We’re producing a Gabba Ward shutdown album to support the local music scene and celebrate some of the amazing musicians who make our community so special.
We want to record new songs (ideally tracks that have been written during the shutdown) from 10 bands or solo artists that have a strong connection to Brissie's inner-south side (i.e. the suburbs of West End, South Brisbane, Dutton Park, Highgate Hill, Kangaroo Point and Woolloongabba).
To make it easier for low-income artists to get involved, each act will be paid $400 for their participation in the project. Each soloist/band will also retain copyright and full ownership of their songs, and will be free to release the recorded tracks again in other formats/albums.
The shutdown album will eventually be released for sale online on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis. 50% of any sales profits will go back to the participating acts (split evenly) and the other 50% will be set aside to pay bands to play at community concerts and non-profit events after the shutdown is over.
We’re also open to applications from solo poets, comedians and storytellers who might like to record short skits or spoken word pieces (maximum length of 2 min 30 sec) that can be slotted in between tracks on the album.
How to Apply
To apply to be involved, please fill out the application form at this link, which requires:
1. A 100-word bio (please mention a few genres/styles that you align most closely with
2. Up to 150 words about the song you’re recording, why you’d like to be part of this project, and why your act is an important part of the local music ecosystem on Brisbane’s inner-south side (no need to write a full 150 words if you don’t want to)
3. Two or three sentences or dot points touching on your connection to the Gabba Ward (e.g. “Two of our members live in Woolloongabba and one lives in West End. We perform regularly at local venues like The Bearded Lady and the Milk Factory.”)
4. Any relevant links to social media pages, websites or music videos (don’t overdo it)
5. If you have it, a link to a rough demo of the song you’d like to record (not mandatory) or at least a copy of the lyrics
6. Any suggestions you have for an album title (optional)
7. Email and a phone number that you will answer during business hours
Applications must be received by 9am on Monday, 8 June. If you have any issues with the online form, send questions or email your application to email@example.com with 'Gabba Ward Shutdown Album' in the subject line.
What the selection panel is looking for...
Rather than picking ‘the ten best local bands,’ this project is about amalgamating a collection of tracks that reflect and represent the current state of local music in the Gabba Ward, and speak to the uncertain period we’re living through.
We will be curating an album that features and celebrates a wide range of genres and musical subcultures, with the hope of representing the breadth and depth (and talent) of the amazingly varied musical ecosystem on Brisbane’s inner-south side. This means, for example, that we are unlikely to include three or four bands that all fit within the same narrow genre/scene.
We're hoping to mostly feature songs that have been written recently or finished off during the shutdown, but we definitely aren't aiming for an entire album of songs that are necessarily directly about the pandemic.
We’ll be trying to strike a balance between very new/young acts and slightly more established local bands. The album will hopefully serve as a snapshot of our music scene at the time of the COVID-19 shutdown, and help to celebrate and promote all the amazing music and performing arts projects that are bubbling out of Brisbane’s inner-south side.
Diversity Targets for the Album as a Whole (similar to 4ZZZ Community Radio's Targets)
- At least 50% of acts on the album should include at least one member who identifies as a woman or non-binary
- At least 5% of the acts on the album should include at least one member who identifies as First Nations
- At least 20% of the acts on the album should include at least one member who identifies as a person of colour/not white
Eligibility Criteria for Participating Groups
- Majority (more than half) of members currently live or have mostly lived in the Gabba Ward suburbs of West End, Highgate Hill, South Brisbane, Kangaroo Point, Dutton Park, Woolloongabba; and/or
- Group/soloist can demonstrate a strong local connection to the Gabba Ward
Recording and mixing will be handled by the Tanuki Lounge at 207 Boundary St, West End. We’re aiming to record in late June/early July so bands will need to make themselves available during this period.
This project has a limited budget and time-frame, which means each group will only have a couple of hours in the studio for recording. Bands are expected to have a finalised, well-rehearsed track that’s ready to record, as we won’t have time for lots of experimentation and chopping and changing once inside the studio.
Other Important Conditions
The selection panel reserves the right to leave out a track from the final published album if the recording doesn’t match the standard of the other songs, but the act will still be paid $400 for their time in the studio and will still receive a copy of their recorded track to use as they wish.
Acts can withdraw from the project at any time, and will be given an opportunity to hear all the other songs on the album before it is published and released.
50% of any profits from sales will be split among artists. The other 50% will be set aside to pay local performers at future community events and concerts, and will be allocated at the discretion of the Gabba Ward Office and the Tanuki Lounge. All acts included on the album will receive an equal share of any future proceeds from album sales, regardless of track length or complexity of the work.
Tracks will be released online on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis, which means some residents will download them for free. Councillor Sri and the Tanuki Lounge will consult with all participating acts about the best online platforms for distributing the music, and before making any decisions to release the album in a physical format (e.g. CD).
Selection panel members (all volunteering their time)
- Nell Forster
- Shannon Logan
- Trina Massey
- Morgyn Quinn
- Jonathan Sri
Other questions and answers
I can record myself and don’t want to get paid. Can you squeeze me onto the album?
We don’t want this project to become a random grab-bag of dozens of local acts. It’s intended as a curated compilation of high-quality musicians who will fit well together in a cohesive product.
If we receive some really strong applications who just miss out on making the cut for the final 10, we reserve the right to offer them an unfunded place on the album at the selection panel’s discretion. Please just submit a standard application and make the case for why you want to be part of the project like everyone else.
How and when will the album be released?
We’re hoping to release the album online by late July/August, but we won’t rush the process. If there’s enough interest, we’ll also look at producing a physical album on CD or another medium.
How are you guarding against favouritism?
The volunteer selection panel has been chosen by democratically elected City Councillor Jonathan Sri.
We’ve pulled together a pretty broad and diverse selection panel from within the local music scene. Inevitably, panel members will know and have worked with many of the bands who apply to be part of the project, but the whole group will have to agree on a final list of acts for the album. Just as with any festival or event lineup, we have to trust the people on the panel to make good decisions.
Panellists won’t be able to include their own bands on the album and won’t be entitled to any share of revenue from the album.
Where’s the money coming from?
This project has a total budget of $10 000, which is coming from the Gabba Ward local grants budget. Roughly half of that will go towards production costs including recording, mixing, mastering and studio hire, and the rest will go towards paying participating groups. This is money that would otherwise be spent supporting community events and festivals (most of which have been cancelled due to the shutdown).
Why didn’t you just put the choice of bands to a vote?
Because it’s not a popularity contest. Nor is it a talent contest. The goal is to produce a cohesive but diverse album that encapsulates the varied subcultures of our local community and the mood of our times.
Isn’t the suburb eligibility criteria unfairly exclusionary of bands from other parts of Brisbane?
Nope. The money for this project is coming out of the local Gabba Ward grants budget. Any of the other 25 city councillors around Brissie have their own grants budget and could run a similar project for their electorate. So if bands from other suburbs feel left out, they are strongly encouraged to approach their own Brisbane City Councillor for similar grant funding.
Will there be other similar projects in the future?
Yes, hopefully. Depending on how popular this is, we might take the idea further and record more bands in future if we have enough funding.
More generally, non-profit community groups are always welcome to apply for grant funding through the Gabba Ward Community Fund so if you have an idea for a project with a broad community benefit that you’d like to run, don’t be afraid to reach out.