

“Eurospin is not my favourite song on the album but it’s kinda my favourite bit on the album. Watch the amazing video below. You got to love the amazement on our faces that it’s working and the fact that the crowd just make it look so easy…”

Hope & Social • Eurospin from 3B Media on Vimeo.

… additionally however, the story of how we made this song has helped us reach many new fans.

The Footprint

More from 'Come Dine with Us'

More from 'Come Dine with Us'

The response to the event and the concept of the event has been amazing. In advance the twitter and facebook communities were rife with activity around the event, and by turning our guests into band members on the record itself, they became the evangelists for our record.

It’s not by accident that the tools we use to sell and promote our work online include the option to share. There’s the 3B Media videos, and the bandcamp music which can be easily embedded on most websites. Bandcamp also has the transformative “Post to twitter” and “Post to Facebook” direct links and through the stats package we can see this appearing daily in people’s posts. There are new blogs sprouting up about the event, and through selling more Fun we can reach out to even more new people.

The music industry has changed, however if you know your band and if you know your tribe you can give them something they can’t get anywhere else. Find that thing and that‘s your currency!

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38 Responses to “Music is Not Our Currency”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Refe Tuma and World Around Records, Gustavo Carvalho. Gustavo Carvalho said: Music is Not Our Currency: Hope and Social at the 'Come Dine with Us' event. The new music industries work… http://bit.ly/be4Rt3 [...]

  2. Suzanne Lainson

    19. May, 2010

    I come from an event marketing background. I was interested in it before getting involved in music marketing. This post makes me think that musicians might want to become immersed in the event marketing industry has part of their professional training.

    There are so many skills that today’s musicians draw upon other than just musical ability.

  3. Ben Denison

    20. May, 2010

    Hi Suzanne, I totally agree. Events are key. Musicians need to think in terms of great experiences, for themselves and the people around them, and therefore event management and marketing are a skill that will be invaluable.

  4. Hubert "GAM" Sawyers III

    20. May, 2010

    Rick, thanks for sharing this. It is obvious that you are definitely on to something. Stick with it as I think you will only see greater dividends from your work. Artists should pay close attention to the things you guys are doing. It is really refreshing and trailblazing stuff.

  5. refe

    20. May, 2010

    Makes me want to call up the troops and start having fun and making music!

  6. Bob

    20. May, 2010

    Not me. It makes we wanna quit the music business completetly and use more of my precious time actually writing music and live my life.

    Good for them if it worked, but in the end, people will get used to those events and the buzz will die quickly.

    • refe

      20. May, 2010

      I think you have missed both the spirit and the point of this article along with the event itself…

      There are those who will respond to the changing music industry by giving up – and that’s fine, and your right to do so – and there are those who will respond (and are already responding) by finding ways to embrace those changes with optimism and creativity.

      It should go without saying that the latter group is having much more success – and fun – than the former.

  7. Ben Denison

    20. May, 2010

    “in the end, people will get used to those events and the buzz will die quickly.”

    Bob, this is an interesting point, and I would be more inclined to agree if it were a blatant gimmick. But its not. Its more fundamental than that.

    Enjoying music with other people, enjoying food and music with other people, and yes, making art, these things are all as old as the hills. If we lose our buzz for these, then, well, what have we left?

    Might not be just the music industry its worth giving up.

    Its about getting back to what music was all about in the first place. People. Good times. Shared experiences. Inspiration. An stimulus for, or a consequence of some other event.

    Not just plastic disks and formulaic gigs.

    Cant be that wrong.

    • refe

      20. May, 2010

      Well put Mr. Denison – you can always be counted on for an articulate discussion.

  8. Suzanne Lainson

    20. May, 2010

    I’m working on my next blog post now and it is pondering the idea that music is no longer conceived of as a standalone product. It is bundled with something else.

    Event marketing is an established segment of marketing. I’ve done research on the subject. There are also organizations, books, and magazines that focus on it exclusively. People have learned what works and what doesn’t work when staging an event.

