Friday, 31 December 2010

Has 2010 been a good year for ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP?

"Has 2010 been a good year for ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP?" is what Paul Stansfield of Creak asked me at the RTYD Xmas party. Well, let's see:

There was the article in The Times; That was cool. Thanks to Nicholas Barnett of Dead or Alive Promotions for tipping off the young Times journalist and inspiring this.

There was the mention in The Musician (the Musicians Union magazine) along with Facebook and Twitter as a social network beneficial to musicians; that was cool too. Thanks to Louise Rutkowski (formerly of This Mortal Coil) for alerting me to this.

14 Carat Grapefruit put on a gig at The Miller in London Bridge in the name of ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP, and we hosted out first RTYD-SOCIAL event there later in the year. There were other RTYD-SOCIALS run by members in Guildford and Oxford, later in the year, too.

Those good people, and fabulous musicians, The Zone, kindly put on a series of monthly gigs in 2010 in the name of ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP at the Native Tongue in Epsom. I hope more bands will do the same in 2011.

We had out first RTYD committee meeting. Now, although we have not met again since, its members have since felt like people I can turn to for advice and we do plan to get  together early in 2011. Marc Verlaine put his hand up this year to offer his help on the live scene. He is currently apprenticing at gigs and will run his own RTYD nights very soon. Thanks, Mark!

We lost the Saturday nights at The Libertine, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise because we gained the Saturday night in the West End of London at 4, Denmark St. (recently re-branded The Alley Cat) a much better two band 8-10pm gig.

We lost the R-T-Y-D fanzine, in the late-2010 online streamlining of RTYD, which is a shame because there were some great contribution by members, though sadly not enough to justify its ongoing digital publication. We also lost the Bands, Fans & Industry network, in the same culling, which just simplifies things for members, I think.

So, all in all, I think 2010 has been a good year. I've learnt a lot, about promoting gigs, and digital and social media marketing. I've learnt how to keep the plates spinning with less effort, which means I can focus on more exciting things than tweeting, like making music.

But 2010 was the year that I realised I was no longer enjoying running so many gigs, which is a shame, but there it is. I'm a musician before I'm a promoter, damn it! I want to be playing, and watching bands on the network as a fan, not as a promoter. I don't really want to stand at the door and take money. 'Specially as it's very much money.

Plans for RTYD in 2011 include improving it as an information resource online for venues and rehearsal facilities. More podcasts to promote some of the great original music made by bands on the network. Increasing the membership. Sending out more flyers to rehearsal studios. That'll do for now.

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