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How to Organise a Gig or a Live Music Event - the Budget
Three times in the last month I've been asked the question, "what do I need to do to organise a gig?" In reality, when this question is asked it can mean several things: How do I find a venue? How do I sort out the PA? How do I get an audience? And so on.
But there is a stage before all of this: the budget. I would suggest that the moment you start thinking about organising an event you should write a budget. This budget spreadsheet informs you of most things that you will need to consider and will also show you the risk, projected profit and the breakeven point. A sample spreadshhet is available to download from this address http://www.josaka.com/features/2005/Organise-A-Gig/Event-PandL.pdf
If the budget numbers don't look like they are working perhaps the event is not the right thing to be running. If you don't like the level of risk, perhaps you aren't cut out to be a promoter.
So the start point is a spreadsheet. This should include all costs and all incomes. The key headings for costs should include: performer cost, PA, lighting, venue hire, marketing, box office costs etc. The income is likely to be largely ticket sales but don't forget the opportunity to add a sponsor to the event.
The spreadsheet will help you work out the breakeven point for the event i.e. how many tickets you need to sell to cover all costs. Every sale beyond breakeven is of course profit (exluding any box office commision). The added bonus of creating an event spreadsheet is that helps define all the key tasks to be performed.
The realisation of the forecasted numbers becoming actual figures suggests that all parties have got the deal they were looking for or agreed to. The sample speadsheet also illustrates that everyone else involved in the gig is largely earning a fixed fee and therefore the only person taking a financial risk is the promoter.
So if you are thinking of organising a live event I coomed you to work on the numbers first. This will help ensure you deliver a great show and have control over the money.
Kevin Harrington is the founder of josaka http://www.josaka.com the site that supports live music in Berkshire, UK. He is also director of marketing for Arkade http://www.arkade.com the mp3 distribution business.
To Record or Not To Record - At Home, That Is
I will be honest. I am addicted to music recording. I love moving faders, adjusting levels, panning, reverberating, sequencing, you name it. I especially love all that software, and the colorful ways that they show the music as a waveform. It is just cool.
Health and Beauty Tips for Your Brass: Keep It Shiny!
Did you know that the health and beauty of your brass instruments require extra special attention? It's true-their wellbeing and happiness depend upon it. While we're not talking about putting your tuba on a weight-loss program or taking your trumpet to the spa for a makeover, you do need to treat your brass instruments with care or they'll refuse to come out and play. So, grab that brass and get ready for a workout-it's time to clean!
Hip Hop History
Rap music originated as a cross-cultural product. Most of its important early practitioners-including Kool Herc, D.J. Hollywood, and Afrika Bambaataa-were either first- or second-generation Americans of Caribbean ancestry. Herc and Hollywood are both credited with introducing the Jamaican style of cutting and mixing into the musical culture of the South Bronx. By most accounts Herc was the first DJ to buy two copies of the same record for just a 15-second break (rhythmic instrumental segment) in the middle. By mixing back and forth between the two copies he was able to double, triple, or indefinitely extend the break. In so doing, Herc effectively deconstructed and reconstructed so-called found sound, using the turntable as a musical instrument.
JOHN LENNON - The Man and His Times
John Lennon wasn't always my favorite Beatle; at first it was Paul. But gradually, over a period of time, it was John Lennon who won my heart. I think the transition began sometime during the latter part of the 1960s. Back then, it seemed to my young mind, that the world was falling apart. Revolution and anarchy were on the doorstep. John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy had each been assassinated, riots were springing up all over the south, Watts was burning and the war in Viet Nam was escalating. Out of the turmoil a growing hunger was born among many of my generation, including myself, for truth and peace.
The King of the Delta Blues Singers - Robert Johnson Still Stands at the Crossroads
Probably the most enigmatic Singer and Guitarist of the twentieth Century is now one of the most revered and respected of all Musicians who make up the Genre of the 'Blues'. I speak of course about the wonderful Robert Leroy Johnson. Born in 1911 in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, in a Deep South plantation, he, in his pitifully short life, has become one of the founding Fathers of the Blues.
The Irish Harp
The harp that once through Tara's halls the soul of music shed,now hangs as mute on Tara's walls, as if that soul were fled.So sleeps the pride of former days, so glory's thrill is o'er,and hearts that once beat high for praise,now feel that pulse no more
Piano Lessons Can be Fun!