    Music can be an event, though many musicians/promoters don’t think of it those terms. And quite honestly, much of live music is a bad event. The bar is a mainstay for many bands and what that often involves are unfriendly waitstaff, sticky floors, and vomit in the bathrooms. And some bands relish in the whole concept of the dive bar, so they have no particular incentive to change it.

    But for others, particularly those looking to offer something more than a typical concert experience, understanding the dynamics of events and theater is probably a good thing.

  9. c.kenn

    20. May, 2010

    interesting…i’m not sure how many musicians would be interested in doing it, but you do what you need/ want to do.

    corporate control of the angry behemoth that is the music industry has created the present musical environment. i would venture to guess that many of the 13 million on myspace are in search of the dream of becoming part of the present entity. that may not amount to much.

    in the end, music is about connecting with people: good music should do that all by itself. i don’t need tom petty or townes van zant (rest his soul) to cook me a souffle. they’ve done enough already.

    download my record for free at ckenn.bandcamp.com

  10. Barry Gilbey

    21. May, 2010

    “The music industry has changed, however if you know your band and if you know your tribe you can give them something they can’t get anywhere else. Find that thing and that’s your currency!

    I love this point and completely agree. The fundamental truth is that the music industry has changed and is in a constant process of change and evolution.

    The old business models are nothing more than historical data and interesting anecdotes.

    I think you demonstrate a wonderful model of how to enjoy and seek the best from this process.

  11. Rich Huxley

    21. May, 2010

    Some great thoughts there and thanks for all the positive comments.

    I’m sure I’ll expand on this in a larger comment later but for now…
    Bob – I do spend my precious time making and writing music. I make my living from music. Music is a huge part of my life and living and working in music is my drive. This isn’t a way of avoiding music, it’s a way of sharing music.
    “people will get used to those events and the buzz will die quickly.”
    Yes sorry, you’re spot on there, people are easily bored by events which they enjoy. There’s a new-found phenomenon called a “Show” (although some people call them “Concerts” or “Gigs”) where people get together to enjoy the music of artists they like. It’s a fad though, I’m sure [wink].

    Seriously though, it’s not a new thing to share an amazing experience with people who love your music. That’s what the best gigs are and music has always been about communicating with people, that’s what art is – if you don’t share it with the people, if it’s not framed as something that’s interpretable then it’s just a doodle on the back of your copybook.

    c.kenn – thanks for your comments also. I agree, it’s not for everyone this, but it works for us. It’s to do with knowing your tribe I guess.

    You’re spot on also that the music has to be great to start with (really like your stuff BTW, just downloaded it – had it been PWYW I’d have paid for that! I can hear the Petty influence too). All this talk of “new music models” is useless unless you make great music that connects with people, That’s why this stuff works for us, because we’re really damn good, and connecting with people is like our special move – whether through music alone and at a show. However “The music alone” isn’t enough, and never has been.

    Elvis had some stage presence, a pelvis, an attitude and the radio.
    The Beatles had their sharp suits and the mop-top.
    The Glam movement had their big clothes, their platform shoes and TV.
    The cock-rock bands of the 80s/90s had pyrotechnics, big hair, huge stage shows and the music video.
    People connect with this stuff – either aspiring to be like that, or wanting to be part of it.
    Tom Petty had a pretty decent marketing budget too.

    I don’t have the budget, I don’t have radio, TV, big hair and the only pyrotechnics at my disposal is my Zippo. What we can do though is do what great shows do – we make people feel something that they can’t duplicate. The best shows I’ve been to, from 30 people in a back-room to Glastonbury, it’s where I’ve felt something that you can’t get from a straight CD listen.

    There’s a whole other part to the Come Dine With Us night that’s about sustainability, the profit, how this paid for the 1st CD pressing of the album, that we didn’t go into debt, but in the above post I wanted to really get across that you can connect with people and have fun and make cash.

    As regards “Do what you need/want…” that’s the key. We want to do this. It’s a whole load of fun. If it’s not for you, no worries, but y’know what – we know we’re not “Cool”, we’re not skinny jeaned and we’re not 18. We are however great at connecting with people, online, in person, at a gig and when we get 70 people round to ours for tea.

