Ever wondered what it’s like to come to an Off The Record event? We chatted to Gary, who attended OTR in Galashiels last year to give an idea of what to expect, and what he got out of coming along…
How did you discover Off The Record?
I discovered Off the Record through emailing Michael (one of the Off The Record organisers) looking for advice and work experience opportunities. Michael told me about an upcoming Off the Record event in Galashiels which I then attended.
What was the experience of attending Off The Record like?
Attending Off the Record was great! I found the atmosphere really inclusive and it was nice to be in a room full of people with similar interests. It was really cool to meet and have a chat with the team running the event, as well as some of the speakers taking part, who offered me advice and opportunities to gain some work experience.
What was the most useful piece of advice you took from the event?
The most useful piece of advice I took from the event was how crucial it was to nail photography when it comes to bands and artists. Although I was already familiar with this, it was really good to know the smaller details surrounding music photography - such as file types and image specifications. It was also good to learn about Electronic Press Kits, which I didn’t have the best knowledge of.
Did you meet anyone at Off The Record you're still in touch with now?
Absolutely! I still keep in touch with the Off the Record team and Nick from Electric Fields Festival who was a speaker at the event. Through keeping in touch with friends I made at Off The Record, I have met several other industry professionals which has led to further opportunities for me.
What have you been up to since attending Off The Record in Galashiels?
Since attending Off the Record, I have gained a lot of experience in the music industry. Earlier this year, I worked alongside the company who run Off The Record in preparation for their annual conference, Wide Days as well as working at the event itself. I also volunteered at The Great Escape festival in Brighton and XpoNorth in Inverness.
Following on from these, I worked at ButeFest in July and Electric Fields Festival in August gaining experience of open air festivals. In the summer I worked at an Off the Record event in Edinburgh and also did an internship with digital distribution company EmuBands.
Around the same time, I joined the Scottish Alternative Music Awards team which I am still an active member of today. As well as all of this, I started and lead a small team putting on gigs in Edinburgh and I have very recently started to gain experience in artist management.
What would you say to others who are interested in coming along to Off The Record?
Off the Record is great for anyone looking to gain an insight into the music industry. Whether you have no experience at all or want to further develop your skills and knowledge, it is a really positive atmosphere which allows for people with similar interests to meet, have a chat and network.
I would highly recommend it to anyone – the free lunch is pretty neat as well!
Off The Record takes place at The Stove, Dumfries on Saturday 3rd December for 14-25 year olds. Tickets are £2, and include free lunch and a release with EmuBands worth £25! Find out more & book tickets here.