How organisers of a Manchester music event want to give musicians a better deal when playing live

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The night is being held at a venue in the Northern Quarter and the organisers hope to take the concept around the city.

A new Manchester music event has been launched with the aim of giving live performers on the city’s scene a better deal for their gigs.

Mad 4 Artists is being organised at a venue in the Northern Quarter in August with four acts on the bill.

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The night is being put together by the Mad Fox production house and is organised by Vixen Public Relations with sponsorship from STE Waste.

The team is putting the gig on so the vast majority of the proceeds go to the artists with a small amount for a music-related charity, which it says is a distnct contrast to the experiences artists often have when playing live.

What is Mad 4 Artists and why is it being put on?

Mad 4 Artists is taking place at Off The Square on Lever Street on 19 August. The bill has a mainly indie-pop feel and is made up of Manchester acts Minerva Daisy and Arkayla, along with Finn Forster from Middlesbrough and Jonny Ash from North Wales.

The idea came about after a chat at a Mad Fox acoustic live session between the production house’s owner Tayte Nickols and STE Waste managing director Marcus Farmer.

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There was felt to be a need for an event supporting independent artists and allowing them to profit from their work and talent as well as giving them a platform, with Taylor Duffy of Vixen Public Relations taking on the task of organising it.

A total of 95% of the money made on the night is going to the artists, with the remaining 5% going to the Help Musicians charity.

Off The Square in Manchester. Photo: Google Street ViewOff The Square in Manchester. Photo: Google Street View
Off The Square in Manchester. Photo: Google Street View | Google Street View

Taylor says musicians too often have a tough time making enough to live on from their gigs.

She said: “A lot of artists have been talking to us about the really difficult times they have been having after Covid. They are not being paid, they are having to chase being paid, they are not getting services they should be getting.

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“They are then doing gigs and either not being given money or told at the last minute they are responsible for bringing in ticket sales. Sometimes artists are being told that if they don’t sell tickets they get nothing, and there’s no give or take on it.

“Musicians have already had a really tough time with Covid. A lot of musicians have more than one job because income isn’t enough or isn’t consistent enough, and many have ended up missing bills.

“With this the artists don’t have to put everything in, we do that, and it gives them a chance to actually earn some money and not have all the responsibility falling on their heads.”

How much are tickets and how do I book?

Tickets for the gig at Off The Square are £6.50 including a booking fee and can be booked through Skiddle here.

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The event starts at 7pm and music fans must be aged 16 or over to attend.

What else has been said about the gig and what comes next?

Marcus Farmer, the MD of STE Waste which is sponsoring the night, said: ”It is a pleasure to be able to help provide a platform for young people, who have had a rough ride in the last two years, to get out there and do what they need to do.”

Taylor says the August gig is also hopefully just the start of Mad 4 Artists, with plans being developed to put on a night every two months and take it to venues around Manchester as well as including a range of different musical genres and artists.

Mad Fox, which is putting together the new gig, puts on acoustic live sessions and the producer then records and mixes it so the artists can put it on Spotify and other music streaming channels.

Proceeds from the event are going to Help Musicians, which offers a range of services helping musicians with everything from welfare to mental health to hearing problems.

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