We’re always looking for interesting ways to let people know what’s going on. We recently launched our iCal service, we’ve had RSS available for years and now we’re tinkering with the idea of Podcasts. As a trial run we’ve recorded a pilot episode and bunged it up on YouTube. Have a listen and let us know what you think. Would you subscribe to an Ipswich Gigs podcast?
We’re always looking for ways to get information about Ipswich Gigs out to the public (you lot). We’ve been running the email newsletter mailing list since 2003 and it ticks along quite nicely. If you subscribe you’ll get an email each Sunday night letting you know what’s happening in the following week (and beyond). We have lots of people who keep an eye on our Facebook page for gig news. The same goes for the 5,500+ people who follow Ipswich Gigs on Twitter. We also provide an RSS events feed that lists all events. If you use an RSS aggregator then you probably already know that.
One potential issue with the above methods is that you have to go somewhere, or do something specific to find out what’s happening locally. We’re all busy people, and even if you really love the local music scene you might miss a kickass gig, just because you’ve checked social media at one time instead of other. So what’s the answer? We wanted to find a way of getting gig information in front of you as you go about your business each day. We found one.
We now provide an iCal events feed. If you know what that is then you can go ahead and make the most of it right now, here it is – https://ipswichgigs.co.uk/events.ics
If you don’t know what an iCal feed is then you might be surprised to know that you’re probably already using one. If you use Google Calendar, Outlook or the Apple Calendar app on your iPhone or iPad then you are probably already receiving information via an iCal feed. This is one of those bits of technology that it’s probably easier to show you rather tell you.
Here’s how to add the Ipswich Gigs iCal feed to add Ipswich Gigs to your Google Calendar:
On the left hand side of your Google Calendar click the little plus sign by ‘Add a friend’s calendar’ and then when the sub menu pops up click ‘From URL’
In the pop up box paste the following text – https://ipswichgigs.co.uk/events.ics
Then click ‘Add Calendar’.
Then click the back arrow on the top left of the screen to return to your calendar. When you return to your calendar you’ll need to make sure you have a tick in the box labelled ‘https://ipswichgigs.co.uk/events (it might be truncated, as shown above).
That’s it, you can now see Ipswich Gigs in your calendar!
It’s possible to add an iCal feed to lost of bits of software. We’ve chosen Google Calendar because it’s the tool we know the best.
Local live music is an amazing thing, but we can make it better.
Remember; IpswichGigs.co.uk affects more than just Ipswich. We also promote surrounding towns, including Stowmarket, Colchester and Bury St.Edmunds
With Facebook getting more swamped than ever I know that local gig goers are missing out on tons of events. I’m a Social Media consultant, I know a little bit about these things 🙂 There is now so much information on Facebook that it’s impossible for users to see it all. This means you are more likely to spot a post by a family member about their dog than a gig on your timeline.
We’re doing our bit on the Ipswich Gigs Facebook page and the Twitter profile, but the real beating heart of everything we do is the website, and more importantly the mailing list. Every Sunday night all the mailing list subscribers receive an email listing upcoming gigs.
I’m going to run a competition to build the mailing list. Would you be willing to donate something as a prize? I’m thinking about the local businesses I promote 24/7 and have done since 2003. But I’ll welcome anyone who can contribute or has some ideas.
Prizes = subscribers
I’m going to put together an amazing prize bundle to help invigorate the Ipswich Gigs mailing list. I have listed and promoted 688 local gigs since the site was last rebuilt in April 2015. I have no idea how many I have promoted since the launch in 2003, probably thousands. If I had a little help building the mailing list we can make sure everyone who is interested in local live music stands a better chance of hearing about what a brilliant music scene we have around here! Let’s get more people going to gigs in Ipswich, Colchester, Bury St.Edmunds and Stowmarket!
Here are the figures as they stand today:
- 518 mailing list subscribers (emailed every Sunday night)
- 1,797 likes on Facebook and 1,778 followers
- 5,556 followers on Twitter
I have built the website so that every gig that is listed is automatically pushed out to each of those channels. I know from my day job (in marketing) that the email mailing list is the most effective way of actually getting through to people. We are very fortunate to have some really great pubs and venues in this area. We’ve all heard news reports about the decline of places for live music. This is a definite case of ‘use them or lose them’. Building the mailing list is a part of my contribution to trying to secure the future of live music. You can help.
But why should you care about the mailing list?
- Music fans
If you like going to gigs in Ipswich, Stowmarket, Colchester and Bury St.Edmunds helping boost the mailing list will mean more people at gigs. More people at gigs means promoters can take bigger chances, which means you get to see more popular bands playing locally to you.
If you’re a local musician than a bigger Ipswich Gigs mailing list means more people at gigs generally, which means more people will hear the music you work so hard to create.
If you are a promoter then helping us grow the mailing list means that more people who care about live music will know about the gigs you are putting on.
