Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Trev » Mon May 18, 2015 18:20

indiehorse wrote:
I'm obviously no expert on London venues, but the Shacklewell, the George and that funny-smelling place where the Obzine alldayer was all have relatively few steps, don't they. (As opposed to say Power Lunches where even the most able-bodied person could break their neck on those stairs after one too many gin and tonics.)
Yeah, they all have some steps - but not a flight of stairs.
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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Trev » Mon May 18, 2015 18:24

indiehorse wrote:
Carys wrote:- Consider letting carers accompany disabled people for free / offering concessions.
I like this one. I was vaguely aware that cinemas and theaters offer this sort of thing but had never thought or heard about it in the context of d.i.y gigs. I'm definitely going to introduce this.
Agreed.

I think I've dealt with similar requests. People often call the venue to check on access and other similar queries. The Weekender we had someone who want to bring some children which the venue allowed until 8pm (after 8pm normal pub rules applied).
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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Carys » Mon May 18, 2015 18:34

indiehorse wrote:
Carys wrote:- Consider letting carers accompany disabled people for free / offering concessions.
I like this one. I was vaguely aware that cinemas and theaters offer this sort of thing but had never thought or heard about it in the context of d.i.y gigs. I'm definitely going to introduce this.
Yeah, cinemas have a scheme called the CEA card, and some theatres do it too. Usually the criteria is to be in receipt of PIP to be entitled to a free carer spot.

Realistically, you may find few people take you up on it, but just saying that you're amenable to it helps to foster a more inclusive atmosphere I reckon!

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by islandhopper » Mon May 18, 2015 20:47

Our usual venue is fully accessible up to the point of having a wheelchair level bar area but any time we've put on shows outside of there has involved full flights of stairs either up or down. A couple of folks involved in putting on our shows have mobility issues themselves so it's not as if we're not aware of the problem but sadly basements and rooms above pubs are sometimes the only affordable option.

Seats can be really important though. Going regularly to shows with someone who has what would be regarded as an invisible illness; knowing there's going to be seats at the show can be the difference between attending or not. Always frustrating when they're taken up by people who don't really need them but you can't really blame people for having a seat when they don't know any better.

Has anyone ever drawn up any sort of guidelines about accessibility/inclusivity at gigs? The sort of thing promoters could try and adhere to.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Carys » Mon May 18, 2015 22:20

Has anyone ever drawn up any sort of guidelines about accessibility/inclusivity at gigs? The sort of thing promoters could try and adhere to.
This is along those lines... http://www.attitudeiseverything.org.uk/ ... t-practice

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by humblebee » Mon May 18, 2015 22:32

Price concessions used to be much more prevalent and meaningful than they are these days. And inclusiveness should extend to people on low or no incomes, right? I'm just wondering whether indiepop gig promoters could offer more in the way of discounts for people who are unemployed or low-paid. It's pretty rare to see any kind of concession these days, let alone one that's substantial enough to amount to more than tokenism. I dunno, I mean indiepop gig promoting is barely viable at the best of times, so maybe it's not possible - just thought I'd put it out there.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by Trev » Mon May 18, 2015 22:36

humblebee wrote:Price concessions used to be much more prevalent and meaningful than they are these days. And inclusiveness should extend to people on low or no incomes, right? I'm just wondering whether indiepop gig promoters could offer more in the way of discounts for people who are unemployed or low-paid. It's pretty rare to see any kind of concession these days, let alone one that's substantial enough to amount to more than tokenism. I dunno, I mean indiepop gig promoting is barely viable at the best of times, so maybe it's not possible - just thought I'd put it out there.
I did it a couple of times and got no takers, kinda drifted away from doing it when no-one seemed to take up on it. Also this is probably because not many knew about it (curse of DIY gigs, I guess!)

The show that I am doing with Triffids in July is £5 or £2 unwaged on the door - so we'll try again and see if there is more interest now.