There are essentially two ways to learn piano - note reading or chords. For those who want to spend years learning how to play other peoples music, note reading is the way to go.
Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?
How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes?
Quick and Easy Violin Mute
One of the reasons I picked up the violin was because it was easier to travel with than a guitar (not that I haven't found some nice travel guitars, but that's another story). It fits in an airplane overhead and is easy to carry!
Lori Nuic Sparkles
A soulful vibe along with an amazing voice is what Lori Nuic is gifted with, she got the crowd grooving as she performed at Launch Pad at the Cameron House for the first time.
Green Day: Punk Rock Masters Taming Mainstream Radio Their Way
Before they got together as Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tre Cool were merely three extraordinary hopefuls hoping and looking for their big break. The trio has no formal training and got their 'practice' from playing for free at punk clubs on Gilman Street in Berkeley, California. Out on the streets is where the 3 talented individuals got their big break ? they turned from punk rock's most unlikely success story to a remarkable band with a series of chart-topping hits. Together, they sold more than 10 million albums and won a Grammy Award in the process. It's been a long journey for the trio who started out singing out in the streets.
A Quick and Easy Composition Method
Here's the method I use every time I want to capture an idea. I draw out 8-bars (or measures) first. Why 8 bars? Because it is an ideal framework to work in. Eight bars of music are enough to generate a complete musical sentence and can usually be repeated once or twice. Next, I improvise and see what comes up. THEN I will write down the chords I am playing and the first 2-bars of melody.
The Downfall Of The #1 Southern Gospel Station
Back in the 90's we had a local Southern Gospel station (I can't remember the name. You'll see why if you keep reading). They were known for their motto, "If it doesn't say it, we won't play it." They were determined not to play watered-down Gospel music-even if it was Southern Gospel. And they did a good job.
Shopping For Your First Drum Set
Your first drum set purchase is very exciting! You have probably waited a long time to buy your first drumset and have thought a lot about it. Even though it is exciting, it is important to be patient and do your research before you buy a drum set.
A Brief History of Fender Guitars
Perhaps no other guitar maker has touched the hearts of so many players and collectors as Fender. By producing excellent guitars at reasonable prices, Fender has been the instrument of choice for many guitarists throughout the world. Both the famous and not so famous have relied on Fender guitars to define their signature sounds.
How to Use the Entire Piano Keyboard
There are 88 keys on the piano keyboard. Most pianists use about 1/3 of this number most of the time. Why?
How to Remove DRM from WMA - Is It Legal and Worth the Effort?
Technically, it's illegal to remove DRM from WMA protected music. Digital Rights Management (DRM) is part of the music industry's effort to curb piracy. There are legitimate reasons for removing it, but first understand DRM can not be removed from file sharing network downloads. Most tracks can be legally copied 3 to 5 times, and this has been exceeded long before they appear on a peer-to-peer network. You must have either purchased the music or have unrestricted free music downloads.
