Promoter Spotlight: Strong Island Recordings

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Brad Sked has been running Strong Island Recordings now since 2012, delivering high octane garage, noise and psych releases on cassette and vinyl.  Alongside the label he has put on shows and been a regular booker at Southsea Fest, Portsmouth Psych, The Great Escape and most recently the upcoming Dials Festival. We thought we would ask Brad some questions ahead of the big day. 

Wedge Bot: How did you get involved in music?

Brad: I got involved with music after studying Music Tech at Southdown’s College and after then I went to university and worked at a couple of record labels during my time there. In regard to what inspired to put on shows – it’s really just been down to necessity and just enjoying putting on stuff and working with artists. I don’t really see myself as a ‘promoter’ even if by all definition, I am one but we just mainly put on shows because the label (Strong Island Recordings) needs to for promo reasons or somebody is touring and we fancy having them on.

Wedge Bot: What was the first show you put on? Any specific memories?

Brad: First show I ever put on by myself was in Chichester. I learnt a lot from the experience as about 8 people turned up which was myself, the sound person, the bands and also the bar staff! The main thing I remember is feeling so bad for the bands that played and never wanting to feel like I’ve let people down like that again. It was a great learning curve long term.

First Strong Island Recordings show though was Southsea Fest 2012 which featured future label family Is Bliss, Dead Rabbits , Arrows of Love, Honeycomb Bones and Golden Hairs (who would become theboyiusedtobe) plus Battery Hens, Dirty Legion & The Demons who would play for us quite bit after. It was just a full on riot and a massive sweat-pit in a tiny room.

Wedge Bot: How have things developed or changed since then? Any difficulties/learning curves? 

Brad: The label itself has certainly grown where we’ve managed to release artists not just locally but across the country as well as as far as Australia and we’ve managed to get quite a bit of press which is always nice as it’s very much on a shoestring budget. The way it has grown really has been through momentum and just believing in what we’re doing more than anything.

Most difficult thing is just being able to afford to run things and keep everything going on. Even if you’re breaking even or just about making a profit, you still ultimately have to spend a lot of your time on something so it’s a labour of love.

Wedge Bot: What is your favourite gig/line up that you have put on so far? 

Brad: Our first food bank drive at The Cellars was amazing as it was so humbling to see people come together and help with a wonderful cause. We also signed Melt Dunes (they went under their old name then) & Curxes that day too who we would go on to release so that’s certainly up there.

Favourite show ever though has to be our bring your own booze show at The Great Escape with Acid Box. We basically taken over a youth centre gymnasium and turned it into one of the places to be that day with Demob Happy, Flamingods, Hockey Dad, Melt Dunes, The Black Delta Movement & loads more playing for just a fiver with amazing visuals from Innerstrings (Liverpool Psych Fest, BJM, Lewes Psych) and people could bring as much booze as they desired so that was pretty special and super fun and will always be hard to beat.

Wedge Bot: What can we look forward to in the future? Upcoming shows? Plans for the future? 

Brad: More releases from acts from all over the place. We tend to put out psychedelia, shoegaze, surf rock, post punk, krautrock and garage-rock and the same can also be said for the stuff we put on minus Dials.

Speaking of which we have Dials on the 6th of October which should be both stressful and very fun. We’re also teaming with Burger Records one of my favourite labels in any dimension plus Blak Hand Records, Stolen Recordings and Cassette Store Day for a free all dayer at The Shacklewell Arms in London 13 October and that same day we’re co-hosting Oxjam at The Pyarmids in Portsmouth with our Pie & Vinyl pals. Barbudo, Superdrone, Lucid Rising and a bunch of other play that one too. That same day will also be a special day as Melt Dunes are supporting one of my favourite bands being The Brian Jonestown Massacre in Falmouth. I’m trying to work out ways to clone myself to be in 3 places at a time that day…!!

We’re also bringing Kagoule back down to Portsmouth 9 November with our Honeymooner friends that features Haze plus Dad Hair & Make them All Smile at The Loft and we may have something after. We’re also hosting a psychedelic-tinted stage at Icebreaker 28 & 29 January at The Fat Fox with visuals from Velvet Candy. That should be a fun one.

