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27
November

Seasonal Bookings

Written by Steve. Comments Off on Seasonal Bookings Posted in: band, music festival, wedding bands

I just had quite an interesting chat with a friend who plays in a wedding band, regarding how the bookings seem to fall and the times they are busiest with both enquiries and bookings. engagedThey play predominantly at corporate events a few military balls and a lot of wedding receptions. I’m not going to hype them up as I mentioned them a couple of years ago and if you are interested, you find out a bit more about them over on this page.

As you would expect, the enquiries for christmas paarrties come in throughout the year, depending on how organised the company organising it is, and of course this leadss to a lot of bookings leading up to Christmas and new year. The private parties aare spreaad throughout the year as they tend to coincide wwith company specific events or aniversaries.

christmas partyThe thing which I found most interesting was that January is a really busy time for them with new enquiries aboout booking for weddings, why? Well, appareently a lot of people tend to get engaged over christmas (I’m guessing that’s the guys being tight and buying the engagement ring as a christmas present too!), then when people get bacck to work in January and things are a little slow while everyone gets back into thee swing of it they start looking at things for their weddings.

I would have expected this after valentines day, but I was a bit surprised to hear that it happens over Christmas too. I suppose it goes to show that different industries have such varied drivers regarding exactly what drives their business that without a bit of professional insight you’d never have any idea!

12
August

How to Organise a Tour for Your Band

Written by Steve. Comments Off on How to Organise a Tour for Your Band Posted in: band, wedding bands

So, you and your band have been playing locally and have drummed up a bit of a following, but now you want to take it on the road?  Touring can be one of the best things about being in a band, and the experience you get from playing to different people in different venues along with the amount of time you spend together can really tighten up your act.  However, in terms of organisation there is a lot more to contend with than your usual, casually arranged local gigs.  Here are some tips to help you plan a great first tour:

Your Route

A lot of first tours come about because a show, festival or other gig opportunity comes up out of town (or even in another country) and it seems like fitting in some other dates on the way up there and back is a way to get extra exposure out of the trip.  This is a very good use of time and resources, and provided the basic things you need to make it possible are in place (everyone in the band is available, you can afford transport and accommodation etc.) then there is no reason not to go for it. Still, where you play and when needs to be carefully thought out and researched.

It seems kind of obvious that you want to keep the route around the country or countries as logical as possible (it would be a bit patronising to tell you that playing Exeter, then Glasgow, then Southampton would probably be a bad idea), but to get the best results do your research.  What else is going on in that city on that date that might draw people away from your gig?  Is there one significant live music venue serving the town, and if so can you get on there with someone with a big local following?  Don’t just get whatever gigs you can, think about it strategically and use social media to find out what the scene for your genre is like in each of your target towns, and network with other bands and venues in the city so you aren’t arriving with no connections.

To organise a tour for a wedding band or party band is the same principle, however you need to consider the dates you are offered and work around those, as if someone needs a wedding band in Berkshire, but the next gig is in Cornwall, you are not working effectively, ideally you need someone who wants a party band in Oxford then a follow up date for a wedding band in Gloucestershire for example. Make it easy for yourself if possible and avoid spending more time than is necessary on the road between gigs.

Merchandising

It’s pretty unlikely, realistically, that anybody in a new town you’ve just played is going to buy merchandise for a brand new unsigned band (unless you have been very clever with your marketing and promotions and managed to create a lot of buzz about your debut in their area), so don’t expect to need to take a lot of expensive items like t-shirts.  CDs can be a way to make a little bit of money, but as CDs are a bit of a dying media you may not even choose to pursue that route.  What you should definitely have though, are some things you can give away which at the very least have your band’s logo and website address on them (or your Facebook page address if you don’t have a proper site yet) – stickers and promo cards are good for this, but the more creative you are the more it will resonate with the people at the gig.