The Dark Side of P2P File Sharing
P2P file sharing programs are free. Period. But there are P2P scam sites out there that want you to pay them instead. P2P scam sites are rogue companies that have set up shop to fleece unsuspecting music downloaders looking for file sharing programs by charging a fee for an otherwise free service.No P2P file sharing software costs money. Exceptions would be a site asking members to make a monetary donation to help pay for bandwidth, hosting costs, and other administrative costs.Some P2P file sharing programs offer "pro" versions of their free software. But again, their basic service is free to the public. I want you to fully understand this, because paying a P2P scam site money can not only make your wallet a bit lighter, it can also make your computer vulnerable to dangerous spyware.That's right. These scam sites are only interested in making money off you. As well as actually taking your money by fooling you into paying them, they'll make money off you by installing spyware on your PC, so that they can get paid by sharing your online habits and personal information with others.For music download beginners, all of this can be very confusing. Why? Because these scam sites advertise all over the Internet. Search engines return results chockful of these scams alongside the real P2P file sharing programs; their banner ads riddle the Internet landscape; sites are promoting these scams to get their piece of your money.Most real P2P programs don't advertise much on the Internet. The reason is that they're not money makers. It takes money to advertise, and who has more money--the free P2P file sharing programs or the scam artists? You guessed it. P2P relies on word of mouth. The scam sites rely primarily on advertising.How Can I Tell a P2P Scam Site?This is the easy part, if you know what you're looking for. P2P scam sites often use phrases like 100% Legal, which is absolutely untrue. This is a trick they use to prey on people interested in P2P file sharing programs, but who are worried (rightly) about Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuits. Keep in mind that sharing and downloading of copyrighted files is, at this moment, an illegal activity.Another tactic is to use fake endorsements and recommendations from legitimate companies. Other cons are to use phrases like Direct Downloads!, Get Access Now!, Download Unlimited Free Music!, and other phrases that are promising you things they absolutely CANNOT deliver.How Does It Work & How are They Doing It?To be honest, I do not know the ins and outs of P2P scam sites. But I know this: all P2P file sharing programs are free. Think about it a moment. It is because music files are being shared free of charge (without artists receiving royalties) that organizations like the RIAA are mad and suing.These P2P scam sites are merely taking your money, downloading a little spyware to your PC, then connecting you to one of the real P2P file sharing programs. This is all convoluted by the nature of P2P, which is a series of servers networking files to one another. Unless you're buying your music MP3 downloads from a legitimate company, either per song/album or through a monthly subscription, you cannot be sure where your music is coming from.The legal status of P2P file sharing programs is confusing. We know that MP3 files themselves are not illegal. For example, it's legal to possess MP3s, to rip your CDs to your hard drive, and to burn CDs for your personal use. But, by sharing and/or downloading these files, you are breaking copyright laws. To my knowledge, P2P scam sites are not actually breaking any laws. But why pay for something you don't have to?One of the most common techniques these scam artists use is to set up sites that are misspellings or derivations of popular P2P file sharing programs. KaZaA is probably the most hijacked name being used these days.Other sites may not actually charge you anything at all, but they'll "give you the software for free" if you give them your email address. This too is a scam. Because once again, they're just sending you along to a proper P2P program, but after collecting your email address, they're selling it to third parties. Don't give these scammers any of your personal information!If you're on a website you trust, even this website, you may see ads by these scam artists, preaching their lies about 100% blah, blah, blah. For your own security, don't click on the links. They're still scams. (Many independent websites rely on ads to pay the bills. We don't always have full control over what advertisements appear on our sites. Keep in mind that most online advertisements are arranged and distributed by third-party companies who pair up advertisements with appropriate keywords. So a page that discusses "music downloads" is likely to have an ad from a scam site singing their own false praises.)On this note, there are sites all over the Internet that actually promote P2P scam sites. Why? I have my opinions. First, these scam sites are paying large sums of money to affiliates who promote their sites. For example, a scam site may be charging you $29.95 for their non-service. Well, they're paying affiliates over half (I've seen the pay-out as high as 75%) of that just for getting you, the visitor, to their scam sites.I Think I've Used One of these Scam Sites. What Do I Do Now?Stop! Right now, stop using that service. If you've got some type of monthly payment with them, stop paying them. Cancel your "membership," contact your bank or credit card company, and stop paying them immediately! Secondly, your computer has probably have been infected by spyware, and you need to remove it right away. I recommend purchasing spyware-removal software like Pest Patrol because they do the best job at clearing out spyware parasites.If you've been pulled into a scam site, just rack it up to experience. Their ad copy is very convincing, and you just wanted to "be legal" while downloading. Take heart in knowing that you're not alone. But you're better off now, with this information at your disposal.In my opinion, this is another reason to consider not using P2P file sharing programs as a means to get your online music. I think that these P2P scam sites will increase in number, and will use more clever tactics to get your money and your information. Until the peer-to-peer communities are regulated in some way, I fear that these types of activities will get worse before they improve.
The Life and Music of Beatle George Harrison
Propelled into fame as one of the Beatles, along with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr, George Harrison was known as the "quiet one" of the group, and also as the "spiritual one." He was the lead guitarist.
Musicians Injuries: OUCH, It Hurts When I Play (But Please Dont Tell Me To Stop!)
This article takes a look at musicians' injuries. For an expert perspective, I interviewed Dr. Sarah Mickeler, B.Mus., D.C. Dr. Mickeler is a former professional musician and a chiropractor who concentrates on musicians' injuries in her practice.
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