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Event Organising in Leeds

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by D-from-London, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. D-from-London

    D-from-London Member

    After 5 weeks in Leeds I'm back in London with thoughts of going back to Leeds but for longer next time. I really liked Leeds, the people I met were all very nice and I liked the size of the city, it makes a huge difference only having to travel a few miles to get to the city centre compared to 15+ miles I have to travel to get into London which at London speeds is at least 1 hour each way.

    I was wondering what people's thoughts were with regards to event organising / promoting type work in Leeds.

    I've organised over 150 events in London over the last 10+ years but saw so much potential in Leeds with so many amazing venues in the city.

    What got me thinking was when myself and the people from my house went to a free comedy event in the city centre on a Tuesday night but there was only 5 of us in the audience .. I'm not sure if this was because it was December and most of the students have gone home or if venues in general find it hard to get enough people in but had this been London I think the venue would have been packed because the comedians were very good.

    I also went out with my housemates on New Years Eve to 3 different bars in the city centre and saw many places empty whilst Prism nightclub had the longest line I've ever seen stretching so far there's no way any of those people could have gotten inside before midnight.

    Made me wonder if some of the smaller venues in Leeds would benefit from some kind of promotion of events.

    Any insights would be awesome. Loved my time in Leeds, but due to the nature of the work I was doing didn't get to spend as much time exploring the city as much I wanted.
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  3. Croggy

    Croggy Cereal Forumer Staff Member

    A valid question, and I don't know the answer. I'm sure small venues would like some promotion. If they are not already doing this effectively, I guess it comes down to budgets .... but if they are not getting people in, then they won't be spending money in there will they.
  4. D-from-London

    D-from-London Member

    I think a lot of venues let things slide on weekdays as long as they are making the money on Friday and Saturday - often a good opportunity for a promoter to try and bring the people in and maybe work on a percentage of the bar takings, or door fee's.

    Just hard to tell with the time of year.
  5. doc

    doc Active Member

    Hi d
    where was the comedy nite ? most of the comedy is run by toby somebody , hifi Saturday , library pub and original oak thursdays , wardrobe Fridays

    the national chains have struggled with comedy store and jongleurs closing

    re Nye fortunately I think midnite riots at city sq stopped a while ago when the council started midnight fireworks

    they then moved the fireworks to teatime and stopped altogether with 'austerity'

    traditionally people stayed local xmas eve and Nye with double taxi fares though these have been stopped by a lot of firms (though an uber driver said theirs can triple at times)

    clubs went for silly prices at millennium and late bars have practically left prism as last club standing

    glad you liked leeds , milo in the city centre is looking for new ideas and events
  6. D-from-London

    D-from-London Member

    I believe the bar that had free comedy downstairs was called Verve, the down stairs area probably only big enough to hold 30 people but was a shame to see only 5 of us there the night we went and when we left we saw a few people upstairs, by the looks of it they probably had no idea there was free comedy downstairs.

    Yes I couldn't really see Leeds having a big enough population to support one of the full time comedy venues. The big problem with comedy is that even if you have loyal fans, no one wants to keep coming back and hearing the same jokes. I remember going to a comedy club in London and seeing the act of one comedian I'd seen a year earlier and she was doing the same exact act a year later, only going on tour around the UK, but I just happened to catch her twice and all the jokes were the same.

    I think it's very interesting to contrast the vibe in Leeds compared to London, on NYE we went to Tiger Tiger as one of the stops and was surprised at how friendly all the staff and patrons were, whilst in London Tiger Tiger is the place to avoid at all costs. They usually have a long line of people waiting to get in but once you walk in through the doors you realise they're half empty - they just keep a long line waiting to make themselves look busy from the outside. In the end we moved on to another bar before midnight as many in our group found it too loud but was good to have a brief look and compare the differences.

    I think there's lots of potential in Leeds though if you can bring together groups of people who have something in common on a regular basis.
  7. Toby

    Toby Member

    Favourite Bands:
    I'm not totally sure this is a fair reflection of Leeds. I moved here five years ago having lived in both Brighton and London and the live music and comedy scenes are pretty comparable. Verve isn't exactly known for comedy (or really music to be that honest) it's small basement bar that dabbles occasionally in both. I know there are places of the size that do well for comedy and music (Quadrant in Brighton or the The Good Ship in Kilburn for example) but Verve isn't really in that zone. There's comedy on most nights of the week in Leeds in places like The Original Oak, The Library, Hifi, The Wardrobe, The Playhouse or City Varities and these places are normally rammed whatever night you go on. In terms of live music the DIY scene is absolutely thriving (I say that as a gig goer, band member and promoter) and you can go to a well attended (40+) gig most nights of the week, sure there's a few dud nights but no more percentage wise then any other City in the UK.

    I think you have a good sentiment but I don't think that any changes are really needed, it's just a case of delving a bit as the culture is very much there. I am saying this from someone who goes to perhaps more 'alternative' (I hate that word) comedy and music as I wouldn't have a clue about clubs or anything like that.
  8. D-from-London

    D-from-London Member

    Based on the great music I saw at DosStoc39 I can certainly imagine the music scene is thriving in Leeds .. Music / Comedy etc aren't something I'm into promoting .. What I've been pretty good at doing in the past is bringing together people from different walks of life. Often with something like Music or Comedy as the backdrop to the event but not the main reason to go there, done many events in London to help people new to the city to meet and make new friends, even had a few people get married after meeting at one of my events. In most cases I can remember the exact event where they first met.

    Some of the events were day trips to other towns like Brighton where I'd organise a treasure hunt for the group. Or Windsor where I'd take people to a polo match. Most of my events were based around encouraging conversation so events that are too loud or don't have a natural break aren't good. This was the main reason our group left Tiger Tiger on NYE - the event had been organised by a meetup group and lots of nice people came but the organiser had picked a venue that was far too loud to be heard which is not a good choice when you're trying to bring together people who have only just met. The same group of people in the venue we ended up in would have been much better and had someone thought to organise a little dinner before so people had more time to get to know each other it would have been even better. This is the kind of thing I did in London last NYE and ended up bringing about 70 people with me to the venue I'd picked for NYE, most of whom I'd never met before.

    So no desire to tackle the music scene in Leeds, more an interest in looking at the conversation scene in Leeds, bringing together people to meet, make friends. Creating events based on that sort of thing.
  9. doc

    doc Active Member

    bit harsh on verve toby , hayley has done acoustic nites there for a long time on a thurs and a sunday , one of the regular carpe promoters looks to have moved there too
  10. Toby

    Toby Member

    Favourite Bands:
    Sorry about that, it's just somewhere I don't normally associate with Comedy or the sort of gigs I go too, I'm not massively knowledgeable about acoustic gigs and I never really went to Carpe Diem either so it's a scene I'm just not involved in so I've obviously missed out a bit there.

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