Wedge Bot: Any advice for people wanting to put on shows or local bands looking to get more gigs?

Brad: Regarding putting on shows just do it. Communication is key though. If you can’t guarantee an advance in terms of fee then tell bands that. Also always ask them what equipment they can bring ages in advance if possible and work out a fair gear share (don’t just expect the opener to bring all the gear especially if the headliner is getting a decent fee and the opener is getting a few beers!), work with the venue and keep them informed, programme the show so it can run smoothly should there be delays (there always is) so you don’t have a 6 band bill starting at 8pm. Speak to the sound person if you can in advance and keep them posted. Work out a cohesive line-up so a doom-metal band isn’t opening for a solo folk singer and really just make sure you look after the artists as much as possible. That goes a long way.

Terms of looking for gigs; make sure what you do fits with what the promoter puts on and ultimately, make sure what you have is the best it can be. If you have no material yet then let the promoter know but give them a brief bit of info of what you’re about soundwise as they may well take a punt. Great music though speaks for itself. We put on the first ever Hotel Lux show after they sent an email with literally just a streaming link of the single. If people aren’t getting back to you or offering a date you need though just go and put a show on yourself.

Wedge Bot: Describe the Portsmouth music scene in one word

Brad: Bubbling.

For more information on dials festival head to http://www.dialsfestival.com

For Strong Island Recordings info visit
Facebook: @StrongIslandRecordings
Twitter: @StrongIslandRec
Instagram: @strongislandrecordings

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Promoter Spotlight: Pilot Promotions

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Mike Hartley has been playing in bands for over a decade now. From the jump rock party antics of TFO to the heavier prog rock overtones of Underground Pilots, Mike will be familiar to those who follow the Portsmouth Music Scene. Over the last five years Mike has moved away from the drum kit and transitioned from performer to promoter, forming Pilot Promotions with his band mates in 2013. Weekly gigs at The Fat Fox would eventually develop into a full-blown music festival in 2014 with the arrival of Icebreaker. With its emphasis on local acts, Icebreaker has become a regular fixture on the Portsmouth gig calendar and a great showcase for local talent. This Saturday Pilot Promotions bring local indie favourites The Collision back to The Wedgewood Rooms for a huge hometown show. We thought we’d ask Mike some questions ahead of the big gig.

Wedge Bot: What inspired you to put on shows?

Mike: I really got involved in music during my last years of high school. In music classes the teacher would regularly put on Metallica DVDs and I began listening to Slipknot, Korn etc. which inspired me to want to perform. I subsequently taught myself how to play the drums but sadly, for noise reasons, I wasn’t allowed my own drum kit at home. I had to settle for the bass guitar which led me into joining my first band in 2001. Since then I’ve been in 4 different bands from 2001 to 2017.

I spent years and years dealing with good and not so good promoters for bands. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to put on shows which are about the acts & the venue rather than about who is promoting. I was finally given the opportunity to do so in 2013 and I was determined to make a difference to the local scene; a view was shared by the group of us that set up Pilot Promotions and Icebreaker Festival.

Wedge Bot: What was the first show you put on? 

Mike: The first show I put on as a ‘Promoter’ was 27th September 2013 at The Fat Fox. It was our former band (The Underground Pilots) with The Light Brigade, Red Seals and The Acoustic Experience. I remember it being special not only because it was the first show we put on as Pilot Promotions but mainly because people recognised it being a new local band night and came out to watch all the acts which was refreshing.

Wedge Bot: How have things developed or changed since then? Any difficulties/learning curves along the way?

Mike: The scene is very fortunate to have a good selection of venues for acts to perform in which has come a long way since 2004/2005. We’ve sadly lost some over the years but venues such as Edge of the Wedge are such an important venue for our city. We are fortunate that there are venues in our city for acts to perform in and not take the opportunities for granted.

