How it all started...

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Love Rocks Festival

Love Rocks Festival

Jim Love

In the beginning…

Started in 2019, ‘Emerging New Rock Bands’ was set up as a Facebook group to showcase new and emerging rock music to more people using links to YouTube videos and Spotify. The idea was to cut through the noise of most groups and focus on the actual music being made by hundreds of new and unsigned artists from the UK and around the world. The group became a resource to find a new favourite band or to share the great music that had been discovered, thus creating more plays, likes, shares and interest in bands that need that exposure.
A small team of admins ensured that the content was relevant and the page soon amassed thousands of members. During the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, Emerging New Rock Bands would host one of the first live streamed festivals.

Going Solo

With the pandemic decimating the live music industry, Emerging New Rock Bands formed alliances with some of the most passionate advocates of new rock music including New Wave of Classic Rock, Anne Estella, and Crazy Cowboy.
Going Solo Down In Isolation would live stream solo performances to social media over two days with artists from bands such as SKAM, The Outlaw Orchestra, Baleful Creed, Scarlet Rebels, Land Captains, Delusional Silence, THEIA, Verity White, Jack J Hutchinson and many more. The event was also supported by Rockstar PR and two other facebook groups, Rock Against the Virus and Top of the Rocks. Going Solo was a great success and NWOCR took this further to host four amazing Webfest live streams during the lockdowns.
It was in 2020 that Emerging ‘New’ Rock Bands would change its name to ‘Emerging Rock Bands’, taking out the ‘New’ in the title to include all the bands that had been going for a number of years but were still gaining traction and releasing new material. It was also easier to say, and quickly became known as ERB.
Some behind the scenes drama led to the group being deleted in May 2020, but a new page and group were immediately put in place. Unfortunately, the group lost thousands of members overnight and would need to work hard to rebuild the trust and following. This period would become known as ‘The Rise of the Phoenix’.

The Rise of the Phoenix

From the ashes of the deleted facebook group, the team worked hard in rebuilding the following. Many people were confused, asking why it had happened and the truth is we still don’t know! But what we do know is that we were going to come back stronger.
The group was approached by a radio show who wanted to use the Emerging Rock Bands name to help to get new rock music played on the radio. The group loved this concept and was born.
To tie in with this, our resident graphic designer George Hill decided it was time for a rebrand; a stronger look to signify that the group had big plans and were launching a radio station. The logo was shortened to ‘ERB’ with bold designs both for social media channels and the radio station. But why stop there? George has a background in graphic design and publishing and he set about pitching an idea to the team, one which would be seen as crazy and bold… but one that would change everything…

Changing the game!

During the pandemic, many popular printed music magazines had folded and ceased to exist. It was yet another major blow to an already desperate music industry. The magazines that were available, and even the ones that are still available, tend to focus on the established artists, the legends of rock, the bands that can afford good PR; but what about the little guy?
Step forward ERB Magazine. The idea was simple; a printed magazine that would support the smaller artists and not charge the bands or PR companies to be included. Minimal advertising would be used to offset the costs but it would be funded by the readers and put together by volunteers. The aim was to sell around 100 copies and break even on the production costs. Messages were sent to people in the industry who gave their full support and we quickly devised a plan of action. Articles were written, photographs taken, new releases listened to for review and advertisers took a gamble on the team being able to deliver what we said we could.
On the 16th of October 2020, issue one of ERB Magazine was launched and not only did we exceed all expectations, we had to print more to cope with demand. As it turned out, people still love physical magazines and there was a huge appetite to read about new rock bands and discover new music to enjoy.
Issue two was launched in December and facing Christmas in lockdown, ERB hosted its first Christmas party online. We invited bands and artists to perform Christmas covers and record videos, which would be shown over Zoom to our guests. The bands pulled out all the stops, with many going on to release their tracks publicly. Hosted by Pete K Mally and with a quiz, live guest interviews and a secret Santa; the event was an overwhelming success, with everyone having a wonderful Christmas time. Tickets for the event and a raffle raised £667 for The Music Venue Trust. 2020 ended on a high, but ERB was just getting started.

Our Radio Rocks!

In conjunction with ERB Magazine, ERB Radio was also growing strong. Starting with just a few presented shows and a 24/7 jukebox, we soon found very willing amateurs who fancied doing a radio show. Anyone can learn to put a radio show together but the true passion for music is something that can’t be taught; it’s something that is inside us.
The radio team quickly grew and went from strength to strength, incorporating interviews and takeover shows into the mix. Before long, our radio presenting team was able to fill a full week of evening shows, all showcasing hundreds of brand new bands and tracks that were not being played elsewhere.
ERB Radio’s presenting team continues to expand, and our presenters and shows are earning respect with our listeners, the bands we support, and industry professionals.

Festival Fun

In the summer of 2021 lockdown restrictions were lifted and gigs and festivals were allowed to go ahead. This is what we had all been waiting for… freedom!
Since starting ERB, most of our team had never met in person; only via Zoom. Despite this, we had formed a bond and for the first time we had the opportunity to attend gigs and festivals together.
LoveRocks Festival in Bournemouth was the first of many festivals to go ahead and was superbly run by all involved. Many of the ERB team attended but were there to party rather than promote. It was amazing to see that people were wearing t-shirts with the ERB logo on, and we got to meet our readers face-to-face. It was a fantastic weekend and it was covered in a photographic feature in the magazine.
2021 was to be a year of live events for ERB as the team attended Steelhouse, Stonedead, Rockin’ the Bowl, Savfest, Wildfire, Nozfest, Winterstorm and a number of live gigs, which were reviewed on the website.
At Stonedead Festival, ERB had a trade stand for which we pulled out all the stops. We invested in a gazebo, banners, flags and more, to be a shining beacon to all those that had not heard about us. It was to prove a great move as magazines and subscriptions were sold and our stand and selfie frame was a mecca for the great many bands and artists we had featured over the year. Having an advert in rotation on the huge video walls at the side of the stage was definitely one of the highlights of 2021.

Looking ahead

At the end of a busy 2021, the ERB team has been somewhat quiet. Many of us returned to work and the pressures of normal life have made it a little bit harder to do as much. But while we might be lacking in time, we are not lacking in numbers. Our team has grown organically as we have taken on new presenters, writers, reviewers and photographers, all working together to bring you great content, and to showcase more new music than ever before.
We are sponsoring Breaking Bands Festival 7 in June with a dedicated ERB Stage; along with the fantastic bands already on the bill, ERB are also hosting the competition to find the band to open the ERB stage.
2022 sees us investing in a brand new website and radio platform, in order to cope with more visitors and listeners, as well as many more new radio shows brought to you by our new presenters. We will also be attending more festivals and events so look out for us at a festival near you.

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