    It’s not the answer to fix the music industry. The music industry isn’t broken – only one little bit of it that’s called the record business.

    You can also download our music for whatever you want to pay (or for free – we’d rather you had the tunes) at http://music.hopeandsocial.com too.
    ;)

    Oops – It was a long-ish comment after all.

    Thanks again for getting involved y’all.
    xR

  12. Suzanne Lainson

    21. May, 2010

    One of the challenges for any musician or band seeking ways to generate money is scaleability. Kickstarter, for example, features a lot of projects hoping to generate less than $10,000. That’s enough to cover the project, but not enough to provide a living for any of the creators.

    Once you start looking at side projects to generate enough money to allow you to make music, you are talking about a real job. So either you like to do the side project as a real job or you might also think about having a non-music real job to supply the income to pay your bills.

    It’s something I keep coming back to. These days there are multiple ways to make music and to distribute it, so everyone has the opportunity to be a music creator. That’s the easy part. Finding a way to generate a living wage from that music is much harder, and I think in many cases it’s not worth the effort.

    There are some artists/bands who will be able to establish a big enough fanbase to eventually provide income for them to do music full-time, but that might take years.

    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, there are people who do event marketing, event planning, and event creation full-time. So if band members find out they are good at this, it’s as legitimate a business concept as any. It’s not necessarily linked to music, though it certainly can be (an event creator can branch out beyond music or specialize in music events). It’s kind of like the catering business. If you are good at it and build up a reputation, you might be able to keep expanding and hire a staff of people so that you can run large-scale events or multiple events on the same night. You can have some events going on where the band members appear and other events going on where they don’t appear or where other bands appear.

  13. c.kenn

    21. May, 2010

    hey rich,

    i really enjoyed your comments. i’m not above doing the sort of things you discussed by any measure: ive waited a lot of tables in my day so doing both would be easy.

    when i read your article i was thinking about how good ideas are often co-opted by the less creative and dumbed down for mass appeal. i pictured some guy with a acoustic guitar at mcdonalds.

    thanks for downloading my music! im really happy about that. im going to check yours out right now.

  14. Paul Sweetman

    22. May, 2010

    I may not be permitted/welcome to post a response here – I’m not a musician and have only followed this through from Twitter – but, reading the debate, I wanted to add a few thoughts from a consumer perspective. Apologies if I am encroaching.

    For me, any step that creates greater engagement between musicians and their ‘public’ has got to be welcome – and, currently, a major point of differentiation. We’re all seeing more and more organisations/entities, in all walks of life, recognising that they need to interact more with customers to build relationships and sustainable custom. It’s much less about a passive ‘you sell, we buy’ approach. They need to create new ways of making that relationship commercially sustainable, and sometimes the initial product – in this case, the music – is only the starting point. The rules of the game have changed in many ways.

    What interests and engages me about the Hope & Social approach is that i feel involved in something special: I have been to some of their gigs and I find it’s less about an ‘event’ and more aboiut an ‘experience’. Everything is well planned, well-packaged and well-executed: and from a ‘customer’ point of view (forgive the phraseology. just trying to be commercial about the model) I know I am getting a way more engaging, more exciting, more rewarding experience than I would get with many other bands. For some other bands I follow, much as I love their music, I turn up to a gig and I go home. For H&S, you feel connected in the run-up to an event, due to their use of social media, you enjoy the night itself, and you have follow-up too. The package we all received after attending their ‘Crypt gig’ in October was simply breathtaking.

    So my overall point is that the H&S model stands apart from most other bands I follow. As a customer, if I had to make the most of limited time/funds to go to one gig, I would choose the one that would give me the greatest experience. And that is undoubtedly H&S. So that’s where the time and money go, more often than not, and if they can get several hundred people doing that more regularly, and they can think of new and exciting ways to maintain the momentum, then surely that’s a big step towards making this type of approach commercially sustainable?

    • refe

      22. May, 2010

      You are not only permitted/welcome to comment, you are absolutely encouraged. No need to be shy around here.

      Thanks for your perspective, Paul. It’s important to hear the other side of the story whenever a case study such as this one is presented. I’m glad that what Rich and his mates are doing has made an impression on you – it means that what they have been trying to do appears to be working.

