The Do It Yourself approach many have been gradually latching on to over the years has been expanding and become a more convenient, common and beneficial way of getting things done. In recognizing the convenience of D.I.Y. spaces, small scenes are able to independently grow further away from venues or sponsorships which may monitor and control how a performance is broadcasted and helps give the freedom to keep the shows intimate and openly expressive. Costs are cut drastically and entry fees are lowered to donations.
A group of guys residing in Philly, all having their own experiences organizing and promoting D.I.Y. shows in the area, have convened to form what Nick Fanelli has called a “five person like-minded communal promotions team”. A couple of the boys have already established themselves through a booking and promotions company known as Dead Industry. The group plans to take what they all have individually built up to be able to combine, utilize and pass on their connections, venues and information which helps eliminate competition and build a well developed team. Recognizing how much stronger their efforts could be once communicated and combined, a well promoted assemblage has commenced. They plan to continue to open their eyes to D.I.Y. spaces other than just houses so their invitations aren’t so limited. Although great for all-ages shows, houses can be confining due to things such as the lack of permits, noise restrictions and inability to post exact addresses online. More D.I.Y. spaces in the area are being assembled making it easier to branch out from basement shows and still be well-suited for the freedom the shows may sometimes need to possess.
Much like many people involved in this concept, the guys I spoke to had stories of starting their interest in D.I.Y.shows early on. Pete Pie expressed that he was first interested in this scene because of the age restrictions of larger venues, and he started to find that the bands he enjoyed were playing these shows. He, at first, questioned why these bands were playing houses and he soon came to find the reasoning behind it. After frequenting the shows, you start seeing the same people who have obviously shared interests.
“I go to the shows for the community and to support each other, the promoter and the bands. It allows you to help check out a new house or space and after at least five shows you start making friends and seeing the same people… you get roped into it all,” Pie explains. “With house shows there are less middle-men to deal with than larger venues. There is no cost at all and bigger venues aren’t always open to booking a band they’ve never heard of from another state or country”.
Becoming a part of this community as a musician, you build connections in different areas around the country, and even the world, which makes touring easier and a hell of a lot less expensive. Couches open up to you, beers are sometimes stocked and food can be found along the way. You supply the same in return.
“Being a musician helps throwing the shows because you can see it from both ends. You see exactly what people want out of the shows” says Fanelli.
On a last note he sums it up for us with saying “It’s just fun in Philly right now. Things go really well. A lot of people are excited and want to be involved in whatever capacity they can. Everybody wants to collect everyone else’s records and just be a part of things helping to forge the same kinds of memories through one shared entity of music”.
Written by: Ashley McAteer