On Tuesday 13th October, we hosted our first Dream On Session, in the Boston Room at George IV pub, on Chiswick High Road.
The Dream On Sessions have been created to give a platform for musicians, and other people in the performing arts to showcase their talents; they are also about creating an evening of fun, for both the artists and the audience.
Since starting Dream On Foundation, we have spent a lot of time supporting various musicians, but were always left feeling a little disappointed; this was not because of the artists, but because we felt that the venues do not do enough to support, and promote the artists; there seems to be a culture where the artists should be honoured to perform, and are expected to bring a crowd with them.
While we believe that the artists should do all they can to help attract a crowd and promote themselves and their gigs, we feel that the venues have a responsibility to help as much as they can as well. With this in mind, we created the Dream On Sessions.
We feel honoured when artists agree to perform at our events, and so want to do all we can to help support them.
We have been very fortunate to meet some amazingly talented people during our Dream On journey, and were delighted when Abi Murray, Hannah Dorman, Ed and Anthony from The Ages, and David Harris, agreed to perform on the night.
Having hosted all our previous events at the Crown & Anchor, we were very excited to move further along the High Road to the George IV pub, and to their stunning Boston Room.
With the Dream On Days we get a great turn out, with people popping in and out of the pub throughout the day; the Dream On Session was our first ticketed event, and with the possibility of accommodating 100 people, the pressure was on to fill as many seats as possible.
We are very lucky in Chiswick, to have such a great community, so as soon as we announced the date for the event, everyone hit Twitter to spread the word.
Rachel, the Manager of George IV, was brilliant at making sure her regulars heard about it, by putting posters all over the pub, and sharing the event on social media.
We wanted to make the event as special as possible, so we thought about doing a red carpet; as we like to be a bit different, plus someone once told us that when you have no budget, you have to get creative, we decided to investigate getting an Astroturf green carpet. We got the idea from the Devonshire Road Street Party.
We contacted Daniel from Urban Scaping, and he said he was willing to help, although the size we wanted was not really an off-cut!
To finish off the effect of the entrance, we needed some metal posts and rope. Again we looked to see who we could ask to help. We have recently connected with Chloe, the Manager at The Capulet Gallery on the High Road, and we noticed that she had poles and ropes in the entrance of the Gallery; she was wonderful, and said we could borrow them for the evening.
Our main priority was that the audience would get to know more about the performers, so we asked them to each do a short video showing who they are and what they do. The idea was to then create one video incorporating all of these, that would be played before the first set.
As with our Dream On Days, we asked Chiswick Buzz if they would come and cover the evening; Chris and Piers from Chiswick Buzz, have been brilliant with their support, so we were delighted when they said they would be there.
Having not done an event like this, we needed someone with knowledge of sound systems to help teach us what we had to do. Mark from Broadcast and Media offered to meet us at the George one Sunday afternoon, and he showed us the system and how to use it. It is great to meet people that are passionate about what they do, and Mark is no exception.
With everything in place, we just had to start promoting as much as we could, so we put posters in some of the shops and coffee shops in the surrounding area, e-mailed all the people we know, and hit social media.
On the day of the event, we had someone decorating our bathroom ceiling; so we had to fit setting up and being in the flat so the decorator could come and go.
Kim headed off to Jo Blu to get her hair done, while Paul put the finishing touches to a slide show and the videos.
When Kim got home, she continued with contacting people while Paul went to the George to meet Daniel from Urban Scaping. Whilst waiting, Paul set about moving the tables and chairs.
Who has the DI Box?:
They say that things never run quite as simply as they should, and this was certainly the case as made the finishing touches before our guests started to arrive. Abi was the first to arrive, so we thought that we would do her sound check; all was going so well, until Abi asked where the DI box was; needless to say, she was met with blank looks.
For those as ignorant to the technicalities as we were, the DI box is a vital, if not small, piece of kit which when not present means that the artists cannot connect their instruments to the sound system.
Mark, our man with the knowledge was working in Derby, but he said we could call him at any time; so we got on the phone (quite what we thought he could do from Derby, we are not sure).
Luckily we had David Harris, and Kelly Reeves with us, so we got our thinking caps on; Kelly suggested Arts Ed College, and David suggested The Tabard pub/theatre, so Paul went for a mad run.
Paul made it to The Tabard, and met Sandra, the Assistant Production Manager, who was an angel, and lent us a DI box! Our Saviour!
With all the kit in place, we were ready to go.
And Here We Go….
We had some wonderful people arrive to taste our first Dream On Session, and the green carpet was a great success, with some of the Chiswick locals finding their inner model….. Papped by the brilliant Kelly Reeves.
The lovely Martha English was on hand with her two children Harry and Florence, and one of Florence’s friends to run the door for us, and greet everyone as they arrived.
One thing we wanted was for the audience to give their attention to the performers, and they were brilliant (having great music helps), helping to create a great atmosphere.
Abi was a great opening to the show, and then handed over to Ed and Anthony, who had to make do with one microphone; Hannah closed the show in great style. Throughout the show, David moved around the room wowing the audience with his magic.
It was great to see everyone getting joy from the event, and that the audience got the chance to meet the performers.
We know that we could not have done the Session without the help of some fantastically talented and dedicated people. We only hope that we can put in as much effort to help people, as they have done to help us.
We have to say a big thank you to all who helped us.
Big thanks to:
Mark – Broadcast and Media
Kelly – Kelly Reeves Photography
Daniel – Urban Scaping
Chloe – The Capulet Gallery
Chris and Piers – Chiswick Buzz
Rachel and her fab team – George IV