28
June

Glastonbury Festival

Written by Steve. Comments Off on Glastonbury Festival Posted in: music festival
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Hi all, just wondering who went to the festival this year, how wet they got and which bands they saw, and of those who was best?

I obviously watched a lot of it on TV, but unfortunately wasn’t quick enough to get tickets myself.  Shame reallyas it’s not on next year, Oh well, I’ll have to get myself back down there in 2013.

28
March

Music News from 1998 Regarding the Demise of Vinyl and CD’s

Written by Steve. Comments Off on Music News from 1998 Regarding the Demise of Vinyl and CD’s Posted in: general, wedding bands

I was browsing some old NME stories today and found a really interesting report from way back in 1998 regarding how the internet will change the way people access and buy music in the future, how right they were.

The story is based around the US independent label TwinTone Records (you can tell it’s old by the use of the name records in the company name!), back in 1998 they were in the throws of making all their music available over the internet, probably quite a bold move back then due to the bandwidth available to most home PC users and the fact that music downloading was completely unheard of to the average internet user.

I found the following quote to be pretty accurate:

“I guess I approach the music business from a slightly different perspective,” he says. “I’ve always been more technologically minded. My view is that, 15 years from now, everything will be pay-per-view. You’ll have an Internet connection and your video, your games, your television and your phone service will be operated from this one unit. You’ll get one bill per month and, if you want to listen to music, you’ll pay a few pennies per song. It’ll be the same with movies. You’ll be able to watch them for a couple of dollars uninterrupted or you’ll get them free with commercials.”

How right he was.  I download all my music these days, in fact just the other day I was having the “do I get rid of all my old Vinyl” conversation with a friend, he is adamant that he wants to keep his, whilst I feel that if I’ve not played any of them for about 15 plus years, I probably never will, of course, I’ll keep a few collectibles and favourites, but the majority of them I’ve since downloaded again anyway, some of them I’ve also bought on CD as a half way stage (they are all up in the loft now incidentally!)

I even watched  film on pay per view this weekend, not something which I do very often, and to be honest, I wish I hadn’t bothered as it wasn’t very good, but Paul at TwinTone was right, music and films are both available online (tv too) for very little cost.

If you would like to see party bands, corporate function bands, pop bands or wedding bands in wiltshire check out pop of ages, a local wedding band, click here for more information about them, their music and contact details.

So I wonder if he had any idea how big the whole online music downloading and piracy thing would become, with some bands such as pixie lott becoming famous because of youtube and the ability for people to download her music, whereas many larger artists are complaining that album sales have decreased due to illegal downloading. Personally I feel that if they reduced the price of an album more people would be inclined to pay for their albums and singles.

Of course outside of the scope of actual recorded material, any6 band still has the scope to make their living from playing live and selling merchandise, or making other public appearances, doing interviews and appearing on adverts etc, so it’s not that they don’t have the ability to make a very good living, even if their music is entirely downloaded.

08
March

Make it Industry Specific

Written by Steve. Comments Off on Make it Industry Specific Posted in: education, general, specialist
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The internet is absolutely flooded with companies these days, many of whom are all selling the same products and services to the same markets that they were a decade ago with traditional marketing techniques, things have moved on somewhat and trading (or at least generating leads) on the internet has not only opened up a whole new base of suppliers to the customers, but also a new base of customers to the suppliers. It’s about time that companies started to see this as a new opportunity, not just an extension of their original marketing strategies.

Lets take an example of a company who were traditionally selling bookings software to tourism companies and are based in Swindon UK. Many years ago they might send out flyers and brochures, then follow up with a call, then a software demonstration and hopefully get the business, they would probably get some consultancy work and an ongoing support contract out of it too. Because of the number of site visits which might be required, they would probably only market to companies in Wiltshire and the surrounding counties.

