1. Progress is too slow
Whatever genre of music you like, if you’re part of any d.i.y community you’ll have noticed more discussion about representation and diversity in recent years. This is long overdue, but progress is very uneven and of course there is resistance. In our experience, First Timers is a super positive way to start pushing for change because it democratises who gets to take up space and creates a defined goal for anyone who has been waiting in the wings for an excuse to start making their own noise!
2. You can’t be what you can’t see
First Timers started after a realisation that I’d waited ten years for someone to give me permission to start making music. A whole ten years where I could have been playing and learning and getting better, was spent wishing I had had some examples to follow. There is power of seeing yourself reflected on stage. Get up there and then you can be that person for somebody else!
3. Platform, skillshare, amplify
The skills we learn as d.i.y musicians are as often gleaned from those around us as they are from lessons (or youtube!) Making an effort to share basic skills through workshops or even just one-to-one hangouts takes the fear over not being good enough away. There is no one right way to play and whatever your vibe is, music making is for everyone.
4. No more gatekeeper excuses
Local promoters always putting on the same old bands with the same types of people saying the same stuff? Being defensive and using the excuse that other bands just don’t exist? First Timers exposes this as a lie and gets new faces and voices up front. Encourage those who play in bands with people who are all exactly the same as them to ask themselves why. This is not ‘just the way things are!’ Think about why it might be that it takes a special opportunity like this for many people to feel confident enough to start playing, and start a conversation.