Not so much a difficulty but a concern for me personally is witnessing acts who are repeatedly playing in venues too close together over a short period of time. It serves no positive purpose for the venues or the band long term if they are playing across Portsmouth 2/3 times a month, in my opinion.

Wedge Bot: What is your favourite gig/line up that you have put on so far? 

Mike: My favourite has to be Icebreaker Festival 2018. The biggest one to date with the inclusion of the Friday night as well as Saturday. We were very lucky to have BBC Music Introducing Solent broadcast live from site, which enabled us to reach a wider audience but also opened doors for some of the acts scheduled to perform. Some of the members of my all time favourite bands, The Cooper Temple Clause, bought their new band Type Two Error to Icebreaker Festival which was a real highlight, as well as over 160 bands performing over the two days in 12 venues in Southsea which thousands came out to enjoy!

Wedge Bot: What can we look forward to in the future?

Mike: I’m hosting The Collision show on the 29th September 2018 which will be as amazing as it was last year, if not more so. After that? We’ll be working hard on making sure Icebreaker Festival 2019 is the best one yet!

Following Icebreaker, Pilot Promotions will return in the spring.

Wedge Bot: Any advice for people wanting to put on shows or local bands/DJ’s looking to get more gigs?

Mike: My advice to promoters looking to put on shows is to gain as much experience as possible and to learn from and work with those around you. Put the bands and venues before yourself and be passionate about the job you are doing. Carve your own niche and be unique.

For local bands looking to get more gigs – keep an eye on our Pilot Promotions page for opportunities that will come in next year as well as Icebreaker Festival 2020 applications opening in February.

Wedge Bot: Describe the Portsmouth music scene in one word.

Mike: Eclectic

Pilot Promotions bring The Collision home for a headline show this Saturday (the 29th) with support from Marmalade Moonshine and Submariner. Tickets available from http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk  

Icebreaker returns 25th-26th of January

Pilot Promotions
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pilotpromotions/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/PilotPromotions

Icebreaker Festival
FB: http://www.facebook.com/Icebreakerfestival/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/IceBreakerUK
Insta: http://www.instagram.com/ice_breaker_uk

Promoter Spotlight: Nerd Rage Bookings

joe andersonWhen you discuss punk and DIY here in Portsmouth Joe Andersons name is bound to crop up. Now operating under the name Nerd Rage Bookings, Joe has been putting on shows since he was in his teens, bringing acts from all over the globe to our little island. Besides promoting and booking tours he has also been an active musician, touring through Europe with former bands Ed Wood and Misgivings. We thought we would ask Joe some questions ahead of his show this Friday with Scottish Pop-punk band The Murderburgers.

Wedge Bot: What inspired you to put on shows?

Joe: I’ve been playing music and in bands since I was 13 which turned into putting gigs on at 16. I loved Punk music and it was a good counter culture to the time of Adidas popper tracksuits and over gelled centre partings. I’m sure it still is to younger rebellious teens today.

Wedge Bot: What was the first show you put on? 

Joe: The first show I put on was at my dads social club in Gosport. It was a mixture of young teens wearing flared criminal damage trousers with baggy hoodies vs my dads 40 something beer bellied drinking buddies. Super bizarre, but a successful show which laid the foundation blocks to what I do now.

Wedge Bot: How have things developed or changed since then? Any difficulties/learning curves along the way?

Joe: I’ve learnt a lot since that first show and made a lot of mistakes on the way. You need to be prepared and have a cool head in difficult situations where you have to think on your feet for when unexpected things go wrong. I think attendees for shows has declined since my earlier days, but I think that is the trend we’re currently going through. I’d say my shows are a lot more professionally ran now!

Wedge Bot: What is your favourite gig/line up that you have put on so far? 

Joe: I think my favourite show was a few years ago where one of my shows clashed with a Southsea DIY one, but we decided to merge and it ended up selling out. It was a great example of why it’s good to work with people outside of your own circles.

Wedge Bot: What can we look forward to in the future?

