Having worked in bars across Leeds, as well as performing in them now and again, Callum Lister decided it was too good to be just a hobby and started his own live music company, LeedsAcoustic. [sic] with great success. The company now runs a number of weekly live music nights in Leeds, as well as becomng the hottest new go-to company if you want to put on and promote a live gig in the North. We caught up with him to find out how he did it:
1. What’s your story? What inspired you to start your company?
A friend and I had been playing music on the Leeds circuit for a couple of years (as more of a hobby, than any serious musical aspirations). We met a lot of people involved in the events industry, and after a little hiatus began to run our own night which then became two, then three. The LeedsAcoustic. brand came about somewhere after the second night was introduced. We began getting approached by more and more venues and then we grew into what we are today…
2. Do you need money to start a company like this? How did you raise the funds?
Initially I think none us the four of us that are now involved fronted up more than £50 each. That covered the cost of buying a domain name, and making it all legit. We initially make money from the nights that we put on either working on a percentage basis or a flat fee; we also pay our artists.
3. How do you keep people interested in what’s going on with the company?
Social media, social media, social media (though it is a little saturated…). We also do things like busking events and such, also keeping the events fresh doing something that The Cockpit or the O2 can’t offer.
4. What’s your plan going forward?
Potentially expanding into management and production; also starting a quarterly publication.
5. If you were to give advice to someone wanting to emulate what you’ve started what would you say?
Definitely start by who you know – if you’re passionate about anything you’ll learn about it as you go but getting that helping hand is invaluable!
6. How do you balance both jobs?
The great thing about us being musicians, as well having full-time jobs, is that you can easily source contacts if there is something that needs to be done outside of your sphere of experience. Also a really neat little trick I heard about is working within a four-hour window. So by queuing up things like emails and content to be released at a certain time, it gives people the impression that it’s best to reach you in those certain hours (despite the fact you’ll be working on it all week!). I recently read an article by that guy from innocent smoothies [sic], to paraphrase, he said – the first year of starting a new enterprise feels like five years worth of work, (also he doesn’t watch soap opera’s any more – primarily that’s what i took from it). I can back him up on that, as we are just about to go into our sixth month and my xbox has gathered a pretty thick layer of dust.
For any enquiries or just to check the guys out visit www.leedsacoustic.com