As a freelancer working in the music industry nothing is harder than having the feeling of having to do it all on your own. Luckily there are many events being organised by local organisations that are there to take that feeling away. The most important lesson I have learned over the past couple of years is that we are always better together.
On Friday the 31st of January the On Point Music Conference took place at The Georgian Theatre in Stockton, organised by Tees Music Alliance. The conference consisted of talks, Q&A’s and round tables with speakers such as musician Dan Donnelly, Claire Dupree of NARC, Newcastle-local singer songwriter Martha Hill and Rianne Thompson of BBC Music Introducing Radio Tees. Underneath a brief overview of important pointers and what I personally thought of the event!
One of the first important quotes that stuck with me, one that was mentioned rather early on and throughout the day was to “build bridges, don’t burn them”. The most important thing local music scenes and local bands should do is to collaborate, the only way to grow is to work together and to learn from one another. As a musician and as a music industry professional, whether you’re a manager or booking agent, it’s important to have multiple revenue streams. It’s hard making money in the music industry, and besides paying the bills, it also helps you to understand all different branches within the music industry.
One of the cliches that I keep repeating is, next to being a cliche, also very true; if you enjoy what you do, you will never have to work a day in life. Sometimes it’s hard to keep enjoying what you do when you send out about fifty emails and get five replies, however keeping the fun in your work is what will bring you further. Be persistent but be nice. Besides the before-mentioned, ask yourself what your goals are and what success means to you personally. Success is such a subjective term, to you booking ten shows might mean success, to another getting at least fifty might be success. Try not to compare yourself to others too much, we’re all worthy in our own way.
One of the mistakes a lot of artists make is releasing their music before it is completely ready to be released. Write a plan, indulge yourself in how best to release your music and who to reach out to about your upcoming release, before you throw it out in the world. Besides making great music, you also want to stand out and gain a fan base as well as buzz from the industry. When it comes to social media, it has to come naturally but being out there is important. It costs a minute or five to create a Facebook-, Instagram- and Twitter-account and you can update them at any time. Be out there, be yourself and be a bit quirky if that is what suits you.
These pointers are only a small part of all the important activities, tips and tricks that were mentioned and I think that any artist could benefit greatly from an event such as the On Point Music Conference. Even if you might think that you know it all, there is always more to know. Next to knowledge, networking is a big part of your musical career and something that is inevitable. The On Point Music Conference and the masterclasses arranged by Tipping Point are only a couple of incredibly helpful events for musicians to easily connect to like-minded people and to get their music out there. Besides all of this, they’re free as well!
There is no reason for you not to attend them and to bring yourself and or your band further with the knowledge you can gather for free left, right and center.
If you are interested in hearing more interesting pointers like the ones mentioned in this article, you are always welcome to reach out via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.