Music has always been a huge part of youth interest, but with all the barriers to break into the music industry teens are starting to take a new approach to sharing their work. While record labels and agents have always dominated the music industry, teens are now resorting to DIY means of distribution like online streaming services and self organized release parties and shows. This is what seems like the age of SoundCloud, bandcamp, and Spotify over the traditional cd, tape, or vinyl.
Under Construction, a show happening in the Mission District of San Francisco on March 29th, is a perfect example of youth coming together to do something most people believe you can only do if you are famous and have a team of people to organize for you. A group of students from the University of San Francisco, Adrian Corpus, Stefano Toledo, Ethen Ponciask, and Lucas Thallman, came together and produced this upcoming show all on their own. With just a few months of planning, the boys were able to organize other independent acts from USF and around the Bay Area and book a nearby venue.
(Top row from left to right Lucas, Ethen; bottom Adrian, Stefano)
The self-produced artists put the whole show together with their own organization and funds, however, when it came to gathering outside acts and creating promotional content, the crew reached out to their local DIY community. Adrian has been a big part of the Bay Area's art scene for a while now with his mixing skills and clothing brand, and was able to use his connections to other artists and knowledge of planning shows to tie the whole event together. All of the acts in the show are performing for free because like the producers of the show, they are simply trying to have their music heard.
As for the promotional content, the group reached out to the performers, fellow DIY artists, and me to create flyers for print and videos for social media. In order to promote something like a show, paying for advertisement space or a graphic designer to create posters is not necessary. There are plenty of artists out there looking for opportunities to express their creative side, and because of this they are willing to do it for free when working with other artists with the same ambitions. Furthermore, if an artist creates a poster for you they are likely to post it to their own social media giving you more promotion. All of the promotion for this show was created and shared by people involved in the show or friends of them.
Showcasing your work as an independent artist is something anyone can do if they are willing to put in the time and hard work. Of course, it is bound to come at a certain cost, but it is worth it to be able to share your creativity with the world, and if strategized properly, the profits you make from the exposure your work gets can make up for it.
While the group had to put cash into booking the venue, spending money to share their work and other artists work while providing a good experience for audience members is worth it to them. At the end of the day, it all comes down to utilizing your resources and your ambitions as an artist. Are you willing to do what it takes to get your work out there? If so, there is an entire community of people out there with the same mindset that you can connect to to do exactly that.
Although the boys are not hosting this event to make money, the sales revenue will go back to them to cover the venue and organizing costs and if they sell enough tickets they have the opportunity to make money. In order to support this group of independent artists and see what their hard work can create, get your ticket for March 29th at http://www.constructionunder.eventbrite.com.