Portsmouth event should be music to ears of local bands

Reactor perform at The Wedgewood Rooms
Reactor perform at The Wedgewood Rooms
Dylan Kelson, above, and Joseph Grout, below, let rip on stage

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LOCAL bands are being given the chance to find out how to make the best of the opportunities available on their doorstep.

An event called Is Your Music a Business? is being held tomorrow at The Wedgewood Rooms in Albert Road, Southsea, as part of Independent Venue Week.

The week, which started on Monday and ends tomorrow, is a nationwide event that aims to highlight and support the venues that form the backbone of the live music scene across the UK.

Steve Pitt, programme director for The Cellars at Eastney, has been a supporter of the annual week, and said: ‘This week is about showing how important independent venues are, and independent venues all over the country have been doing their bit.

‘It’s about highlighting the benefits of having a properly-run venue that promotes music and other artistic endeavours, such as comedy or theatre.

‘The idea behind this evening, though, is that the message has got rather diluted in recent years, particularly with the recession, that there are obligations from the bands’ end as well as the venues. We want to help bands learn how to promote themselves in a professional way, and allow them to develop.

‘This is about working with the venues – by all means do some gigs in pubs and quirky spaces, but you should be aiming to do gigs in credible venues at least a couple of times a year. This will be about finding out what issues bands think they have got and helping them to find ways around them.’

Those speaking include the Musician’s Union’s regional officer Jamie Pullman, Lorraine Solomons of Success Express Music and Mr Pitt.

The second half will feature a panel discussion including manager of The Wedgewood Rooms Geoff Priestley, Adrian Chandler of James McCartney Management and Chris Broom, The News’ entertainments editor.

Issues covered during the evening will include the union’s Fair Play campaign against ‘pay-to-play’ gigs –which leave bands responsible for promoting events – and dos and don’ts for bands, including managing and promoting your band, dealing with the media, and a new gig-swapping initiative.

To book a place e-mail ivcportsmouth@gmail.com or just turn up on the night. Doors open at 6pm.