In an era where financial constraints are affecting everyone and the vitality of live music is being hindered by escalating expenses, Music Spoken Here, a promoter based in Worcester, is taking a distinctive approach to ensure that exceptional live music remains more accessible than ever before.
For over a year, Music Spoken Here has been showcasing some of the UK’s finest original jazz, funk, and fusion performances at their monthly shows hosted at The Marrs Bar in Worcester. In the face of an uncertain and economically challenging past year, they made the decision to alleviate their audiences from ticketing fees, absorbing those costs starting from December 2022, thereby enhancing the affordability of their events.
Recently, Eventbrite, their ticketing agent, unveiled new pricing structures that would more than double these fees. This proposition left Dave Fuller, the driving force behind Music Spoken Here from Evesham, appalled and convinced that it was time for a transformation.
“Music Spoken Here is a project to connect a new audience with a genre of music that is under-represented in the area. People are reluctant to try something new, especially if it’s going to cost them. But audience feedback indicates what we’re offering is great value for money considering the standard of musicians that come and play for us. Our last event in July was one of our best attended events of the year.”
Although cheaper ticketing options are available, Fuller realised that ticketing was altogether unnecessary. “We’ve never worried about advance ticket sales – we’ll go ahead whether there are 2 or 50 tickets sold. There are always a few walk-ups on the night and whatever happens, I know I’m going to enjoy a night of great music! At this stage it’s about gaining trust with our growing audience. We can’t afford to let people down by cancelling gigs.”
“With a venue capacity of 250 and considering this is jazz, in Worcester, on a Thursday night, I have no concerns about having to turn people away at the door because we’re full. It will be a great day for music when that does happen!”
“I’d been toying with the idea of ‘pay what you can’ and membership for a while. I guess the Eventbrite announcement was the call to action.”
On Monday, Music Spoken Here announced their new, ticket-free model, allowing people to attend their events either by paying what you can afford on the door (minimum £5), or becoming a club member for £12.50 per month.
“It’s a flexible approach that allows everyone to enjoy and support the project at the price that is right for them, with more of their money going directly towards event costs. The response has been really positive and we had two members sign up within 24 hours of announcing the changes.”
For more information and to see the program of exceptional live music lined up for autumn and winter, go to their website https://musicspokenhere.club