* * Play in a band or just watch & enjoy * *
Instant Band Night is a party where musicians who’ve just met form bands on the spot. Come play or come watch: either way, it’ll be the best night of your week.
(1) The first rule of Instant Band Night is: 👏 YOU 👏 DON’T 👏 HAVE 👏 TO 👏 PLAY 👏 AN 👏 INSTRUMENT 👏 TO 👏 ATTEND 👏
(2) The second rule of Instant Band Night is: We guarantee you (the audience) an astonishingly excellent time.
(3) The third rule of Instant Band Night is: Bring a friend or three!
In case you’ve never been to Instant Band Night, here’s the deal:
1. The stage has a drum kit, guitar, bass, keyboard, and mics.
2. We draw names out of hats to make instant bands that get 5 minutes in the green room to plan a 5-minute set.*
3. A hat-drawn artist will also take the stage alongside each band to draw their gig poster on a meeting room easel pad.
* If you’ve brought a friend (or friends) you want to play with and you’ve already worked something out, just put your whole group into the DUETS/GROUPS hat and we’ll slot you into the order.
HOWEVER! No show is complete without an audience: if you don’t play an instrument or sing, COME ANYWAY and just watch; you’ve never seen anything like it.
Creativity!! Courage!! Music!!
There will be cookies
* * * w e ‘ l l * s e e * y o u * t h e r e * * *
Q: Do I need to be a musician to show up?
A: No. Absolutely not. Hell no. Come see the show and have a good time; you don’t have to get onstage.
Q: I’m a musician; am I guaranteed a slot in a band?
A: We literally draw names written on slips of paper out of coffee cans, so there’s a chance you may not be called; in a purely mathematical sense, it’s a function of how many musicians of each type show up that night (there are five musician cans (DRUMS, GUITAR, BASS, VOX, MISC) and one can for artists who’ll be picked to draw the bands’ gig posters, plus the DUETS/GROUPS can for people who showed up with at least one friend and already have something in mind. We say: surrender to the spirit of random chance, or maybe slip the MC a bribe of some sort.
Q: Do I have to be an amazing musician to throw my name in a can?
A: Probably not. Your band’s only gonna be onstage for 5 minutes, anyway; how bad can you possibly be?
Q: I play an instrument other than what’ll be onstage, like the sax or trumpet. Can I bring it?
A: Hhhheeeeeelll yyyeeeessssss you can bring it. PLEASE DO. We had a guy bring a bassoon once, and he rocked the living shit out of it — and, by extension, us. Woodwinds and brass, which tend not to need extra amplification for a space of this size beyond being pointed vaguely at a mic, are most welcome. If your instrument requires an amp, that’s cool, but you should get in touch with Jon about showing up early for setup.
Q: Do I have to pick my cover tunes beforehand?
A: Listen. You and your band (who you’ve JUST MET) have 5 minutes onstage to do whatever the hell you can think of in the 5 minutes prior to walking up there. You wanna try to pick a cover everyone can agree on? Great. You wanna try writing something new? Fantastic; it can definitely be done. You wanna pick a key and tell each other to just fuckin’ wing it up there? You are a RAGING PSYCHOPATH and we love it. We’ll see you in 5; get in the green room!!!!
Q: I showed up with a friend (or two or three or four) and we already have something in mind. Can we play together?
A: We made a whole other coffee can just for you: it’s the one labeled DUETS/GROUPS! Put all your names (plus your band name) on one of the big paper entry slips and throw it right in there!
Q: What does BYOB stand for?
A: We don’t sell drinks at Instant Band Night, so you gotta bring your own. Get a cheap sixpack of something. Maybe a bottle and some cups. We’re not here to godmod how you get down.
Q: Does this mean it’s 21+?
A: That it does.
Q: Is this in the East Bay?
A: It is. Do not be alarmed: it’s within walking distance of MacArthur BART, and as a bonus, you get to tour the delightful, scenic Temescal district on your way over. Or you could just take a Lyft from SF (or the BART station if you fancy). Got a car? Drive on over; parking around the East Bay Community Space is pretty simple. You can do this. We believe in you.
Q: I can’t make it, and I feel a little bad about it. Am I good?
A: The only cure is to think of a few friends of yours who live in the Bay and enjoy fun, then invite them to this.
Q: You got any other rules?
A: For some reason, almost every Instant Band Night sees a group do a rendition of “Creep” by Radiohead, so this song is now outlawed until at least Instant Band Night 16