Do It Yourself: Disruption & Promotion In The Uk

We speak to the grassroots promoters handling culture on the ground...

Do It Yourself: Disruption & Promotion In The Uk

We speak to the grassroots promoters handling culture on the ground...

Some have commented on the demise of diy culture in recent times - they believe that the youth have lost their way and sit idle. Is their opinion based in naivety, ignorance or reality? Are they simply unaware of what lies beyond the void? Perhaps that which is by its very nature "diy" is not supposed to be publicly widespread and available. Just a thought...

There are a wealth of promoters and pushers working behind the scenes up and down the United Kingdom at present - each working to promote and enhance DIY culture in their own unique and special way. Some fight for a cause whilst others simply use the opportunity to duck and dive beneath the surface of the mainstream. In a new series of short films entitled Generation DIY, Eventbrite travelled up and down the UK shining a spotlight on the new wave of independent young promoters aged 25 and under, who are tearing up the rulebook and changing nightlife in their cities one party at a time. We speak to three of them here and find out what it means to be truly DIY today. 

GEORGE HADLEY + BRAD PRICE (SUM CELLAR)

Tell us about your event?

The event was created in 2015 when we returned from Outlook Festival in 2014, we wanted to create a platform which would promote up & coming artists from the City and to keep the vibe as raw as possible. At first we used an unknown space in the Jewellery Quarter which was a cellar, but to get down into the cellar you would have to walk through a stationery cupboard. In 2016 we moved the event to the club as the previous building was being used for apartments.

How did you get started in promoting?

We literally only started promoting once we started up our own event and had no previous experience. In a way we think this was our strong point because we just dropped ourselves straight in at the deep end and brought a new way of promoting, that we didn't see anyone else doing, to Birmingham.

What does it mean to be DIY today? 

To be DIY is to do what you want, expressing yourself and believe in what you're doing. 

What other DIY promoters out there do you admire? 

Tunnel Vision and Concrete Jungyals.

What piece of advice would you give to people looking to start their own party?

Believe in your brand, what you're doing, and what you're trying to push/achieve. Make sure promotion is done from your brand social networking sites before personal accounts. 

ISIS O’REGAN (ROOM 4 REBELLION)

Tell us about your event?

Room for Rebellion is a 'political party' currently running in London, Dublin and Belfast. We've been protesting, raising money and awareness for abortion rights in the Republic and the North of Ireland. On the 25th of May the Irish people voted to repeal the 8th amendment from our constitution  - abortions are still not accessible but change is coming to our island. I feel our country has given hope and strength to activists & women in N.Ireland, Colombia and Argentina. The events are synchronised across the cities - some of which have been streamed into each other extending the support and love to our sisters across the Irish Sea. It's a sick idea but absolutely nuts to pull off tbh - so shout out to Keep Hush who made that a possibility. I'm really proud of our bookings, we've had Eclair Fifi, object blue, Madison Moore, Saoirse, anu and loads more amazing DJs play. So far we've raised around £5,000 in total for Abortion Support Network, Together for Yes, Alliance for Choice as well as the Coalition to repeal the 8th amendment. We have also donated to Nexus who offer counselling to rape survivors after the gross outcome of the Jackson & Olding trial. The RFR team are a class group of talented Irish beures who are Hollie Boston, Jess Brien, Anna Cafolla and Cáit Fahey. 

How did you get started in promoting?

After joining London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign - I knew this was the way that I could personally contribute so I just got stuck in. 

What does it mean to be DIY today? 

Learn to multi-task with ease. Good luck. 

What other DIY promoters out there do you admire? 

Too many: woman srsly, interplay, proteus, pussy palace, inner u, WU, spectral, opulence, siren.

What piece of advice would you give to people looking to start their own party?

1. If someone attempts to make you conform or compromise your ideas in a negative way or makes you question the good you're doing - just step away from them. You don't need to take on their shit. 

2. Trial and error. You will do little fuck ups here and there and that's grand, just learn from it. Ultimately that's just LIFE! You can have that for free. You're welcome.

3. Don't be a melter. 

JO BLIGH (THORNY)

 

Tell us about your event?

Thorny is a project I set up in Bristol to amplify the unheard voices and ideas of the city. We organise clubnights, performance events, music gigs and discussions which provide space for a diverse range of people to meet up and experience intriguing art together. Our events are unpredictable, and a lot of fun -- at this stage we're bringing some of the most exciting performers from across the globe to local stages, placing them alongside Bristol's leading musicians, live artists and DJs.

How did you get started in promoting?

By accident. Someone asked me to put on a fundraiser for them and I took the opportunity.

What does it mean to be DIY today? 

DIY to me means allowing yourself the freedom to turn your own idea into a reality, in your own way. It's barely possible to get your foot in the door in the creative industries and, even if you're lucky enough to, you usually end up doing admin for someone else's idea. The DIY approach isn't easy -- you have to graft because there's no infrastructure to support you. It's all down to you. But ultimately it's more rewarding because you have full creative control.

What other DIY promoters out there do you admire? 

I admire Pxssy Palace's -- their responsible approach to inclusion is unmatched. Away from the club scene, Buzzcut is a beautiful festival of live art which takes place yearly in the suburbs of Glasgow. I've never experienced anything like it, they're small but very innovative, especially in the ways they make the festival accessible (both in the physical and financial sense).

What piece of advice would you give to people looking to start their own party?

Don't be afraid of making mistakes, and don't let making mistakes put you off taking creative risks. Be bold and mischievous. And listen to your audience -- they are the reason it survives after all!


Visit the Generation DIY series on the Eventbrite site HERE

This is paid for content by Eventbrite. 

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