I must admit that I’m more interested in this idea now than I was a couple of months ago. Has it fizzled out?
If there is still some enthusiasm I’ll do some brainstorming and think of ways to make it feasible.
First idea I had would be to get local alternative shops on board. Let them sell their wares for a fee. With all these alternative people together in a room they couldn't possibly resist.
It hasn't frizzled out but the word from the AFP camp is with or without brian and Amanda we should do it anyway.
Good Idea on the shops etc.
I think I need to get homecamper Len involved or any other bostonians on the ground as I am in england which is less than useful as my only tools are the internet and google earth for venue search.
Also in England I'm afraid...
And quite right. With something like this you need to have local knowledge. Some things can be done online but scouting for venues (and looking for local equipment rental businesses) is a job best left to those in the area. It’s easier to negotiate a deal… Also, sometimes you get venue floor plans online or emailed to you but find that when you check out a place it has more restrictions than you thought. I.e. you can’t put things in certain places for health and safety reasons. Sometimes there might be difficulty finding enough power points or a venue might enforce a rule where they do not permit multi-socket adapters.
I think that a few kinds of checklist would be a good place to start (after finding a few local recruits).
Some kind of complete list of essential requirements.
*Does the venue have adequate parking and transport links
*Does the venue have equipment or furnishings etc you can use (tables chairs, PA system, refreshments,) or do they charge an additional fee.
*Same goes for staff. Do you need to hire security etc.
*How early does the room become available for preparation.
*How late is the room available for packing up after.
*Do organisers clean up any mess, or do the venue have staff that do that.
*What are the policies for room usage. I.e. Can loud music be played/performed? Can people consume food and drink in the room? Is there an age restriction on who is allowed in etc.
*Does it meet special requirements. For instance, if you wanted people stilt walking you would need an adequate roof height. If you have something big to bring into the room, are the doors big enough and are there any awkward corridors to manoeuvre around
*Are there secure areas to lock away valuable equipment (like instruments).
* Is there an area where visitors can safely leave their belongings if they need to. (If not, is it worth facilitating this, and perhaps issuing a small charge that can recoup some costs?)
If we can make the list as comprehensive as possible it takes the pressure away from anyone who might go to checkout the venues.
The same kind of list would be good for equipment but it is worth considering what the likely types of events are first: For instance, Musicians are performing but how many at one time? This will determine the type of mixing desk you get away with using, the number of leads (and spare leads you need) to hook to the desk. The number of likely musicians might also determine size of the area you will need to designate for the stage if there is not already a stage or focal point.
A good way of taking this forward would be to find relevant local musicians to help out and give them a slot to perform in. It will be easier to get things moving if they have this added bonus.