- Landlords and venue owners
If you are a pub or venue owner then by helping us grow the mailing list you are helping increase your footfall.
- Local businesses
If you are a local business and would like to help us grow the mailing list by donating a prize then you will be directly helping bring more people into Ipswich, Colchester, Stowmarket and Bury St.Edmunds town centres. Increasing the positive reputation of these towns will ultimately help your business. We will also gladly promote the hell out of your business on all marketing materials and online during the competition. After the competition we will be writing a page on the website to thank everyone who got involved. We would love to give you the positive PR that getting involved will naturally inspire.
So, how can you get involved?
At the moment we need prizes. I think it will work best if we can put together a prize bundle rather than one specific prize. So right now I’m open to suggestions. Maybe you could donate a voucher? Or a free meal? Or, well, almost anything! When the competition launches we will need volunteers to put leaflets through doors, hand out flyers at gigs, put up posters and plenty of other things. If you can help then I would love to hear from you.
Right now you can help massively by posting a link to this blog post from any social media site you use.
I started Ipswich Gigs because I wanted to get the word out about how brilliant the live music scene is around these parts. I have worked incredibly hard building several iterations of the website and have never made any money from running the website (quite the contrary!). I am fortunate enough to (mostly) have the technical skills required, but now I need some help to build the mailing list.
Use Wufoo templates to make your own HTML forms.
Yeah I know it’s not actually called Music in the Park, but that’s what pretty much everyone calls it. The name is actually Ipswich Music Day, and if you’re reading this blog post then there’s a very good chance you’ve been to it. If you’ve not no idea what I’m talking about then let me explain. Music in the Park is an annual free music festival in Christchurch Park, in Ipswich. The crowds are always huge, more than 50,000 type huge depending on the weather.
The range of music on offer at Ipswich Music Day is incredibly diverse; there are some bands that appear to play every year, and are very much appreciated every year, but the event is also a great opportunity for new bands to get some great exposure. It used to be the case that the ‘alternative’ bands would all be bundled onto one stage, but the spread among the stages is quite broad now.
As you may know, IpswichGigs.co.uk exists partially to try and make live music as accessible. If you want to make music and perform then we want to make sure you can. Live music should not about who you know, it should be about your drive to perform. So click the link below and apply for a gig at the biggest annual music event for miles around. I dare you.
The closing date is 26th March 2018, at 3pm.
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.
Black Friday is all the rage these days. So who are we to resist this tidal wave of frenzied consumer baiting? Yup, we have two Black Friday deals for you. As is now de-rigour we will tell you how excited we are about these deals and try and impress upon you how you’d have to be as foolish as a sheep on the moon to resist our offers. You are under no obligation and no salesman will call…
So clench your cheeks, grab your mouse, clean your spectacles and gird your loins as we dive straight into this year’s thrilling joy ride of Ipswich Gigs Black Friday offers. The best bit? Everything listed below can be yours for FREE! This is NOT a one-off, time-limited offer. Ipswich Gigs has been free to use since 2003 and will never be sold to a massive multi-national conglomerate, unless they offer us enough money to start an underwater colony off the coast of Southwold.
Offer 1 – for the punters
Sign up for our super duper ‘gigs by email’ service and we will:
- Email you at 8pm every Sunday night to let you know about the next gigs happening locally
- Starting today we will also tell you what’s hip ‘n’ happening in nearby towns like Bury St.Edmunds, Felixstowe and Stowmarket
- Send you the list of gigs using a special, well-researched system of time demarcation called the ‘Gregorian calendar’, wildly popular with well over a billion human beings
- We will only send you gigs that feature original music (mostly) and events that are a side-step from the mainstream slush
- Thrill and entice you to attend local performances by skilled entertainers
- Wow you with an accuracy rating that we’ll claim we’re proud of while never actually declaring what it is
- We will consider you a true friend of courageous originality
- You will receive a list of upcoming gigs that will make you the best-informed music lover you know, causing you to become the envy of your friends and having the by-product of making you massively attractive to whomever your heart desires
Offer 2 – for the bands and promoters
That’s it! For just a few seconds of your time you can get a top secret login for Ipswich Gigs that will enable you to join a cabal of influencers, movers, and indeed ‘shakers’ on the local music scene. By logging in and listing your events you will benefit from free promotion to thousands of music lovers on IpswichGigs.co.uk, Facebook, Twitter and our ever-swelling email mailing list.
All the most successful and long-term promoters know that putting on a gig involves more than just creating a Facebook event. In addition to schlepping around town putting up brilliant posters and handing out flyers at gigs you need a way of reaching the gig-goers who are really passionate about original, interesting, cool or just plain weird events. That’s where we can help.
We try and make listing gigs as easy as possible, but we’re always here to help if you get stuck with anything. Ipswich Gigs was started by musicians and is for musicians.