But yeah, the price difference is always very small due to DIY gigs being fairly cheap to start with. It costs the same to get into DIY shows as it does for a pint (in London)!
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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by indiehorse » Mon May 18, 2015 23:03

humblebee wrote:Price concessions used to be much more prevalent and meaningful than they are these days. And inclusiveness should extend to people on low or no incomes, right? I'm just wondering whether indiepop gig promoters could offer more in the way of discounts for people who are unemployed or low-paid. It's pretty rare to see any kind of concession these days, let alone one that's substantial enough to amount to more than tokenism. I dunno, I mean indiepop gig promoting is barely viable at the best of times, so maybe it's not possible - just thought I'd put it out there.
Although formal concessions are rarer (I don't think they've ever been particularly prevalent in my gig-going lifetime), I'm seeing more events that have a set door price but state something along the lines of "no one will be turned away due to lack of funds". I think maybe this is a more practical way to go.

I don't think many of my regular attendees are rolling about in money so I feel like keeping the price as low as possible for everyone is probably the best I can do about inclucivity on this front.

I guess on the rare occasions where you can get away with charging say £7 or more for a gig that you know will be well attended, discounts become a more viable option.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Tue May 19, 2015 20:53

I came accross this from Advocates for Youth, defining a safe place:
A place where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person's self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage everyone to respect others.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by humblebee » Tue May 19, 2015 21:35

RITH wrote:I came accross this from Advocates for Youth, defining a safe place:
A place where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person's self-respect and dignity and strongly encourage everyone to respect others.
Does anyone think these kinds of things ought to include social class?

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Tue May 19, 2015 21:41

Yes, good point. I thought it was possibly included in cultural background, but it's not really.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by indiehorse » Tue May 19, 2015 22:20

humblebee wrote:Does anyone think these kinds of things ought to include social class?
Absolutely. I think the fact that it's not included is reason enough to include it, if that makes any sense, because there does seem to be a very deliberate attempt to erase working class identities from mainstream culture.

In fairness to Advocates of Youth, they are an American organisation and I'm vaguely under the impression that class is less of a thing over there. But then this impression I have may be as a result of the same erasure.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Wed May 20, 2015 10:08

I've started something about this on Facebook as well. These are the ideas I've posted so far (partially inspired by posts here):

1.
Shows and festivals: people who identify as a minorities get in for free or cheaper. Make sure that you tell attendees in advance that the goal of this is to encourage/facilitate more participation from minorities to make sure nobody feels uncomfortable or unfairly treated about it. The message you’re trying to send is simple. You’re saying: “You’re very welcome in this community, you belong here just as much as anyone else.” I know DIY promoters usually don’t have a lot of money to spare, but since the point here is to try to appeal to more people who would usually not show up I don’t think there’ll be a big financial loss. Some good thought should go into the decision making at the door to avoid awkward situations: who qualifies as the intended minority and who decides about that? Assigning people to categories can be shockingly difficult. Someone might show up at your event who doesn’t quite look like they belong, such as a transgendered or mixed-race person. Be aware that this might happen, and be careful how you word your event descriptions. I’d suggest it’s up to the attendee, on a basis of trust. Even if nobody takes you up on the offer, the gesture alone may be doing some good in itself.

2.
Online and at events: if the subject of racism, sexism or another form of discrimination comes up, accept that this is not the time for you to try to prove that the minority’s experience of discrimination may not be justified. First listen, then listen some more. Then think. Then, perhaps, ask and listen again. But don’t try to convince the minority that their feelings or experiences aren’t real.

3.
Online and at events: don’t publicly defend your friend who’s been called out on having done or said something that was experienced as racist, sexist, et cetera. If you want your friend to know you understand it may have been a misunderstanding or just something unfortunately worded, write or talk to them privately. If it really was just a misunderstanding, they will listen to what they’ve been accused of and then be able to apologize or explain themselves. Racism and sexism are not just personal, they are structural, so don’t feel personally called to defend but instead take the effort to understand the minority party.

4.
Shows and festivals: explicitly introduce all-gender bathrooms at shows and events to make trans-identified and genderqueer visitors feel welcome and comfortable. This is probably only possible when the venue/location is exclusive to your event at that time, but when that’s the case something like this seems possible. This should be announced or described clearly so no misunderstandings or discussions should arise during the event.

