Re: Culturally Inept?, Jan.23
To the Editor:
The thrust of your Jan.23 editorial seems to be that neither the students of Western, nor the campus bars, are willing to support original live music. I would like to make the following observations. The Gazette's lengthy tradition of ignoring what's happening on campus can not be underestimated when discussing what's amiss with entertainment in London. Of the more than 20 bands we presented on campus in first term, The Gazette managed only three advance articles that actually mentioned these artists were coming to Western. While Gazette reporters and photographers constantly call to obtain guest list privileges, they only produced another two show reviews in the same period. Artists like Wide Mouth Mason, Barstool Prophets, Age of Electric, Odds and the Frank and Walters went completely unrecognized by your entertainment staff. And despite a packed house each Friday, the Spoke managed to go a perfect 0 for 13 on any type of print coverage of our highly popular Free Friday Funnies series (a comedy show we do weekly at 2:30 p.m.).
The Gazette might try to explain this lack of interest by suggesting that our promotions have been flawed. For your information, in first term The Spoke and the Wave spent a combined total of more than $16,000 on Gazette advertising alone. Every original music show we produced was either presented by FM96, the Hawk or CHRW. Our live music lineup was regularly advertised in both Scene and Id Magazines and all shows were also promoted through ticket giveaways, contests, postering, press releases and the Internet. In spite of these efforts, The Gazette only managed to list The Spoke in one of six 'That's Entertainment' spots, while shutting out the Wave completely. Yes, we are exploring some different programming at The Spoke. The focus is to provide something that is live, fun and low or no-cost to students. That your editorial staff finds it unappealing or uncool comes as no shock to me and neither does the holier-than-thou rhetoric about developing Canadian talent. However, if The Gazette truly believes it is the champion of local and original music, start by covering what's happening in your own backyard.
U.S.C. Entertainment Productions Manager