DIY Blog

DIY Blog: CMU:DIY Presents @ TGE

By | Published on Monday 23 May 2016

Last weekend we hosted CMU:DIY x The Great Escape in Brighton, and it was a packed day of interviews, discussions and talks on how new bands can get on stage and start to build a fanbase.

We are now just over a week away from this year’s edition of new music festival The Great Escape which, once again, will feature the CMU:DIY programme of talks and workshops for new talent on the Saturday of the proceedings. CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke sets out the agenda.

Saturday is all about new talent at the Great Escape Convention, with the CMU:DIY programme for new artists and future music industry leaders. Through a series of talks, interviews and discussions, we provide a beginners guide to help younger delegates navigate the business of music, and to understand how new artists can build a fanbase and drive revenues.

This year our CMU:DIY programme has a specific theme, with everything sitting under the banner Going Live. New artists often read in the papers that the record industry is dead and musicians make all their money from live these days. Which can be depressing reading when you are playing the pub circuit, where it’s very hard to make any money at all.

But gigging is crucial at the outset of an artist’s career, not as a revenue stream, but as a marketing platform, because it is through live shows that you secure that all important fanbase around which everything else evolves. So new artists need to get gigs. Which, realistically, probably means staging your own shows initially, to prove to agents and bookers that you are worth booking for other gig nights and club shows, tours and festivals.

Which is why CMU:DIY x The Great Escape is all about staging live music. So things like how to choose a venue, set up your tickets, build a buzz through social media, and plot your own DIY tour, with Islington Assembly Hall’s Lucinda Brown, Ticketscript’s Mark Kelliher, Tru Thoughts’ Rosie James and MAMA Festivals’ Aria Alagha all on hand to help.

We’ll then look into the logistics of actually putting on a gig or club night, and how to use those shows to engage fans and the music industry beyond the venue. Along the way Sam Taylor from will talk about why its important to have your music available to stream and download from the outset, Music Glue’s Joe Porn will explain how to get a direct-to-fan store underway, and Jessie Scoullar of Wicksteed Works will talk mailing lists.

And as if that wasn’t enough already, we’ll have interviews with artists from across the genres discussing the creative process behind their shows, with Chris T-T and Juno Reactor’s Ben Watkins amongst those doing the reveal. Plus we’ll have a series of DIY Guides on selling tickets and digital music, getting performing rights income, and setting up a club and gig night. Meanwhile reps from Roland, Ableton Live, Native Instruments and Pioneer will be on hand to show how their kit can enhance live shows.

We’ll be turning all the tips and advice dished out on the day into a how-to guide which The Great Escape will publish later this year, but in the meantime, you can download the slides we presented at the start of the day by clicking here, or browse through them below.