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The tale of our first five t-shirts

Just over a year ago Dizzyjam.com went live and we sold our first t-shirts.

We went back to our first five customers and sent them all an email to see how they were getting on with those shirts a year later. We got emails back from four of them:

“The T still looks perfect and it’s been through the wash loads” – TP, Nottingham


“Cheers for the mail, glad to say shirt is still in tip top condition and handling washing well. A fine product indeed.” – JH, London

“My Purple Radio T looks as fresh as a daisy… The design is still perfect and it’s been through the wash several times, no signs of cracking or owt.” – PL, London.

And finally, this marvellous email…

“It’s still looking good and holding up well, cheers. My only issue with it is that I put on a bit of weight in the past few months (my missus was pregnant so it was gentlemanly behaviour to develop a ‘baby belly’ in sympathy, you understand) and the t-shirt hasn’t auto-stretched to keep pace with my expanded girth. I’m left with no option now but to go on a diet and take up exercise again. In fact, the more I think about it the more I see this as a major design flaw with your garments. Surely elasticated sides wouldn’t be too much to expect ? I’ll be applying for a refund immediately…………. ;- )” – PD, Poole


Of course, this meant we sacked our entire research and development team and decided to start making “paternity t-shirts” straight away! ;- )

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Dizzyjam intern

We’re looking for an intern.

Primarily we’re thinking about maybe a student over the winter holidays who could spend most of December devising and carrying out a marketing campaign. But we’d be really interested to hear from anyone who is interested in doing work of any kind.

– – – – –

This is a great opportunity to work with an exciting startup in the music industry, and manage your own month-long (or longer!) marketing campaign from start to finish.

Dizzyjam.com is currently in a situation where we are finding ourselves increasingly busy with the day to day running of a rapidly growing company, and therefore not finding the time to do lots of important stuff (like marketing, for example!).

We’d be looking for someone who would be interested in coming in, looking at what we do, and our current marketing activity (pretty much non-existent) and devising a short campaign that they can undertake fairly unsupervised, all with the aim of gaining more press/web exposure for the company, and therefore ultimately more signups from bands, DJs, labels etc.

This is the first time we’ll have taken on an intern, so we have no idea whether it will work, whether it will lead to longer term project work, employment, or just something positive to put on your CV. We are keen that it has value for any intern though, and we won’t just be asking you to make tea and photocopy stuff*. We’re hoping you can really add value to what we do.

As for payment, we’re really not sure yet. We won’t be able to offer any “proper” wages, but we would like to be able to cover your bus fare and lunch money. We need to do our sums, first. So it’s best if you apply for this, you do so expecting no money at all!

We’ve also said this is a part time internship, but we are completely flexible and are happy for someone to work full time too. Start and finish dates are also completely open to negotiation.

Please state on your application at Enternships.com which dates you are available, and what hours/days you would be willing to work.

* We don’t have a photocopier

Required skills

All these are desirable, but not compulsory. Enthusiasm is more important than anything else.

  • Experience of dealing with the press
  • Marketing
  • Experience of writing press releases
  • A good grasp of social media and web trends
  • A love of music
  • An understanding of what we do > https://www.dizzyjam.com/about/

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Swn festival

We’ll be printing t-shirts and hoodies ‘live’ (not unplugged, we need electrcity, sorry) at this weekend’s Swn Festival in Cardiff. Swn is a great 3-day event based around tons of venues all over the city. Obviously, it’s brilliant checking out all the bands that are playing all over the place, but what we really love about it is the central hub of Womanby Street, where you’ve got 3 or 4 venues very close together and you can fall out of one place and still manage to see another band during the changeover. We’ll be along that street, in Dempseys, next to the wristband exchange. Don’t forget, as with everything we sell, 25% goes back to the artist (or in this case, event) so they benefit directly and fairly from merch sales.

Here’s a hoodie and t-shirt we printed earlier. Beautiful, huh!?

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Festinho update

Lou, Neil, Jo and Gareth

The Dizzyjam stall: Lou, Neil, Jo and Gareth. Daf was hiding!



What a weekend!

Firstly, Festinho is now surely the best small festival in the country. We basically saw smile after smile after smile on people who couldn’t believe how much fun they were having in such a beautiful setting. We can’t recommend it enough. Just a glorious, glorious weekend.
Secondly, we were overwhelmed by the interest in our printing-live-in-a-field “experiment”. We shared a stall with the ABC Trust, who were raising money for Brazilian street kids. People came up, were able to choose their t-shirt or hoodie coloursand then see us print it in front of their eyes.

We sold lots and lots of shirts for Festinho, and were able to give £600 to them and the ABC Trust. SIX HUNDRED QUID! We were really, really pleased about that.

But our efforts were tiny in comparison to the astonishing hard work all the volunteers who run the festival put in, and all the money their work raised. We tip our hats to them!

And in celebration of such an amazing weekend, here’s a video that Daf took of US hip hop crew Ugly Duckling performing live, and flirting with the ladies in the crowd!

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Festinho

We’re really excited to be sponsoring the brilliant festival Festinho!

It’s a great weekend out in the beautiful countryside, surrounded by lovely people and music.

We’ll be there with a merch stall, selling t-shirts and hoodies of artists playing at the festival. And some limited edition only-available-that-weekend specials! We’ll be printing on demand, so there’s no wondering whether your favourite design/colour is in stock. Stroll on up to our stall in your flip flops, sipping on your mojito, and choose a design from our laptop. We’ll then print it for you to collect shortly after. Simple.


