Submissions are open!
As the metal musician community often likes to remind us, we run a bi-annual event series known as SummerFest (next date: 04 February 2017) and WinterFest (next date: 29 July 2017) in the Cape Town region, South Africa. Although these are one-night-only events, they have grown in tradition and enjoy the strongest support for all-local and all-metal shows in the region.
Between now and 14 October 2016, we invite submissions from bands all over South Africa and neighbouring African territories who might be interested in performing at one of these. If your band has submitted in a previous year, please do submit again. This allows us to update our database and tells us that your band is still active.
What other conditions apply?
Please note: Bands who wish to apply have to be metal, or a very close cousin to metal music (such as hard rock, industrial, hardcore, and other extreme forms of alternative music). Bands who wish to apply also have to be African, in the sense that they are based in an African territory. Although our events enjoy strong local support, we are regrettably not in any financial position to invite bands from far away countries.
All submissions will be captured to a database and given due consideration. Annually, we receive too many submissions to be able to maintain contact with all of the bands. If you are not contacted, please regard that your submission was unsuccessful for the selections year at hand. Bands are selected by a special selections committee made up of four people and which often changes from year to year. Below is some advice on what sort of factors these people will look at and are required to consider.
Please note that this electronic submissions form allows for only one submission attempt per band. Please ensure that you have got everything ready as we have requested before attempting to submit.
Some valuable advice for the new bands:
“We love showcasing fresh metal acts! But there are always more of you out there than we have slots available to offer. To increase your chances, please read this carefully and submit ONLY if you feel you are ready. Otherwise, rather take the time to build you experience and public profile a while longer and pitch us a submission next year.” ~ Patrick Davidson (event coordinator)
M4A has invested huge resources into developing high caliber events in the local alternative music scene. The reason for this has everything to do with the high standards towards which M4A and its affiliates aspire. We are looking to book a line-up of bands who share similar aspirations, and who can be proven to deliver on the high standards which are promised through their submission. At the end of the day, the money invested into these events needs to be earned back in full via ticket sales, and therefore bands selected will be those who the line-up selections committee are confident in that can be effectively marketed to the public interest. Bands who present themselves poorly will unfortunately not be eligible for consideration.
What are key elements in the marketing of a band?
- Publicity/Press Photo: You will be required to include a photo with your submission. This will need to be a high-quality photograph featuring the band members, and even better if the image accurately captures the story/essence/atmosphere of the band. The picture needs to ‘sell’ the band by capturing the imagination of viewers. Poor quality live photos or pictures where band members faces are obscured or missing represent a poor submission.
- Band Logo: You will be required to include a logo graphic with your submission. Band logos need to be clear and simplified graphics. Logos with overly complex fills or which appear on fancy background textures are not useful. Logos which cannot be supplied in a proper high resolution do not constitute a successful submission.
- Music: As musicians, the best representation to put forward of your band is your music. Having music available to listen to online should be regarded as a prerequisite. It is incredibly hard for a promoter to market a band who does not have at least a demo or two available for an interested public to investigate. If your band does not have music available, we ask that you please do not hold high expectations for consideration and please reserve your submission for next year.
Other useful information:
- Biography: Keep it short and to the point. Fill it ONLY with facts that are useful for the reader to make a quick assessment of your bands experience level. Think of a CV. Remember that whoever receives your submission is a busy person who has no time for a fantasy novel or theatrics; and can usually find out the facts with a quick background check consisting of a few phone calls to other industry-related people (if you think you headlined a show, make sure you DID headline that show and can substantiate if queried; and the only stage any other band ever “shared” with you was if you or they guest-featured during each others actual performance, or collaborated together in putting the entire event together).
- Genre Description: Keep it short and to the point. A genre description which is too elaborate will seldom be taken seriously and is certainly not as marketable as many imaginative musicians seem to think. We would suggest limiting it to a maximum of three key words. Even less would be better. Use words that actually make sense!
- Remuneration: It takes only a few short inquiries for a promoter to evaluate a bands ‘market value’. It happens too often that bands approach festivals with a higher than normal request for remuneration. At the end of the day, a promoter will make their own assessment as to the ‘value’ versus ‘viability’ (or liability) of a band’s request for whatever figure, and so a band should not be surprised if they receive a counter-offer should the promoter feel that what is being asked is too high. Also, if a figure is unrealistically high, the submission will likely be sidelined without further thought. It is unfortunate in this day and age that just because it costs a band ‘X’-amount to travel to another city, does not mean that a band represents ‘X’-amount worth of value in that city, and a promoter will usually have ample experience in such matters.
Good luck! We look forward to receiving your submission. Keep it professional, and keep it real!