First Timers was started by Bryony Beynon in Summer 2013, inspired by similar initiatives in North America, like Not Enough Fest in New Orleans and Portland, and First Times the Charm in Philadelphia. The first FT took place in Nov 2013 in London and over twenty new bands incl. Big Joanie, Queerocious Primetime and ‘Kin Shot formed through it. The first night took place in a squatted venue in Hackney, the second night at Powerlunches (RIP.)
The second one was at DIY Space For London, a volunteer run social centre, in April 2016 over two full days, with three workshops happening and more than twenty amazing bands like Charmpit, Scrap Brain, Slags and many more forming for it. The festival was run by in an house collective at DSFL until its closure in 2020 (RIP). Since then, First Timers has led a nomadic existence, but we hope to one day find another permanent home!
More than ninety bands formed for these events between 2013 and 2019, with a season of skills workshops, socials, screenings and talks.
“The bass workshop was really really inspirational and useful for me and makes me want to get involved in the first timers project and the whole DIY and punk community more. I actually had no idea what to expect or that this kind of thing even existed in London. Walked in to the bass workshop with a slight fear that it would be full of dudes wanting to learn slap bass or something ridiculous like that, instead is was a really inspiring workshop led by the amazing Lianna, both for theory&technical basic bass skills and for giving energy and encouragement to play in bands and try new things out even if you’re pretty much a beginner and never played in bands before. “
Feel free to download, adapt and remix:
“Going straight in and learning a scale, hand positions and then to go ahead and put them into practice was cool, and there wasn’t any risk of people judging or getting left behind, which was good!”