Our First MicroGig – Miriam Jones, Feb 27th, London

January 12th, 2010

OK! We (that’s Lobelia and I) are hosting our first MicroGig.

The artist in question is Miriam Jones. Why did we ask Miriam? Because she’s an amazing musician, but more than that, she’s really funny and engaging on stage, and struck us as the perfect person for an intimate evening of songs and stories and food and magicalness.

So, the details are pretty much as sketched out in this post:

  • Tickets are £10
  • There also anther obligatory £10 for a USB memory stick full of amazing digital goodies from Miriam (loads of music, probably some photos, video etc… way more than £10 worth, that’s for sure, and if you’re the kind of person who prefers CDs, she may well be up for swapping the Stick for a couple of good ole fashioned discs instead.)
  • Start time will be 6 (arrive) 6.30 music. Aiming to finish nice ‘n’ early too. Why? Because we can :)
  • There’ll be soup.
  • Bring your own drinks (tea and coffee provided)

Want to hear Miriam? Here’s her solo collection, the Solitary Songs:

<a href="http://miriamjones.bandcamp.com/album/the-solitary-songs">Come Clean (April) by Miriam Jones</a>

Sold? Great, the way to reserve a place is email me (steve lawson), confirm that one of the TEN places is yours (there are only 10 tickets!) then paypal the money to Miriam to confirm. (Details on booking).

That’s it. Turn up at our house (address available on booking), enjoy an evening of amazingly awesome music and fun, and then rebook for March’s gig. (more on that v. soon!)

Booking A MicroGig: The Checklist

January 4th, 2010

So, you’re interested in booking a MicroGig. Here’s what you need:

  • A venue (big enough to squeeze 10 people and one musician in – ie, your living room/kitchen/bathroom)
  • An artist (we’ll have a list for you soon, or find your own!)
  • 10 friends willing to cough up a tenner for a ticket and another ten quid for a memory stick packed with awesome.
  • That’s it.

If your house is up to it (it is), then all you need to do is contact the musician in question and book ‘em.

Best way to handle the money part of it is for the 10 people coming to pay £20 each up front – so no faffing with cash on the night, and no awkward moments with cancellations. If they all have paypal, they can send it straight to the artist (get their paypal address from them when you speak to them).

Then you need to settle on a date, sort out a time to get in (soundcheck shouldn’t really be neccesary unless there’s some kind of plugged in element to the gig – if you’re booking me (Steve Lawson) I’ll need about 20 minutes to set up). Arrange with the artist whether or not you’re going to feed them first, what time it’s going to start, and what time the 10 Adorable Patrons Of The Awesome are going to arrive, and how long your chosen maestro will play for.

Then sort out any extras – are you into making soup? Great, do a massive pot of soup for everyone. Does the artist in question do anything else that could make it more special (and possibly profitable) – some ideas (based on the kind of people I think are going to be up for this):

  • Songwriting workshop
  • instrumental masterclass
  • marketing/future of the music industry stuff for other musicians
  • short film showing
  • art exhibition
  • hand-made jewelry sale

Or anything else that comes to mind – with a group of only 10 people, all kinds of things are possible that just wouldn’t work with a bigger audience. So use your imagination. If, somewhere in there, you can find a way for the audience to get more out of it, and the artist to make a bit more money, so much the better.

Don’t forget to talk about accommodation if the artist isn’t local, and any other needs (dietary requirements, music stands, types of chair to sit on to play, introductions etc.) and you’re good to go.

It’s really easy – once you’ve done one, you may well be able to turn it into a regular event. But get one booked in, and don’t hesitate to ask questions here if you get stuck!

MicroGigs, You Say?

January 3rd, 2010

So, ‘MicroGigs’ – what’s that all about?

Exactly what it says – like a normal gig, only smaller. By ‘normal gig’, I obviously mean ‘house concert’ – the finest of all gigging situations, a win/win for artist and audience.

The normal house concert situation is pretty open ended, depending on the size of the venue. Which is where a lot of people get a little stuck – they think their house isn’t big enough. So We came up with the idea of MicroGigs. This is how it works.

  • 10 People
  • 10 Tickets
  • 10 Pounds each (or equiv in local currency… )
  • 10 Memory Sticks, also 10 Pounds each, with all the media of the gig, plus at least one album by the artist and any specials they care to throw in (basically, a hell of a lot more than £10 worth! )

The gigs will be as ‘acoustic as possible’ (obviously keyboards and electric basses will need to be amplified, but most of these will be completely unamplified). You’ll be invited to bring your own drinks, and on an event by event basis, there may well be food available (or the option to all order take-out!)

The gigs will ALL feature a Q&A between artist and audience – ask what you like, about songwriting, guitar playing, inspiration, dance-moves – and obviously plenty of time to chat and hang out before and after. No artists in their own VIP area, no cheap seats, no overpriced beer. Just amazing music, comfortable surroundings and a chance to hang out with the people who make the songs happen.

This is the sister venture to officegigs.co.uk – musicians at work, specifically, your place of work. These ideas are all about getting music out to where people can really listen. Modern life is complex, and most music venues are horrible. Babysitters are a pain, gigs run late and drunk audiences don’t know when to shut up.

So let’s remix it. Do it right. Put music and people and stories and fun back at the top of the priority list.

Who’s in?