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Possible New York Looping Fest: was 1st Looping Festival
"Good question. Are we just going to jam or are there going to be
organized set lists? How long is each set going to be?"
I've really thought long and hard about this question with the many
festivals I have either produced or instigated.
Not being an East Coaster, I can profer some gratuitous advice (and all
gratuitous advice can be ignored
without peril of hurting feelings...........<smile>)
We have found in all of our multiple events that audiences have a hard
with anything longer than
30 minutes sets. This can be disconcerting to musicians who want to
stretch out more but
because we are asking people to take on a mutliple act show (with few
usually) I feel that
it is very countreproductive, especially with disparate styles, genres and
approaches that occur in live looping,
to play longer.
I think the important thing to consider is that while these things are fun
to play and to attend (our festivals are really as
much conventions of loopers as performances of loopers) that it is very
important not to be self indulgent.
If we want club owners to be happy with hosting us (and it's really
difficult to have anyone host a 'new music' act these days
in every country I've performed in in the last 3 years) we have to
1) bring some bodies to the club and increase their business and
2) put on a professional and well paced show.
Also if you are going into a venue that is new to looping another thing
that we have learned (because we've been in multiple venues over the last
years) is that it is really important to go out of your way to be kind and
inclusive to all staff at the clubs.
This may sound ridiculously sophomoric to say, but people get their
in a bunch frequently on the day of a show and it's easy
to be very internal with one's process (especially when gear is wierd or
suddenly discover that your AC won't reach the stage
or some such nonsense).
Being really familial and friendly with the owner, sound guys, waitresses
and bouncers goes a long way, especially when it takes a few shows to get
crowd coming to an event, which it can take with this kind of thing.
I also have a policy where I leave the stage and surrounding area cleaner
than when we came. Such a silly thing, but when people get the vibe that
you care as much for where they work as they do..........even if it's
picking up some previous rock bands duck tape off the stage and cleaning
all the drinks and extra strings and broken sticks lying
around...............it really goes a long way.
Viz a vis opening up a new venue, I have also discovered that a great
to play is any place that you can find where
1) there's enough space to bring in a small pa (if they dont' have one)
2) any place where 20 customers (and include yourselves in that number
because you will buy coffee and a sandwich probably)
We have done looping shows in retail stores that have never had music
shops......................warehouses........... dinky little working
bars......even places where what you are doing seems
It's great to approach such a busniess with the idea "what's your least
attended night of the week?". "Could you guys use 20-30 new customers on
that night?" The answer is almost always "yes" at even the most unlikely
There's no need to make assumptions about whether a place would like you
not. People are dying to be involved with something. This is an
and most definitely burgeoning new style and genre-less movement and
want to participate even if they
Okay, that's enough gratuitous advice for now. If anyone needs more
help with things of these kinds, please reach out. I'd be happy to share
what I've learned doing this pretty aggressively over the past few years.