There is much to celebrate this past month as live music returns, venues are reopening and promoters are looking for bands. In the music rehearsal world too there is much to raise a cheer. Southampton’s Pure Rehearsal Studios has won this year’s Southern Enterprise Awards for Best Music Rehearsal Studio for their outstanding customer service and support of the Live Music industry. In the north, Wigan’s Urbansound Rehearsal Studios celebrates 20 years in operation. Meanwhile we have seen further good news across the country.
It’s all about the kit
Southampton's Pure Rehearsal Studios is also trialling an In-Ear Monitoring system in one of its rooms in response to customer demand. While Ramsgate's Good Rehearsal Rooms now offers Zoom handheld recorders to users to record their session and have it sent straight to their email address. In Reading, the Rhoom Studios brings music video recording to musicians, while Oxfordshire's TAD Studios is turning its live streams into live gigs.
Labyrinth Studios has been proactive in attracting new customers by holding an open day showing potential musicians what is on offer at the Nottingham rehearsal space. Main St. Studios in Coatbridge and North Shields’ Traxx Rehearsal Studios are offering instrument lessons to expand their customer base. And Birmingham's Robanna's Studios ran a drum clinic with Steve White who has played with The Who, Oasis and Paul Weller. In London, Bally Studios’s Jimmy Mulvihill has published an interesting new blog Nine small improvements that all rehearsal studios can offer on the studio’s website.
Expansion in the Midlands
Several spaces have expanded their space this month. In the West Midlands, Tamworth's Sinewave Studios has a number of lockout rooms become available. In the East Midlands, Nottingham’s Stave Rehearsal Rooms is growing with the addition of extra practice rooms. So too is Leicestershire's Rewind Rehearsal Rooms by opening its fifth practice room. Lincoln's Zebra Studios has re-introduced its loyalty card scheme offering discounts to regular users. These developments are tempered by the sad news Birmingham's RS Studios has closed its doors due to the covid pandemic.
A number of vacancies has arisen to meet the growing demand for music rehearsal sessions. Practice Sheffield is seeking a Rehearsal Assistant and London's Arch Studios is seeking two Rehearsal Assistants. The growing MAS Records programme is looking for regional talent scouts in London and the South East. So while live music returns, the music rehearsal sector is responding well with its developing range of services.
News from the front line
Ed Randall at London's Terminal Studios reports on the month's developments: "We're currently experiencing our busiest ever month. Financially, we're 200% up on our previous best ever (although we have added another studio). The word on the street is that the industry has reached capacity in terms of resource and infrastructure. Studios are full. PA Hire companies have empty warehouses. Tour bus companies are looking at significantly adding to their fleet. Crew companies are turning down shows due to lack of staff. Techs are being forced to choose between their acts. Much of this is due to the pandemic. There has been no recruitment/training for two years. Old timers have retired, many have left the industry and a lot of European techs/crew have fled. Several studios, hire companies, splitter firms have closed permanently. London especially was already overstretched pre pandemic."
"Crucially," Ed continued, "the current consensus is that spring is going to be possibly the busiest ever time in live music in this country. Not only do we have the new 2022 shows, but we have the postponed 2021 shows. What does that mean for us? Well, there simply won't be enough pro focussed rooms to meet demand, possibly by a factor of 10x. I see this as a perfect opportunity for smaller/out of town studios to make inroads into the pro business. We have six months till the spring rehearsals start in March. Anyone here with the resources to set up a pro focussed room have a great opportunity. Any of you with skills/expertise in crewing, engineering or teching WILL get work if you seek it."
Meanwhile, Roger Tichborne at London's Mill Hill Music Complex says: "We are seeing our best ever August, up by 15% on 2019 which was our previous best. What is making it hard to call is that we are getting lots of last minute bookings and cancellations. I think some management companies are just ‘banking’ time and cancelling just before they would need to pay. If this goes on we may have to address our policy on deposits."
Insuring your music rehearsal space
This month's feature looks at the different insurances you may want to consider for your music rehearsal space. Bandspace talks to several studio owners and unpicks what each of the insurances mean - Insuring your music rehearsal space.
Otherwise, thanks for reading this far, stay safe and I'll be in touch next month with the latest news from the world of music rehearsal spaces.
Trevor at Bandspace