      It’s also encouraging to hear that the listeners and fans are considering the experience when they make a ‘buying decision.’ Bands take note.

      • Suzanne Lainson

        22. May, 2010

        Having the fan perspective is really important because ultimately that’s what it is all about.

        Some variations on a dinner theme or an event are the cruise and the vacation. There are several music-themed cruises going on. And I know several bands that perform in Mexico or Hawaii or similar vacation spots and their fans book trips to go.

        The problem with that, though, is that a good chunk of the fan money goes to transportation and lodging rather than the band itself.

        As I mentioned before, bars are not places many fans want to go. So having a concert/dinner at a home, church, recreation center, or upscale club is a great alternative. I think far more artists should consider it.

  15. Ellen S

    24. May, 2010

    Great comments, Suzanne!

    I have also found that coupling music and vacations means that a good chunk of change goes to the transportation and lodging. I’d love to see more of that money go to the band.

    However, from the fan perspective, it’s still a win-win situation if I can combine interesting travel experiences with seeing a great band live, especially if it’s a band that doesn’t play shows anywhere near me.

    The same holds true of merchandise. As much as I love AC/DC, I probably won’t be buying their box set with the mini-amp, because apart from the novelty of the packaging, I don’t see added value for the cost. I did purchase a Wheat reissue set, as much for the high-quality downloads and spiffily packaged CDs as for the T-shirt and signed, limited-edition artwork.

    Hope and Social make their mark here as well, by combining eco-friendly materials with gorgeous designs and “delighters” (to use a Simon Wiffen’s coinage) like the sunflower seeds and slideshow which came with “April.”

    I know I’m not alone in saying the absolutely best part of any Hope and Social gig/event is the looks on the faces of the band members when you can tell they’re having a great time, too. It’s like a really good party where the hosts are enjoying themselves as much as the guests (which, in my experience, is pretty rare in event hosting).

  16. Suzanne Lainson

    24. May, 2010

    One thing that the Hope and Social wine and cheese night does, which is really important, is gives fans an opportunity to socialize together, which should reinforce the sense of community. I’ve been looking for models like this myself. The problem with bars is that you’re not likely to meet a lot of people you don’t already know. But if you have a series of functions where people see each other event after event and get to know each other, then they have a reason to keep coming over and above the music.

  17. Rich Huxley

    25. May, 2010

    Great point well put SL. The interaction between fans is very important, as important as the interaction between the band and fans.

    Must say (and I realise I’m nit-picking here, sorry), but if only to defend Ben Denison’s mum (who cooked the meals), the cheese and wine was the initial idea, it grew into a full gourmet three course meal – chicken or Roquefort pate to start, coq au vin or mushroom risotto for mains and citron tarte to finish.

    Had we been doing a cheese and wine night, we wouldn’t have felt we offered value at the £35 price point… we worked it out on the basis of “What would a gig and a meal cost” and went from there. It’s also how we were able to make enough profit on the night to pay for the album pressing.
    Good times
    xR

    • Suzanne Lainson

      25. May, 2010

      Sorry I read it too quickly to have missed the evolution from wine and cheese to full meal. But my point would have been the same anyway. Having an event like that is a good way to help fans bond with each other, which reinforces the sense of community.

  18. Simon Ralph Goff

    26. May, 2010

    There are some really great comments on here and its really great to see that so many people understand what we as a band are trying to do so i thought id share my view too :) (im the new H&S bassist btw).

    I think that the only issue with this blog is that it has the possibility for some people to miss interpret the meaning of ‘fun’.

    While i totally agree with Rich that having fun is key to what we do and is a main focus in everything, I’m unsure its the best word to describe our ‘currency’.

    I think that the word ‘fun’ can some times, for some reason, devalue the way something can be viewed. It can sometimes make the impression on the surface that we are not totally serious about what we do and that its just for ‘fun’.

    This, however is definitely not that case.

    Personally, having come from being a friend and fan of the band to now being part of it, i think that a better word to describe our currency is ‘experience’.

