Amendment — Whilst originally written in 2014 and the branding has changed from GoNorth to XpoNorth, the advice still holds true
We look at how goNORTH benefits acts that have played the event by calling upon Rachel Sermanni, Colin Macleod and Ewen Watson of Be Like Pablo to talk about their experiences, and what they have learned from the event.
What were your experiences of goNORTH?
Ewen Watson: “Be Like Pablo have had a very good relationship with goNORTH over the years. We’ve played two showcases in Inverness plus one in our hometown of Forres when goNORTH was ‘on the road’. In addition to these showcases, we’ve also secured slots at The Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and at Wickerman through goNORTH’s Seedlings project which were both absolutely brilliant experiences.
Its always a pleasure to play at goNORTH. Its very close to where we live – essentially the middle of nowhere – so representatives from diverse backgrounds within the music and creative industries have been able to watch us play in our home environment. In my opinion, there’s always a real buzz at goNORTH and, having played at several high profile showcases in the past, I feel that goNORTH offers something really different and really forward-thinking.”
Colin Macleod: “I’ve been attending GoNorth for a number of years now and I’ve always found the experience to be a good and productive one. Compared to many of the other music industry events I’ve attended around the country, GoNorth has always stood out and has continued to grow where others have fallen by the wayside.”
Rachel Sermanni:”I have played at goNORTH twice. The gigs were always worth doing and allowed me to meet with people within the industry and without that were to become useful resources whether in work or in friendship.”
What were the most important things that you took from / learned from the event?
Rachel Sermanni: “I learned that a good functioning music event is best carried off in a small city, with venues all in close proximity to each other. This is why Inverness is a good host. New contacts are always a good thing to take from these events.
However, I never listen TOO hard during the seminars and lectures because I don’t believe it’s healthy as a creative being to care too much about what anyone thinks, no matter how successful they are.”
Colin Macleod: “There are numerous lessons I’ve learned at goNORTH, and many opportunities have come out of it for me, but most importantly it’s shown how you can remain and work in the Highlands, miles from London, and still stay relative within the Industry.”
Ewen Watson: “To be selected to play at goNORTH, you have to be on top of your game. Your recordings, video content, photos and ‘branding’ have to be well-realised and you have to do your best to stand out from other acts. It also pays off to view goNORTH as a networking event.”
Even if you aren’t playing, you can gain a lot from attending seminars and watching other bands. As long as you work hard, have a strong creative vision and always try to get better, you’ll be able to play at goNORTH. Everything goNORTH offers can be tapped into as a very valuable learning tool for emerging bands.”