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Application: Flipped scripts

Flipped Scripts is based on a simple idea. No one but the musicians and their fans should be able to decide how and when music lovers are able to see and hear an artist’s work. For almost a century, music, musicians and fans have taken a back seat to marketing and promotions. Because a small community of music industry “professionals” have been able to decide what gets promoted and what gets released, music lovers have been left to accept what they’re offered. There have always been great artists that have gone unsigned or without sufficient promotion by major labels because they were either too creative to fit into an easily digested marketing plan or they had the integrity to say no when the music industry demanded they compromise their creative vision in order to become “marketable.”

Flipped Scripts is based on the idea that the future is inevitable. The old way of doing things is over. No one needs to tell you what you should and shouldn’t like. No one needs to tell artists what kind of music they should create, how they should look or that they should be trying to convince you how great their music is. Great music stands on it’s own. We especially believe no one should be exploiting musicians to enrich themselves in order strengthen their control of that process. We believe artists and their fans deserve more than that, and we want to give them the platform to have the freedom they’ve always deserved.

In keeping with those ideas, Flipped Scripts is dedicated to making the work of local unsigned artists available to a wider audience. There are great musicians around the country and the world who aren’t given the chance to succeed, in part because of the way the marketing and promotions process has worked for so long, and now in part because the music industry is suffering to a degree that makes it unable to find great artists, so instead, it’s creating products. We’re not interested in creating a product. We’re interested in giving talented musicians a platform to succeed without having to become a product and giving music lovers their first chance to be able to decide for and amongst themselves, exactly what it is that should be rising to the top, what should be recognized as the kind of great music that helps shape and enrich their lives and experiences, and to be able to interface with the musicians and bands they love simply and directly.

This idea reaches far beyond music as well. The kind of control that has been established by media conglomerates across the country has resulted in their lobbyists attempting to pass legislation like SOPA and PIPA, which threatened freedom of information across the internet, and therefore, the world. These measures would have effected everyone, not just musicians and music lovers, and their sole intent was to enable these conglomerates to keep control of the music, film, art, photography, and information the rest of us are exposed to. By having control of these things, they have been able to create a sense of false scarcity, and that is not only their actual product, but it is also the source of the kind of wealth that allows them to threaten our freedom to see, hear, buy or sell what we want. They are fighting the future, and Flipped Scripts wants to contribute to their defeat. It’s time the control was put back in the hands of the people who create these things and the people who love them.

We are beginning this process in Richmond Virginia, in part because the founders of Flipped Scripts live there, but also because Richmond has a rich and often overlooked artistic history. As the Richmond site and community is established, we will be taking this same idea to cities across the country in order to be able to establish a larger community in which people living in Richmond will be able to hear the music of local bands in Toledo Ohio, Baton Rouge Louisiana, Richmond California, Newburgh New York and every other city in the country.

Submitted on May 3, 2012

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