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WaterBear | The College of Music are giving you an amazing and unique chance to support the one and only, hugely successful...YONAKA. This show will be happening on Wednesday 15th September in celebration of WaterBear’s Freshers week.

Now we’ve already given 2 huge opportunities to support some amazing bands, so we’re doing it again. YONAKA will be performing an acoustic intimate set and will be selecting the winning band themselves, so if you’d like your music to be heard by these incredible musicians and the chance to support them, please follow the steps below

How to apply?

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With the world currently suspended in a new normal, you might be a little confused as to where to start with gigging. Although live music is currently off the table for a lot of venues and musicians, and with bands scrambling to get the few socially distant gigs available, it might be worthwhile to look towards the future and get a plan together for after this has all blown over.

Lockdown has been a trying time for the music industry, but for many of us, it has given us the time and space to knuckle down on fine-tuning our skills and songwriting. If you’ve found yourself writing and rehearsing heavily over the past few months, you might be thinking about booking in a gig or two when venues start opening again. If you’re not sure where to start when booking your very first gig - this article is for you!

Here are our top tips for booking your very first gig…

Look At What You Have To Offer

When trying to book gigs, it’s a good idea to show people that your house is in order; that your band is reliable and ready to get on stage. What can you show other bands, venues and promoters to put you in a good position for getting a gig?

Before reaching out to anyone ask yourself do I have…

Having these in place will prove that you’re ready to perform and give you something to show bands, venues and promoters.

Start Locally

The best place to start with your very first gig is in your local scene. This could be the pub down the road, with the bands from your town or city, and promoters that are familiar with your area. Almost every great band cut their teeth in their local scene, and as your experience grows so will your opportunities. Growing in your local scene is a fantastic way to meet other musicians and music industry workers that are accessible to a new band.

Reach Out To Local Bands

One of the most simple ways to get your first gig is to find bands of a similar genre in your area and send them a short message. Your message doesn’t have to be extensive and there are no explicit rules, but try to stick to these guidelines:

If the band puts on their own gigs at venues, they may well be on the lookout for support bands to bring fresh audience members to their gigs. If they gig through a promoter, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction in your local scene.

To find these bands you can:

Make sure you do your research to make sure you are contacting bands that are relevant to your genre, gigging level and area.

Communicate With Local Venues

Music venues and pubs that put on gigs are a great place to start introducing yourself to when you are looking to gig. Do a little bit of research into the venues in your area. This can be as easy as searching on Google Maps, using a directory or taking a walk down the road to find a suitable venue. From there, look up their website or social media platforms to make sure they welcome the genre that you play and either send over a message or introduce yourself in person.

You will need to find out who puts on the gigs and how they operate. It only takes a little bit of nosing around on the internet, sending a message or popping into local venues to find out who the contacts for musicians and bands are. Different venues work in different ways to it’s a good idea to ask how the gigs work. Does the venue put together band nights, work with specific promoters to put together gigs, or do they allow bands to put on their own gigs using the venue? Are there fees for putting on a gig and can you charge on the door? It’s not a one-size-fits-all deal so ask appropriate questions to build a picture of what is expected of you and how you can get your foot in the door.

Find Local Promoters

Once you’ve spoken to local bands and venues, you may find it useful to get in touch with local promoters. A good promoter will have an idea of how your local scene runs, and may potentially have support slots to fill. You can find local promoters through searching online, through music directories such as, through bands, venues and stamped all over promotional posters.

Look Into Gig Swaps

Another idea of sorting some of your first gigs is to offer gig swaps to another band in a similar genre, at a similar level, perhaps in the next town or city over. If you’re putting on your own gig, this is a good way to fill mutually beneficial support slots and gives you the opportunity to grow together with other bands.

Try Open Mics

If your music set up allows for it, try your hand at open mics. They’re a good way to play in front of an audience if you haven’t built up a big following yet, and help to build confidence for when you book your own gigs. Many pubs advertise open mics on their socials and in their venues.

What About Under 18s?