5.
Shows and festivals: price concessions to those who don’t have the funds to attend at full price. Include something along the lines of "no one will be turned away due to lack of funds” in your promotion of your event.

6.
Shows and festivals: actively think about access and needs of disabled people. Include information about accessibility (both of the venue and things like bathrooms) in your promotion of the event. Make sure some (possibly reserved) seating is available for those who can’t stand for a long time. Keep in mind that some illnesses are invisible. Work on a basis of trust. Consider letting caretakers accompany disabled people for free.

7.
Shows and festivals: indicate the capacity of the venue for those who struggle in bigger crowds.

8.
Online: actively learn to understand the lived and learned realities of racial, sexual, gender and other minorities. I’ll ask around a bit first and then maybe start a Facebook group or page that will specifically address this for our DIY community.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by tonieee » Wed May 20, 2015 15:28

That's a good list but I'm a bit uncertain about 1. I'm generally in favour of positive discrimination but this feels a little patronising to me though obviously I'm not the target for it.

Point 4 - would this be only all-gender toilets or a combination of female, male and all-gender (or even female plus all-gender)? I'm concerned some women might be worried about using a mixed-sex toilet though again being male I can't speak for women.

Other than those concerns I think it's all good.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by RITH » Wed May 20, 2015 15:41

Yeah tonieee, I have some concerns about 1. as well. Not so much because I think it would be patronising, but more because of the delicate issue of identifying the people who this would apply to. My main thought was it could be good if minorities could be motivated to bring along friends from the same minority group without the financial hurdle and added bonus of maybe feeling explicitely invited. Again, just brainstorming hoping to inspire a conversation and new ideas or a more realistic idea what can or cannot be done.

Re: point 4 - yes, the safety and feeling of being accepted of one minority group should preferably not come at the cost of the safety of another minority group. So in my mind the preferred option would be to offer multiple options, if this is realistic in the venue used.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by indiehorse » Wed May 20, 2015 21:58

I'm not a fan of the first point at all. I certainly don't want to be rolling up to the door with my gay card to get my gay discount.
And like you say, it's near impossible to identify who would qualify for a discount. And it isn't financial viable for promoters who aren't breaking even half the time.
Offering a discount to unwaged/low paid people is different because in that case it's removing a barrier, but for other groups of people where money isn't the barrier a financial incentive doesn't seem like the right solution.

One obvious, effective and reasonably straight forward way to attract a particular group of people is to book bands who reflect their identities. Eg, when I go to gigs with an all-female line-up there are noticeably more women in the audience than at other gigs; when I put on a bunch of queer bands then a bunch of queer people turn up.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by kieran kawaii » Thu May 21, 2015 00:36

hello everyone

i just wrote a long thing to post in here but i accidentally closed the tab while googling for a good lukacs quote to include. and i've got an exam in 9 hours so it's not getting rewritten

basic idea was:

- capital i Indiepop is by definition exclusionary as it is purposefully tied to a set of white cultural influences while ignoring both black and queer musical innovations since its development in the 1970s (grime, hip-hop, dance music, r&b and so on)

- this is tied to the demolition of class conciousness in the same period

- dancing to a song about a black feminist ('1978 smiling politely') versus one by a black feminist ('flawless' by beyonce)

- sarah records purposefully eschewing trip hop which developed around the same place at the same time

- there's no good reason not to give up the idea that the only valid musical form is people playing guitars and 'stand up drums'. treat every human as an equal and book some hip-hop groups to play at your shows and play some grime during your dj sets

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by crystalball » Thu May 21, 2015 14:18

Whoa, loads of stuff to read and think about. Thanks Dennis and everyone.

One thing that always strikes me is the language used: 'tolerance', for instance, is widely used in the UK to indicate a positive attitude towards ethnic minorities, religious views, sexual orientation and so on. But, really, what we should be saying is that we're intolerant towards bigots. We don't 'tolerate' anyone; we embrace friends and strangers in all our diversity and complexity. But we won't stand for racism/sexism/classism/ableism/homophobia/transphobia etc. in the spaces where we have control, like our venues. I think we need to make sure we always make that statement prominent in all our promotion and, obviously, actively implement it. This will hopefully make everyone going to a show know that they'll be surrounded by people who are on their side and will have their back, should anything happen or should they need any help.

