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Luton Music Promotion September 2006: Meeting

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:36 am    Post subject: Luton Music Promotion September 2006: Meeting Reply with quote

Luton Music Promotion September 2006: Meeting

For those who may be interested in the contemporary Luton music scene,
we can bring you an update from a meeting held at The Hat Factory on the
evening of Tuesday 12th September 2006.

The following is first a basic breakdown of some of the points raised in the
meeting and a list of those in attendance.
Apologies if we missed your name on the list we are going by memory!
For those interested in the Luton Punk scene, this perspective may
bring you some insight into the contemporary
live music scene.....

“The meeting was co-ordinated by the Hat factory’s Andy Gray who
invited all interested music promoters from the City of Luton area to
attend and express their views on the local scene. Those in attendance
included DTA Promotion’s, Blinky Promotion’s, Blunt Beats, The Coven,
PDM, Busting Loose, Igneous, VBAH fanzine, 33 Records and others
including UK Decay Communities.
There were discussions on the current state of affairs in the local scene
including the usual problems of the lack of a larger capacity venue
(800 – 1000 people) and the irregularities of the ‘finicky’ pub venues.
DTA Promotions said that many more bands that are popular would not
come to Luton, as there wasn’t a large enough venue, they added that
the Student union had a maximum capacity of 300.
Andy Gray who is overall manager at the Hat factory explained that the
function of the Art Centre was to provide the services that ‘creative’
individuals and groups require to ‘actualise’ events and that the remit in
fact covers other areas including The Luton International Carnival, the
Market Hill area, St.Georges Square, Library Theatre, Wardown and
Stockwood parks etc. He said based on discussions held at this meeting
and others planned, that he would make a report of recommendations
to the Luton City Council.
Last weekend (10th September), The Rifles played to a sell out crowd
of 200 in the Hat Factory’s Gallery, Andy explained that although that
this space was not always available, from time to time it would be
plausible to hire it out for a musical event. He also pointed out besides
the regular 100 or so capacity ‘Basement 1’ which is permanently
equipped with a state of the art house PA, there are three further
areas that can be used for live music performances
Also present were a representation from the new Hightown Community
Centre whom invited any potential promoters to have a look round the
new establishment which is within easy walking distance of the City
Centre. This new Community centre has a potential 500 capacity venue
along with a couple of other smaller areas of which the administrators
are keen to utilise for music purposes. Many of the promoters present
said they would investigate this possibility further as it looks promising.

There was talk of a definitive website that would be regularly updated
on a day to day basis with today’s, tomorrows, this weekend, next
weekends gigs, one place that a potential ‘punter’ could look at to find
out what’s on! Also for the none net users, a regular broadsheet. This
said Andy could be realised via the Arts Centre facilities.

Paul from PDM mentioned a new ‘Promoters Forum’ that he had set up
with the aim of coordinating different events to minimise unnecessary
overlapping competition. Because at the end of the day, everyone looses
out in a situation whereby on one night of the week, you may have 4 or
more choices of bands and venues and the next night there is nothing!

There was also talk of a sort of music festival event possibly in the
summer of 2007 involving the pooling of promoters providing
entertainment to various stages in the event.
Grant funding is apparently available for such affairs.

Above all there was much talk of getting the Luton music scene put on
the map (or back on the map!), apparently ‘A & R guys never come to
The mood of the meeting had an upbeat positive feel about it, with the
current venue situation in a state of constant flux, yet at the same time
the guitar shops in town have never sold so many guitars, there does
seem as great a need now for live music, as there ever was back in the
day! It was a unanimous agreement by many in attendance that there
was much quality talent from the full spectrum of music within the City.”

UK Decay Communities comment:

Looking back at the old venues featured in the “Some notorious Luton
Punk venues from the 70’s and 80’s.
” article, they are rapidly
disappearing from the Luton landscape as the twenty first century
kicks in. Now is the time to give the new generations of bands from
Luton and its environs, decent venues and back up, a fighting chance
in a most competitive marketplace that is the world today.
We always did moan about the lack of venues in town, perhaps now
there is a good chance to seize the initiative and do something about it!

Make no mistake, with manufacturing industry now virtually wiped out
and with the City of Luton, not seen by the establishment as being
anything other than an un-skilled dormitory workforce for the minions
of Babel and Luton International Airport. There is really not that many
options, other than to ‘escape’ the City entirely or perhaps become good
at Boxing, or again perhaps, to become a world famous musical artist!

PS: Why ‘The City of Luton’ when it is only a Borough?

Because, Luton IS A CITY in everything but name!
With a population now approaching a quarter of a million and set to
increase by up to a further 100,000 in the next ten years, one of the
UK’s busiest airports, a top University, the second largest carnival in
the UK, the riots, the multiple ethnicity, the at least four thousand year
history- the list could go on!

One in 240 British subjects is Lutonian.

Luton has a population density of 15,000 people living per square mile,
including green spaces and the airport and that is set to rise further!
Love it or loath it, the City of Luton deserves respect.

Some links....
Luton Promoters forum (Only seems to work in 'Internet Explore'!)

Vandalism begins at Home (Luton Music Scene Website)

Hat Factory (CrapWebsite!; part of the Luton Council website)

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