Originally written for North Leeds Mumbler in February 2018
We used to spend most of our free time at concerts, gigs and festivals, both performing and as audience members. Now we’ve got children we don’t want to be out every evening, but we still want to see music that we love and want our children to experience brilliant live music too.
Thanks to a grant from Leeds Inspired and support from HA! Music and the Brudenell Social Club, we’ve been able to design the Made with Music Mini-Gigs for the whole family to enjoy. Each gig will feature three contrasting acts performing a 20 minute set, introduced by a presenter who will tell you about the performers and the music. You will also be able to meet the musicians and have a go at some music based multi-sensory activities.
Classical music is our background and it is a genre of music that you rarely get to see live with children, so each gig will feature a classically influenced performer as one of the three. All of the acts performing will be used to performing acoustically (without any amplification), but they will be slightly amplified to ensure they are heard over any background noise. There will be more lighting than a usual gig and we will have volunteers around the venue to provide any support needed.
Getting to gigs with a family is difficult enough, but if you add in any other support needs for parents or children, it can prove almost impossible. I’ve personally experienced this as I struggle with lighting changes, reading text and finding my way around new places due to a visual impairment which isn’t always obvious. It can make me anxious about trying new things and attending events, particularly if I’m with my daughter.
As a company, we try to do everything we can to reduce this anxiety and to provide an inclusive experience at our events. One of the ways we do this is through focus groups who look at our plans and the venue, helping us to put together detailed event information for the audience.We wanted our events to be in a ‘real’ gig venue and we’re grateful to the Brudenell Social Club for all the support they’ve given us with this. We’ll have three mini-gigs in 2018 and we’ll use each as an opportunity to get feedback and make the experience as brilliant as it can be for everyone.
We also want to continue the gigs after the grant finishes and we’re charging a fee for the tickets that will enable us to do that (£8 for adults, £2 for children and free for babies under 6 months). We can also offer subsidised places, get in touch for more information. We’re a charity and try to keep prices as low as possible while also paying all musicians performing.
We’re sure we won’t get everything right first time, but we’re open to making changes, so please get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions. Hope to see you at a mini-gig soon!