Joe: I’ve been mainly booking a lot of Punk tours Daggermouth, Lost Avenue, The Capitalist Kids & Aerial Salad and moving away from shows, but I think both have run their course and I’ll be taking a break next year to focus on other factors in my life. This year has been really hectic promoting, booking and tour managing!

Wedge Bot: Any advice for people wanting to put on shows or local bands/DJ’s looking to get more gigs?

Joe: If you want to put on shows start small; drag as many friends as you can and book local. Don’t over reach and keep the risk to a minimum. That way you can see if it’s something you want to carry on. If you’re in a local band go to other local shows and get chatting to everyone. We live in a social age and your music alone won’t just get you gigs. You need to be personable, get to know the people you could be potentially going to work with support each other!

Wedge Bot: Describe the Portsmouth music scene in one word.

Joe: ECLECTIC! There’s so much going on for such a smaller compared to Manchester, London etc get out there and find some new bands to love.

Nerd Rage Bookings bring Scottish pop-punk band The Murderburgers to The Edge this Friday. Support comes from American pop-punk band City Mouse, London based The Burnt Tapes and local power pop favourites The Stayawakes and Misgivings. Tickets available from http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nerdragebookings
Instagram: www.instagram.com/nerd_rage_bookings

Staff Picks Autumn/Winter 2018

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For most of us here at The Wedgewood Rooms, working at a music venue isn’t just a job, it’s a passion. From the tap pullers in the bar to the keyboard warriors in the office, people choose to work here because they love live music. With that in mind we thought we would ask some of the staff what shows they’re looking forward to over the rammed Autumn/Winter schedule. 

glasvegasAlice – Glasvegas

There are so many great gigs coming up at the Wedge that I am looking forward. To name a few… Laurel, We Are Scientists, Goat Girl, Hinds and Sunflower Bean. But the anniversary show of Glasvegas in September is the one I’m most looking forward to. I listened to them throughout my teenage years and have so many great memories to go alongside their music. Another favourite of mine is Dream Wife who play in October. This will be an amazing gig, full of energy and very catchy tunes.

the nightingalesMatt – The Nightingales

The show I’m most looking forward to is The Nightingales! They’re an incredibly underrated band and its great to see something a little off kilter in the main room. You could call them a punk band I guess but the sound is a lot more sophisticated than that, almost Beefheart like in it’s ability to change direction on a whim. They were one of John Peels favorites and for good reason. And if that wasn’t enough, Stewart Lee is going to be doing a short stand up set before they play! (oh and Unsigned Showcase 2017 winners Grief Daddy opening 😉 ) It’s going to get weird. Also really looking forward to Super Furry Animal frontman Gruff Rhys, The Cuban Brothers, Sextile & Hollie Cook.

telemanSarah D – Teleman

So many good shows coming up! Sleeper, Karine Polwart, Gruff Rhys to name a few but Teleman especially. They have a place dear in my heart from their days as Pete & the Pirates. They were always my go to happy music and I remember being blown away by them when they headlined Southsea Fest at the Wedge back in 2011. They have matured and moved on from their indie cheeky boy beginnings but still make me smile with their glorious upbeat lush pop songs.

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Andy – Rob Newman

‘There’s some fantastic Indie legends that are my bag coming up in the Autumn (Sleeper, Mercury Rev, Gruff Rhys). But I’d like to fly the flag for comedy and say I’m intrigued about Rob Newman’s show about philosophy in December. Knowing about his legendary partnership with David Baddiel and his comedy script writing, it’ll be a great experience seeing him on our stage. A high concept comedy show is a rare occurrence so I don’t want to miss it!

we are scientistsWomble – We Are Scientists

We’ve got a really exciting autumn touring season again this year! I’m definitely excited about seeing We Are Scientists – it’s always a pleasure to have your favourite band play at your work place! They’re so much fun live and always bring so much energy to their shows. Also looking forward to seeing Catherine McGrath – she supported Canaan Smith here in 2017, and now she’s back with her own headline tour! Her new album is awesome, it’s really strong and she’s so young still! Love that we get to see artists just as they’re starting their journey.