If you’re too young to play in a regular music venue or pub, the best solution is to put on your own gigs in other venues and invite all your friends and family down.

Here are some of the places you could look at for putting on your first gig:

Being creative in this way will build skills such as adaptability and resourcefulness which will be even more useful later on in your journey.

Tips For Your First Live Gig

When you pencil in that very first gig, it pays to make a good impression. If venues or the other bands you perform with appreciate what you’re bringing to the table, you may be invited back. Building great relationships helps to build your band’s momentum and expand your opportunities.

Here are a few important tips for making the most of it:

Local scenes are relatively small, so word will go around if you put on a good show or if there is any negative backlash. Make sure you’re not remembered for the latter. Focus on building great relationships, adding value to other bands and venues, and give yourself the best chance of growing a great name and buzz around your music.

Streaming In The Meantime

While we are still living through the COVID pandemic, and with many venues still closed or limiting performance, consider gigging online. Putting together a set and performing it live through YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram Live or similar platforms can help keep a buzz around your music and build momentum for your live gigs in the future.

What does ‘future-proofing your career’ mean?

Whether you’re an artist trying to make a career in music or someone who wants to step into an alternative role within the music business, having both short-term and long-term goals will help you have a better chance of success. It’ll also prevent you and your business from becoming obsolete. Success is not always measured by profitability, it can also be measured by opportunities and how strong your network is, and beginning with the latter is arguably more crucial than the former to get ahead in the game.

The music industry is currently facing unprecedented times, so it’s important to remain astute and reactive to rapidly changing circumstances. Even without a worldwide pandemic, the music industry is an ever-changing and ever-evolving beast, there to trick you and lure you into a false sense of security before the next landscape change. I’m here to provide a few pointers on how independent artists can future-proof their music career, capitalise on alternative revenue streams and be able to stand resilient in the face of unforeseen adversity.

When we talk about future-proofing, we talk about creating something that is designed to be sustainable or easily adapted in terms of maintaining success. This involves planning ahead, much like I described in my former blog “Top tips on how to self-manage your band”. Planning ahead in this case can involve education, networking, building a name for yourself, having transferable skills, locking in future activities and always being two steps ahead.

Times like these can either make or break an artist, and it’s important to distinguish the differences between artists who have the infrastructure to withstand having their revenue streams limited vs those who don’t.

Be SMART and plan ahead

Integrate Smart Goals

Planning will always be an integral part of any band’s success, and as far as business models go, it’s important to look to the future and to set SMART Goals [Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound]. Having these will really allow you to have something to work towards but also something to look back on in years to come. This way you can assess whether or not you carried out everything you said you would.

An example of a SMART goal can be to play twice as many shows in 2022 than you will in 2021 (I was going to say 2020 but the joke wrote itself). That is already specific and measurable. It is achievable if you book the shows in advance and it’s a realistic goal if you have a new album cycle that creates demand and opportunity for a busier touring schedule.

Make a Business Plan

A lot of established artists may have a 3-5 year plan based around their current and future album cycles, international touring plans, promotional activities etc. When looking at your own plans you should at least dissect your timeline to one that is relevant for you. For an independent artist I would recommend a 1-2 year business plan mapping out both controllable and possible uncontrollable factors (this is a popular marketing term and can be applied to all business models). A controllable factor for instance is when you choose to release your album, and at what price, and when you choose to book a run of tour dates to promote the album. An uncontrollable factor is Covid-19 decimating the economy and shutting down the live industry, meaning that fans may no longer have money to support you for the time being, and your accompanying tour dates being cancelled as a result. That hurt to write.

Develop your business to maximise your chances of having guaranteed revenue

In order to prepare yourself for the future it’s crucial to spend some time focusing on the development of your profile, your reputation, and your audience. Over time, your network, those loyal fans, those business cards you picked up at gigs, conferences and festivals will turn themselves into opportunities. Those opportunities will then transform into a revenue stream and the more you have, the more options you have to explore or develop when things don’t go to plan and certain revenue streams (such as live gigs) have been cut off.

