Acoustic magazine run an annual competition, free to enter, where the winner gets a load of kit and a headline slot at the Beautiful Days festival.
Sounds like a much better, and more realistic, proposition than this Live and Unsigned outfit.
Surprise MR is involved with this tbh. Would be far preferable to get behind something like the above, or run their own comp that's based on talent and skill as judged by a proper panel rather than how many tickets you sell or how many of your mates text in to a premium rate number.
Having (against my better judgement) played with a band who entered this last year, ticket sales absolutely WERE part of the deal. All bands in round 2 (about half of all who entered) were REQUIRED to sell a certain quantity of tickets in order to participate.
Originally Posted by tomporter
That and the entire drive of the organisers was to sell as much as possible to the bands throughout - from videos of the 3 minute performance to photographs of the band to soft drinks at the bar. It's all about the money, not the music.
Highlight of the day for me was being told "you are going to have to stay in the basement until your performance, you won't be able to leave it, so we advise you to BUY some water from the bar before going down".
Generally I was left with a bad taste in my mouth about the whole thing.
Usual pay-to-play scam. There are a few others to be wary of ATM, especially one hiding behind the MGM, PYE and Pathe brands. :mad:
No thanks MR... I'll be busy being stuck up, pretentious, and toying with the soul that I refuse to give away.
My band BASS 6 have entered it this year. So far we've done one round which we got through and yep, it is about ticket sales.
Bands that get through the first round are given 25 tickets for the next round to sell at £7.50 (25 x £7.50 = £187.50), the implication is we should sell at least 15. This ticket is for one of three 'regional finals' held at the next round and each band in the regional final can play for a maximum of 3 1/2 minutes and must play one original song and one cover in that time. There was no mention of this ticket sales requirement when we paid our £12.50 entry fee.
As BASS 6 live in Bristol and the nearest regional final is held in Cardiff this means we are supposed to persuade our fans and friends to buy a £7.50 ticket plus drive 100 miles plus pay £5.70 to cross Severn Bridge just to watch us play for 3.5 minutes. Not an easy sell!
On a positive note, the competition is well organised and massively advertised, the events are held in decent venues which are probably not cheap to hire - including the final at the O2 arena, London, and there are some good names on the judging panel including Annie Nightingale, Noddy Holder (!) and Radio 1's Ras Kwarme. The bands get feedback from the judges on their performance at the auditions (ours was good : "Bass 6 – Great, smiley delivery, very polished – Best so far!"). I get the sense that the organisers are to some extent looking to find decent talent as well as make a few bob - previous winners have not become household names so I reckon they'd really like to find a successful act to give the competition gravitas.
BASS 6 will continue in the competition as long as we can - it's exposure to a different crowd and possibly to music industry people - and a chance to play the O2 which would be great. We're not gonna bother too much about ripping off our fans for tickets so it's possible we may be out at the next stage, but if we progress through I'll post on here and let you guys know how we get on.
How many bands enter at the first stages? 50 maybe?
50 x £12.50 fees = £625
Each band sells 20 tickets at £7.50 each = £150
Times that of course by 50 bands = £7500
That adds up to £8275.00
It might not be that many bands that enter, ive no idea, but its clearly quite a money maker given the above is just the first stage, there are presumably many more to come and of course your semi finals and finals etc. I imagine tickets cost more to these events ;)
My mistake, MR says its not about ticket sales.....
Hi Jazzy Jefferson,
According to the Live and Unsigned website over 300 acts played at the Cardiff audition!
Let's do the maths -
300 x £12.50 = £3,750. This is the only income L&U receive at the audition stage cos tickets to sell are only given to bands who get through to the next round, the Regional Finals. However there are 16 Auditions across the country so that's £3,750 x 16 = £60,000 total income for L&U for the Audition stage. This is not all profit though as L&U have to hire 16 big venues plus staff, judges pay, promotional costs etc - I'd be surprised if they made much profit at this stage.
There are three different finals held at each Regional Final, each lasting 1hr 45 mins. Each band can only play for a max of 3.5 minutes, so allowing 1 minute between acts means approx 24 acts can play in each final.
So there are 3 finals each with 24 acts = 72 acts performing at each Regional Final. If each act sells an average of 20 tickets then each RF would bring in 72 x 20 x £7.50 = £10,800. There are 18 Regional Finals held across the country so thats £10,800 x 18 = £194,400! There are other income generators for L&U too - bands can buy photos of the event for £17 and videos for £37.
Assuming the set up is similar to the Regional Finals then there are 6 Area Finals - 6 x £10,800 = £64,800.
The O2 Final:
I'm not sure I can meaningfully estimate income from this event as I don't know how many bands make it through to the final or how much tickets are so lets just guesstimate!
The L&U final is described as an all day event so lets guess that 100 acts are in the final, that tickets for the O2 final are £15 and bands that make it to this stage sell 25 tickets then income is - 100 x 25 x £15 = £37,500.
So a very shaky estimate of the income L&U generate through entry fees and ticket sales is £60,000 + £194,400 + £64,800 + £37,500 = £356,700.
There will be other sources of income - photo/video sales to bands, sponsorship deals, TV/media rights, but also there will be big costs - hire of lots of good venues including O2, paying big name judges like Annie Nightingale/Noddy Holder plus also many other staff at the events and also behind the scenes plus massive promotional costs and literature posters etc - plus also the value of the prizes (touted as £100k worth, but the cost to L&U will be much less)
Overall there is less money being made in this 'scam' (as some have called it) than I'd have thought, it's certainly not a massive get-rich-quick scheme when you bear in mind the set up costs and work involved. (Be interesting to know how much it costs to hire the O2!)
Anyway, BASS 6 will be at the Cardiff Regional Final on March 20th - wish us luck and I'll let you know how we get on!
The Leeds Music Forum has been debating the various merits (no, me neither) and demerits of Live and Unsigned (and its equally insidious US cousin, Surface Unsigned) for quite some time now.
The thread is here:
Personally, my heart sank when I saw the ad in the December issue of Computer Music. Live and Unsigned is not a music competition; it never has been and never will be. By getting into bed with these charlatans MusicRadar has lost all credibility as a resource for those who care about the art of making music.
I've decided to never enter my music into a competition.
Totally agree Lloyd. I'm here for Frankus, and that's it. :D
Originally Posted by lloydybwoy