The Emergenza Festival cancelled for Canberra!

The Naddiks 17 June 2010 5

Yes, it’s that time of year when The Emergenza festival, a huge promo for unsigned Australian musical talent gets rolling. I am the manager for a band called The Naddiks (

They are some of the hardest working young men I know of when it comes to their music, and what are they’re chances of success in Canberra? Well, there is the Uni Band comp, Corin Bank and a few other festivals where a bunch of hand-picked bands get to showcase their stuff…. and, of course, The Emergenza Festival!

You even have to pay $100 to enter this comp, which we were willing to do – and on the evening of the prior arranged interviews I decided to check that all was well before we all jumped into the car and headed off to Civic and to The ANU bar where the interviews were supposedly being held.

Lo and behold, I was told, by one of the ‘co-odinators’ of the Festival, ‘interviews for Canberra are cancelled’ and that I should have received an email confirming this. I responded with a big ‘WHY?’

Firstly, we were not notified it had been cancelled, and secondly, we were really let down by this as we had been practising hard to really make an impression. Their answer – ‘not enough bands signed up’, also, we were not allowed to travel to Sydney to try out there as they have a policy about the locality of the bands that they interview for The Festival :[

Also, the ‘promoter’ finally admitted that he was sick and tired of being messed about by the management of The ANU Bar (The venue for the festival in the ACT) – his exact words being ‘They have had 3 managers in the last 12 months’. So we are left with one of the biggest festivals in Australia for young talent simply canned for our nation’s Capital – what a damn shame!

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5 Responses to The Emergenza Festival cancelled for Canberra!
The Naddiks The Naddiks 2:39 pm 22 Jun 10

Ok Fender, your advise is taken on board. I do think that you are being a bit glass half full about bands in Canberra, but then again, you might be right. The Naddiks (thats N A D D I K S) are a great band in my opinion, and yes I have a vested interest in them because my son is the Bass player. I of course, am an amatuer when it comes to managing things, but I have gotten them into The Phoenix, The Holy Grail and shortly PJ O’Reilly’s. They aren’t about making alot of $$$s, they are about their music and I love they’re stuff too. We don’t expect to get rich and people who come and see them always come up to them afterwoulds and give them a positive comment.
The Emergenza is just like a lot of comps, you either get in and play for nix or you actually pay! Why, because we are suckers and like getting ripped off, or because we go in with eyes wide open, realise that this industry is a hard nut to crack and do it to build a fan base, experience and simply to just do it.

Fender Fender 9:39 am 21 Jun 10

Robert I’ve been in the music biz for over 20 years both playing and managing/producing bands. The business model of this mob requires that bands must pay to participate. Emergenza are about making money for themselves, not helping young bands acheive anything. Hmm, hire a venue, contact local bands and ask them to pay you money so that you can make a profit from their hardwork and endeavours? Sounds like a might fine scam to me. They prey on the fact that most bands simply suck. Many can’t play, many play music which is too obscure or genre defined for the masses to connect to.
There are also a couple of venues arround town that operate in much the same way. They supply a venue, the band must use the in house PA and soundman and the soundman must be paid reqardless. They venue usually also requires a percentage of the take, usually around 50%.
So, if they put a $10 cover on the door and get 50 punters in (unlikely in any case) the take of $500 is divied up with the venue getting $250, the soundman getting his $200-$250 and the band getting zip. It the band draw only 20 paying punters, they have to put their hands in their pocket to make up the difference to the soundman. This is one of the many ways that young inexperienced bands are exploited. I wonder what sort of response the venues would reciece if they asked ther bar staff to turn up with no guarantee of pay except a percentage of the door takings?
A young originals band really has no hope of getting good enough to play the Melbourne and Sydney pub circuits staying in Canberra. That’s the way it is. It you wnat to stay here you end up playing the same 3 or 4 orignals venues for no money.
They need to relocate if they wish to have any chance of becoming a working band. Do the hard work as 3rd support act on the bill for 6 months, then move up to main support, get to know other bands, work on their craft and then they can think about working on raising their profile and building a draw. It does not matter how good you are, it matters how many people you can draw to a gig.
There is a difference between getting exposure and raising the profile. A big difference.
Yes, I have seen the Naadiks play live and yeah, they are OK but so are so many other original bands without being something special.

Robert Madison Robert Madison 12:59 am 18 Jun 10

Fender… I totally disagree.. Emergenza sounds a cool thing to me.. My friends band was in Europe all expenses and flights paid.. they played in Germany for the Emergenza World Final and said it was great.. Who else do the same for young bands?
To be a scam looks like a nice one..

Jim Jones Jim Jones 4:18 pm 17 Jun 10

Sorry to hear about this.

Yes, the ANU bar management has been a real shambles. Ay number of gigs have been moving to alternate venues because of problems (Paul Di’Anno has just moved to the Basement, for example – actually, almost every metal gig has moved to another venue) and I know of a number of bands who’ve given up trying to work with the ANU Bar because of these sort of problems.

It’s a shame – it used to be a great venue.

Fender Fender 4:00 pm 17 Jun 10

Emergenza is a scam. I say lucky the boys did not did not get sucked in.
It is “pay to play” with little or no chance of getting anything out of it. Paying $100 to play at ANU Bar on a Wed night to 15 people? C’mon, it’s a rip.
10 mins on the internet will alert you to the reputation of this organization. They could not organize a drink in a brewery. You as their manager should be on the lookout for them and you need to be wary of organizations such as Emergenza. Pay to play? No Way!

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