The Bats & Very Special Guests “Virtual Show”

Bats gig posterSometimes it is not enough to have one crazy idea. Getting 4 bands together for a one-off show is one thing. Deciding to have the event filmed and shared with fans around the world who can’t make the show is another thing. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and when the bands and film-makers also thought it was a good idea it kind of took on a life of its own and the genie can’t be put back into the bottle any more… so here’s the press release on the “virtual show” idea:

“The Bats are playing the iconic Sammys Entertainment Venue in Dunedin, New Zealand on Saturday 7th November, culminating a sporadic world tour to promote their latest album, “The Guilty Office”. If you can’t make it to the show you can still share in this exclusive one-off event wherever you are in the world by purchasing a “virtual show” ticket for NZ$20.

The Bats are joined on the night by fellow Dunedin luminaries David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights, who recently launched a new album of Sam Hunt poems set to music, “Falling Debris” with shows around NZ, and underground legends The Puddle, fresh from their first NZ tour in ages to promote their new album “The Shakespeare Monkey”. Rounding off the night is the youthful boom cha-cha gothic pop of Haunted Love, who have just released their debut EP, the lovely, dark and sexy “Darkness in Diamond City” and promise a debut album next year.

In true Dunedin fashion all these bands are linked in history. Robert Scott from The Bats and David Kilgour play together in The Clean and Haunted Love provided the backing vocals for the latest Clean album, “Mister Pop”. The Puddle’s George D. Henderson played with David in The Great Unwashed on tour in the mid 1980s and The Great Unwashed’s Peter Gutteridge played keyboards in the first line-up of The Puddle before he formed Snapper.

Interest from fans around the world in this show prompted the “virtual show” idea from event organiser, The Puddle’s Ian Henderson. One US fan sent him the price of a ticket so she could “be there in spirit” setting off some brainstorming on ways to involve those dedicated fans who are unable to attend this show. A live internet stream was the first idea but would have some technical and quality challenges and stream at the wrong time of day for overseas fans. Instead the idea of filming the event on three cameras and editing together a “highlights package” of two songs picked by each band was suggested. This will be able to be downloaded approximately 6 weeks after the show (to allow time to mix and edit the production).by “virtual show” purchasers as a series of digital video files to play on their computer or burn to DVD yourself.

Of course it won’t be the same as being at Sammys in the cold reverb-filled semi-darkness and decaying grandeur of this unique live music venue. You won’t have your sense of smell assailed by the beer-soaked carpet or have drinks spilt on you as people dance badly to The Bats. But you will be able to say you were “there in spirit” and played a part in Dunedin’s music history by helping make a live video record of a unique Dunedin music event possible.

All you have to do is buy a ticket for the show and enter “virtual show” in the promotional code field. You will receive an electronic ticket for the show from Under the Radar as your receipt and your e-mail address will be forwarded to the event organiser who will contact you with progress on your “virtual show” downloads. You will also be able to immediately download the three exclusive MP3 files that come with the ticket pre-sales.”

UPDATE: 8 November 2009

The show took place last night so as of today the process of creating the “virtual show” highlights download has started!  It was a great show with a big crowd packing out Sammys and the bands all on form. The Under the Radar “virtual show” tickets above are no longer available however you can still buy the download for NZ$20 via PayPal by e-mailing me at fishrider [dot] records [at sign @ thing] yahoo [dot] co [dot] nz

The Bats at Sammys Dunedin 7 Nov 09

The Bats at Sammys Dunedin 7 Nov 09

I’ve had a lot of questions since then on some of the details and the why’s and how’s so here’s some:
Q: Why don’t you stream it free?
A: The original idea was free stream and then an option of fans buying a high quality multi-camera video if they wanted but the quality of a live stream is limited where we are. Plus it would stream at the wrong time for USA and Europe unless we did some kind of delayed stream, which would seem to defeat the point of a live stream.

Q: Why are you selling it? Most bands put this stuff out free on YouTube etc.?
A: By “most bands” you probably mean U2 or the Flaming Lips or big corporate label backed artists who have money to do this stuff free as a marketing ploy. These bands are all penniless underground bands from the South Island of NZ and I’m borrowing the money to get the event filmed and edited because I think it’s worthwhile doing this. I’m sorry, but I’d like to be able to pay it off somehow and I’m depending on people who love these bands but can’t make the show to become part of this.

Q: Why only two songs from each band and why can’t we decide which songs?
A: I wanted to keep the file-sizes reasonable for downloads. Four bands playing for @3 hours is a lot of music and a huge HD video file. The bands wanted to decide which songs so that you can see them at their best.

Q: How will we receive our live video “virtual show”?
A: Not sure on exact details yet but via a download site using a link or a secure link. Final details will depend on file size and where these can be hosted and how we can do it. If anyone isn’t able to download stuff (eg: on dial-up or a limited internet plan) let me know and we can do it by data DVD in the mail.

Q: Why will it take so long to get the video file downloads?
A: The team doing the filming and editing are students finishing their film projects for their university masters degrees. I’ve agreed that they need to get these finished first (due end of November). There will be a lot of footage from multiple cameras plus behind-the-scenes stuff to edit and sync with the desk live sound. We think we can do it by mid-December so that’s what we are planning on. [UPDATE 8 Nov 09: We should be able to do it much sooner as we have some new film students working on this project who have finished their studies for the year]

Q: So, we pay the $20, how can we trust you to deliver?
A: You have my name and my e-mail and my word. If this doesn’t happen for any reason I’ll be refunding your $20 payments. I’ll e-mail all the virtual show ticket buyers after the show and be keeping you informed of progress with the project.

If anyone has any questions drop me, Ian Henderson, a line at fishrider [dot] records [at sign @ thing] yahoo [dot] co [dot] nz please and I’ll be happy to answer them.

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