If you listen very, very closely you will hear the beating heart of Cape Town’s music scene. The signs of life are there, they’re just very faint. Here are four dead simple ideas to build up the local scene into a thriving industry.
Going to watch gigs at the same venue is like eating at the same restaurant every week. You might get a different dish, but the experience tends to be the same. Over the years Cape Town’s live music venue’s have dwindled to a select few, and the events have become increasingly stale. We should expand live music into new spaces, ones that are more inclusive. This will bring a fresh energy to the local scene, and more diversity to the nightlife sphere.
Projects like 5FM’s Mashlab and SABC 3’s awfully named Jam Sandwich are bringing SA’s big artists together to collaborate, but collaboration can extend beyond music-making. Musicians can also collaborate with local creatives in other disciplines (think artists, film makers, writers, dancers…). These kinds of jams often produce fresh and exciting new ideas that can inject new life into the creative landscape. If you’re a creative person, reach out to other creative people in your community.
Events on social media have turned into a joke. Invitations to Cape Town’s hip events have become more annoying than FarmVille. Promoting gigs on social media is important, but it is not enough. If artists want people to make an effort to brave the winter rain and the overpriced Black Label, they need to do more than post a status. Artists should be giving people a real piece of themselves; a flier, poster or CD goes a long way in inspiring people to venture out into the night to see a performance.
Rolling Stone died a quick death in South Africa. Other music magazines like LMG have also slowly faded out despite their loyal following. It’s the digital age, and we no longer need print media to tell us what’s cool. We hear about the hottest new music from our friends online. If you’re a music fan, post the odd status about your favourite local musician. If you’re a writer, blog about a great artist you’ve recently encountered. The people on the ground are the new tastemakers.