Our First Musicians Bootcamp

Here at The old courts, we do more than provide a stage; we look to support artists, fostering talent and community spirit. We have always offered musicians a platform to showcase their talent and a nurturing environment to grow their craft. But, we wanted to take things up a notch!

So, we created “Get Booked: Musicians Bootcamp”. This 3 session series was designed to support musicians of all backgrounds, offering tips and insights from industry professionals whilst meeting likeminded creatives.

We’re so pleased to have been able to do this and look forward to following the musicians as their journeys continue. With some familiar faces amongst the new, we’re sure we’ll be seeing all of them again on The Old Courts stages.

Looking back, here’s a taste of what we covered…

Session 1: The Old Courts’ Marketing team, Meg and Zak, went through the do’s and don’ts of social media & how to write a bio, using this workbook as guide. Then, Nat Geraghty (Purple Tree Communications) joined us to run through the best way to get through to time poor journalists. Nat also mentioned the uptake and importance of video content and having captioned high res photos.

Nat Geraghty talks Press!

Session 2: Our Artistic Director Jonny Davenport led the conversation with DJ & Broadcaster (BBC Radio Manchester) Dave Sweetmore. The focus was on what promoters and programmers want to see from musicians. They spoke about how mutual respect is essential & how the way you conduct yourself is just as important as the quality of your music. There was also discussion on the importance of making connections and building your network, being visible. There’s a lot of musicians out there but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out and make yourself known.

Jonny & Dave Sweetmore open up the conversation to the room

Dave Sweetmore offers a promoter & broadcaster’s perspective

Session 3: Our final session saw Jonny and Modern Sky’s Dave Pichilingi speak more specifically about the industry and how management & labels operate. Dave advised that musicians should write for themselves and not try and tailor work to what they think the labels are looking for. Also, the importance of authenticity and being original often came up, forming a recurring theme of the bootcamp. We were also surprised by a visit from The Lathums’ Alex Moore, who shared personal insights from their band who are signed/touring. Alex reflected on his journey honestly, offering a great perspective for fellow musicians in the room. He discussed the importance of connecting with your audience

Jonny Davenport & The Lathums’ Alex Moore

The Lathums’ Alex Moore speaks candidly

An insightful talk from Modern Sky’s Dave Pichilingi

There was a supportive atmosphere during the sessions, from artists to speakers and the sessions often took an interactive turn, allowing the conversations to open up to the floor. To finish off the bootcamp, attendees will have the chance to get a professional photo taken by LuellaPix . This high res photo will then be added to artists’ EPK’s along with the earlier created bios.

It was great to see a real mix of attendees from age, gender to experience. This formed a well balanced crowd and has inspired us to form a new musicians social event, creating a place for musicians of all backgrounds to come and chat, create collaborations and share.

Thank you to Arts Council, Wigan Council & Greater Manchester Combined Authority for their support, allowing us to offer these sessions to artists for free.