Soundcheck Sessions offer young people (age 14+) the chance to come to a venue before doors open to the public, to watch the artist, playing that night, soundcheck and then have Q&A with them along with some of the crew and venue team. Participants can come from local schools, colleges and youth groups, often giving them their first experience inside a grassroots music venue.
Hearing directly from the artist, as well those behind the scenes including venue owner/operator, promoter, sound engineer, tour manager etc about what their jobs involve, how a show happens and what it means to go on tour, gives young people an introduction to the live music industry and possible careers that they could be interested in.
By introducing participants to their local music venue at an early age, collectively we can build excitement about live music, local venues and open young people up to the various careers that are available to them, many of which they are probably not even aware of.
These free sessions also allow venues to welcome young people through their doors and build relationships with new audiences, and possibly crew, of the future. This, in turn, demonstrates their increasingly important role as a vital creative hub in their local community for development and education.
Our experience shows that artists and their crew are very willing to take the time to speak with young people and share their experiences of their work. Whilst we offer a framework for the sessions, this isn’t a prescriptive initiative, as each session will involve different venue teams, crew, artists and other music industry professionals, so we encourage each venue to make it their own.
These sessions are delivered in-person and are completely free to attend. Studies show that students from low-income families who take part in the arts activities at school are three times more likely to get a degree than children from low income families who do not engage in arts activities at school.
From The Venues & Partners:
‘As a Music Performance Teacher, I cannot over emphasise the value of these sessions. Firstly the inclusive and welcoming atmosphere of IVC Rep, Stewart Baxter, the performers and the staff at The Adelphi was paramount in easing any anxiety and trepidations my students may have had when attending the event. The students were not bombarded with information and worksheets, instead invited to participate in the set-up and ask questions relevant to them and their skill set. I remember discussing with IVC Rep Stewart Baxter, that when we were young musicians, The Adelphi felt like a part of us and we a part of it. The students have taken this on board and now they have confidence in approaching the Adelphi, as well as other venues, to attend, organise and ask to help out at gigs on their own as well as with the college. This event helped de-mystify the music industry for the students by providing them with a real experience of the set-up of a live event.’
Lewis Marrow, Music Performance Teacher at Wilberforce College, following a Soundcheck Session at The Adelphi.
‘As an independent venue in a rural surrounding, we were happy to host a Soundcheck Session at the Tivoli Venue in Buckley, North Wales. It opens doors for the younger generation to get an insight to what happens at the venue before the bands hit the stage.
Chuffed to have Massive Waggons agreeing to help out. They were treated to full Soundcheck from the band and see how they prepare and get their sound to how they want it before the night’s performance. As a venue we have many sound crew buzzing around and on hand to answer any questions. The band were also on hand to answer questions too. It was a great experience as an independent venue to host the event and invite the youngsters in to see and experience a true gig experience’
Roki Miah, Tivoli, Wales
‘This brought a different group into the venue that have never had the experience of a Soundcheck. They asked plenty of questions. Some participants already had a good grasp of audio technology but had not translated this into a live environment’
Denholm Ellis, Hotbox Live (Chelmsford)
‘The attendees were engaged from the start of the process right through to the Q&A with the Artists and our Sound Engineer, and an Artist in her own right gave really inciteful answers when being asked about gender in the music business, a really worthwhile experience for all concerned. By giving students/young people a taste of what we offer, we hope that they will return as customers’‘
Allan Scorer, Little Buildings (Newcastle)
‘We were delighted to host one of the first Soundcheck Sessions here in Tŷ Tawe. A group of young people enjoyed meeting the artists and venue crew – some decided to return for the gig in the evening, and two attendees had even formed a band before the end of the session! This is a great initiative to encourage young people to engage with their local music scene.’
Tomos Jones, Tŷ Tawe, Wales
(Cymraeg: Roedd yn bleser cynnal un o’r “Soundcheck Sessions” cyntaf yma yn Nhŷ Tawe. Roedd grŵp o bobl ifanc wedi mwynhau cwrdd â’r artistiaid a staff y lleoliad – roedd rhai wedi dychwelyd ar gyfer y gig yn y nos, ac roedd rhai hyd yn oed wedi ffurfio band cyn diwedd y sesiwn! Mae hyn yn gynllun gwych i annog pobl ifanc i gymryd rhan flaengar yn y sîn cerddoriaeth lleol.)