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Thursday, 27 June 2013

The NHC Music Hub
So lets just say that I don't know anything about the Hub.
How would you describe it?

I would say It was a first and foremost a music café specifically aimed at unsigned and independent musicians and bands, and their fans of course!
It's also a place where they can sell their own music, merchandise, and gig tickets, and advertise/promote themselves with it not costing them a penny. We want to nurture new music, not smother it even more.

How can we run it without charging bands a cut of their profits?

Simple, we make out money from the cafe side of things, and also sell our own stock of used books/CD'S/Vinyls.
There's always ways of making money without charging the bands. Not only that, but we run it as a non-profit venture, meaning every penny we have left at the end of the month goes right back into helping the local music scene through taking bands on the road, letting them borrow gig equipment free of charge, putting on bigger gigs, etc etc.

You are looking for funding for it, but of course the first thing that some will say is 'what's in it for me' simply because that's the world we live in.
So what would you say to them?

Simply put, if you want the local music scene to be a better, and fairer, place for a band/musician to work and operate in then it makes sense to get behind something that aims to help you, rather than hinder you.
I have to admit that we have had our fair share of 'mistrust' lumbered upon us from a select few bands, which is only to be expected I guess when you look at the state of the music scene as it is now, that and the sheer amount of sharks in the water feeding off the hard work and sweat of bands who don't know any better.

Obviously you wouldn't be doing it of you didn't think that there would be a degree of success to to the project.
Realistically what are your expectations for the first six months, then where would you want to be a year down the line?

The first six months will probably fly by to be honest! I am happy using that time just to cement our NHC MUSIC brand in the Glasgow area, and getting the word out about who we are and what we do. A year from now? Well, the plan is to open up more hubs in different cities, but that's probably farther down the path than 12 months.
While others have done similar to a smaller scale, and in doing so only covered certain aspects, this does come across a rather grand undertaking. Basically a one stop shop for musicians and music lovers with an ethical foundation to it all.

Lets be honest about it. Have you woken up sweating about it all and wondering if you have went mad?

Ha! I do that at least once a week! The stress is all just part and parcel of the package for me though, if i'm not worried and stressed out, then i'm probably not pushing both myself and NHC MUSIC forward enough. It IS a grand undertaking, but thankfully I have a few good men on my side (and woman - can't forget Kirsty!) helping me push it forward so I now feel, on top of everything else, that to 'shortcut' any part of the bigger plan now would not only be a let down to myself, but a disservice to them and all the work they have put in. Strangely enough I always felt that I was kind of 'pushed' into this role anyway, though not in a bad way, just in an 'all roads lead to this place' type of way. I guess it was just meant to be the thing that I did, it just took me a bit longer to get here!

Do you have a time frame for opening? Is that all tied into finding premises?

Our initial target for opening up is 31st August, but as with all targets that is open to, and pretty much expected to, change. We have had so many things delay us by a wee week here and a wee week there that we fully expect to now not be open till about mid-sept. I still have hope that there will be no more delays though, it's small but it's there!

What has the main criticism been about the idea? (This goes back to the mistrust issue that people feel)
The one specific thing that people seem unable or even unwilling to wrap their heads around?

Apart from the mistrust issue we haven't had any actual criticism of the main idea and the hub itself. The only gripes we had where the old classic 'there must be a catch, no-one helps folk for free'.
That really does seem to be the main bone of contention with a select few people. There will of course be some perks that bands can pay for, if they like that is, such as page ads in the instore mag etc, but this will be totally up to the bands with no coercion from us to take part.
We WANT you to use our free services, and anything we sell that's yours, as we promised, goes right back into your own pocket.
Remember, all profit made from other things such as the coffee shop and our own stock etc, all goes right back into the hub and the local music scene anyway. It's a win-win for bands and musicians. 

The Hub is currently looking for donations and sponsorship.
More info here

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