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GigHive’s Independent Artist Website Initiative

Ready to take the next step

At GigHive, our purpose has always been to build a network to showcase Independent artists of all types. We first went online December 7, 2007 and during that time we have altered our course somewhat, as we strived to fine tune our vision. But our goals have always remained the same.

On December 7, 2010 we at GigHive are launching a new artist website initiative that will be our number one priority as we go forward to 2011 and beyond.

gighive's independent artists website initiative

A little background

Over the past 5 years, we have witnessed explosive growth to sites such as Twitter, Facebook and the once formidable Myspace communities. But the growth of these social communities have come at a huge price as more and more artists have abandoned their own artist websites or decided to forgo the expense of owning a website entirely, opting to sign up for a free alternative instead.

At GigHive, we understand the important roles these sites play in creating a launching platform for new, emerging and established independent artists, but at the same time realize they should have never been used as a substitute. Every time we as individuals follow the leader, the consequence of these actions will be a narrowing of our choices. When we do decide to narrow the field to one, then we will have no choice.

New Media Pioneer: Lorraine McCarthy of Live Music Media

LiveMusicMediaLive Music Media loves indie music and want to help independent musicians gain exposure on radio and TV. Most commercial Radio Stations and Music TV Networks get their funding through advertisers. They get advertisers depending on the stations’ ratings. They get high ratings through playing top 40 songs and music videos, and thus no independent music gets played. They don’t like that!  Live Music Media just want to hear the music and help feed the scene.

Q) Tell us a little bit about your site. What inspired you to start it?

New Media Pioneer: Maria Teresa of The Marveloddities

marvelodditiesThe Marveloddities is a blog about whatever comes to mind. This blog features an indie artist every week. They think independent musicians are pretty impressive, since they continue to work their hearts out without making a lot of money.  It’s something to be admired.

Q) Tell us a little bit about your site. What inspired you to start it?

A) The Marveloddities is a blog about nothing and everything.  We usually write about whatever comes to mind from the perspective of a teenager, most of which is unimportant in the big picture, but a big deal to us since we still live in the little picture. I was inspired to start it because I was really impressed with the quality of blogs nowadays.  A few years ago Blogger was dominated by emo teenagers who wrote about the hell they suffered through in school, their crush, how no one understood them, etc.  (We’re probably just as obnoxious, but not as depressed.)  There are a lot of blogs now which are really really good.  Some of them are devoted to a particular subject, and others can read like a journal but still make you laugh.

Last year, I decided that I could probably start my own.  I enlisted my friend, Josette, and my sister Sofia, and now we all contribute to our blog.

Insurance For Independent Musicians – How to Get Covered

stethescopeI had a crazy thing happen to me in August of 2006 – my entire apartment went up in flames and I lost my home. This got me thinking about how important insurance is and I surveyed a few of the musicians we work with and an overwhelming amount of them had NO Insurance. So I did a little research and here’s what I learned…

I have listed the services I found from easiest to the more complicated to navigate.

First, I called Brian and Shoshana Zisk from The Future Of Music Coalition

futureofmusic.org

Building a Touring Network for Indies

shutterstock_41928616The road can be a lonely place. As any touring musician knows, it’s tough out there. Organizing venues, covering travel expenses, staying out of trouble, and even just finding your way from town to town can be as epically fraught with challenges as a DragonForce guitar solo.

While it’s true that most musicians create more friends and good times on the road than anything else, it’s also hard, if not impossible, to do all the tour organization and planning alone without a support network. Often, indie artists never take that first step down the dusty trail because there are so many obstacles in the way, which is why singer-song writer Hans York got in touch with Jeanette Lundgren when he was planning a tour.

Jeanette runs Mother Hen Promotions, a social media management service for independent musicians. “Hans is now based out of Texas and he intends to spend all of 2010 on the road,” Jeanette says. “It was his request to me that I look at his tour schedule and analyze it for potential challenges. For example, you shouldn’t be crossing the Rockies in December. There are some areas you don’t want to travel through in winter or spring, and indie artists planning a tour need to have a sense of these things.”

Promoting Your Music Online: Unsigned bands finding new ways of reaching their public

fearlesslogoWith the recent rise of groups in the UK such as Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire, the internet is proving its worth more and more in the music industry. As traditional formats decline in use, the internet is providing independent musicians with a myriad of possibilities for promoting their music. Indeed, unsigned bands can reach their audiences without needing a record label.

Emerging artists used to spend most of their time down at the post office, licking envelopes, sending off cassettes and making further copies of their cassettes. Looking back, it seemed like the dark ages. Today’s indie music scene sees many bands sat at their computer screens, looking for new ways to promote their music. The emergence of several top bands over the last few months thanks to the Internet is proof that the cream will always rise to the top, and using the net, they have every chance of doing so.

Scam Artists Take Advantage of Independent Musicians Who Utilize Social Networks

myspace_logo2

Independent musicians who try to find managers, booking agents, and publicists through Myspace, Facebook, and other social networks, need to be aware of people who will approach the band to try and take advantage of them.

The person who is promising promotion and shows could ultimately be a scam artist who just wants the artists’ money. The scammer more than likely used to work for a major label.

“The labels have been cutting staff for a few years, and a lot of those people are now on the street working freelance as “agents,” “A&R consultants,” “managers,” and other job titles,” stated Robert Arthur, who is the Business Manager for the indie band Northern Room.

Usually, the scam artist approaches a band through messaging them on their social network pages. The scammer then promises what the musicians want to hear. They say that they worked for a major label company to gain the trust of the musicians.

“Just because someone once worked at Universal records does not mean they are legitimate,” said Arthur. We get several shady inquiries per week from people like that.”