OXJAM returns in 2017 as Australian music lovers prepare to leverage their partying skills all in aid of the fight against poverty. Throughout the month of August, music lovers across the country are encouraged to host their own gigs and parties and raise funds for Oxfam’s mission of tackling poverty around the world.
Gigs can be anything from backyard acoustic sessions to stadium-filling, pyrotechnic-laden extravaganzas – they all count, as long as you’re raising funds.
To help gig enthusiasts get their head around exactly what they should be aiming for, we’ve enlisted the help of former triple j breakfast presenter, beatmaker, noted party connoisseur and OXJAM’s 2017 ambassador Matt Okine to list his top five tips for hosting the perfect DIY gig. Take it away, crumb…
Five Tips For Hosting The Perfect DIY OXJAM Gig, By Matt Okine
Putting on a gig and helping people in need… Is there any better way of being a bloody legend?? Yes. Here are just a handful of things to keep in mind when planning your ultimate OXJAM froff-fest.
Tip 1: Size Doesn’t Matter
I’ll spare you the penis jokes because I’m better than that, but I would like to start by saying that it’s truly not about how big your gig is, it’s about the girth of it (tee hee – as if I’m better than that!). But seriously, any artist will tell you that it’s not about how many people are there, it’s about how into it they are. Some of the best gigs are in tiny rooms with just a handful of people who are putting as much energy into enjoying the show as the artist is performing it. If you have access to the Opera House and think you can fill it – great! But if you only have a backyard, and you reckon you might know 20 people who want to come around and enjoy an afternoon or night – then that’s just as bloody great. Just make sure you invite your neighbours.
Tip 2: Branch Out
Putting on a gig doesn’t just equal music. Branch out with your genres! Think about hosting a comedy night. You only need a microphone and some speakers. Or if you’ve got a mate who has an abundance of sellable clothes, or a cousin who likes making hand-bound journals, then hit them up and set up a little market area for in between bands. I’m personally trying to make 3⁄4 length cargo pants a thing again, so I’ll probs have the stall right next to you.
Tip 3: Keep your prices reasonable
Yes, this is about raising as much money as possible, but be realistic about your prices. While the prospect of becoming an OXJAM G.O.A.T. by raising squillions for extremely important causes is very alluring, make sure the show you are putting on is worth the pennies. I’d hate to break it to you, but the masses won’t pay $100 to see your three-year-old banging on pots and pans if they can see Drake for that much. Work within your means, and be proud knowing that every contribution counts, no matter how big or small.
Tip 4: Don’t Skimp On The Basics
You want to make sure your artists are able to be seen and heard, so don’t skimp on the basics for your gig. Nobody expects a light strong enough to beam the bat signal onto the clouds, but it’s also never awesome when your acts are being illuminated by the light coming from inside your fridge because you didn’t consider that night = dark. Possibly even more important than being seen is being heard. Even Celine Dion sounds rubbish coming out of the laptop speakers you’re trying to broadcast through to a room full of a people. One of your friends has some good speakers, guaranteed. Or if you’re in a venue (if they don’t have a system themselves), then ask who their local supplier is, and see if they might want to foot the bill, or maybe go halves, given how many punters you’re hopefully bringing their way.
Tip 5: Have Fun!
It’s really easy to freak da fuq out when you’re putting on a gig. It’s like when you have a birthday party and you spend the whole day feeling positive that nobody is going to come because they all hate you and they all remember that time you pushed in at the tuckshop line in year 9 and you’re genuinely an awful person, and blah blah blah. Stop it! Remember: this is all for a good cause. Be shameless in your promotion. Ask your friends to spread the word. This is all about helping people in need, so there is no failing. Look after your acts. Look after your guests. But most importantly, look after yourself! Take every moment to really enjoy the gig you’ve put on, and know that you’re helping people who aren’t as fortunate as you. You’re already a bloody legend just for giving it a go, so keep your head high and make sure you’ve got lots of hot chips on standby tomorrow morning, because tonight’s gonna be a big one, and you’re gonna need that grease.
To find out more about registering for OXJAM plus learn how to win flights, accommodation and tickets to BIGSOUND 2017, head here.