    In everything we do, we try to include our fans and share an experience with them. This experience can often be, and more often than not is, amazingly, earth shatteringly fun, but it can also be intimate, powerful and very meaningful.

    I think that this is the thing that separates H&S from other bands. Not only do you walk away from a gig or event having enjoyed the music and had a good time, but you walk away with a real feeling that, hopefully ;) , we managed to connect with you in someway and make you part of our world.

  19. John Morley

    09. Jun, 2010

    I both agree and disagree with this post. I think it’s great that the new ways of marketing music have brought about groups of people getting together listening to and sharing music together. Great! Thats the agree part.

    However, I also fear that the marketing could dilute the importance of what its all about, the music. If one is spending all this time marketing then music suffers doesn’t it? I also would like to spend more time becoming a better musican and composer than organizing events.

    So, there are two sides of this coin and that is all that I am saying.

  20. Simon

    09. Jun, 2010

    I twitted this article like 4 hours ago or something like that but did not had the time to read the full comments and watch the video so befor everything : GREAT JOB, I felt the emotion some 10000km away, in my tiny room, watching your gig : impresive!

    Just a question about all the commercial side of the operation, i understood in Paul’s comment that there where a package for the public, really good idea, strong customer relationship, all that stuff…

    But, and it’s my only but, have you planned some kind of video, tiny documentary or special CD package, for the ones who want to pay for a little more, some kind of premium pack?

    I’m telling that because all the marketing tendency is about making a fan-base and then propose some stuff for the ones who have a will-to-pay. I mean, you created an experience, you have the rushes of the video, why couldn’t you capitalize on that, even if it is for 10 people, it might help.

    I hope I was understandable, it’s late and English is not my native language at all ;)

    Another time : BRAVO GUYS! really enjoyed the “French supermarket music” term, it made me feel home :D

  21. Rich Huxley

    14. Jun, 2010

    Thank you Simon, and you John.
    ;)
    John, yeah we’d love to spend more time making music, though I have to say that since making the leap a couple of years ago to making all my living through music, it’s through doing interesting stuff with Hope and Social that brings me the most work. Because people know of the Crypt, and of the band, that brings me more production work in the studio, more talks at university about the new music industries, more lessons (instrumental and social-media) and so on. It’s through doing fun events like this that I don’t have to have a day job, which in turn enables me to spend more time making music. There’s no way that I could have held down a day job and spent the time making the records we’ve made unless I was self-employed.

    Simon, the videos made were for public consumption and although we wish we’d had more, they’re all we have I’m afraid. For those who wanted to pay more, they can get the box-set of everything we’ve ever made http://music.hopeandsocial.com/album/be-the-architect and we also silent auctioned off these awesome Lazy Susans http://bendenison.posterous.com/q-what-is-cooler-than-a-lazy-susan as well as amazing Hope and Social aprons http://www.flickr.com/photos/huxhombre/4467280848/ and commemorative T-Shirts. For those who wanted more, they could buy more. One of the lazy susans was sold for over £100 proving, to my mind, that people exchange contact, honesty, and value from a band for their own hard-earned cash.
    Amazing – good ol’ people.
    ;)
    xR

  22. Simon

    14. Jun, 2010

    Thanks for answering, well, I think there is nearly all a band need in their strategy in what you do. And the MOST important through my eyes is it stay HUMAN.
    So another time : Congratulations! It’s really cool to see how people can do great stuff with a little imagination and sincerity!

    Don’t know if you heard, read about that but it is kind of great too :
    http://owni.fr/2010/05/25/well-what-is-a-good-digital-music-strategy/

    It’s my way to say thank you…

  23. Darien

    17. Jun, 2010

    Ok I absolutely agree with making music an ‘experience’. Here’s what comes to mind. And BTW Ive been following this blog for a good year now and have silently commented until now.

    As a fairly seasoned, struggling musician and avid music blog reader. Mixing food with music, like H&S is doing, is a very unique and manageable idea. But what about after that? Do the same 70 people come back to see you? How have you made these fans – fanatics?
    I think sustainability plays a big role in interacting with the crowd. An idea is only good when it can be repeated effectively to fullfill the goal.

