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Hawke's Bay music hub launches

Story Published Wednesday 26 June 2019
Arahi Whaanga performing at the launch of Hawkes Bay Music Hub

There’s a new player on the Hawke’s Bay music scene – one that brings together musicians, promoters, venues and music lovers.

In a first for the region, a new online resource has been created.

The site, officially launched on Thursday 20 June, includes information for musicians and by musicians, advice on how to pitch for festivals, tips on recording and releasing material, how to get in touch with venues, and upcoming events. It was attended by local artists, venue operators and representatives from One Music NZ and NZ Music Commission

The Backline Charitable Trust, established by Kevin Murphy, Tom Pierard and Hamish Pinkham four years ago initially as a vehicle for mentoring emerging artists, often alongside EIT Music School, is behind the venture.

The website is a ‘one-stop shop’ for musicians to promote themselves while finding useful information about where to play and who to contact, including which organisations may be able to offer funding, want to perform on the festival circuit, or are looking to organise tours outside the region. It is free for musicians to register, and as an added bonus also offers advice on invoicing and other business related information.

We asked Kevin Murphy to tell us a little more about how the Hawkes Bay Music Hub came about, and what he's learned while bringing it to life.

Tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to create the Hawkes Bay Music website

I have been involved in events in Hawkes Bay for 20 years (often booking bands/artists). In 2015 the backline Charitable Trust was formed (trustees Tom Pierard, Hamish Pinkham and myself) to help artists in songwriting and performance – this has involved bringing mentors in to do sessions/workshops. And formed a great relationship with Music Managers Forum.

In 2017 we decided that the region needed a platform to showcase our artists and create a one stop shop for information and events too.

What are the strengths of the Hawkes Bay music community?

We have plenty of passion and many emerging artists but the pathway to be successful at a national level is unclear and very hard. We hope that the website and other projects will help make this pathway clearer.

Did you learn anything interesting or unexpected about your music community in the process of creating the website?

The website has been funded by various trusts. It was a lot harder to get this support than I had expected – if it was sport I would have secured the funding in a few months – being music/art it took a year.

What do you think are 3 key pieces of information that could help songwriters and musicians in the region?

You need to build your profile and promote yourself effectively.

You need to know when to release your music – perfection sometimes stops production.

Get yourself known to all venues/event managers and make sure you respond to all enquires effectively.

What do you hope to improve or achieve with the website?

The public can identify and contact artists when they need to book artists for gigs.

The HB Music Community will have a go to platform that promotes the industry here.

Information will continue to be added to the website and act as a fantastic resource.

What are some of the best live music events you have attended in the Hawkes Bay region and what made them great?

We have had hundreds of great gigs in Hawkes Bay – some winery shows have been fantastic, and live music in The Cabana, Paisley Stage and The Common Room regularly have great gigs.

The connection from an audience to the artist in a live music show is magic and is why we all love live shows. You can’t relive that feeling.

Check out a presentation about the site at: