Once every few years, if the mood takes me, I dip my toes in the tepid waters of public opinion and try and make sure Ipswich Gigs is doing roughly what people find useful. This year a surprisingly high number of people filled in the short survey I shoved out into the world. So if you completed the survey, then thank you. If you didn’t complete the survey then there’s a strong chance you’re probably not reading this post anyway. So…
Ipswich Gigs 2017 survey – the results
In the interests of transparency I have decided to share as many of the survey results as possible. This will give me an opportunity to explain how some of the survey results will change the way Ipswich Gigs operates.
This may seem like an odd question to ask. One of the driving reasons behind Ipswich Gigs existing in the first place, way back in 2003, was to send gig listings to music lovers in Ipswich. Compared to 2003 our inboxes are also a great deal more thrashed, if someone doesn’t want a list of local gigs adding to the background noise of their weekly emails, well that’s fair enough!
If people are on the mailing list do they actually read the emails? I asked this question because a lot of email systems, like Gmail shove all email newsletters into sub-folders or spam folders. I wanted to get an idea of whether people actually read the weekly emails. I was quite surprised that so many people do read the email! As for the person who answered ‘Google’ to this question, well your guess is as good as mine on that one.
This is one of the first results that has had a direct impact on the way Ipswich Gigs will share gig information in future. From now on when a new gig is added to the website it will also be posted to the Facebook page. We have been posting new gig info to Twitter for a couple of years, and have a decent following on Twitter, but (at least in regard to the people who completed this survey) that’s not where the most interactive audience exists.
I can’t think of any polite way of saying it, but music scenes struggle when the performers and promoters disappear up their own fundaments. If the only people interested in gigs are musicians and promoters then that’s nice n all, because we all need to stick together, but it’s not progressive for a developing music scene. The good news is that a whole crap ton of people who answered the Ipswich Gigs surveys aren’t musicians or promoters! This result, as with all the results of this survey should be taken with a pinch of salt, as the people most likely to benefit from taking part are probably the people who are the most subjective. But even taking that into consideration I think this result is pretty positive.
This result was the most surprising of all. As a direct result of this answer Ipswich Gigs will now list events happening in the towns surrounding Ipswich. We’ve even (slightly) changed the Ipswich Gigs logo! I need your help spreading the news to your friends in surrounding towns! There is a a LOT happening in Suffolk, let’s do what we can to make it even greater!
Things are pretty good! If you look at the website or even attendance levels at gigs then you’ll see that Ipswich, and the surrounding towns, are a great place to be if you’re into music. If we all do what we can to support each other and continue to make this town an open, friendly, nurturing place for local and travelling musicians then things will continue to get better.
Finally, some of the feedback asked us to start listing covers and tribute bands. The request was from just a small number of people. I can’t currently foresee any circumstance that would cause a change to our fundamental reason for existing – the promotion of original and alternative music. There are other organisations who do a fine job of promoting mainstream music and acts who predominantly play music written by other people. There is a long-established machinery for promoting mainstream music to the masses, we’re here to celebrate the alternative, the bizarre and the experimental.
However, we will now list poetry events and music-related events that have a strong bias towards encouraging or inspiring creativity. Ipswich Gigs exists to subvert mainstream normality. Any event that encourages people to move themselves into spheres that are new to them will continue to receive my enthusiastic support.
After an astonishing amount of thinking it over I have decided that Ipswich Gigs is still not the right forum for promoting open mic, jam nights or battle of the band competitions*. However, nothing is set in stone. If you think my decision is wrong then by all means get in touch and let’s talk about it. For now open mic, jam nights and battle of the band competitions are not a part of our remit.
Thank you for your help with the survey, you ROCK!
*BurySound is an exception to this rule. When Ipswich (or anywhere else) creates an event as creativity-positive as BurySound then we’ll talk about this again.