An example of how your network can help you generate profitable opportunities is by having good relations with a label who can cut you a deal with a good advance and further your reach, or having a good rapport with a publisher who can help land you sync opportunities. Other examples include knowing an agent who can get you a tour with a good fee or you may know a good manufacturing company who produces high quality merch at a good price so you can sell shirts with a bigger profit margin. The list goes on.

The Online Economy

Building a strong Online Audience

It might seem obvious, but having a strong set up in terms of social media, e-commerce and platforms for audience growth is imperative in the current landscape. Direct to consumer (D2C) in terms of music, merch and ticket sales is part of the modern evolution of the music business and should be an important part of your business model. Knowledge is power, and if you can identify where your fans are, how many of those are actively invested in your music (those who buy gig tickets, music, merch) compared to those who are passive fans (maybe they stream your music and like the odd Facebook post) then you are in a position of power.

The goal however, is always to turn those passive consumers into active ones.

Here is my check list for a future-proof set up so that you can not only maintain a fanbase, but further it during periods of no live activity and still maintain an online presence.

Covid and the Live Industry

How to compensate for lost revenue and maintain momentum

Covid-19 has seen a complete shutdown of the live music industry, and everyone from venue staff, bookers, promoters, managers, tour bus companies, catering companies and more have seen a complete restriction on what, for some of them, is their primary source of income. Bigger artists who pursue music as their full time profession may be a lot more dependent on live income than a developing artist who is establishing themselves in their local scene. No matter the size of the artist, we’re lucky to live in a world where opportunities can be created with the use of modern technology to see them through these times.

The Power of Social Media

Musicians are currently utilising the power of social media and various other platforms such as Twitch, Beatport and Zoom to accommodate live streams, live Q&As and connect with fans during a time when they can’t tour. Now it’s time to bring the fans to YOU. It is important to be innovative and to bring the live show experience to fans in the comfort of their offices and living rooms. By having good quality audio, video and of course a mind-blowing performance (be it acoustic, full band, or just straight up acapella), now is your time to shine and capitalise on fans eager for live music.

If you have a strong fan base you may be able to warrant hosting a ticketed event, and many bands have set up concerts with streaming partners such as Veeps. However if you’re doing this more for exposure points than looking to generate money, you can host a live stream on Facebook, Instagram, Twitch etc. and maybe have a “Tip Jar” and put your PayPal address in the stream comments or description. You can also direct fans to your merch store during the stream if they wish to support you.

If some fans are unable to watch the live stream, you may keep it available for a limited time on socials as well so fans can watch again or share it with their friends. Alternatively, you can record the set and upload it to YouTube after. Lots of possibilities and different methods work for different artists and how they prefer to connect with their fans.

Subscription Models

Over the years, accessibility and visibility of music has increased, whereas the overall ‘value’ of music has decreased for the average consumer. So let’s talk about the super fan.

Crowdfunding models have become popular in recent years and help acts to raise money to pay for a new album where they may be lacking in advances from a label, for example. However, if we move up a level from a one off payment structure, we can now look at bands who can ask their fans for repeat payments to support their activities.

Reserved for bands who have a very invested and dedicated following, a subscription model (even if only temporary) can be an interesting way to generate regular income for an artist. Musicians can utilise this platform to connect directly with their fans, offer exclusive pieces of content and opportunities other fans without a subscription cannot access. I think this model will become more popular in the future and a case study I like to refer to when talking about the Patreon model is a band called Ne Obliviscaris, who spoke with Forbes about the innovative model and how they make it work for them.

As you can see, the band has a few tiers in terms of how much you can pay per month. Patrons are given priority access to music, shows, and whatever else an artist is able to offer. This model doesn’t work for everyone, as some artists like to remain elusive or have an air of mystery about them. It means artists need to plan ahead and deliver a constant stream of content, products, opportunities and experiences on a regular basis to provide value for money, otherwise they may lose subscribers. Whether or not it is a long term solution for artists to acquire a regular ‘wage’ to help them fulfill a full time career as a musician is questionable, but it’s great to see the commitment from fans to the acts who do make it work.

