|The new Surface Festival is moving away from the ‘Unsigned’ label and opening up access to further acts across the UK and Europe.
Jay Mitchell, Managing Director of the Surface Festival explains, “The decision to relaunch was driven by bands themselves. More and more bands from small independent record labels and self-releasing bands were enquiring to take part. Unsigned bands already involved in the Festival commented that they didn’t feel that the word ‘unsigned’ was relevant in today’s industry. Bands aren’t necessarily looking to get signed anymore, more and more bands are moving away from the restrictions of a record label; they want to do their own thing. The way bands have driven things has made us rethink the way the festival works. It’s not about unsigned bands anymore, but about discovering new music.”
The all new Surface Festival’s contacts and sponsors cover all bases for a band to move forward without necessarily getting signed. Their sponsor list includes a host of manufacturers, including Marshall, Ashdown, Zildjian; recording services; global distributers; promotion companies; band photography; band SEO (search engine optimization), touring services and more. Joel Manan from Marshall says: “We think it’s a great idea that Surface are rebranding and we’re looking forward to working with them next year.”
In 2011 the Surface Festival will be doing 500 shows across 14 cities in the UK and Europe. Showcases will take place in London, Portsmouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, Barcelona and Budapest. With a prize pot of £100,000 and a shot at playing the o2 in London in front of a industry panel, all bands and artists should check out the Surface Festival website.
For more info and to sign up see www.surfacefestival.com
Tags: ashdown, band photography, cities in the uk, independent record labels, jay mitchell, managing director, manan, nottingham, place in london, portsmouth, prize pot, promotion companies, record label, search engine optimization, showcases, swansea, touring services, unsigned bands, zildjian
On the one hand we have p2p networks and those that use those networks to gain free, illegal downloads of music; on the other hand we have the RIAA who win suits such as that against a Minnesota woman in October 2007, who was ordered to pay over $220,000 for downloading two dozen songs.
My take on it all is this.
I work. I expect to get paid. However much I enjoy the work I do, I need to get paid to be able to pay my way in the world. That’s how it works. Therefore I have no problem with an artist getting paid for the music they produce. I also have no problem with the company that distributes their work – usually a record label – getting paid to do so – after all the record label is employing people and paying them, and they in turn need to be paid. It’s how our economy works.
I don’t think it’s fair to expect to be able to freely download music without paying for it, but I am concerned that artist – that has produced the work – gets their fair share. If anyone is to get rich in the deal, it should be the artist.
Now, who gets rich in the court case above? Why, the lawyers of course. How much of that $220K went to the artists in compensation for the illegal downloads? I suspect very little.
The RIAA really only represents the major labels anyway. The major labels are not run by musicians, but by accountants who are only interested in the bottom line (which is important in any business) and not the work itself. This is why we end up with some artists churning out album after album of music of dubious quality. They’re simply used as a profit machine.
Well, there’s more. One tends to assume that buying a CD allows you to do what you wish with it – almost. We all know you’re not supposed to copy it for your friends, or post it online for filesharing.
Of course, before the digital age, copying still went on, but taping the mic to the radio speaker didn’t give a very good reproduction, and if we liked the music most of us would tend to go and buy the song anyway.
There was some talk a few years ago, that if you bought the vinyl album, you’d also really need to buy the cassette for use in the car. I would suspect very few people ever did that, and anyway, that idea went away.
Sony have suggested that if you want the song on your ipod as well as the CD for the car or living room, you need to buy the CD AND a digital copy.
Over to the RIAA, and they duck the issue saying that “copyright law is too complex to make such sweeping statements.” Hang on one cotton picking minute. I thought the RIAA was the representative body for the American recording industry? Don’t they employ teams of lawyers to sue people for downloading songs illegally? Don’t these lawyers know the copyright laws inside and out? Enough to sue that woman for $220K for those 24 songs, but not enough to tell me or you if it’s ok to rip a CD to my hard drive to play on my own mp3 player when I’m out jogging or walking the dog.
If it did go that far I think most people would simply stop buying CDs. Actually myself I haven’t bought a CD for some time. I download, legal, digital copies of what I want these days. I play in the home on the computers, or on my mp3 player, which I can also use in the car. Why do I need to buy a CD at all, or burn music to CD anyway?
Tags: accountants, bottom line, court case, dozen songs, dubious quality, economy, fair share, filesharing, labels, lawyers, mic, minnesota woman, musicians, p2p networks, profit machine, radio speaker, record label, reproduction, riaa, suits