Greetings Skaspoters, - I respectfully request everyone's attention for this one............ Class?.........Class?.......Ahem.....Listen up please....Thank you.
To start this conversation, I need to break us all down into 2 groups:
1. Ska fans who love the music and have no experience in organizing & promoting events / shows / concerts. (fans and friends of band members)
2. Ska fans who love the music AND DO HAVE some / any experience organizing or promoting events / shows / concerts. (Bands and friends/fans of bands, event planners, band managers, agents, technicians, etc. ?)
OK, who's in the first group? Raise your hands....(ok, please reply here w/ details)
OK. who's in the second group? Raise your hands...(ok, please reply here w/ details)
From the replies, we will put together a new group called "SpotMasters", And you do not HAVE to have experience putting on shows to join the SpotMasters, everyone is welcome but I need to know who has what skills so we can best apply our resources to this challenge.
I will now detail what I am proposing and I challenge other SpotMasters around the globe to try something similar in their home ska scene.
I am in the process of approaching local venues (clubs / community halls, etc.) looking for one night a month (to start) to turn their venue into "SkaSpot Live".
The venue must have a decent sized stage and preferably good in-house sound and lighting systems including house technicians. If the stage is too small, most ska bands wouldn't be able to put on their normal energetic stage show. So, make the stage size a priority. If the room is interested but don't have in-house production, ok, we can bring it in or book bands with good S & L systems.
I propose to the venue, that SkaSpot runs and takes the door admission $ and the venue keeps the bar receipts. The venue runs the poster for the Skaspot event in their regular advertising campaign and splits the cost of printing the posters that are put up by the Spotmasters street team volunteers. Skaspot will supply a generic poster / flyer design useable for each event (for skaspot brand continuity).
As well as other graphics to be used in promotion and display around the venue on our event nights.
Spotmaster volunteers will produce and run the event. Take tickets, man the merch table, provide security if necessary, stage manage the show schedule, count the door $, pay the bills (show expenses) and pay the bands a % of door receipts after expenses are deducted. We will dress the part, two tone look, pork pie hats, and make sure we have some "ringers" to get the crowd skankin.
Our main policy is to promote and tolerate ALL forms of ska (& up-tempo reggae, bluebeat, rocksteady, hybrid). We support and promote the genre in general. but we make an attempt to offer history and education to those who attend our events in an effort to widen ska music awareness. Our position is "Ska music is good for your ears and feet - just have fun" I plan to project old ska videos, etc around the room during set changes. Lots of signage around the room (temporary so it can be taken down at the end of the night and stored until next gig) that promotes Skaspot, SkaSummitt, Ska podcasts, Ska bands, Ska merchandise and skaspot shirts or jackets for high visibility for our SpotMasters who are making it happen.
We approach the local media in each market and ask them to support our efforts to create a safe fun place for people to come and learn about and enjoy ska music.
Eventually we create a SkaSpot Compilation CD every year to be sold at each event merch table......
Anybody getting excited yet?...........I know we can do this. I have deep experience in producing successful events for the last 30 yrs or so. I will create some templates and check lists to facilitate producing these events. In theory, I can coach some of you out there with no event experience and over time turn you into monster event planners / promoters / /producers who might find a career in this wacky business.
At the least you can help your local ska scene and boost the careers of your favorite local ska musicians.
Ideally we find a sponsor or two in each market to help defray poster / flyer printing
costs. After a while when this gets successful, we will need to pay a core team in each market to keep it going as it will take a pretty big comittment time wise if or when this gets big and we have full capacity shows.
We always do the safe and right thing. NOt only do we do the right thing in all cases, we need to BE SEEN doing the right thing. We run our shows professionally and properly, and on time, no sneaking friends in thru the back door, they all pay or are on the guest list for a good reason like they helped out the event somehow.
In the beginning, we won't be able to guarantee payment to the artists, just a % of door after bills are paid. We need them to support this concept because the up side is a new place to play dedicated to ska and eventually could become a skaspot tour route for ska bands.
As it grows, there should come a time when we are comfortable in guaranteeing fees to bands, allowing us to try and land dates with the major touring ska acts like Toasters, Specials, Bad Manners, Chris Murray, and all the current hot N American ska bands mentioned in other blogs on this site when they come thru town.
What do you say? Come on, let's collectively make a difference.
And after we get good at this, we can have a skaspot conference somewhere, sometime as an excuse for us all to get together and dance til our feet hurt.
If SkaSpot doesn't work for ya, maybe "Skatopia" ? as a name for our ska theme night.
Join me, anyone?
The old ska kid