Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Manual for a last-minute-concert network

In these dark days before christmas it is hardly imaginable that a musician steps into a steaming bar, his coat shiny from the rain, water dripping from his nose, and asks the barkeeper if he could play some of his music, go around with a hat afterwards, and maybe get enough money to buy some peasoup with a big sausage.
Well, he might have a chance if he carries along a guitar, or a violin, and a beautiful girl with a nice voice and inviting dancing steps. But what happens if he presents his equipment and it is all boxes and wires?

Concerts have to be prepared way in advance. A little exception to this rule is the DOVES-day initiative in Italy.

What follows is a text by Domenico Sciajno. In it he introduces DOVES-DAY, and gives some guidelines as well. Thank you, Domenico.



DOVES (Day Off Venues for the Experimental Scene)

It is a system i defined in order to facilitate the management of a
last-minute-concert network for the experimental scene in Italy.
I implemented it through the iXem website and it has been developed as
a project handles by ANTITESI cultural association (www.antitesi.org).
The acronym DOVES (Day Off Venues for the Experimental Scene) refers to
“the venues for the electronic scene where performances in tour days
off will be held”.

This new initiative is of paramount importance and is based on the
creation of a network of independent venues fit to host performances of
Italian or foreign artists touring Italy.
 We developed a serie of 'online' tools in order to report artist's
schedule and availability or to consult the active iXem’s DOVES in
Italy.

These instruments are meant to coordinate both local (all venues in
every cities/provinces) and national activities (organized network
connecting all venues in every cities/provinces).
 We believe that the artists themselves and knowledgeable promoters
shall muster their energy and creativity to build this network.
Unconventional, heterodox music and experimental electronics would be
given a broader exposure through an alternative medium making up for
the lack of interest and competence of the mainstream promoters.
 
The idea of the iXem’s DOVES was born from the Electric Garden (the
mapping archive), revealing an interesting reality on a national scale
and its distribution.

Here is a general guidance on the setting up and utilization of DOVES
in Italy.


1. Who:

 Four people living in the same city/province (use as a reference the
Electric Garden, the mapping archive) meet to find one or more venues
to run independently and resource (each time in case of itinerary
venues) in order to host performances of artists on tour in Italy, be
they foreign or Italian and connected or not to iXem and its
initiatives.


2. Where:

 The venue(s) will have to meet the following requirements:
 - At least a 20/30 attendants capacity.
 - A first-rate PA system appropriate to the size of the venue.
 - Visual display units if necessary.
 - A minimal technical support for any specific need.


3. What the artists are offered:

 - The whole proceeds or a percentage from door sales to be defined
according to the venues and the event. Also a guaranteed fee where
applicable. Every local DOVES can decide their payment policies as long
as they follow the principles of cultural promotion rather than profit.
 - Arrival and departure transports from/to the train/bus
station/airport. Travel expenses between DOVES are borne by the artist
unless previously agreed and arranged.
 - At least one overnight stay with a clean and decent accommodation in
a private house or possibly in a hotel.
 - At least a meal and breakfast.
 - The possibility to sell merchandise before and after the show.
 - Extensive promotion of the event through all available local and
national channels (radio stations, mailing lists, internet, magazines
and newspapers, etc…) in order to give it the largest exposure.


4. To whom:

 The iXem DOVES circuit addresses artists having days off in their
Italian tours, or artists intending to make a promotional tour in
Italy, be they foreign or Italian and connected or not to iXem and its
initiatives.
 A tour schedule including the various DOVES is recommended for foreign
artists touring Italy for one or a few events only (concert,
installation, workshop) and wanting to extend their national tour to
more dates.
 On the other hand, Italian artists may want to contact the iXem’s
DOVES network to present a new live project or to promote a new
release.
 Every iXem DOVES is free to decide and define independently their
aesthetic and artistic orientations as long as they follows the
principles of cultural promotion rather than profit and closely focus
on interdisciplinary electro-acoustic experimentation.
 A sensible national logistic coordination is recommended anyway.


5. When:

 Dates will be as often as possible arranged in accordance to the
touring artist’s main event, around which iXem’s DOVES will be
activated locally and coordinated nationally.
 Every iXem DOVES is free to decide and arrange available dates
independently.
 A sensible national logistic coordination is recommended anyway.


 6. A practical example can be read in the following link. However,
because of the low budget profile of this system, we can anticipate
that artists will not make a good profit on DOVES tours, which will be
instead profitable in terms of artistic promotion. Yet, a minimum fee
to support and make the tour possible will be guaranteed. Artists
therefore need to be aware of the economic drawbacks of this system,
which can still be cost-effective if at least one or two performances
in festivals or high budget happenings are arranged.

Further information
http://www.ixem.it/en/indexen.php?sezione=home
list of venues
http://www.ixem.it/en/indexen.php?sezione=doves

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