philTanya – Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons

Saw Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons just a few months after Lemmy died. Somehow all the sadness disappeared during that show and the spirit of Motorhead lived on. When Phil was confirmed for the Wedge 2 years on it became apparent that this was not a band he was using to live on past memories with, this was a proper full onslaught of dirty rock’n’roll, designed for all us old school rock dudes and dudettes. Really cannot wait to experience this live in my very own home from home!

skindredGeorgia – Skindred

I am looking forward to Skindred returning to the Wedge, who’s music I have enjoyed for years. They are always great fun and I find bands like Skindred bring fans with varying music tastes together.”

So that’s a few suggestions for you! Let us and your friends know who you’re looking forward to and keep supporting live music. For a full listing visit http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk

Promoter Spotlight: Beats & Swing

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Luke Fuller has been promoting under the Beats & Swing name now since 2012 bringing legendary, eclectic and sometimes eccentric guests to town. Booking within (but not exclusively) the electronic and dance genres, he fills his shows with the best local DJ’s, acts and dancers making for a great evening out. This last year he has put on Maxi Jazz (Faithless), Mr Scruff, Huey Morgan (Fun Lovin’ Criminals), LTJ Bukem & The Dub Pistols as well as curating a regular stage at Victorious Festival. This Saturday he adds drum n’ bass legend Goldie to the list. Find out what Luke has to say about promoting in Portsmouth below.

Wedge Bot: What inspired you to put on shows?

Luke: There seemed to be a lot of acts that would play Brighton, Southampton, Bournemouth or even Guildford that seemed to bypass Portsmouth. I found myself having to travel to see acts & djs etc because they never came to my home town. So in answer to your question, a gap in the market I guess.

I have always been a music fan, going to gigs and festivals since my very early teens – I always wanted to get involved somehow. I can’t play any instruments but have always been ok at organising and arranging things.

Wedge Bot: What was the first show you put on? 

Luke: The first show under the Beats & Swing moniker was nearly 6 years ago. We had Bentley Rhythm Ace, Dutty Moonshine & Kitten & The Hip on the line up. Booking Ashley Slater (Freak Power/Kitten & The Hip) for my first event was a big thing for me.

Wedge Bot: How have things developed or changed since then? Any difficulties/learning curves along the way?

Luke: We moved away from the Electro Swing genre as it became quite apparent Portsmouth wasn’t up for a regular night of that ilk. Losing money and some sleepless nights make you re-evaluate whether it was a good idea at all. But there were still these gaps in the market. Now the tact is quite simply, if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it. Don’t put on a show for the sake of it.

Wedge Bot: What is your favourite gig/line up that you have put on so far? 

Luke: Mr Scruff. 5 Years it has taken to book him and it was an absolute Master Class in technique and music selection. A total professional. Loved it.

Wedge Bot: What can we look forward to in the future?

Luke: The legendary Goldie MBE in September, the party starters that are The Cuban Brothers in October. November is TBC but were already booking into early 2019.

Wedge Bot: Any advice for people wanting to put on shows or local bands/DJ’s looking to get more gigs?

Luke: Network network network. Meet people, fellow promoters, bands, djs, venue owners, go to gigs & clubs. Support other local nights – specifically independent ones.

Wedge Bot: Describe the Portsmouth music scene in one word.

Luke: Better.

Beats & Swing bring Goldie to The Wedgewood Rooms on Saturday the 15th of September and The Cuban Brothers on the 12th of October. Tickets for both shows available from http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Beats-Swing
Twitter: www.twitter.com/BeatsandSwing
Instagram: www.instagram.com/beatsandswing

Independent Venue Week 2018 at The Wedge

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The Wedge are proud to once again be participating in Independent Venue Week! This year we’re bringing you some of the best up and coming bands the UK has to offer from the hotly tipped INHEAVEN to some of the great unsigned and undiscovered acts playing Icebreaker Festival. This 7 day celebration of small music venues looks to put a spotlight on live music removed from the mainstream music industry.  These venues play a vital role in the development of unsigned artists and to lose them would have a devastating effect on the creative industries. So wherever you are this week make sure you go to a show and support independent venues! This is how our week at The Wedge is looking……