Alongside a great music line-up, lots of other festival fun, the whole event is run to support the ABC Trust which provides vital training, education and support for Brazil’s street kids, as well as firing their imagination and creativity through dance, film, drama and music. It’s a brilliant charity making a huge difference to lots of disadvantaged youngsters in Brazil.

Find out more about the festival and the ABC Trust at Festinho.com. Loads more photos and videos on the site there, too. And we think there’s still a few tickets available. It’s the best small festival in the country. We love it!

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Voodoo Funk

Frank Gossner is a bit of a legend.

Frank’s been digging for rare afrobeat, disco and funk in Africa for a while now. And when we say digging, we mean really, really digging. Not just hanging out at record shops, thumbing a crate. We’re talking putting ‘Wanted’ posters up on telegraph poles, knocking door to door, even climbing through 10 metre high piles of vinyl to get the track he wants (see pic!). And when he finds what he wants, he DJs it out to salivating crowds worldwide, posts mixes on his Voodoo funk blog. and puts together great compilations of rarities. And now he also makes Voodoo Funk t-shirts, with a little help from us. Visit his shop to grab one!

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Less than 5 percent of musicians make a living…

Update: Featured on The Guardian blog.

Update 2: If you’re in the independent music sector you can still contribute to this important survey. It will take about 60 seconds, and we’re giving out prizes. Click here!

Dizzyjam, the world’s leading direct-to-fan merch platform has conducted a survey of over 300 independent musicians, DJs, producers and bands. The results have shown that while record sales are down, artists are making up the shortfall through merchandise and live performances. However almost a quarter (23%) actually lose money on their musical endeavours, and less than five percent of them made a living. 72 percent reported making a small profit, but not enough to live on. While for those of you actually busting a gut in the music industry already it may be a case of “no sh1t, Sherlock!”, we think it’s very interesting to finally put some figures on what we kind of already suspected.

Get Started Button

And as we enter the digital age, and Prince gives his CDs away for free with newspapers, the importance of downloads becomes clear with more than a third (34%) claiming to make more money from downloads now than 2 years ago, and 23 percent reporting physical sales down over the last 24 months. What’s interesting, however, is that there appears to be an upsurge in live music, with a third (33%) reporting making more from gigs than they were two years ago.

Case study

Kat Arney is an example of a musician trying to make a living through music, but ultimately relying on wages from her day job to pay the rent. “I play in a couple of bands, as well as doing weddings and functions as a harpist. I’m always busy, and my bands are starting to get reasonably well-paid gigs and sell CDs, but it doesn’t go far among 5 or 6 people once we’ve covered our expenses like travel and post-gig kebabs”, says Kat. “I simply couldn’t support myself as a musician without my day job as a copywriter and web editor, and as I work in the charity sector, things are tight enough as it is. It’s tough balancing a full-time job with my secret double life, especially having to turn up to morning business meetings after headlining a gig the night before and using all my holiday allowance for gigs and recording sessions.”

Background

The study, conducted by Dizzyjam.com, has highlighted the importance of merchandise and touring to bolster dwindling incomes across the independent music sector.
In its first few months of trading, Dizzyjam.com has sold t-shirts and hoodies on behalf of musicians across four continents, by providing a simple and free route to market for people who make, play or promote music. Many bands are making hundreds of pounds a month already which they are putting towards studio time, promotions and equipment. Or just simply paying the rent. They’ve seen a 42% increase in signups in the last 3 months as bands look to increase their income.

The Cardiff, UK based company allows members of the music industry to upload their logo to the site, which in turn creates for them their own online shop with products featuring that image. Dizzyjam.com is the brainchild of Neil Cocker, recently noted as one of Wales top young entrepreneurs, and Dafydd Griffiths, former key staff member at the world’s oldest record store, Spillers.

Notes

307 people were questioned as part of the survey. 82 percent were from the UK, 12 percent from North America, 4 percent from Europe and 2 percent from Australia. 71.8% reported that they made some money, but not enough to live on. 23.2% reported they lost money through their music endeavours, with 4.3% reporting making a living through music. The remainder didn’t answer the question. Actual incomes weren’t recorded.

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Guest blog on MusicSupportedHere.com

Music Supported Here is a new movement from the Musicians’ Union. It’s a campaign for all musicians. It’s about the simple but important principle that musicians should not get ripped-off in the digital world. Neil from Dizzyjam was asked to write a guest blog for them. He wrote about the importance of maintaining quality in everything you do, not just in your music. When merch, and live performances are earning you more than MP3 sales, you should definitely be giving them your full attention.

Read the blog post here.

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Buy your way into the charts!

Well, that seems to be the premise. New company Chartfixer promises to get your track into the charts. But at a cost. They claim to legitimately achieve this paying its users to download your tunes, which you obviously stump up for.

I wonder how long it will take the various chart organisations to ban this? Or is it a fair way to play the system?

Update – Chartfixer appears to have closed down. Seems like it didn’t take long for the authorities to take action….

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Everybody’s a music maker

Here in Cardiff we recently had an amazing TEDxCardiff event with loads of great speakers. One talk stood out for us, and one that should be of interest to all our readers. Dave Haynes is the UK head of Soundcloud, a brilliant service for music makers everywhere. We love it, and Dave’s a really nice guy too.

Full disclosure: TEDxCardiff was organised by Neil from Dizzyjam… 😉

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