The importance of independent and local music in 2020

In summary, there are a lot of things an independent artist can do to keep momentum up when confronted with such an uncertain future within the music industry. Future-proofing your career can put you in a better position to keep business and activities going when the world presents its challenges. When you’re ready to hit the road again, having that infrastructure passively working away in the background collecting data will allow you to see what growth you’ve been able to achieve and how many more new fans you may be able to reach when you are finally ready for that world tour!

It’s likely that with a lot of international travel bans and restrictions on large gatherings, independent music will become a more focal part of society moving forward and this is a very positive outlook for the developing artist and those just starting out a career in the music business.

Good luck and here’s to a successful future.

I want to impart you with a few quick wins for improving your live shows. This will allow you to compete with the world's biggest and most professional bands. Before diving in, I think it’s beneficial to check back on my previous blog where I covered how to rehearse like a professional band. I advised you to look at your set holistically and consider every single second you are on stage as part of the show. 

Now, assuming you have done that, what else can you do in order to blow people's minds? How can you deliver an amazing live show that elevates you from the soup of thousands of other acts into the elite group of real contenders?

Tip.1 - be ambitious but be practical

For this tip, I’m specifically talking about the production of your live show, now we have to bear in mind that unless it’s a headline, you may only have ten to fifteen minutes to change over. However, there is nothing stopping you pushing the boat out and elevating the production above the level of other bands.

For example, LIGHTING, in the age of cost-cutting, lights tend to be in-house rigs. They are a bit of an afterthought and its one of the things that I sorely miss from rock and roll shows. For me, I really miss the spot and the spot operator. I watch big bands and you can’t really see the singer or the featured soloist and there is no one operating the spot. I miss it, I understand it’s an extra cost but it makes a massive difference to the show, so, let’s bring back the rock and roll spotlight. 

Analog gear

While we are on the subject of lighting, there are all kinds of outdated analog pieces of hardware that you can hire to look unique. For example, you could use a sixties oil wheel, where the oil is heated up and spun around giving you a “Pink Floyd” sort of effect. I’ve also seen a band projecting old super 8 films onto a white sheet and their t-shirts for a unique effect. This kind of stuff costs very little, it looks amazing and with some organisation can be set up in ten minutes.

Be creative

Also, there is nothing to stop you from being creative with your stage layout, say you have a load of amps behind you, then, with a bit of imagination, you can make these things look unique. I’ve seen bands put up camo netting and even take the grills off their amps to make a feature of the speakers. There are all kinds of DIY stuff that takes a little bit of thought and will make your show come to life.  It’s also worth considering smoke machines, bubble machines, pyrotechnics.  Don't underestimate the right slogan on the right t-shirt, it can look really cool and reach the back of the arena with the right message. 

So, watch your favourite bands, pick up on history and use these little tricks that cost nothing and can make an awful lot of difference to the show. What we are talking about here is going the extra mile and putting in that creativity, bands generally don't do this sort stuff. However with the bands that do you can guarantee they have put the same extra effort into their songwriting, lyrics, and art. It elevates you to be a real contender, attention to detail is what it’s all about, and there is no limit to this apart from your imagination. 

Tip no.2 - tell people who you are

You need to do this not once, but multiple times during the set. What doesn't seem to work so well is a list of all your social media accounts, people will not absorb it and it kills the vibe of the show. Have that on the Merch stand, get people over there and hand them a flyer. However, on stage, mention your name not once, not twice but at the beginning, middle, and end. Whenever you can tell people so they remember!

Tip no.3 - utilise your social media platforms

Don’t forget that you are not just playing for the room, but all the social media that happens whilst you are on stage. The minute someone in the band does something lary like holds a guitar over their head, the phones come out, it’s broadcast to the world. Play to the extended audience as there are probably more people out in cyberspace than the venue you are playing. Make the most of it! 

Maybe we should study audiences and examine why phones come out?  Whenever you do something crazy, like climb up the rig, wear a unique costume or have a really amazing stance, the phones will always come out. Work on those triggers and this will improve your show, you will find out what makes an audience excited and how to make them share that excitement. That is a good thing for your band. 

