Feedback’s mission was to “engage young people through music”. Based in Exeter, UK, it was created to channel creativity and subsequently raise the aspirations of 11-18 year olds in the city.
What we did
We started a monthly event, and used bands to bring their audiences to our events, slowly building our community. I later called this ‘showcase strategy’, as by showcasing an act, we got its followers to engage with us. It was 2003, but we were already using email lists, forums, and early social media in the form of Myspace to market the event.
Over the course of a year it grew to 250 in attendance, and then within 3 months had doubled to 500 in attendance. 6 months later, it had 120 people at it’s new weekly event that featured inspirational talks, with hundreds still attending the monthly concerts.
As is the case with events that become movements, they are a tool or platform for greater engagement. In the case of Feedback, it became a community of young volunteers who made the events happened, with youth camps, day trips, and informal mentoring becoming part of the service that the organisation provided.
Later, clothing was sold as mechandise, gigs were recorded and sold as albums, and on two occasions A&R reps came from London to attend the event, much of which was carried out by the the young people.