I'M NOT FROM LONDON turn 15!
I'm Not From London are fifteen years old!!!
We had a massive party booked for the summer but then the world contracted a virus that left the music and events industry lost and flailing with neither job nor purpose.
Our sound techs, bands and venues had to batten down the hatches, we put on our last gig on March 16th and put out a statement saying it was time to stop what we were doing and we'd see you when there was a vaccine.
I say "we" when I talk about I'm Not From London not because I have multiple personality disorder but as I see it as a group of people. It's a community of bands, musicians, partner promoters, sound techs, interns, venue owners, graphic artists, video makers and creatives who all play their part.
I appreciate all of the freelancers who work for me, the people who've played and paid to see my gigs, those who have helped me stick up posters, the students that have interned for me, driven a van to help me pack down a festival but INFL isn't a 20 person, 5 day a week workforce. It's mainly me working every hour I can juggling responsibilities with priorities, gambling on events when I can and somehow trying to make all the pieces work.
And when it goes right it's amazing. It's a vocation but let's not kid anyone, no one's forcing me to do it. I'm thankful that for the last seven years I've been able to work for myself. As I tell prospective interns and people wanting to work for themselves in any sort of fun creative career, the hours are long and the pay is low, but ultimately, it's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll.
For me I've always wanted to stay as an independent promoter and the projects I get to create are fun. It's always been important to me to reinvest any profit back into our bands and the night. I always strive to make sure the bands and crew get paid from our gigs. I feel a responsibility to younger acts and people wanting to learn the ropes. I still get the same joy I always have when a night or a hair brained scheme goes well. I've always been interested in working on community ideas and more recently trying to get projects funded from the get go so everyone gets paid to deliver what they do best.
After 15 years of putting on gigs in other people's venues we took the plunge and with a couple of like minded partners, signed a lease on a community arts venue as a hub for our friends and fellow creatives to thrive. We signed in Feb and the biggest pandemic since the Spanish flu hit the UK the following month. You have to laugh really.
The idea was that to work successfully in music, you need to have the beer. That's how the festivals succeed and that's how the music venues keep going. You can't digitally stream a beer and unlike music, people accept that they need to buy a beer if they want to drink it. Some of our finest ideas were planned in pubs whilst drinking beer which is why we're so very proud to be launching our I'm Not From London Ale with Nottingham brewery Black Iris. The design on the can and T shirt by artist Dewayne, features imagery inspired by the cult film, "Withnail and I", a favourite of mine, and whose influence led me to name INFL after a much quoted line in the film. The label on the reverse of each can will feature an INFL band profile and free music download. We are also including a selection of INFL music and exclusive merchandise with the launch.
We're accompanying this with a clocks and coasters bearing INFL album covers designed by designer "Livan" and a T Shirt, both based on my favourite film and inspiration behind the INFL name the cult film "Withnail and I" designed by the artist Dewayne and we're including a selection of I'm Not From London music and merch with it all. A few years ago I was lucky enough to have a T Shirt designed for me by a Nottingham artist who put my influences down into the tee, please have a read of it here as it explains a bit more about the INFL/Withnail and the roots of INFL.
To save on postage on the beer we will make up the collection packages of any pledgers who have beers in their order to be able to pick them up from a choice of either the Golden Fleece, The Angel Microbrewery or Black Iris Tap Room.
We've made a commemorative book, 15 years of I'm Not From London, with our good friends from Leftlion who offered to produce, design and compile some of the best posters, photos and anecdotes from friends and crew from over the years and special thanks to Jared Wilson for suggesting crowdfunding as a way of letting people know about what we've done and where we going and make no mistake, it will definitely help I'm Not From London survive the uncertain time ahead.
We hope you like the ale, our campaign and thank you from the bottom our hearts everyone who has supported us so far,
Love Will and all at I'm Not From London X
#WeMakeEvents #LetTheMusicPlay #BlackLivesMatter