Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Feedback from new songsters

I think that that the event was a great success. Dozens of people turned up filling pretty much every chair in the chapel for the event. The audience; who were fueled by a slight bit of alcohol, I have to say, were fantastic, creating a lively and very vibrent atmosphere in the room throughout the gig.

In the centre's most ambitious live stream ever, we received the most online viewers ever in new songsters history. And if that's not enough, lots of the online viewers commented online via the live stream website and twitter saying how much they were enjoying the show. Many comments said that the show was "pretty cool" and "groovy".

We received similar comments from people in the live crowd who praised the hosting (as well as the acts. The second act, singer/songwriter Natalie Holman received by far the most rave reviews.

We also managed to please the artist who both, as well as thanking us in person for "allowing" them to perform, went on social media saying they "always love performing" at new songsters and that they had a "great evening".

All of the above proves that it was definitely fit for purpose and appealed to what was a rather large audience. Well, it can't be said that the whole audience was impressed with every act. Though, like I said earlier, act two received fantastic feedback, the same can't be said completely for our opening act the C.Tivey trio. One or two members of the live audience came up to me after the show to say that they weren't too impressed by the jazz band. This was because jazzy instrumentals with no vocals wasn't exactly their cup of tea; which is fare enough. They felt that we should have stuck with acts similar to our headliner Natalie throughout the show. Though, it has to be said, judging by the slight drop in viewing figures in the second half of the show, it appears that the online viewers thought quite the opposite.

This to me suggests that we did have a good range of acts appealing to different types of audience and though some people didn't enjoy some aspects of the show, the majority certainly did. My conclusion is that you can't please everyone all of the time but to please different people at different segments of the show is what I'd call a success.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Analysing new songsters episode 1

There were many purposes for the event. The main one was to give people in the local community the opportunity to watch live music from local artists. It did this by allowing people to attend the event FREE of charge. Also, people could tune in to the last half hour of the show.
Another reason for the event was to give local artists a platform to perform to a live and online audience. And that didn’t just mean the headline act as they also gave the opportunity for the more music musically gifted members of the public to perform during the first half of the show which was an open mic segment.
The show was a couple of hours long with a break in-between so people could get more drinks, ETC. As this was the first time we'd done this, it was all very new for us. Also this meant we didn't have as many open mic performers, but we had a couple. The headline for the evening was Seren the Heron.
The first part of the show was the open mic segment, so our performers would all try out and then the best ones would be picked to perform a track on the live stream. Seren also played a couple of tracks to give the crowd a taster of what to expect on the live stream.
The second half of the show was the live stream itself. This would last half an hour, and there was a track from the best open mic performer of the night, which was Hannah wood, and then a full set from Seren which went down really well.
Target Audience
The target audience for the show was people of both genders aged between about 16 and 40 who enjoy chilled out, acoustic music. Though I feel that due to the young age of all of the evening’s performers, the age range of listeners will be lower as well.
The design and style of the event
The design of the stage was very simplistic. There was a piano to the left of stage which, although it was originally there unless one of the open mic performers wanted to use it, looked very good on camera in the background of shots of the performers. Then, in the centre of stage, was a small platform with a stall in the middle and mics in front ready for the singer songwriters to do what they do best. Also, the lighting was very simplistic. Using a lighting rig, a spotlight was essentially created in the centre of stage with dim lighting either side. Also, LED lights all of various colours were scattered at the side and back of stage reflecting on the walls to create effect.
The event was held at the Chapel, at the Chapel arts centre. This is a great location because it is quite close to the busy Hereford town centre, but it is also a great music venue. As well as it being aesthetically pleasing, with the old chapel window, confession room door and prayer board, but it is also the perfect place to get great sound. This is due to the natural reverb that can be heard due to the design of the building.
I really liked the format of the show as I thought it worked well. It was a very enjoyable night and I thought it held a lot of promise for future events as people's responses for hugely positive. I like that open mic performers were invited to come and show off their talent, and then get a chance to perform around the world on the internet. This is a very unique format.
Legal and ethical issues
The organisers did risk assessment on everything in the event from trip hazards e.g. cables in the way, unstable lighting rigs, ETC to ensure that nothing would happen. Also, precautions were taken to make sure that artists and the host new not to say any offensive or bad language as someone who was watching on the live stream or in the audience could be offended. Another issue would be licencing via a PRS or similar licence if any artists performed covers, or if music was played at the start or end of the show. The building has one of these which covered this.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Event production diary