    Is it not true that unless we can keep the fans we attract then our efforts to connect fall on the wayside?

    • refe

      18. Jun, 2010

      Hey Darien – just wanted to butt in here and thank you for reading the blog all this time! If you’ve been here for a year you were probably reading almost from the beginning. Glad to have you, and glad you finally added your comments to the discussion. Looking forward to seeing more from you in the future!

      • Darien

        18. Jun, 2010

        Thanks Refe! Truly thankful for all light you’ve shed on the new music industry. Very Inspiring.

  24. Rich Huxley

    18. Jun, 2010

    Well I’d say that the people who attended this, and http://www.creativedeconstruction.com/2010/01/reality-of-fan-involvement-figures-and-benefits/ this do come back again and again. They’re our core fans and yes, once we’ve got ‘em, they’re in our gang forever… or at least a long time.

    Combine this with house concerts (very sustainable/profitable and a new experience) and a vibrant twitter and facebook community and yeah I think we’re good at maintaining contact.

    For us, the main challenge is reaching out to new people.

    • Darien

      18. Jun, 2010

      Thanks for the response Rich. Sounds like a solid plan and yes reaching new fans is always tough. My band experiences this constantly.

  25. Ash

    18. Jun, 2010

    I find the idea of something like this intriguing, but also only an opportunity for specific styles of music, and dependent on the type of fan base.

    For instance, the Hope & Social guys have a fairly poppy and upbeat vibe.It’ inviting and caters to a wider age group and probably a wide variety of people. So something like what they’ve done works well with their vibe.

    Now, I know there are cruses thrown for some established bands with following, and some hip hop guys throwing party events with DJ’s, and even battles.

    but what about a simple solo artist with acoustic guitar? What can someone like this do? Especially when the focus of the passion is the music and whats being sung.

    The very idea of this whole process, proves that music is not enough, and that’s saddening. I get interactivity with music is a wonderful thing, but it also makes em wonder if other events like the cruises and other similar options are just solidifying music as a “background”, in stead of a focus.

    While what H&S did, I admire. I think its very possible that moves like this, if it takes of as a standard focus, may reduce the idea of a band to a similar equivalent of the generic quartet that plays on a ship in the dining hall.

    f course that’s a bit of the exaggeration, but so is the idea that this is something that will work for all bands/performers.

    anyhow. I’m open to suggestions for ideas for a solo acoustic artist who sings like a mix of buckley, cornell, bellamy, and gnecco.

    besides, get a band together :)

    One idea in my head is to work on some music with a visual artist and do a performance built around combined art… but that feels like a one off… or, again, starting a band. What options are there for something that exists already?

    just throwing this all out there. I’d like to see how this could work for other people and other styles of music.

  26. Suzanne Lainson

    19. Jun, 2010

    I was just going through an old issue of Colorado Meetings + Events. I’ve been interested in the special events industry for 20 years.

    At any rate, it occurred to me as H&S gains experience putting on events, you might want to begin contacting businesses and organizations to see if they would like to hire you as a complete event package: music, food, and perhaps even specially designed souvenirs from the event (or even just copies of your CD). Figure out a price that covers all of your costs and allows you to make a profit. Basically it would be what you would charge to play a private event, plus what you would charge to create the event.

  27. Rich Huxley

    20. Jun, 2010

    Great idea!
    Got a party coming up? We’ll come to you!
    xR

  28. Rich Huxley

    20. Jun, 2010

    Oh and Ash, I agree, this may not work for everyone, the important thing is to know your tribe and to connect with them in a way that’s meaningful for them. This is not a blueprint, just an idea that works for us.
    xR

  29. Currency Trading Center

    07. Jul, 2010

    There are several music-themed cruises going on. And I know several bands that perform in Mexico or Hawaii or similar vacation spots and their fans book trips to go.
    Currency Trading Center
    ********
    Justin

  30. Rich Huxley

    19. Jul, 2010

    The next in the series… is NOW. More H&S shenanigans at:
    http://www.hopeandsocial.com/2010/07/19/hope-and-social-in-topless-seaside-shocker/