Thanks for reading, if you interested in learning more and are serious about progressing in your career as a musician please join us at WateBear HQ for an Open Day or Order a Prospectus

I’ve spent twenty years auditioning musicians. In every music college, my main role has been recruitment. Consequently, my responsibility was ensuring that everyone auditioning was up to scratch. 

At my music management company, we employ hundreds of musicians who are gigging every single week. Each one of them has gone through an audition process. If you have an audition coming up this is something I can help you with. Having auditioned literally thousands of musicians, I know the tricks that will put you in the top 10 percent. 

When I started auditioning musicians way back in the day, I had an epiphany, auditioning is a lot easier than it seems. To give you context, around a quarter of people, do not turn up to their audition slot. Let’s think about that for one minute, just by turning up to your audition, you can be in the top 75 percent and ahead of the competition. Now, if you can turn up on time and with working gear, you are even further ahead and in the top fifty percent. Amazingly, one out of every two people cannot manage this! 

The merits of being prepared

Now, I hear you say, “that's all very well, but what about the ten percent? What about the juicy stuff?”  Well, come with me on an adventure, let's talk about what being prepared for an audition looks like. I’m always surprised by how little research people do before an audition, and this spills over into everyday life. 

When I interview for a position in my company, I always ask, what do you know about the company? I want to know if you’ve done research, do you know about the history of the company? Do you know what we stand for? Or, are you just there for the money?  Ask yourself this, who is the audition for, and what are they looking for from you?

Genius is in the attention detail, turning up prepared to play a song is very different from turning up knowing that you have the right gear, tone, and parts. If the track you are preparing is played on a strat, or if you are a bass player and it’s played on a five string bass, go above and beyond, get the right gear to replicate the sound.  

If it’s in a certain style do not just learn that one song, but learn twenty songs in the same genre so you can truly emulate the style of what that band is going for. Auditions are about finding the best person for the job, and you can make yourself the best person for the job by paying attention to detail. 

What makes you more employable?

At an audition, highlight what makes you more employable, do you drive? Do you have a vehicle? Can you sing BV’s? Can you play keys? Do you have video editing skills? Let's take some time to really engage with this, do not gloss over it!! What we are doing is creating solutions and adding more to the project you are auditioning for. 

However, what happens if you don’t have any of these extra skills? Well, now is the time to learn! This is a long career, if you are twenty years old you have at least fifty years of it, and if you are thirty you have forty, you can see how this goes on. Now is the time to learn those extra skills that add to your toolkit and help you nail auditions in the future. 

Be memorable, express gratitude

“ Thank you so much, that was great, I really want this gig, I’d love the opportunity to work with you guys in the future.”

I love it when someone says they want to work with me because I know they believe in me, thus they will be hungry for opportunity and we can build something together. Too many musicians play it cool, thinking that if they look like they don't care that will get them the part. From my point of view, as someone who is doing the audition, I want someone who will be in this with me. I want someone who will genuinely want the opportunity, in an audition you need to voice your hunger!  

Scientist believes that memories formed by the hippocampus get stored by various areas of the cerebral cortex. Now, do not quote me on that, it’s probably not correct, that being said, you need to be memorable. 

For several years, I auditioned every singer that came through the college and every Saturday I would audition about 8 singers. I’d always ask them, so what Eva Cassidy song are you going to audition for me today? And they would say “How do you know, I am going to sing an Eva track”. It was either that or Norah Jones…. Fast forward ten years and you can replace it with Adele, same sh#t different day. Ask yourself, what are you going to do to be memorable? 


Confidence plays a big part in auditions. I know it’s easier said than done, however you can go into an audition feeling good and knowing that you are the best possible person you can be. These little things matter, knowing you have a good haircut, you are wearing clothes that fit into the style of the band, knowing that you are prepared and researched. This means you are going in being the best version of you and this will bring you confidence.

