In this age of AI and smart phones and large hadron colliders, it can be hard to remember a time when we didn’t have the internet to help us find out about local music. We’re sure you would now be utterly bereft without the salient information provided by this here blog, and yet Ten Tracks is only a few years old.
With that in mind, we thought it time for an homage to the old school, the unsung heroes of local music promotion – the postering companies. We had a quick chat with George Duffin from Hanging Rock about why posters are still the promo tool with the most(ers).
Tell us a bit about yourselves.
Hanging Rock was established as a poster distribution service approximately 20 years ago. Previously (ie back in the seventies) it had run under name Cosmos and was a booking agency for the Venue, La Belle Angel, Calton Studios, Vaults, Astoria and Tiffanys. At this time, poster sites were still very much the cheapest way to promote live music both local & touring bands. In the 1980s emphasis changed to include Club promotions and DJ led events; and now we cover all genres of music from Folk/Ceilidh to Classical, from Jazz to World Music.
How have developments in social media over the past decade affected the way you work?
We founded our website, http://www.hanging-rock.co.uk/, as a free and exclusive service for poster clients around ten years ago. We have the most comprehensive, accurate and up to date music listings for Edinburgh on there. About six months ago we also joined Facebook and have 3,000+ friends connected to us through that.
What would you say to the suggestion postering is an old fashioned or out-dated way to advertise?
Did TV make cinema obsolete? Did photography stop people from painting? Posters are timeless. Compare a 12" album sleeve to a downloaded track, or a poster on the wall of your home to a pop up internet advert - clearly not all technological advances are for the better, at least not aesthetically.
However we do recognise that other means of advertising including press, radio & TV are useful promotional tools. That’s why we felt it was necessary to build an online presence through the website and Facebook to reach an audience that gets most of its information online.
Having said that, people still collect posters as memorabilia, and many have artistic value. The cultural vibrancy of a city could be judged by the presence on the street of visual event information, whether it is Toulouse Lautrec’s posters for the Folies Berger in Paris, or Edinburgh every August.
Who makes the posters - do you have in house designers?
We don’t design or print event posters ourselves, but recommend if asked – for example Events Armoury print many Club A2's.
And very good they are too. Thanks to George for taking the time to speak to us.
Staying on this subject, posters and flyers for our truly amazing Hogmanay Event (featuring Broken Records and Withered Hand) are now out and about. Why not see how many you can spot around Edinburgh? Tweet us (@tentracks) a picture of you with some of our promo and where you found it to be in with a chance of winning a fabulous prize…