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Sea Changes – songs and stories of the Sea, a series of six workshops, has brought a tidal wave of people from across East Lothian. Our stunning coastline, combined with a rich cultural history of herring industry, fishwives, tales and songs of love, loss, work and play, meant that this topic was going to be a big hit in the area. Led by Martine Robertson, and Eileen Penman, both wellknown singers, and community activists, and supported by a great team of local volunteers, there is a  positive sense of enjoyment and connection in the workshops, with everyone contributing their bit. 3 of ...
Brum Together Brum Go From Strength to Strength.         One of Superact’s first Our Big Gig EXTRA projects continues to flourish in Birmingham.  Drum Together Brum are a community drumming group set up in October 2013.  Since then the group has grown in size and they now have 15 or more regular drummers meeting every Wednesday to rehearse.  The group are now funded through the weekly £5 subs each member pays, plus the fees for some of their bigger gigs.   Anna Bright, one of the original members says, “It is so great to have that many people tur...
Changes Community Health Project is collaborating with Our Big Gig EXTRA to set up an exciting new community project in the seaside town of Musselburgh. ‘Sea Changes’ will take place on Thursday evenings from May 21st - June 18th 2015. Musselburgh and the coast of East Lothian is alive with rich culture connected to the sea – stories and songs of life in a fishing community, emigration, the land, disasters, love, longing, work, and play – and in recent years the local communities have told their stories through many successful and creative projects including ‘Follow the Herring’ which wove to...

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Lets Get Together through Music!    Shout out to young people across England who want to put on FREE music festivals and events in their local area!       Our Big Gig is an annual event taking place in villages, towns and cities everywhere so that together it becomes a massive national music festival across the weekend of July 10 -12 2015. Superact, a national music organisation supported by the DCLG* is giving young people the opportunity to make music and showcase the creativity and talent of young people  that we know exists in every community! ...
The story of the Friends of Flaxmill Maltings and the Spacehive success that made their 2014 Our Big Gig Open Mic Marathon happen:  The Flaxmill Maltings in Shrewsbury is a unique and internationally-important site, containing seven listed buildings including the world’s first iron-framed building. The Friends of Flaxmill Maltings were formed in August 2010 in response to a public consultation and growing interest and enthusiasm for the development of the Flax Mill Maltings amongst the community. They have made these important historic buildings accessible so that organisations, gr...

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Volunteer Laura Hand on the recent Our Big Gig EXTRA workshops held in Birmingham: This February saw Our Big Gig EXTRA Birmingham host a series of successful fun, free, participatory music workshops for adults, children and families alike. Our Big Gig EXTRA was able to offer not one or two, but three diverse music-skills workshops including ‘Become a Singer/Songwriter’, ‘Learn the Ukulele’ or ‘African Drumming’ – something to suit everyone in a welcoming and fun environment. It was fantastic to see communities from around our city unite at these workshops and it was evident that each parti...

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Working in partnership with All Star Entertainment, Bradford Music Education Hub and Bradford City Council Events Team Sound of the Suburbs is the exciting Our Big Extra Programme that has been taking place in the BD4 area of Bradford since January 2015. Led by highly skilled experienced musicians the project has so far involved 20 residents of BD4 engaging in a wide range of taster workshops in music-making, composition, song-writing, production, promotion and performance. A core group of 14 people now attends regular weekly sessions taking place at th...
Blog by Christine Spriggs, Superact's North of England Project Manager Things are moving forward with our community feature film musical!  The location for our community musical performance is High Town, Luton and the story is about a group of imaginary characters who live and work there.   The aim of this project has been to draw people together to create a vibrant, dramatic musical performance which Luton can be proud of. We started out by advertising in all the local community venues in the area and also using social media to draw people into getting involved.    We h...

