Photo by Sofar Sounds Aarhus
Ever wondered how to get your band’s name out there?
Yesterday, a band wrote us a mail asking about potential gems for them to know in order to perform some live gigs in our lovely town and get noticed by the bizz and potential fans. In connection with this, we decided to create this small list of musical opportunities, which can promote your band and make yourself visible for both future fans and bookers in town. As the ‘youngest’ city in the country, Aarhus for sure has a brilliant music audience, and some of the coolest venues in the country; venues which can boost your band’s hype on both a domestic and an international scale. Here are six things you should apply for to promote your band, your music, and to get some buzz in Aarhus. Furthermore, this list can also be used to find, and experience, new music in Aarhus – maybe even find your new favorite band.
The first one on our list might sound like the obvious choice. This is one of the festivals in Denmark where you can meet people from both the national and international music industry. They all come to find the next big thing; don’t fuck this one up. Many of our local venues take part in the action, so expect a lot of musical action with an amazing crowd. As a band, this is also one of the best opportunities in the country to show your music to the men and women in black (keep in mind that most people from the music bizz are actually not wearing suits; black hipster glasses means scouts, fashionable means bloggers). In short, if you’re in a band, and think you guys could be the next The Raveonettes, then keep in mind to apply for SPOT festival. This is music-Aarhus when it’s best.
Founded by Studenterhus Aarhus in 2008, this festival has been one of the first places in the country to present kickass bands and artists such as Baby in Vain, Schultz & Forever, Karl William, The Minds of 99, Ulige Numre, Linkoban, Quadron, The Rumour Said Fire, Ginger Ninja, Wafande, and many more. Even though it is founded by Studenterhus Aarhus, located next Aarhus University, the annual festival is open to all people – it is simply all about showcasing your music to the audience, and have a blast of a weekend. I promise you, that if people love your performance at Newbees Festival, then you will not only have an unforgettable weekend, but you will also have one hell of a thing on your band’s cv to show future bookers, magazines, and blogs.
Fatter Eskil Prisen
Here is another annual thing you should definitely apply for if you want people to hear your music, and perform at the big stages. The legendary venue, Fatter Eskil in Skolegade, has been hosting their annual band contest for three years now. Every year the prizes have become bigger and bigger, so by joining forces with Tak Rock, SPOT Festival, and SoundOfAarhus this year, they can present both 25.000 DKK from Tak Rock (Royal Unibrew) and even more important, a gig on one of the stages at SPOT Festival 2017. Keep in mind, that this will be the same year as Aarhus will be European Capital of Cultural. Therefore, expect a massive interest in SPOT Festival next year. I know I included SPOT Festival on this list as well, but do not expect to just get a place on the SPOT Rooster from your Soundcloud tracks. You need buzz, hype and fans to be selected by SPOT, but with their new prizes, Fatter Eskil Prisen has made your band’s way to SPOT Festival significantly shorter. Right now, the Fatter Eskil Prisen 2016 is running.
Have you ever seen David McNally’s romantic comedy Coyote Ugly?
Basically, it is a movie about Violet Sanford, an aspiring musician, and singer-songwriter who strives for a professional career in music, leaving her home to follow her dream in New York City. While she tries, unsuccessfully, to get music studios to hear her demo-tape, she stumbles upon a group of bartenders, at the local bar Coyote Ugly. They hire her to entertain. You can do the exact same thing in Aarhus, at HeadQuarters. Their Plug’n’Play concept is basically about performing your tracks in front of a live audience. It is about intimacy, coziness, and the sound of acoustic guitars. The concept celebrated its one-year birthday on January 12 in connection with the five-year birthday celebration of HeadQuarters but expect some more brilliant Plug’n’Play events in near future at HQ. Keep an eye on HQ’s facebook page or website to find the next event.
Here’s actually one of our own concepts. A couple of weeks ago, we announced that we have joined forces with Promus, Stiftstidende, and Sway in order to create the so-called Raw Music event. Basically, what we wanted was to create a place where creative music-lovers, the music business, and talented bands can all meet up with a cold beer in their hands. The concept will be held at one of the most rock’n’roll bars, Sway, in downtown Aarhus. Here you can become one of the three bands, chosen on basis of applications, to showcase your music in front of some people from the music bizz, as well as all other interested music-lovers. The first event will take place on May 26.
Find them: Raw Music no. 1
This one is a little special – in a positive way, of course. When we started up Sound of Boston in the states, we heard about this concept over there. The people at the SoB office simply loved it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a thing in Aarhus yet at the time. We wrote the people at the Sofar Sounds’ office in Boston, and luckily they told us that it would soon start up in Aarhus as well. Since then, a lot of water has run under the bridge, and Sofar Sounds Aarhus has hosted some magnificent events – both sound- and location-wise. Basically, Sofar Sounds is about ‘bringing the magic back to live music’. Some people will open up their space and let people perform there, then musicians will apply, and guests will attend. All in all, you will find yourself enjoying a cocktail of coziness and maybe meet some like-minded people.