In your career as a musician, auditioning is unavoidable. However you can try to enjoy the process, and more importantly, try and learn from each one to make the next audition even better! 

Thanks for reading, if you interested in learning more and are serious about progressing in your career as a musician please join us at WateBear HQ for an Open Day or Order a Prospectus

Reading this blog will ensure you conduct rehearsals like a professional. I’ll tell you the techniques used by the best that deliver the gigs that blow peoples minds. I’m sure you have experienced this, however, you may have seen bands that have not delivered, and consequently have given an average performance. I’m sure you want to do better and achieve greatness!

So, how do we achieve greatness? Simple, we prepare for it! You need to plan for it and make the magic happen. This all starts in the rehearsal room and I have prepared three tips for you to act on immediately and ensure you up your game in no time!

Understanding the difference between pre-production and live show rehearsal

Pre-production is about nailing down individual parts for recording in the studio, however, the live show rehearsal is different. This is due to live arrangements being unique to the studio and recording arrangements, to be effective live we need to think about what will work best on the stage!

Practically it means we have two different types of rehearsals, dependant on where you are at with your campaign. Pre-production encompasses activities like writing songs, arranging and getting ready to record an EP, Single or Album. There will be lots of focus on individual parts, trying out things like new drum parts, instrument tones and really nailing down the essential components of a great record.

Now, all the pre-production should have been completed before preparing to play live and consequently you wouldn't expect a professional band to need a lot of rehearsal time. Live rehearsal is not the time to be learning your individual parts, it’s the time where you need to be putting a set together. Everybody needs to come in super prepared and analyse the set holistically.

Lets take a hypothetical situation; a band that has just finished their first album and is preparing for a support tour. Earlier in a bands career, they will need more rehearsal, later on experience will fast track the process. If you are serious about being a great band, you may need to rehearse prolifically, and perhaps you’ll need to take a solid week out to nail this down. A lot of detail goes into a great live show.

When I was younger, I was lucky. I was a full-time musician and I could take whole days to rehearse. These days that's not always possible, so you need to be organised and do a lot of the preparation before the rehearsal. Make sure that if you only have one or two rehearsals you maximise the time and have done your homework before you get into the rehearsal room.

Personally, I would not be able to work with musicians who turn up late, who have instruments that are not set up and ready to go and do not have a sense of work ethic. Time is important and I’d find it counterproductive to be having a break every twenty minutes. Its work, there is a defined outcome, you have to compete with an international level of amazing bands, and success will not happen by accident.

Look at your set holistically

Your set is not just a bunch of individual songs, it’s about putting a coherent performance together. Not only that, every single second matters, from when you start the intro to when you go off the stage. Rehearse every little detail from changeovers, gaps, think about the tempo, think of the dynamics and the set in its own right.

You need to think about what to do when something goes wrong. Rehearse a routine for technical difficulties, such as when leads and pedals go down. I suggest making a list that details every little aspect of your set: things like guitar changeovers, changing tunings, costumes, unusual instruments or whatever it is. This all needs to be planned and worked out in advance.

If you are using anything technology related: backing tracks, samplers or loops, it’s implementation needs to be super rehearsed. You may only have a fifteen minute change over so you need to be able to just plug in, check the line and be ready to rock. Build this into the formation of the set! You need to practice for when things go wrong, it's a realistic eventuality and this happens to even the biggest bands. You always need something up your sleeve!

Let me tell you a story, I was watching the band Black Stone Cherry headline a festival stage two years ago. I was watching from the front and I wasn’t that familiar with the band but I was really blown away by the set, it was amazing and it they had huge crowd participation. They were one of those bands where I knew all the songs without realising it. During the latter half of their set, I went backstage to watch from a different angle and discovered that there had been an incredible amount of technical problems. They had changed the whole set to have an acoustic section in the middle, whilst the roadies ran around and fixed everything.

They were such professionals that it was invisible from the front of the stage. I just saw an amazing gig. However, when I went backstage and realised they had to contend with hired gear that didn't work in front of the headline audience, I was even more impressed that they had victoriously played a huge gig and none of the mishaps mattered. This is the definition of a rock and roller, and it blew me away.


