Vanadian Avenue is on a mission to shed a light at the girls in the music indystry. We call it “The Girls Who Can” and we try to introduce you to the amazing women who makes things happen. They write, they book, they build stages, run lights, think of marketing campaings, sell tees and tickets at the doors. They are reps and managers, promoters, bookers and everything inbetween. Yet, despite doing a stellar job, having successful careers, they not always receive a fair share of attention and recognition. And we want to change that.
After speaking to Sahera Walker in May this year, we now had the pleasure to sit down with Elly Bailey, a photographer and journalist extraordinaire to discuss recent opportunities for women, her brand new photo-zine Why Generation? and photographic equipment. Please read on (and share) and Elly raised several very important points in her interview and gives a sound advice to all young girls thinking of entering the business professionally.
Photographer, journalist, promoter and a writer – that’s a very impressive resume for a 22 year old. Please introduce yourself to the readers of Indieterria. Every career has to start somewhere.
Elly Bailey: Thank you! My name is Elly Bailey, I live in London. As you said, I am a photographer and journalist, mainly focusing on music. I write for sites such as The Zine, Gigslutz and This Feeling. I starting taking photos in 2016, originally shooting on film and then in 2018 I moved onto DSLR or digital photography.
Tell us what inspired you to chose this particular career path? Was it a certain gig you attended or an album you listened to? Or maybe something completely different?
Elly Bailey: I attended the Academy of Contemporary Music, studying Music Business. ‘I think it was being surrounded by so many musicians and also attending so many of my friends gigs that made me want to start taking photos. I’ve always been very into documenting everything I do (I currently have over 29,000 photos on my phones camera roll!) and it was great to be able to document doing what I love best, e.g. attending gigs.
Music business is very male orientated but recently the tide is turning and women are getting noticed and praised for their contribution. There are also more opportunities for young females who want to enter the music business professionally. Last year you took part in the Music Venue Trust and PRS “Fightback Grassroots Promoter” for women. In your opinion, how important are schemes like this? Do they offer any real chance to learn the skills needed in this industry?
Elly Bailey: Taking part in the MVT and PRS venue fight back scheme was amazing as it gave young women the opportunity to put on their own live music event without having to worry about the money, as the scheme completely covered any costs, such as hiring the venue or equipment. I think schemes like this are incredibly important as they help to give young women the confidence boost they may need to take that first step into the music industry and also helps to give them hands on experience whilst making sure that they will be successful.
As a journalist you have worked for the popular GigSlutz website, The Zine and you run your own Youtube channel. If you could offer a piece of advice for girls who would like to follow in your footsteps, what would that be?
Elly Bailey: Websites such as Gigslutz, The Zine and many others are always looking for writers, so if you’re interested then just email away and ask! Taking that first step towards doing what you want to do can always seem incredibly daunting, but once you’ve done it, then that’s it, you’re on your way! Also everyone I’ve ever worked with have all been so lovely, which makes it so much easier to talk and network with people and find new work.
2019 is a ground breaking year. You have covered Wilkestock and Reading Festivals, interviewed The Sherlocks, False Heads, Sleaford Mods among others, reviewed high profile events such as This Feeling tours. What was the best gig you have seen so far?
Elly Bailey: This has definitely been a crazy year for me, so far I’ve somehow managing to attend 11 festivals, and still have more to go! I was feeling pretty low at the beginning of the year and also got pretty sick, so seeing FIDLAR at House Of Vans at the beginning on February was the perfect cheer up for me, seeing one of my favourite bands in such an intimate setting was the best. Festival wise, The Great Escape was so much fun, I discovered so many new bands that weekend. Also Download Festival was just non-stop laughter from beginning to end, the bands were amazing and the weather was horrendous and we had a sick time! And of course Truck Festival, my hometown festival, was a lovely weekend, surrounded by so many friends, I think we all really enjoyed it.
We need to ask about your new enterprise – a photo zine called Why Generation? You have teamed up with three other female journalists and photographers to create it. Tell us more about it. How did this idea come to be? Who are your co-workers? Is Why Generation a single issue release or are you planning to turn it into monthly/bimonthly magazine? Are you planning to keep it in this format or extend it to contain reviews and interviews in the future?
Elly Bailey: After I got home from Truck Festival, I went to an exhibition by Nan Goldin at the Tate Modern and saw that she started off making photo-books of her work and decided that I wanted to do something similar. I decided to stick with film photography to give the zine more of a niche and also felt that I have some great 35mm photos that I wanted to print. I contacted the other three photographers, slightly on a whim, and after the positive responses I got from them on the idea, I just jumped in head first and decided to just got for it!
When I first made the zine I wasn’t sure where it was going to go but I know now that I would like to do another issue with articles alongside the photos this time, and also potentially create my own website. After years of working for other people, it’s been great and also slightly scary to be completely in charge of what I’m doing, so who knows what will happen!
There is a launch party scheduled for 23rd of September to celebrate the release of Why Generation. Who is playing and what can we expect? Are tickets still available?
Elly Bailey: Yes! It’s a free entry gig on 23rd September at The Monarch with three amazing bands playing: Ric, SPIT and Scary Lemons. Each are guaranteed to put on an amazing show. It’s definitely going to be something to liven up your Monday evening.
The famous last question – let’s imagine you can get your dream photography kit absolutely for free. What equipment is going into your shopping basket?
Elly Bailey: I do love my camera and have managed to get so many great photos out of it, but I will be the first to admit it’s nowhere near the best model on the market. With shooting gigs, you’re not allowed to use flash photography in bigger venues or at festivals, so you need a camera that lets in a lot of light, and annoyingly the best cameras for this are the more expensive ones, so one of those would definitely be going into my shopping basket.
Also a lens with a better zoom would be amazing, I’ve done a lot of standing on my tip-toes trying to get closer to the artist playing to make up for my lack of zoom.
Buy copy of Why Generation? online:
Why Generation? Event:
Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/235155047375183/
Doors: 8 PM – 11:30 PM
Admission: Free Entry
Address: The Monarch, 40-42 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8BG London, United Kingdom
Ric – 8:30pm
SPIT – 9:15pm
Scary Lemons – 10:15pm
Big thank you’s to Elly for answering the questions and if you are attending the event tonight, please send us your pictures or videos. We will gladly update the entry with your snaps!
Support your scene and have fun!
Rita and Malicia