Inheaven for Matts Blog

One of the UKs most exciting bands kick off their headline tour right here on Wednesday the 31st of January. Inheavens sound brings together ’90s shoegaze, grunge and anthemic indie hooks to create an irresistible wall of noise. The band released their first single Regeneration in 2015 via Julian Casablanca’s label Cult Records to great acclaim and spent the majority of 2016 and 2017 supporting acts such as Sundara Karma, Circa Waves, Jame T, Blossoms, Yak and The Magic Gang. They’ve also played number of international festivals including Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury and Bilbao BBK live. On September 1st 2017 they released their debut album to mass critical acclaim with NME calling it “Indie’s most dangerously exciting debut-album”. Support comes from Brighton based dream pop band Thyla and indieish Freazy.

Tickets £9 in advance from http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk

Icebreaker independent venue

The South’s largest unsigned metropolitan music festival Icebreaker Festival returns next week! Discover some of the great unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians playing on the South Coast. Started in 2014 the objective was to successfully allow musicians from Portsmouth and the surrounding areas to perform in front of large crowds. Taking place across multiple venues in Southsea, Icebreaker is a great place to see up and coming bands in intimate venues. This year it expands to two days of music, with 12 small venues participating and 159 acts. For a full list of acts and venues go to http://www.icebreakerfestival.co.uk

Weekend tickets £15, Friday tickets £7, Saturday tickets £12

Action Men independent venue

Portsmouth Punk Promotions have been hosting punk and hardcore shows locally since 2014! This week they bring Italian punks Action Men to The Edge as part of their UK tour! Best described as melodic hardcore with lashings of funk, thrash-metal, garage rock and more thrown into the mix for good measure. Support comes from Dead Neck, Sombulance, Misgivings, Fenside & The Kryds. Huge show, small venue, perfect for those who like their Sundays loud.

Tickets £5 in advance available from http://www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk

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Local Artists Design Limited Edition Wedgewood Rooms T-Shirts

To celebrate our 25th year anniversary, The Wedgewood Rooms are teaming up with local artists to bring you exclusive limited edition Wedgewood Rooms T-shirts. The aim of these T-shirts is to both celebrate the Wedgewood Rooms history, but also to promote some of Portsmouth’s best artists! In the last few years, The Wedge has become more heavily involved in Portsmouth’s arts community, having an artist in residence, as well as employing local artists at the venue. This project will be an extension of those previous collaborations between local artists and the venue. 

Each local artist has based their design on what The Wedgewood Rooms means to them in their own unique artistic style. For each design we will print a limited batch of 50 T-shirts, with a new shirt being launched every few months. The first T-shirt we will be releasing is by Dani Hacket, a local artist who works at the venue! These limited edition T-shirts will go on sale Friday, so keep your eyes peeled on our social media! Read below to see her previous work and hear the inspiration behind her design.

“My T-shirt design for the Wedgewood Rooms was a particular interest of mine since it has been such a big part of my life for the past few years. I wanted to portray the nautical background of Southsea, and also capture the history of the area. I was inspired by old engravings by JMW Turner, an artist that captured the ferocity and beauty of the ocean, and the combination of the waves with the impressive old style ships. Obviously, being a music venue, I couldn’t leave out the aspect of music, and so I wanted to merge the two ideas together with the musical instruments to create a lively image that captured the energy of a Wedgewood Rooms gig.”

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A Local Bands Guide to Getting Support Slots

Here at The Wedgewood Rooms we get lots of enquiries from local bands after support slots. Hopefully with this blog we can give you a solid few tips that can help you increase your band’s chances of getting those slots.

Number 1: Nearly every time we are informed by an agent that they want a local support, we will advertise it on social media. When we do this, it is extremely important that you only put yourself forward if you believe A) you would be a brilliant musical fit for the show, and B) that you will be able to promote it properly.  

