freelance-article-writingPeople may have picked up on a slightly frustrated tone that runs as an undercurrent through my Sounds Around Town column these days, mainly to do with readily available gig information. What ever you think of the paper, my writing or even myself, a good promoter will play the numbers and get their gig or band mentioned in as many places as possible,  albeit flyers, posters, listings, journalism (even as low brow as mine!) So with that in mind I thought I would clarify how I operate and should you wish to, what the best way of getting mentioned in the column are.

  1. Firstly there is the issue of time frame. My piece goes out in the Thursday edition and is submitted to the paper normally over the previous weekend. That means any information not readily available to me by about a week before that issue, is possibly too late to be acted upon.
  2. If you run a venue, then have an up to date website, that’s not just for my benefit as it is also the first port of call for anyone checking out what bands are playing at your venue. If gig says “the best local acts” or “TBC” then obviously there is no way it can be mentioned. Similarly if you do list the bands name, a bit of information goes a long way as punters what to know about genres etc and writers are basically lazy and maybe don’t have the time to go crawling around the net to find out the specifics. You booked them after all, you should know a bit about them. Also bear in mind that new bands and even less internet friendly established acts might not even have a web presence. If I can’t let people know something about the band then there is little point writing the gig up.
  3. Promoters normally advertise via Facebook event pages but the same rules apply. Also if you have an event why not add me to the invite list, I probably won’t turn up but it is another way of flagging up the gig details to me.
  4. Feel free to e-mail or message me directly about a gig though bear in mind that due to the nature of my work I receive hundreds of e-mails a day about music releases, tour dates, gig details so it is best if you only let me know about things happening in the next couple of weeks. Quarterly e-mail listings will end up in a massive archive and get forgotten about, next weeks gigs will end up on a note pad and stay on the desk next to the Mac.
  5. Also bear in mind that some of the information going into that weeks column will also be broadcast  the day before on Live and Local on Swindon 105.5…so even more exposure.
  6. Bands feel free to contact me directly, even if you expect your gig to be promoted by the venue or promoter, better I get the information three times than not at all.
  7. Despite popular perception, if you play in a cover band or tribute act it doesn’t mean I won’t mention your gig, it might mean I have less to say about the gig…after all if you go and see an Oasis tribute or a punk cover band, you know what you are getting for your money, but you just have to look through recent columns to see that all genres and types of band get featured.
  8. Okay, I may have an odd sense of humour sometimes and not everyone will judge the tone of my work in the same way, but I assure you I am not out to make enemies but do hope people have the ability to take some good natured ribbing on occasion and generally laugh at themselves and the world around them. If they can’t, does it really matter what I think?
  9. If you don’t get mentioned, don’t take it personally. I am limited to a certain word count and my not mentioning your bands shows is more likely down to the fact that I didn’t have room for everyone. Also bear in mind that it is a recommendation article and therefore the bottom line is that there is no obligation to mention any or every show, though I assure you I do my best to put as much information in as I can.

Okay, I hope that clarifies how things work and how you can use my gig guide as a promotion extra for your gig.  Happy promoting people!