Unfortunately, someone has to be the MD and this will probably fall to you as you are the person reading this blog. Somebody needs to crack the whip. You do not get a medal for it and often there is a bit of negativity but it has to be done. It injects some pace and energy into a project and ties the goals together.

You are approaching this as a professional. This is professional music so if you have people in your band who want it to be a hobby, that's fine, but they need to be in a hobby band. You need to work with like-minded professional people as it’s the only way to get the job done.

So this question always comes up;

“What do I do with that band member who doesn't get it, they are pretty talented, but they will not treat it seriously and think it will all fall into place?”

It’s not their fault as they may have watched too many rock and roll films where the whole thing is glamorised and they may have fallen for the mirage we put around the industry. Behind the scenes its completely different. Professional music is competitive and we need to treat it like a business. Your band member may be a little naive and not get the realities so you need to spell this out to them three times. If on the third try if they do not get it, it’s ok to go your separate ways. You cannot be carrying people, it’s the difficult part of the job, but those conversations have to happen.

The last point

When you walk off stage you may think the gig is over, however it is not!! You have a huge opportunity to walk into the crowd, get on the merch table and shift more product as you are actually there. You’ll meet your fans, sign their stuff and that's when you really consolidate all that great work you have done on stage. It still does not end there, the gig only really finishes when every last comment on all social media has been replied to, dealt with, commented on and shared. Only when this has been is it the end of the gig!

In the rehearsal room, we need to figure out who is going to do what: who will do merch?, who will do socials?, who will take care of the fans who want a long conversation?. Work it out, Plan it, Lead it!

Thanks for reading, if you interested in learning more and are serious about progressing in your career as a musician please join us at WateBear HQ for an Open Day or Order a Prospectus.

WaterBear | The College of Music was buzzing with excitement as it played host to a sell-out Sofar Sounds live show on Wed June 19th. The exclusive event at WaterBear H.Q in Brighton featured a line-up of some of the UK's finest emerging artists including: Bledig, Bee & Jack Rabbit and Ebony Grace.

Sofar Sounds is the largest music promoter in the world and they host in excess of 500 gigs per month in more than 300 cities world-wide. Previous artists who have performed at Sofar shows include Hozier, Leon Bridges, Emeli Sandé, Wolf Alice, Bastille, and Lianne La Havas.

Sofar Sounds was started in London in March 2009 by Rafe Offer, Rocky Start, and Dave Alexander who were "annoyed by typically noisy and boisterous popular concert venues". As a consequence, they decided to put on their own gig in Alexander's North London flat and invited eight friends over to listen to him play music in his living room. For the second gig in London, more people showed up. Soon after, Sofar expanded to Paris, New York City, and other cities, arriving in Los Angeles in early 2011.

Typically, three artists perform at each Sofar gig with no opener and no headliner. Performers apply to be considered via a form on the Sofar website. Musicians of all genres as well as spoken word poets, comedians and even dancers may apply. Local Sofar Sounds lead ambassadors / bookers and their review committees and music scouts curate the evenings.

Make sure to check the artists who performed by following the links below:


Bledig cook up a stew of muscular prog hop/jazz grooves, dark piano tones, dirty synths and soaring vocals. Drawing influence from acts like Portishead, Esbjorn Svensson Trio and late Talk Talk, Bledig have stirred a mix of cinematic ambience and head-bopping attitude.

Bee & Jack Rabbit

"Their music and lyrics manage to conjure images and thoughts much grander than the sum of their parts, with the kind of introspective nobility that could serve as the soundtrack to your life flashing before your eyes during your final moments". - Jimmy Volts, XYZ magazine

Ebony Grace

Taking influence from the likes of Tori Amos and Kate Bush; this is alt-pop at its finest.




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- ‘Water bear’ is the common name for a Tardigrade.
- Tardigrades are micro creatures, found everywhere on earth.
- They are the most resilient creatures known.
- They can survive and adapt to their surroundings, even in outer space.
- Their resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do. We love them.

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