It is far better to wait for the slot you think you would best suit your band, and ensure that you have no other dates around it, than putting yourself forward for every show. Playing to an audience of 150 people who are interested in your genre of music, is way more beneficial to artists than playing to 400 that aren’t. 

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Gosport based band Sad Palace recently supported Teleman @ The Wedgewood Rooms

Number 2: Follow the instructions on our posts for support bands carefully. By this we mean, if it says post links, or email a certain address, please do so. Messaging us on Facebook at 1am is not the best way to get your band out there. We need sleep too.

Number 3: Only apply if you are local, I.E within a 20 mile radius. We understand the importance support slots have to local bands, so we ensure that they are the ones that get them. Whilst we know there are amazing bands in other cities throughout the UK, this is our way of helping develop the talent within our city.

Number 4: Make sure you have good quality recordings – this is hugely important. As well as a professionally maintained social media presence, having quality recordings helps massively in getting a support slot. Contrary to popular belief we do not chose the support acts for our shows, they’re chosen by the headline band and their agent. You never know who might be listening to your music or checking out your profile, so keep things professional. Live videos are also a great indicator as to how you will go down on the bill.

Number 5: If you get the slot make sure you work hard promoting the show. First and foremost our main concern as a venue is getting the ‘right’ band for the bill. We don’t put forward local bands based on an expectation that they’ll bring 400 people however, selling some tickets goes a huge way towards benefiting your reputation with the promoter, agent and band.

Live Music Attendance Falling in Portsmouth? Here’s the Truth.

Taken from an interview we did originally with Portsmouth News. 

I recently saw an opinion piece in the Portsmouth News that stated that venues, promoters and bands were all partially responsible for falling attendance at live music events in Portsmouth. The overarching message seemed to be that a lot of people weren’t doing their jobs properly. As someone who has spent the last few years heading up the marketing at The Wedgewood Rooms, whilst putting on shows with my own band, this got to me. Having done several interviews on this subject, I still find the dilemma of falling attendance an incredibly complicated issue, certainly too complicated to explain in 400 words.

Put simply, falling attendance is a self-fulfilling crisis. It is a fact that live turnout for smaller touring and local shows isn’t what it used to be. The result of this is that venues make less than they used to. When you combine this with rising rent, licensing costs, and the astronomical increase in the cost of putting on live music events, it is easy to see how so many venues have closed down in the last ten years. And fundamentally, fewer venues means less public exposure to live music, and the continuation of falling live music attendance.

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As   to the initial cause of this drop in turn out, there are dozens of reasons. Portsmouth’s falling music attendance is representative of a nationwide social shift in live music consumption. The number of people going to shows at smaller venues has dropped, with many now attending one off stadium shows by heritage artists, think The Who, U2 etc. Additionally, the explosion of the festival market in the UK has led to increased competition between festivals and venues, and gig-goers are now given more choice as to how they spend what is left of their spare cash. Whilst this in some cases leads to a more active music scene, it can really hamper venues, and losing venues as stated earlier, is what ultimately kills a local music scene.

Of the hundreds of venues that have closed down in the UK across the last ten years, you will struggle to find even one example of a venue having closed due to a lack of effort from the promotional team. Threats from housing developers, and noise abatement orders can bankrupt venues just as easily as rising rent, and business overheads. The venues are the bedrock of local music scenes. Protect the venues, and you protect the scene.

WEDGEWOOD ROOMS RECOMMENDATIONS VICTORIOUS FESTIVAL 2016

It’s that time of year again. Victorious Festival 2016 is nearly upon us, with what is certainly it’s biggest Line Up to date! With hundreds of bands across the bank holiday weekend, deciding on who you’re going to see is no doubt a challenge. However fear not, we are here to help you. Our staff have crafted a playlist below of our recommendations for the weekend, featuring both local and national artists. Having to narrow it down to 20 acts proved hard, however as many of these bands have played The Wedge before, or are scheduled to in the next few months, you can trust us that they’re worth seeing! Enjoy the festival and make sure you scroll through the playlist below!