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Our Big Gig 2014 hosted 180,000 people at 190 volunteer led events up and down the country uniting communities everywhere. Organised by Superact with funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government, this video takes you on a journey around the country. "Together through music"...
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Want to get involved in local music opportunities?   If you attended an Our Big Gig event this summer and were inspired to learn a musical instrument or get involved in community music in your area, you can do so here!   Many organisations across the UK can help link you with local community music groups and provide you with more information on how to get involved in musical activities.   Making Music   The UK's number one organisation for voluntary music; search their database for local community music groups in your area. http://www.makingmusic.org.uk/inyourarea/...
Want to programme community music activities in Birmingham, Ealing, Tower Hamlets, Luton and Bradford? Superact are looking for event volunteers to work with us in Birmingham, Bradford, Luton, Tower Hamlets and Ealing to help programme a year long programme of community music. Created as part of the Our Big Gig EXTRA project, Superact are looking to recruit and train volunteers covering the areas of fundraising, marketing, volunteer management and leading community music to build an ongoing programme of music making opportunities for people in Birmingham, Tower Hamlets, Ealing, Luton an...
Our Big Gig is all about bringing people together to make communities stronger. This year, in addition to our grant system, we also trialled a new incentivised crowdfunding offer in partnership with Spacehive. By providing a shared space on which groups could promote their event, 15 local organisations successfully raised £750 each toward their event - music for the community, in the community funded by the community! Here we speak to Sarah Everson from the Bridge Collective who helped the group raise the money for their Underground Sound project in a record time of 7...

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When Our Big Giggers send us their stories we share them in lots of ways and there’s a lot you can do with your story too. Sharing your story can help to raise awareness and gain recognition for your community and what it has achieved. Telling us about your Our Big Gig event can also help inspire others to come together and take part in further community activities or even initiate one themselves. Sometimes we share stories with local or national press that may want to interview an Our Big Gig organiser and find out about the impact of an event, or we promote it here on the website and v...

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Superact Director, Katharine Lane, has played an integral role in the planning and organisation of Our Big Gig 2014. After weeks of preparation and liaising with  community organisers the Our Big Gig weekend finally arrived and Katharine took on the South West, visiting different events all over the region, starting off on Friday afternoon at Hannah More Primary School in Bristol: Tell us about the diversity of the weekend's events? My first stop was Hannah More school where they had organised a whole day of music workshops including African drumming and Indian dance and music workshops...
We sent Lizzie, Our Big Gig Project Assistant, to London to check out some of the weekend's events in the UK's largest city. For many it was a weekend fuelled with excitement, baited breath and the final outcome of those bets made long ago – of course I'm talking about the World Cup Final! However for hundreds of volunteers, community organisers and members of the public, this weekend was all about Our Big Gig. After weeks of preparation the Our Big Gig events finally came to fruition with over 180 events taking place across England and Scotland ranging from family orientated events to ...
Our Big Gig is a community music celebration taking place across England and Scotland from the 11th - 13th July 2014. This annual event aims to bring communities together to celebrate their local musical talents and get more people involved in music making. Here are some examples of the events being held around the country: Mersey Ferries Our Big Gig Where is it? on the Mersey ferry! Embarking at the Mersey Ferry Terminal, Pier Head and also at Birkenhead and Seacombe Ferry Terminals. Any creatively inclined individual wishing to take part or simply sit and enjoy the music can hop on t...
Kathryn Deane of Sound Sense, the UK association of community musicians, describes how involving a community musician in your Our Big Gig event can enhance musical experiences for your participants. Want some help with including participation in your Our Big Gig event? Community musicians are trained and skilled to do this. They could: -          suggest communities you could pair up with -          help you create and perform new music -          work with you to provide “taster” sessions for participants -  ...

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Roll up, roll up and grab your Our Big Gig t-shirts for 2014! This year we are delighted to be partnering with Sharp Shooter Clothing who will be designing and distributing the shirts on behalf of Superact. Priced at £11.50 plus postage and packaging we've got mens and ladies versions available. There are also two different shirts for England and Scotland.  Both versions are available for purchase from the link below:  http://sharpshooterclothing.co.uk/events/big-gig/...
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In July 2013, the Phoenix Cultural Centre held an Our Big Gig event in Woking. Recently, Elaine the Community Event Organiser (CEO) shared with us a story about Our Big Gig’s longer term impact on one family and how in turn that has come back to have a positive impact on their community group. This was a message shared with the Phoenix Cultural Centre… “Last year we held Our Big Gig in the town. It's an event that mixes proper polished band sets, open rehearsals, audience participation with a view to getting the community into enjoying playing and trying music. It's a national thing that hap...

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Want to work in music? Got some experience but need to build your CV? Superact's intern position could be for you! We are looking for an individual with an interest in event promotion, communications and event project management to work on our nationwide community music event, Our Big Gig. Based in our Bristol HQ, we're after somebody with some relevant experience, but is keen to get more!   Job Role Our Big Gig Intern Reports to Nick Roberts, Communications Manager Location Based at Superact HQ, Old Market, Bristol Role summary Our...
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