Having said that, 'our' venues isn't always a thing - as in, if anyone remembers what happened at The Windmill a few years back with The Tuts, sometimes venues won't be on board (and, in that case, they'll be actively abusive). And, again, we need to talk about those instances and try and make things better. London is particularly bad for small wheelchair-accessible venues. I mean, are there any? Hopefully the DIY space will solve that issue.

Concessions and stating that no-one would be turned away for lack of funds are also great, great things. And, most importantly for me, always trusting people and taking them and their worries, complaints and suggestions at face value.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by noLooking » Thu May 21, 2015 14:57

kieran kawaii wrote:- capital i Indiepop is by definition exclusionary as it is purposefully tied to a set of white cultural influences while ignoring both black and queer musical innovations since its development in the 1970s (grime, hip-hop, dance music, r&b and so on)
Purposefully? Are you sure? Do you think everyone sat around in a room and worked out how to exclude black and gay people from the mix deliberately? Given that there are clear influences from '60s black music (Motown, girl groups, etc.), are you saying all retro based music that doesn't incorporate influences from recent sources of black culture is racist? Might Leon Bridges, who doesn't seem to have heard a record since 1968, have something to say about that? As for homophobic, shy effeminate boys making guitar music may not have much to do with gay club culture but I don't think that makes it exclusionary in the slightest.
- sarah records purposefully eschewing trip hop which developed around the same place at the same time
Perhaps they didn't like it much? I 'm not sure that you can say someone's taste is deliberately exclusionary and racist. The main argument I've heard (for example the Pitchfork article) has been around black people feeling deliberately excluded from the wider indie scene by the way minority artists are treated, minority influences aren't acknowledged and minority fans are assumed to be non-existent, which makes good points.

But the one thing I felt was weak in that argument (and probably where Stuart Murdoch let his kneejerk reaction get the better of him) was the idea that the music itself (separate from the iconography, the image that they put around themselves) is deliberately white. It may well be unthinkingly white (although in this case B+S take in black influences as well the same old same old) but music is what sounds melodious to people's ears; it seems a bit unfair to criticise everyone for liking one kind of music and not another. Am I basically racist if I like indiepop and not trip hop? Really? Even the minority fans of indiepop who dislike trip hop? Or are we saying that minority fans 'must' like trip hop, because it's 'their' music? I don't think I'd wish to go down that route.
- there's no good reason not to give up the idea that the only valid musical form is people playing guitars and 'stand up drums'. treat every human as an equal and book some hip-hop groups to play at your shows and play some grime during your dj sets
This may have some merit in the idea - it echoes what Indiehorse was saying about people coming to see groups that reflect them onstage. But I think this makes another false assumption that indiepop is all that people here think is valid. I like Flying Lotus as well as Tender Trap, A Tribe Called Quest and Gold-Bears (fill in your own tokenistic list here). I'm here because I like indiepop, that doesn't mean I have to clip the barrettes in every morning and put on a cardigan before I'm me (I own neither of such things to be honest).

This may work but it may be that, more generally, fans of hip-hop don't want to see a jangly band or indiepop fans don't want to see a rapper and make their choice accordingly. Commercial considerations come into play - I can think of plenty of gigs I've heard about where the support band was bottled off because they didn't appeal to the tastes of the headliner's fans - I can imagine Veronica Falls suffering a similar fate if they were to support, say, Public Enemy. Even in a more sedate atmosphere, I can see good reasons why promoters would avoid putting on such gigs.

Doesn't this also make assumptions about what is 'black' music and what is 'white' music, when the point was to make indiepop inclusionary for everyone? It is what it is and, as I said at the top, I don't accept that retro-based music drawing from a range of influences, white and black, is exclusionary in and of itself.

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Re: Indiepop: a celebration of diversity

Post by humblebee » Thu May 21, 2015 15:16

Potentially significant historical footnote. Clare Wadd once said Sarah would have loved to have put out a record like Blue Lines, but funnily enough they didn't receive a demo.

(I think it was Blue Lines; if not, it was certainly some important and seminal trip-hop album.)

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