We are not that far away from the Music for Head and Heart live launch in Leeds. This requires a significant amount of work, an investment in time and money and having to pay a great deal of attention to detail. Many people won’t be aware of how much is needed to make such events possible. You need a good affordable central venue. You need a marketing mechanism to connect to an audience. Then there are technical sound and vision considerations as well as finding the right artists who will entertain the audience. With that in mind, special thanks to everyone working behind the scenes to make this possible. Not only is there a financial investment (I personally underwrite these events) but crucially a big time consideration, which means hours of planning and organising.
Funding Live Events
One of the main considerations in running live events is finding a way to give good value to attendees and to reward the performers. Music for the Head and Heart advocates all artists being paid for performances. The first event is deliberately priced at 6 pounds for the full evening which of course is extraordinary value for money. Yes, I could ask artists to play for “free” and for “exposure” but I’m not gonna do that.
In an era of “pay as you feel” and free events, increasingly its the artists who are disadvantaged and end up with less and less income. Many artists have commented that the public are more reluctant to buy CDs and now many people expect to simply stream music for free. Ultimately its for the artists to capture the public’s imagination and create the interest for live events. Its a challenge in an era of 24 hour TV and the internet.
Many performers comment that they are inundated with requests to play at charity and other free events. I appreciate that there is a place for this but artists also need to maintain a predictable income stream. In recent years I have had a number of band requests to play for charities where the charity won’t even cover travel expenses for the band. Its a question of balance and professionals in all areas of life need to maintain an income stream that allows them a sensible standard of living.
The Music for The Head and Heart live events will always be professionally videoed and on the night we will have an experienced sound engineer to ensure we get the best audio. All of this comes at a cost in both time and money, but I’m convinced that this platform is greatly needed in an era where there seem to be either large stadium gigs (often with big ticket prices) and open mic type setups. Both are fine of course, BUT there is increasingly often no middle ground and in recent months a number of professional performers have questioned whether they can continue to survive as artists.
Collaborations and Reciprocation
Music for the Head and Heart encourages artist collaborations and is greatly in favour of reciprocations in promoting music. Some artists are totally self obsessed and don’t appreciate that by banding together performers have more sway. Many record labels are reluctant to financially invest in performers, but mediums like YouTube and social media create new exciting opportunities.
I set up Music for the Head and Heart as I could see a trend of decreasing live opportunities for artists and many venues closing. I have a great love for music but there seems in many cases in the UK there seems often to be an apathy for supporting live music. This is not just my observation, but something that is reported by many other artists. When I ran two of my own band launches in recent years with support acts, many of the public made the exact same observations I have voiced. They didn’t want to spend a fortune on stadium gigs and were not great fans of music in pubs and open mics. I’m convinced there is a gap and Music for the Head and Heart plans to bring together artists that want to reach a wider audience and support keeping music alive.