Scots Trad Music Awards…

Well Scots Trad Music Awards 2007 are up and away and votes are appearing in large numbers. Many people worry about folks canvassing for votes but I actively encourage it. I want as many people to vote as possible and I take the view that when a person has been canvassed they come to the site and they see everyone else who is up for nomination. This will immediately widen their horizons to the vast amount of talent we have playing traditional music in Scotland. After all the Scots Trad Music Awards is first and foremost a marketing event aimed at bringing publicity to traditional music. A development this year I have enjoyed is the advent of Facebook sites setup to garner votes. This will get us to another audience.

I am always amazed looking at the body of nominations how fabulous and varied our scene is. I mean looking through we can all name 10 times as many musicians who are not nominated. What a strength for a small country. In terms of music and genres we really punch above our weight.

We're not getting TV coverage this year but there is a possibilty of web coverage on the BBC Scotland 07 site. We'll be taking video at the awards and putting together a package to bid for TV coverage on Glasgow in Novemember 29th, 2008. 

Branding of traditional music

I had a conversation the other day about how to get the message out to the public re the brilliance of traditional music. In the case we were talking about TV was already involved – usually the top goal for us all and the promotor felt that the message still wasn't getting through. It's an interesting thought as in order to really get our message through we need to combine lots of threads, one being branding.

How do we go about getting the right type of branding? In my view the 'right type' has to come from the big guns of Scottish corporate life like Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, Standard Life. At the moment they seem to be more interested in sport probably as sport is on the TV all the time which helps them achieve their aims of maximum publicity.

How do we get to the folk who make these decisions to come on board? How do we convince them to take a chance and back Scottish cultural music? Usually when a big sponsor comes around, lots of publicity comes with it. This needn't be large sums of money given to the events but more the uses of an image that will make people sit up and listen. Often backing by the big companies will make the media sit up and listen.

In my view, to do this the sector needs to recruit the right people to make this happen. In trad music we tend to try and do all the jobs ourselves (mainly due to funding restrictions) but in 'classical' music they have always (in the big orchestras) employed the right people eg to get funding they emply a fundraiser, to market they emply a marketeer.

We need to start employing people who have all the contacts who work in the industry. Someone who can take us to the right places. It will have to be a series of partnerships but it could work given the right investment.





No time!

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