Planning and putting on an event
In May, our team gathered round for a meeting to plan an event that we would actually be putting. This is the production diary from all of our meetings.
Session 1
Session 1 was a brainstorming idea, in which we came up with a couple of ideas.
The first one would have been fun to put on but there was too many problems that we couldn’t make it. It was a comedy gala, in which we would invite students from neighbouring colleges and budding comedians from around Herefordshire to come and have a go. However we thought we’d have to do something to make the night something people would want to come too, so we thought about booking a headline comedian act. However we decided that this wasn’t a good idea as we’d have to pay the comedian and the without charing for tickets, the chapel arts centre has a very small budget.
We struck gold with the second idea though. We had decided that after watching some old new songsters clips that we should put on a best of. Invite down one of our previous headline acts, get another headline act and stream the entire show. We decided this because people had been tuning into the live stream so we thought they deserved to see the intire show instead of just half an hour. It was a special, after all.
Session 2
Today we discussed which artists we could book. We had already decided that they had to be headliners, and we laid down some criteria. They had to be easily contactable, and they needed to be aware that although we couldn’t actually pay them for the gig, we would be streaming their entire set so increasing their fan base and giving them publicity.
We decided that the best way to do this was to grow aroun the group and pick out all of our favourite artists from the series. We came up with 3 options. These were: Natalie Holman, Seron the Heron and Arthur Mills and the black Fridays. We decided that we’d try and book Natalie Holman and Arthur Mills and the black Fridays as these had been the acts that drew the biggest crowds and got the most interaction. Also they are easy to contact and they are fully aware of the money situation.
Session 3
Today we thought it was best that we talked about the date and time for the event, as it was fast approaching and we would need to start on promotion. We brainstormed a few dates. We thought about doing the gig on a Friday but then we thought that new songsters had pretty much always been on a Thursday and they drew the bigger crowds. We also thought people may already have plans for Friday and may not be so bothered about coming out on a Thursday.
We looked at calendars and saw that by process of elimination with other things going on, the only real date we could have near to the end of the academic year was Thursday the 25th of June.
We decided then to contact the artists. One of the team sent Natalie a message on social media and we asked around for a phone number for Arther Mills. It turns out one of the staff was friends with one of the members so we gave him a ring. He said they were up for it but after talking dates, it turns out they had a gig that night. We then went back to the drawing board with artists. It just so happens that we were talking another member of chapel arts staff who happened to be in a band and she said she’d ask her band if they could play. This was the C.Tivey trio.
Session 4
Session 4 started with a catch up of events since the last meeting. Natalie had replied confirmed that she would be up for it and she was really looking for it. We then needed to get another headline act for the lineup. We asked Cara, as she had shown interest in playing if she would join our meeting. She did and we had a chat about the sort of music her band played, what equipment and instruments they would need, ETC. She described it as “Jazzy/Hip hop instrumentals with some weird piano gits.” This was great as we loved the idea of having something different on the night as it could increase the public interest and hopefully the turnout on the night.
The group quickly and unanimously decided that this act would be the perfect band to fill the available slot for the gig. So our attention turned to the stage setup.
We knew that Natalie’s set up was pretty simple with just her and an acoustic guitar, so we enquired about the setup of our new act the C.Tivey trio and quickly learned that their setup was also quite simple. They would simply have a pianist with a vocal mic, a base guitarist and a drummer. On discovering this, we came to a group decision that it would be a good idea to allow the C.Tivey trio to perform in the first segment of the show with the pianist on stage left, the base guitarist on a platform o stage centre and the drummer to the right of stage. This means that we will be able to leave the piano and drum kit on stage for Natalie’s set in the second segment of the show whilst she performs on the platform in the centre of the stage. This would be aesthetically pleasing for audience members and would look great on camera for our online viewers.
Session 5
Today’s session focussed on job roles and personnel. As a group we first had a think and wrote down every job role that was necessary for the night. This included everything from the sound and visual engineers respectively for the WebTV Live stream to the barman and everyone else in between. Once that was done we then spent time putting a name of someone who we thought would be appropriate for the job to each role. Once the list was finalised, we emailed each person who we wanted to be a member of our team asking if they were interested in helping us out.
After that, we began promoting the event. This involved posting notices out on the college’s electronic notice board system, putting up posters, and just generally spreading the word. We got a few responses from people saying they would attend.
Session 6
Today’s session began with a brief catch up on what had happened since the last meeting. And once again it was good news. Everyone who we asked to take an active role in the event accepted the offer meaning we now had a strong team on the night which would increase our chances of success.
Then we turned to the main business off this meeting which was the livestream. The chapel arts centre had just put together a two minute promo for the centre and we felt that this livestream would be the perfect place to premiere the promo. Also, we needed something to fill the 20 minute interval on the livestream as simply having something like the centre logo could risk us losing lots of viewers. So we needed something to entertain them during the interval. This was when a member of the group came up with an ingenious idea. As this is going to be the final episode of series one of New Songsters, they suggested putting together a compilation of clips together of past performances during the series calling it a Wbest of New Songsters.” It would feature four or five full length songs from past headline acts as well as showing small clips of open mic performers.
Session 7
Todays session was a big one. Putting together the best of clip. We sat with a member fo staff and went through the performers and picked our favourites. After we’d done that, our host Josh went into the control room where we streamed from and recorded a little bit for the middle of the clip introducing the open mic performers. We then went through our open mic performers and gathered the best parts. After it was all done, the clip was just long enough to fill the interval so we were quite proud of ourselves.
Session 8 was the show itself.
The day involved running around eeverywhere making sure that everything was in place for the big night. It was an all dayt affair, so the only time I actually left the chapel building was to grab a quick lunch, and to get changed and showered before the show started. The day was spent making sure the bar was stocked, making sure that the videos that were to be played out including the chapel promo and best of clips were ready and were looking perfect. Also we had to set up the stage. So a few members of the team were helping us get everything in place. This involved getting tables and chairs from a neighbouring building, setting up all 3 cameras (2 roaming, one in the centre surrounded by tables and chairs). We also set up the stage with all of the mics and audio equipment. Then later on we ran a few test of the cameras to make sure they looked fine, the audio sonded fine and then we got our artists in for a sound check. This went smoothly and before we knew it, it was show time.
The show went off without a hitch, everything working perfectly, (apart from host josh falling over but no one noticing until he, himself pointed it out). We had more audience members then we’d ever had before, and hit a peak of 31 online viewers which was a new record for the chapel.