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Why Supporting Your Local Scene is Important

And how to get involved!

By Kyle StumpoPublished 7 years ago 3 min read
Ottawa-based band Half Sleeper opening for Enter Shikari. Photo by Karri Duperron

Recently in Ottawa, a popular venue had to close its doors. It was a sad day in the Ottawa music scene; the venue, Zaphod Beeblebrox, or Zaphod's for short, was popular among the indie scene and electronic scene. The reason that the venue closed was that it wasn't making enough money to pay staff and all its bills.

I have noticed recently that the Ottawa music scene is now starting to grow. Over the last couple of months the shows that I have attended (I try for a minimum of one a month) have slowly had larger turn outs; but a few months ago I noticed that the majority of people in the crowd at shows I was attending were either members of a band playing or friends and family of bands playing. If the majority of people in the crowd are the artists themselves, this means that venue and promoter hell, even the artists, are not making any money. If the scene isn't making any money then the artists, promoters, and venues will feel like there's no point in putting on shows or even releasing content. The downward trend of live music attendance in small music scenes is putting companies out of business and their employee's out of work.

I don't know about other music scenes, but the one in Ottawa is generally affordable. The average cost of a ticket or cover charge is between $5 and $20. That is much cheaper than paying for tickets to see big acts like ACDC, Justin Bieber, Metallica, etc. I'm not saying to never go see big bands play, I'd be a hypocrite if I said that, but maybe miss seeing Bieber for the 3rd time and go see a local show instead! You never know, you could just find a new favourite band, make new friends, or even form your own band! That's what happened to me, I went to a local show and two weeks later my band Rebel Reload was founded with it's original line up.

Now you may be wondering how to get involved in your local scene, and I'm going to tell that it's honestly not that hard. You just need to google, hit Twitter or Facebook, and do a little digging. There are many resources out there that have listings of all the shows going on in your city, most promoters and venues have Facebook pages with event tabs, and if you have a friend in a band, just ask them when their next show is. But don't just go for their set and leave, that's mad disrespectful to all the other performers and even your friend's. If you want to keep your scene alive, just get out there! For anyone from Ottawa reading this, The Ottawa Sound will soon be posting all up coming indie, #askapunk, and Metal shows!

You can also find out if any venues or bands are looking for volunteers to help set up and take down the equipment, even if you just offer at the venue they may appreciate the help. If you have the room, you can start a house venue like the one at #askapunk here in Ottawa; you could even do what I did and start writing a blog and interview players in the local scene.

These are just a few tips I have to get involved in your scene and I understand that each city will have different cultures surrounding their music scene. I've only been involved in the Ottawa scene for a few months and the people I've met have become some of the best friends that I'll ever make and are some of the most kindhearted and genuine people I'll ever get to know.


About the Creator

Kyle Stumpo

I run a blog called The Ottawa Sound which aims to promote Ottawa Canada based musical artists, venues and any other aspect of the local scene. I'm also in two bands Rebel Reload and Batavia.

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