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LIVE PRESS Guidelines and Procedures
Guidelines for staff and potential staff

Garage Radio is always looking for talented writers and photographers with a great love for music to cover live shows, artist interviews and CD reviews in a variety of
genres and venues all over North America. GR's guidelines are fairly flexible and easy to follow. Upon
acceptance as a writer or photographer for>,
we will need the following information:

  • Full name as it appears on your photo ID (Picture ID is required to retrieve tickets and photo passes)
  • Mailing address (so we can send you press kits or tickets)
  • Phone Number(s) where we can reach you (Home & Cell)
  • Photographer's name, address and phone (if applicable)
  • List of areas you are willing to travel to attend shows
  • Types of music you're willing to attend live for coverage


Garage Radio is always making new contacts and is currently a free site; however, we are beginning to gather sponsors and advertisers. At the time we sell ad space in your article, you will receive cash payment. Otherwise, all we can offer is the opportunity to get your work noticed by larger entities such as equipment manufacturers, established print publications and even paid PR opportunities. We also compensate our staff with CDs, concert tickets, swag from our sponsors and various other perks. Currently we're making preparations to go to print. When that happens, ALL positions will get regular pay. Our staff has been recognized for their work and have gone on to bigger and better opportunities. For photographers, we can assist you in brokering your photos for sale (we don't expect any payment for this, either). 


Garage Radio retains electronic rights to all submissions that we assign to you and/or arrange for you for 1 (ONE) year from the date of publication, both photographed and written. You are free to sell your articles and photos to PRINT publications at any time. Other web sites may link to your articles and photos on the Garage Radio web site; however, We will NOT link back to anyone except you. We will print your web address, if you have one, on our site. We ask that you DO NOT publish any article or photo on your web site that is submitted to GR for the first year without our permission.

After the first 6 (six) months, you may contact GR about admission of articles to other web sites. Depending on which one it is we will most likely grant permission as long as Garage Radio is given proper credit as the source. After the first year, electronic rights will revert to you, but GR retains the right to keep the articles and photos in our archives to remain live and accessible to the public.

Of course, you don't have to write for Garage Radio exclusively. We will treat you as a staff writer in that you are on our list to be contacted for CD reviews, interviews, show reviews and photos for us. Additionally, we hope if you come across opportunities on your own that you will consider sharing them with us first!

Basic Live Event Review Philosophy:

Write your article so the person reading it feels like they were standing there with you. Descriptions of interesting people in the crowd, antics of the band, stage sets, lighting tricks, video screens and pyro are all part of the experience. So are the names of the songs, which ones the crowd sings back, what gets crowd reaction, etc. and outstanding instrumental solos or jams; all the things you’ll never get from a CD. Sort of like telling your best friend about the concert you saw the night before and the stuff that made an impression on you – but you better be taking notes through the entire show, including snippets of lyrics to identify songs later, because you WON’T remember even a third of what went on by the time you hit the parking lot!!!

Photography Basics:

If you haven’t done this before, standard policy for known bands is 1st 10 minutes or 1st 3 songs, NO FLASH!! Often you have to sign a waiver stating the publication you're taking photos for and they won’t be used or sold elsewhere. THIS IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT!! You may not be able to photo all bands on the bill. It depends on what’s on your photo pass. This will be discussed on an assignment by assignment basis. Technical information will be forthcoming.

Interview Basics:

DO YOUR RESEARCH!! If the information is available in a bio or on a Web Site, DO NOT ASK THE QUESTION!! You can use the info in your article, but you DON’T ask the band/artist! The most successful interviews are done over the phone, NOT backstage at a gig!! Bands/artists granting interviews are doing it to promote their current project. You will be in their good graces if you work around that subject and not past projects. Even if you are a HUGE fan, you are a professional when you interview. Refrain from personal “fan” type questions. A conversational style vs. Q. & A. will get you a LOT more information. Have what you want to ask about ready in advance and work it into the conversation. Help with how to set up your recording equipment (if you’ll be using that) and preparation will be available to you from Mary Ellen.

Live Press Assignments:

There are so many different kinds of live gigs going on that NOBODY can know about every single one. We have two ways to assign live shows.


It will be your responsibility to keep track of what’s going on in YOUR area. If there is a live gig coming up you want to attend, you need to send a REQUEST to Mary Ellen Gustafson: with the following information:

YOUR Name, Address, e-mail, Phone Number, Cell Phone Number
Band Name & Record Label (or way to contact)
Opening/Other Bands on Bill & Record Labels (or way to contact)
City, State or Province, Country

If it’s a NAME (very popular) Band/Artist, TOUR (Ozz Fest, WARPED, etc.) or Festival (Metal Mania, etc.) you MUST give us approx. 6-8 weeks notice or more to work on the set up. Press tickets are becoming more difficult to get for these types of shows. We send 2 people with one Photo Pass. Even with advance requests, sometimes we can’t get confirmation until One or two days before the show. Be patient, we will stay in touch with you. Normally, Tickets & Photo Pass are picked up at Will Call. We make sure you have contact names with the band in case you have problems.

With this type of Tour, we know we’ll get many requests. There are certain factors that will influence who gets the assignment. Some are beyond our control (a certain city has no press tickets, you’re the 50th person to ask, etc.). Within YOUR control and ours is: the BEST people get the important assignments. we will do first come, first serve among the BEST, unless it’s beyond our control.


We get press releases with Tour Dates in them all the time. If it’s something we want covered by a specific person or need by a specific time, we will contact a writer or photographer in the area to ask if they can do the assignment. Otherwise, we’ll Post the entire list in the the Staff Forum and sometimes e-mail the entire staff with the info. First, best writer to reply gets the assignment.


We don't always get in through the Headliner. Many times it's through one of the Opening Bands – the kind that Garage Radio is about! You can stay through the whole concert, but you may only be allowed to do photos of the band you’re on the list for. You won’t know that until you get the actual photo pass. SOME headliners WON'T allow Photos, even if you’re on THEIR list. These are mostly the older guys (Ozzy in particular, now Aerosmith and a few others we used to be able to photo). They have their own photographers and usually give you contact info, but the contacts never call you back. Sometimes the venue will make you leave and put your equipment back in your car or lock it up in the Box Office. You have to learn to go with the flow. Every venue handles photo passes differently, because THEY have rules about photos as well.

We apologize to the professionals who’ve done all this before about having to slog through this. However, we don’t know who we're dealing with and we’ll be recruiting on an ongoing basis. There are always going to be a few people that really need this info!

GR is very flexible and we pride ourselves on finding and presenting great opportunities to our staff. If you would like to be a part of what we're doing, fill out the online form to apply. You can get to the online form HERE.

NOTE: Don't forget to become a GR member so you can have access to the Staff Forum and Chat!

Copyright © by Garage Radio Magazine All Right Reserved.

Published on: 2004-09-10 (1035 reads)

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