Interviews

Hunter Davison: Performers and Promoters

October 24, 2019

Something Different is an online platform that strives to display the best of New Zealand’s talented artists, musicians and creators.

Over the next two weeks, we will be sharing a series of articles and reviews In collaboration with students from the University of Canterbury. The students were asked to create a selection of content as well as how they would present that content to an online audience.

In The first article, Luke Verheul interviews Hunter Davison about the relationship between performers and promoters. Check it out below;

Hunter Davison is a musician from Christchurch who is studying music in Wellington. I wanted to find out about performers and their relationship with people who help organise and arrange gigs. I think it’s important to look at this aspect as usually in performance it is all about the performer, so it’s important to shed some light on the cohesion between these two roles. So I asked Hunter some questions from his experience to find out more about this aspect of live performance.

When it comes to live gigs, do you think people who set up and organize sometimes get looked over?

The people who set up gigs usually perform at them in my experience. When you want to play a gig YOU as the artist do everything. It’s the best way to make ALL the money. YOU promote, YOU organise, YOU find other bands to play, and YOU never get noticed by any of the audience members for doing all this. Nobody really knows what goes into putting on a gig when they go to one. So yes, I reckon the person or people who organise it definitely get looked over.

How important of a role do these people have in live performance?

Having said that, generally at my level these people organising the show are the headline act. So I’d say they play a pretty important role in the live performance. But at the same time, if you don’t promote the gig well people won’t turn up. And a shitty turn out can have a bad effect on the performance. It changes the vibe. It’s exciting when the place is packed out and the performers will thrive off of that.

As a musician yourself, what kind of relationship do you have with organizers and helpers?

As I said before, at my level we do everything ourselves. But that’s not to say promoters and managers etc aren’t important!! They take the weight off your shoulders for a slice of the pie so to speak. If you spread the love a bit more you can gain access to someone else’s networks and have a little help along the way. It’s good to have help from the likes of a manager, but you need the money to pay for one.

How much do you rely on them?

I don’t rely on them as I try and do everything myself. I know a couple mates that have managers but they don’t rely on them much either. Being a creative and a musician you have to network all the time, and keep making music and keep hustling or you won’t progress. It’s not something that you can stay stagnant and get better at. You have to keep pushing yourself and sometimes a nudge from a manager can help but I wouldn’t say they’re a person that we’d rely on.

Hunter Davidson

In regards to experiences you’ve had setting up gigs, what is the most crucial part of this job?

The most crucial part of setting up a gig is communication with the venue and promotion. Communication because you need to know what’s up, if there’s something wrong etc. Promotion and marketing is key. If you don’t do this well you won’t get people through the door and people through the door is money earned or potential fans gained! That’s what we want at the end of the day! To earn a living and touch the hearts of those around us!

For people who aren’t performers, talking about people who are just hired to set up and organise, they don’t tend to see the limelight like the musicians do, what do you think draws them towards the job?

I think what draws people who put in gigs to the job is seeing the enjoyment audience goers and the performers get from what they do. It’s definitely quite a thankless job but it can be very very rewarding!

How would you describe the relationship between performers and organisers?

I think the relationship between performers and organisers is generally quite professional, but it can be casual depending on the people involved. I always thank the organisers/roadies and everyone involved in putting on a gig because it is a huge task to undertake. The promotion, pack in, load out… no other way to put it but that it’s a huge job and I think performers will always say that they are very appreciative of who help put them put the gig on.

From your experience, would you say there is a level of cohesion between performers and organisers?

I would say definitely. There would have to be or else it’d be a shitty gig. If you don’t work together nobody will get what they want out of the event

Hunter Davidson

You can check out some of Hunter’s music out below;

The article was written by Luke Verheul, as part of our collaboration with the University of Canterbury.

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