Happy 2017 Folks. Hope its treating you well. I have found that January is a time for contemplation and reflection, so that's exactly what we've been doing here at SoapBox HQ. We have battoned down the hatches, cleaned out the office and taken stock of the work. I started SoapBox in 2006, over a decade ago, and had no expectations of how long it might last and where it might take me. I would never have dreamed I would be sitting here, 10 years later, wondering where to go next. Its a remarkable, joyful thing to be a part of and I want to honour its legacy by spending more time deliberating each action and making sure that each step forwards has purpose and passion.
Having run gigs for so long, I have amassed an incredible amount of video, audio and photographic documentation. The archive is genuinely massive. I have always been passionate about recording the performances that take place at SoapBox, and have (now) run over 400 gigs. As you can imagine, I have several harddrives full of data. At least 5 terrabytes. I have started 2017 by running off all the old videotapes (actual tapes!) onto my computer. I will then begin the lengthy task of editing and trying to 'name' all the performers. SoapBox has run open mics for many years, as well as programmed gigs, so there are lots of performers that I don't know the name of. Keep an eye on our facebook page as I will be releasing photos to help identify them so I can reunited the footage with the performer.
The SoapBox archive is pretty amazing. Okay, yes, I am biased of course, but it really is. There is footage from Ed Sheeran in 2009 (before he was famous and all that). We have acoustic performances from Kate Tempest, and early performances from Scroobius Pip, as well as Let's Eat Grandma playing on our Festival stage when they were 14 years old. There is early work from poets including Luke Wright, Aisle 16, John Osborne, Hannah Walker, Molly Naylor. I'm sure there are a million more performers that I haven't come across yet and have forgotten. It really is an exciting project that I predict will be ongoing for at least 6 months, so I shouldn't get too excited just yet if I were you. Sorry folks. Promise I will release some of it soon. I'm sure I won't be able to stop myself.
As for live gigs, I can't make any announcements just yet. I am in talks with several venues, and some potential new partners to launch some Ipswich based endeavours, and thats all I can say for now. But, rest assured, we will be back in Spring with a new season of poetry and music to change the world. Some of you might have heard that I am studying again and this is another part of the reason I have been quieter than usual. I started at the University of Suffolk in September 2016, in the second year, to finally finish my degree, so I am putting a lot of time into this. A large part of the motivation was the feeling that I am unable to truly express how remarkable the SoapBox artists are. I usually resort to saying 'they're awesome', which you all are, of course! But, I want to be able to eloquently express why I am so captivated by your art. Writing at an academic level has been a transformative process and I am very lucky to be able to spend some time developing these skills. I will definitely be blogging more in future. You have been warned.
I can announce one excting piece of news (which I hope will excite you too). I have decided to launch a monthly SoapBox podcast. Woop! I recently participated in some radio training and want to put this to good use, so, welcome to the podcast future of SoapBox. I am planning the first edition now and will launch it in June 2017. I will be putting all those lovely recordings from the archive to good use, interviewing artists and attending gigs to create live reviews. There will be poetry, music, comedy and much more. I am very much looking forward to doing this and hope you will join us for the ride. I will post the podcast on >>>Mixcloud<<< so please follow me there to keep abreast of the news. Currently on my Mixcloud there is just one of my charity shop vinyl sets (just in case you like 40's big band tunes, motown, jazz and blues) from my SuperBad DJ moniker. You might enjoy listening to this in lieu of the first podcast. I can be tempted out for live vinyl DJ sets for travel, beer and food (just in case you're wondering).
A new year always inspires me to assess the past and dream of the future. If you have ever been to SoapBox and want to tell me something about your experience, now would be the best time to do it. I want to hear everything you have to say. Good. Bad. Mediocre. I have some HUGE plans for 2017 and want to take this all up a notch, and with your help, I can. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope 2017 brings you everything you deserve, and much much more. Love Amy xx