Being new on the music and arts scene in your city or town can be an exciting yet intimidating affair. You have so much to discover. Yet, everyone seems to be so settled in that you might feel awkward you put yourself out there, say when you go for a gig or a show. Over time, faces may become more familiar and nods of recognition may become frequent. Little do we realize the scene needs us just as much as we want to be part of it.
Whether you’re an artist or a fan, here’s how you can get more involved.
Attend gigs: This might seem a no-brainer but when you’re new, this seems the most daunting part. Yet, this is where you will be seen most actively supporting the scene. Check the listings in the newspaper or websites and go to the gigs that seem interesting. Your presence counts and so does your monetary support. So, buy the ticket, pay the cover and avoid asking people to put you on the guest list. Be conscious of the economics of the scene and support it.
Help spread the word: As you begin to identify the communities and artists you like, support them by helping to promote them on social media. Artists need all the help that they can get and as a fan (or fellow artist), your effort in promoting them counts a lot in helping them get the audiences they need to make their shows a success.
Connect with people: You may feel timid at first but most people will recognize your enthusiasm for the scene and your willingness to help as long as you’re polite and respectful.
This is especially helpful for musicians who are new to a scene but fan can also connect with the scene better if they make an effort to meet promoters, organizers, other musicians and local music fans. It’s the best way to become part of the community. Soon, you will come to understand what different people are struggling with. As you’re seen more often on the scene and people recognize your motivations, they will feel more comfortable introducing you to others.
A little help: You can find ways to contribute to the scene with your skills. You could help in creating the poster that a band needs for its new tour, document their performance with that camera that hasn’t seen much action lately, or you could just help set up the gig. All these are great opportunities to learn as we support the artists whose work we like. You may discover that your talent and help is being appreciated, and in time it’s being taken seriously enough to spawn a hobby into an alternate career.
By and by, as you become part of the community, stay open to helping other newcomers get acquainted with the scene that you’ve made your own.
Are there other, creative ways of becoming part of a community and supporting it that we might have missed? Please share your views and constructive feedback in the comments section so we and others could gain from your insights.