Creative Gatherings organisers Moshe Singer, Yael Shapiro and Alon Cohen spoke to View Today about their Creative Gatherings, which they officially started hosting in November 2017, and gave tips of how to host a gathering of this nature.
How it all started
Singer was in Tel Aviv, Israel for a vacation in December 2016, where he got invited to participate in an open mic event. He was then asked to come back a week later to perform his own set based on just two songs. ‘It was incredible. That inspired me to perform in Johannesburg. But I didn’t want to do it alone. I craved being part of a community. In February 2017, I put together my own show as a featured artist before an open mic night that I would personally run in order to meet more like-minded people.’
This first event took place at The Observatory Sports Club. The success of that one event led Singer to Shapiro (a music therapist) and they organised their first show together in April 2017 as a double bill at Amuse Café in Linden. ‘I miss that place. All the while I was running open mics every week in the Maboneng Precinct with a project I co-started (also based off my performance in February) called Wolf-Pack Studios, where every Sunday we offered a platform for anybody to perform.’
A few months later, they ran out of steam and were forced to re-examine how to do things. In August, Singer and Shapiro brought on Cohen, a professional photographer who also plays the drums, as well as other incredible singers, artists and poets to collaborate on certain pieces that could enhance the performances. One of the performers came up with the name ‘Creative Gatherings’ for their last show of the year for 2017.
Things to consider before hosting an event:
– Know your audience.
– Let your event be purpose-driven.
– Add elements that will make your performers stand-out.
– Ensure that every person who participates shares your ethos and vision of community building through collaboration.
Online presence: capture pictures and videos to upload online before and after the event for the performers and the brand. Upload performances on a YouTube channel as a platform to display and engage with the artists’ work.
Event marketing: create a poster, using social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. Also document the process and the performances through interviews, videos, photos etc.
Sound: ensure the sound is good and that there are no technical problems – quality sound is essential for how a performance comes across. Do a tech rehearsal as well.
Break the ice: engage the crowd and ensure they feel part of the event.
Ambience: make people feel safe and welcome.