24 Mar #Aiken4Music Action Points
So far we’ve had one World Café meeting at the Aiken Brew Pub (thanks Rob!), three meet and greets, and innumerable conversations around town and on our Facebook page and website (One Aiken- open collaborations and OneAiken.com). The results are unanimous- there are high levels of energy in this town, and a great amount of enthusiasm to improve businesses and to help bring Aiken out of the clinging vestiges of the Recession. The only things lacking to make this a reality are a lack of coordinated efforts and not knowing where to start. Throughout our meetings, common themes keep reoccurring: concepts of community over competition, desire to make music a profitable business, and a willingness to collaborate.
In order to facilitate our movement, we’ve put together a list of ideas that need developing and of specific action points. If you see something that you can do, please comment and call it! Start the conversations flowing- let’s go!
- What are the specific licensing laws for musicians playing in the city? Find out regulations and differences between playing inside and busking on the streets.
- The current price for a business license is $75. Meet and compile and propose suggested changes to the local busker/musician license.
- We have Counsil people willing to help us get it on the agenda. Lobby the City to change that for musicians.
- Help educate the public about ASCAPs. This will also increase the perceived value of your music.
- Work on ‘branding’ your individual brands and venues. That way you’ll be more aware of who your audience is and able to target them with the specific music and times that they will want to hear and be around. Or just be aware and versatile.
- Take advantage of the USCA student nights. The next one is next Thursday…. Busking would be a risk-free way to experiment and get some practice in.
- We need a listening room venue in Aiken. What do you envision in the ideal venue? List what we want and start bouncing ideas to make it happen!
- Research and change the laws on food trucks. Food trucks will bring foodies and hipsters to the area and create a cool vibe for a live show or music festival.
- Use tactical urbanism to your advantage! Have you seen the posts we’ve been putting up on the One Aiken-open collaborations Facebook page? Declare an Eno Park day with friend or on Facebook, host a contest sponsored by local businesses (including a photographer), think outside the system. That’s a conversation we need to get started…
- Create a master email list from our personal email lists. Use it to send a Metro Spirit-type newsletter to advertise live music in the area and to spread awareness/showcase different bands.
- Self-promote!!!!! We can’t stress that enough. If you don’t do it for yourself, no one will. Also, CROSS PROMOTE!!! At this point, nothing you do to help others out will hurt you. Remember- the community over competition mentality is hot now! Post often on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Even curated content (content from other sources) will help keep you on the good side of social media algorithms. Things like the history of your type of music, a video of a famous musician you admire, or a set you think is cool helps to generate noise and get your audience interested. If you don’t know how to do it , just Google “when is the best time to post on social media,” “how to write a good Facebook marketing post,” or anything else.
- And most importantly, USE THE AIKEN HASHTAGS!!!!!!! This is the best way to make sure that people can find your stuff and to distinguish you from the pack. Just get in the habit of tagging your posts by writing #Aiken4Music and maybe some of our other hashtags on your posts. (Like #Aiken4Aiken, #MadeInAiken, #AikenSC, #VisitAikenSC)
There is a lot we can do right now, if we only try! Let’s go now and get it done. Our next meeting we’ll work together from a straw poll of all these ideas from the meet and greets and the World Café so that we can jointly create a roadmap to build on our amazing musical talent assents in Aiken and become the best small town music scene in the South!
We will meet again at 3:00 pm on April 2nd in the Collaboration Room.
Author: Emma Platte