Britain’s music scene has always been spearheaded by independent promoters, bookers and organisers, aka the unsung heroes that make all those gigs, singles and festivals actually happen. For the inaugural INDIE50 Awards, a new award celebrating the talent that lies in the independent music community, an open, public nomination phase was followed up by the Award’s judging panel (which included the likes of BBC 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft and Pitchfork’s Laura Snapes) to pick the final 50. The result is a group of diverse music industry heroes; 50 people that keep the cogs of the British independent music industry turning.
The Award doesn’t just cover bookers and promoters, artist managers, journalists, festival organisers and even a Bristol local celebrity named Big Jeff (famed for his superhuman commitment to gig-going) made the INDIE50. Among those honoured is Camille Rearden, an independent promoter, Craig Johnston, booker at King Tuts in Glasgow, Julian Deacon, founder of Raygun Management and Kate Hewett, booker at both The Harley and Tramlines Festival. Dave Newton, co-founder at WeGotTickets, the company behind the award said, “we started out in 2000 as a small ticketing company working on local gigs in Oxford. We now work with thousands of venues and promoters across the UK, and we’ve seen first hand, time and time again, the effect that certain individuals can have on a local scene. INDIE50 is all about celebrating those people and giving them some recognition on a national level.”
Along with the INDIE50 Awards, 1st September will see the INDIE50 photographic exhibition launch. Commissioned to shoot each of the INDIE50, music photographer Dan Wilton travelled the country with journalist Josh Jones to photograph the people that make up the core of Britain’s wonderful independent music industry. All shot on 35mm film, the images capture the energy and passion of the INDIE50. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a limited edition zine produced by journalist Josh Jones, featuring interviews with the INDIE50.