Every smallest branch of the human family has, at one time or another, carved its dream out of the rock on which it has lived. Real and sometimes thick, pain-filled dreams, but still wholly appropriate to their particular bit of earth. Each of these ways of expressing emotion has been the handy work of generations of unknown poets, musicians, and human hearts.
As promoters, we pursue the preservation of that spirit, that story, while providing the pedestal for up-and-coming energy. Independent promoters play an essential role in the party of life. Our grassroots communities and events are a catalyst for culture, collaboration, communication, and creation. We are continually learning and evolving, especially in London’s ever-changing landscape, much like the music we live and breathe. In five generations, this truly magical, multicultural music city has formed (quite possibly) the most fertile foundation for sounds, styles, and scenes to flourish.
Thanks to the great influx of new energy and experience, we are blessed to have been exposed to; rural rhythms, chants, classical, mento, folk, calypso, blues, jazz, gospel, swing, bebop, r ‘n’ b, soul, mambo, rock ‘n’ roll, salsa, bossa nova, rockabilly, pop, ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, afrobeat, funk, disco, psychedelia, metal, rap, go-go, hip hop, punk, glam rock, industrial, electro, dancehall, post-punk, house, techno, trance, drum n bass, jungle, nu-metal, UK garage, dubstep, reggaeton, grime, trap, UK funky and afrofusion. The elders of our society call this timeline the trunk of our musical tree – this trunk has given birth to an abundance of new styles, sonic experiments, and boundary-pushing productions. These new branches continue to blossom – adapting, shaping, and feeding off the weather around us.
This moment in time is incredibly exciting; many of the eldest generation of sound system pioneers are still around to tell their story. Half of us grew up without access to technology; half of us are born with it. The way we communicate, the way we promote is constantly evolving. It’s the perfect time to partner with other promoters, to learn, to educate, to engage, and to share our skills and new generational super-powers to create multi-generational musical magic.
This was a large part of why Frederick Sudgen and I became co-directors of the London Promoters’ Society in 2017. This was particularly important at the time as it was the same year London lost many of our beloved grassroots venues, and the fight to save Fabric highlighted the sudden rush to rally the troops. This was met with great enthusiasm by our like-hearted scene shapers. A society of independent instigators and community leaders was emerging.
We represent promoters from all walks of life – legendary pioneers and newcomers, from a diverse range of demographics, races, creeds, scenes, and sounds. We then work collectively to;
– Provide accessible access to event spaces, policies, toolkits, best practice guides, wellbeing support, and opportunities.
– Represent and support and assist promoters who are often judged by venue owners due to their ethnicity and/or genre of choice.
– Send fortnightly newsletters to over 800 promoters.
– Investigating new technologies, platforms, and policies.
– Curate industry panels, presentations, speakers, articles, and music – for the NTIA, London Music Conference & more.
– Monthly meet-ups at venues across London. Weekly remote meet-ups during the lockdown, Wednesdays 8-9 pm on Zoom.
– Advice for venues that require assistance with sound management, licensing, and council communications.
– Harnessing our collective people power for positive change.
“We are not around on this earth for very long, and we have an obligation to find the things that we love and not the things that we reject. The best way towards the things that we love is to look at the things that other people have loved. That’s what culture is. It’s the residue of all the things that people have thought worthwhile to preserve and teaching that will reconnect us again to what matters…” – Alan Lomax (RIP) – Ethnomusicologist, folklorist, archivist, writer, scholar, political activist, oral historian, and film-maker.
No matter how many buildings and venues close, no matter how many viruses hit humankind, no matter how much the musical business model adapts…the events, the cultural hubs, the bands, the sound systems, the DJs, the producers and all the party people in this multicultural melting pot of peace, love, and party power will always come together in perfect harmony. Culture and community is, after all, what holds us together and what remains after a crisis.
Stay tuned… the Night Time Industries Association will be publishing a story every week from the London Promoters Society. Each article will feature a personal interview with promoters from all walks of life who continue to keep their community connected.
The essence of London lies not in the headlined heroes, but in the everyday folks who live and die unknown, yet leave their dreams as legacies.
Co-founder / The London Promoters Society
For all the inside info, action, and latest news, join our weekly newsletter via www.londonpromtoersociety.org (Zoom meet-up every Wed from 8-9 pm. All welcome.