Most people in London have enjoyed huge live music shows at venues like Budweiser Gardens and London Music Hall. London’s local musicians praise London’s large music scene but say they struggle with competing with bigger bands.
Although places like Bud Gardens and London Music Hall don’t have local musicians there are smaller venues that welcome them with open arms. Places like East Village Arts Collective or EVAC as well as 765 Old East Bar and Grill are constantly open to getting musicians of all genres to play.
Jym Fur-aira is the owner of 765 Old East Bar and Grill and has been involved with local musicians for over 5 years now and has gotten close to London’s music scene He said he always has wanted to become a destination for people visiting London and that they are even bringing in bands from across Canada and even bands from the United States are reaching out to get involved in London.
As a local bar 765 faces many of the struggles that local musicians in London face, he says it mainly focuses on social media. Jym explained that,
“social media can only do so much to expand what they do”. He continued saying the biggest factor in improving this is support from both the community and the city.”
The city of London has introduced a municipal support for local bands called London Music Office. They provide support for bands…
- Help the music industry strive and grow in London
- Work to change sound by-laws within the city
- Educate people on anything music related
- Finding places to practice
- Finding venues to play
765 praises local bands for allowing them the opportunity to have them put on a show and bring out friends and family. Local shows do more than just give smaller bands a chance to gain experience Jym and local musicians across the city say they bring a sense of community and bring together people who may have never met to bond over similar music taste.
The new London rock band MESA discussed what its like to work with local businesses to book gigs. Lead singer Corey Malthaner says,
“A lot of them are really willing and eager to book local bands but a lot of them are really picky and a lot of them will only book bands who will guarantee a crowd and it makes it kind of hard to break into the music scene as a smaller band.”
Corey and Jym agreed that local bars and venues can be picky in what genres they allow to play and that its important to allow a variety of bands to get their shot. London’s music scene has music of all genres and both bands and venues stress that there is a local music group out there for everyone.
Corey and MESA say that positive change for local bands doesn’t completely rely on municipal government. Malthaner says
“I think it has to come from the people, you know what I mean, I think there will have to be a certain shift like small business owners and you know just people in the city in general.”
Local bands around London as well as venues that support them urge London community members to become more involved with music within the city.