I would like to welcome the newest writer on the site, Erick Smit. This is his account on the Battle of the Gigs Competition held by Cape MIC that we were both subject to last week. Put your hands together.
As I strolled into the Cape MIC offices for a workshop arranged for successful applicants in their ‘Battle of the Gigs Competition’, looking rather like a smart/casual jaapie wearing my ‘kerk’ shoes, I couldn’t help feeling slightly over-dressed and distinctly like a primary-school girl who’s first crush just told her ‘you’re pretty cool’.
Needless to say, I was pretty amped being in the company of nineteen other like-minded individuals looking to enter the South African Music Industry with full force. The shortlisted group was diverse in both musical taste and location; major suburbs being represented included Somerset West, Guguletu, Parow, Cape Town itself and other areas I didn’t even know existed.
But strangely no Bellville boys? Has what ever has been in their Rock City waters dried up? Maybe it has finally migrated to other areas.
Cape MIC (Music Industry Commission) set out to flood our young group of marketers, graphic designers, event-coordinators and sound engineers with some awesome inside industry knowledge. It was clearly evident, from the get-go that Cape MIC had all of their bases covered; certainly as far as the music industry goes. To demonstrate, we started with an in-depth talk courtesy of Clive Ridgeway (of the Cape Town School of Song Writing), a reserved and pleasant man with a definite hint of hippie-lovechild somewhere in him, and a passion for all things: music. His talk was swiftly followed by Clyde Finlayson, the genius behind the Vortex Trance Festivals. His talk was no holds barred, hard-and-fast; if a talk could be a boxing match, this would be it. In Nick’s words, this guy likes to party.
It was a concise yet informative presentation touching on health and safety, marketing and coordination.
Over the next two days, Cape MIC lined up a yet more industry fundi’s to present us with inside details on what’s up in the SA Music Industry. Amongst these were Jess ‘Jeze-Bel’ Henson, a young (not to mention intimidating) music journo giving the latest scoop on Journalism and Marketing; Mark Klook from the City of Cape Town knuckled down and spoke about Damage Control and Safety; Hagar Graiser gave us valuable information regarding Branding and Workflow; Jonathan Mervis spoke about utilizing the Internet as a Marketing platform and finally, Lee Thompson, saxophonist from Hog Hoggidy Hog (amongst other acts) who gave a brief chat on Gigs and Bookings.
With our minds still spinning from the ridiculous amount of refined information we had just absorbed, Cape MIC launched us directly into some hands-on field work in the form of Guerrilla Marketing for the Spier Infecting the City Public Arts Festival (taking place from 13th – 20th of February).
And so we set out to help armed with sweet (free) t-shirt, various Infecting the City branded print-outs and such, and a roll of yellow and black striped (fitting with the theme) hazard tape. Our mission was to tape anything we could legally (or otherwise) lay our hands on; amongst these targets were business men, cops, cop cars, a Catholic Church, dust-bins, trees and a cigarette butt. We most certainly got the attention of the City. We know this because they eventually got hold of us and told us to take everything down. We didn’t. Obviously.
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