Summer is in the air, apparently, and much change is afoot. Could 2018 be the year that we finally put a stop to the continuous closure of music venues across the UK? We explore some of the challenges facing the music industry right now and how they might be overcome.
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April showers bring May flowers

The threat of snow has now (mostly) subsided, giving way to the more nostalgic prospect of sunny weekends spent traipsing around in fields full of culture and costume. This newsletter is packed to the proverbial rafters with musical goodness that we're sure you'll appreciate; from the latest news surrounding the #keepmusiclive campaign to prevent the forced closure of music venues nationwide, to top tips for emerging artists still looking to make their mark on this year's festival scene.
DMS is home to many touring musicians and party promoters, so we've put our heads together to bring you a series of articles with a focus on supporting emerging talent in finding new opportunities to grow. Some of these are featured and linked below, and you can check out the news blog on the homepage of our new website any time.
This month's featured stories
It's not too late! Top tips for bagging those last few festival slots
Agent of Change: How to help save UK music venues from closure
Winner of £2000 DMS x Awesome album launch package revealed
An insight into attending a boutique international music conference
Pressing of the month - our favourite Record Store Day exclusive

Stuck for festival slots this summer?

In recent years, the popularity of festivals has soared to the point where it seems every town across the land is planning an all-out celebration of music and creative arts at some point this summer.
This should be great news for emerging artists who, with the incessant closure of grassroots venues up and down the country, are struggling to find platforms to showcase their talent. And it is, but the reality for these up-and-coming acts is that they're still up against so many others vying for the same slots, especially at the more established festivals that they all want to be at.
This means that artists need to get creative with their applications and the ways they get noticed, and utilise the music scene hive-mind to seek and share opportunities with peers. Even this late in the day, it's not too late for artists to make their mark on the festival scene this summer. The DMS crew got together recently to pen our musician's guide to the intricacies of festival applications, that we wish we'd been told when we started out - including links to some of the gatherings we rate that we know are still looking for acts.

How we can save our venues...

Grassroots music venues across the country have been closing at an alarming rate. In the last decade alone, over 35% of British venues have shut their doors for good, monumentally impacting communities and inhibiting development of future creative generations.
What's driving these venues out of business? Who's forcing their shutters down? What can be done to reverse this destructive tide that seems to show no signs of letting up? These are questions that as musicians, we've been actively pursuing answers to. The situation is fairly complex and goes right to Government level, but we've tried to put it down in a way that removes excess jargon. Interested? Pour yourself a cuppa and read on...
Peaceful protesters rallied earlier this year to attempt to prevent the closure of Southeast Cornwall's sole-surviving grassroots music venue, the Random Arms and Energy Room. Photo credit: Dom Moore
Already read up on the Agent of Change movement? Wondering what the latest is with the Government's pledge to write the principle into planning? We were too. Turns out there's something we can all do right now that could make a huge difference in saving our venues.
The Government have recently released a draft of their revision to the National Planning Policy Framework, including the provision of the Agent of Change principle, which is now up for public consultation. Time is now of the essence, the more that people engage in favour of the Agent of Change amendment, the more chance we have of finally providing some sensible protection for the venues that remain. We have until May 10th.
DMS x Awesome Competition

DMS x Awesome Comp

Last month we teamed up with our awesome friends at Awesome Merch to offer one lucky winner an even more awesome album launch package worth over £2000.
The winners are Brighton/Lisbon-based tropical psych rockers Time for T.
The quartet will soon be sent forth into the world armed with 250 lucky dip colour records of their debut album 'Hoping Something Anything', alongside £1000 worth of Awesome Merchandise to sell to their fans. We're proud to have enabled the first ever pressing of these tracks to the vinyl format, and to support a hardworking band as they build upon their successes.

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in the competition, it was great fun. Watch this space for other exciting collaborations down the line.

More insights from the DMS crew

After attending the inaugural FastForward:London music conference last year and quickly getting drawn in by the forward-thinking and positive attitudes of the panels, attendees and organisers alike, we thought we’d send Sam and Tom over to Amsterdam to check out what their two-day flagship conference was all about. What could possibly go wrong? Tom reports back...
Last week Record Store Day saw thousands of independent record stores around the world unite to celebrate the resurgence of vinyl and to universally dismiss the idea that it’s just a passing fad. But ten years on, has RSD's integrity and original purpose been distorted by re-releases and hiked prices? Darren Johns chats to Andrew from Specialist Subject to get his take on it...

Pressing of the Month

This month we've seen both Easter and Record Store Day pass us by, so it seemed fitting to draw attention to The Lovely Eggs latest musical offering, This Is Eggland. The anticipated release dropped on 21st April, including a sunny-side-up Record Store Day exclusive.

One thing can be said for the Lancaster couple, their quirky creativity always extends to the packaging of the records that they produce. Their ever eye-catching artwork underscores their lo-fi style and DIY way of working, to the point where their unique identity is surely recognisable on street posters and in record crates alike. Plus they're genuinely lovely people too, just look at this thank you letter Sam received a while back...
DMS Vinyl on Instagram
"The UK duo’s fifth album, produced by Dave Fridmann, is as good an introduction as you’ll get to their charmingly skewed perspective on the world." - Pitchfork
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