Nowadays they can market to the whole country, this can easily be done online, pretty much any company large or small already has a website, I’m not saying it’s a good website, I’ve seen some really bad ones recently myself, but they have a presence on the internet, which is a good start. The problem is many companies see this in the same way that they used to see a brochure, i.e. it’s there to point people to, wrong! It should be there to be found in the search engines by your entire market and a whole new one, after all, why only market to Wiltshire now, you can also target the Midlands and Scotland just as easily too, if your website is optimised for Google, if someone finds it, great they are a potential customer, because they were online looking for your products, so beyond your fixed overheads of hosting, domain registration, design and any search engine marketing, those leads are coming to you free of charge.

Combine all this with the fact that a lot of sales are now done in online demonstrations, so there is no need to drive up and down the country to do them, your cost of sale has just plummeted, then consider that large ammounts of consultancy and support may be able to be delivered on the internet and you can see how the market has just opened up to you.  Fantastic!

Or is it?

Remember, that all those competitors are thinking the same way! they may be ahead of you and already have the top positions on search engines, or they may be close behind and possibly have a larger budget for seo and online marketing, so what do you do?

There’s more information on Swindon in Wiltshire here, or click here if you want to know more about the tourist or software industries, and general information about specialist industries, seo and online marketing.

This is where becoming niche really comes into play. Remember that our example company are in Swindon, Wiltshire and operating selling tourism software, with supporting services and training.  Obviously they want to retain the local business as being local is to some degree, a niche in itself.  However rather than only having the local companies to supply, they can sell nationally now, or possibly even internationally, so the software can be customised for specific niches, so within that tourism bracket it may be that there is a module for the hotel bookings sector, another for holiday camp management etc, so by becoming even more specific they can really start to clean up.

21
January

More about Wiltshire

Written by Steve. Comments Off on More about Wiltshire Posted in: marlborough
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Wiltshire is a county among many other great counties of the nation of England. Wiltshire has a rich and fascinating history, culture, landscape and tourism like any other county of England but in its own unique way. It is a ceremonial county located in the South West of England, land sealed and neighbored by the counties Hampshire, Berkshire, Somerset, Oxfordshire and a small number of others. With an area of about 3500 km square, Wiltshire has about twenty one towns and the only city.

Wiltshire is a historic shire. Alfred’s defeat Of the Danes and battle of Round way hill Devizes are some of the well-known battles fought in this great county. It’s not only known for battles but was also used to be branded for its extraordinary class wool merchandises. But now those wool mills are located at the museums and galleries but still appeal the holidaymakers.

Wiltshire County gives breath taking scenery and amazing landscape that attracts everyone to this place. With only one city and so many towns, the shire has a more pastoral beholding and has vast meadows covered with greenery vegetation and mounts. The climate of Wiltshire is moderate with loads of rains like most of the country but is milder than most of the other shires.  January is the coldest with 1 to 2 degree C and July August have the fieriest temperature of around 21 degree C. It shines in the summer more brightly than winter when it rains and snows mostly, with little or no sunshine at all.

Wiltshire charms its visitors with its rich cultural beauty and rich tourism spots. The top magnetism of the shire of Wiltshire is the world heritage site of Stonehenge and Avebury. Stonehenge is an old monument of stones circles in the mid of fields. Similar to Stonehenge is the sight of Avebury with its matchless stone circles. These cryptic circled stones were elevated in the prehistoric times and captivate the researchers and tourist likewise. Wiltshire entices historians, researchers and general public to it’s the vast museums and galleries. Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum is the one popular museum of many this city has. Quite a few country parks and country houses are scattered all over the County and attract those on vacation and tourists locally and abroad both to spend the summers peacefully. The abundant villages and towns of Wiltshire County have their own diversity and invite people to the market towns such as Swindon and Marlborough to manifest the great values and arts.

Wiltshire has people with unique taste and distinct culture and sights that show the same. Most eminent amongst these is the Salisbury Cathedral in the city of Salisbury. This cathedral with its huge structure was constructed in the medieval times and has an eccentric structural design that captivates the spiritual people most. Wiltshire is customarily gorgeous and pulls tourists to a number of festivals and playhouses as well every time that depicts the rich culture and people of Wiltshire. Prominent among these are the festivals of Larmer Tree and the Wootton Bassett Arts Festival. The county is a must see in England.

For tourist information on the local towns in the area such as Marlborough (the widest hight street in the UK can be found in Marlborough) see the visit Wiltshire site, it’s the local government resource for the county.

21
January

Stonehenge Wiltshire

Written by Steve. Comments Off on Stonehenge Wiltshire Posted in: marlborough
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The historical past that surrounds the Stonehenge monument near to Marlborough and Salisbury in Wiltshire, is so strong in its call for tourists that thousands of people go to visit there every year. Not only the stones attract the visitors that are so old but also the mysterious reason for why it was made. People go there and see the amazing Stonehenge erected there and catch their breath while in their minds they try to think of any other theory they can come up with to add to the list of possible reasons of its existence.

It looks especially beautiful at sunset and just before sunset when the atmosphere is the most pleasant. What remains today in the Stonehenge are pieces of stones which are arranged in a particular order, the reason of which is also a mystery. When it was made actually, it was a massive circle of heavy stones that ranged to 60-80 stones and was a breath catching sight. There are pictures made by historians to show how it looked like at that time and how unfortunately most of it is ruined and what remains is a very small part of it. It was destroyed because of weather conditions like rain, thunder and floods and also because of the construction for tourist infrastructure in the area. Even if it is such a small part but it still attracts so many tourists. Imagine how the world would have been delighted if the original was still preserved. It is really an astonishing site which speaks loudly of its rich history.

Stonehenge was made in many stages and in every period there were alterations to its arrangement and design .if you define the Stonehenge, they are just pieces of heavy stones that are put up in ground but still it inspires such awe. Why? Maybe that is because the stones are so old and the people really sweated a lot when making this beautiful work of art. The Sarsen stones in the Stonehenge each weigh 50 tonnes and people pulled them down using ropes to erect them in the ground where they are situated today. And the other reason for its attraction is the particular order in which they are made. The circle and the horseshoe, it all surges curiosity in the visitors. There is also the religious value of it as people believe it was made for some religious reason and so people still come here for worshipping and for religious celebrations.

The monument was first made in 3100 BC which is 500 years back. At that time it was only Aubrey stones which are deep and huge openings in chalk in shape of circles. After 1000 years, people brought heavy stones from up the mountains to make the Stonehenge and arranged them in a double circle. After a short time, in 2000 BC, people fetched heavier stones using ropes and made an outer circle. In 1500 BC, the stones were restructured and rearranged in a circle and horse shoe, the remains of which are located in today’s England.

To visit the area you can stay in Salisbury or if you want to also stop by to see Avebury and the long barrow at West Kennet, you may find that Marlborough provides a more central location for the average tourist trip.

04
January

It’s 2011 Already

Written by Steve. Comments Off on It’s 2011 Already Posted in: general
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OK, I have to say, that was the busiest Christmas and new year in history. I was planning to get back on here over the last couple of weeks and update the site, but it seems to have been one of those Christmas breaks where I saw everyone and went to every party going!

It started on Thursday before Christmas with a friends birthday and then just carried on, I’m not complaining by any stretch of the imagination but I’ve reached the end of two weeks off and am absolutely exhausted. Sounds like I’m bragging but it really did get to the point when I woke up on new years day and thought, thank god I don’t have to go out again today, and the thought of another drink turned my stomach.

So here we are, in another year and facing the prospect of the UK recession stretching out for another year, although it does seem to be looking a bit more positive, but once all the cuts come in I expect there will be further belt tightening going on. I just hope the interest rates don’t go up too much before we have recovered fully, or that could well beat any recovery back pretty quickly.

Anyway, I just thought I had better write something seeing as it’s a new year now, I hope to actually think of something interesting to write soon, if so I’ll be back and write it out.  If not I may still come back with another post, but don’t expect anything interesting lol.