Community spirit: meet the Xtra Mile Street Team
We here at Xtra Mile Recordings feel that community is paramount; we help each other, we build friendships and kinship, and we become bigger than our constituent parts. It seems a time when community is needed more than ever right now, especially after the results of the UK General Election last week which saw the Conservatives swing into power. The country is bracing itself for further funding cuts to reduce deficit, greater division between peoples (from various wage gaps to the possible exit of Scotland from the UK, and the UK from the EU) and continued maligning of those emigrating here for a better life only to find a nation of people relying on the generosity of others.
But we truly believe in the power of uniting and supporting each other, and you can be involved in this love-in. The Xtra Mile Street Team is your way to share your love for our artists, to help contribute to their success, and to become part of something bigger. If you like the sound of that — and especially after you've read this blog post — then you can find out more information on the Tumblr page and sign up directly here.
Read on to find out how Xtra Mile Street Team creator and chief Valerie Gritsch feels about community, and how her long history of supporting bands directly has supported her conviction (and led to her becoming a valuable member of the Xtra Mile Recordings as Social Media Manager). You will also read the enthusiastic quotes from some of our excellent Street Team members, who are already thoroughly involved and would like you to be too.
Join us. Let's make a difference.
Valerie Gritsch (Street Team Chief and Xtra Mile Recordings Social Media Manager)
A street team is a fan's chance to give back; at least, that’s what I always thought anyway. I joined my first one when I was 12 years old, for my favorite band. They were my world and I felt like they gave me so much, so I wanted to help them succeed as much as I could. As I got older I joined more and more, engaging friends and strangers online and off, telling them how much I loved this band or that record label. Even more than helping bands out though, because of street teams I have made close friends who share the same passions and musical tastes with me. The communities that can form around music are wonderful and exciting to be part of, as any Xtra Mile fan could attest to.
That’s why, to me, it made sense for there to be an Xtra Mile Street Team. The label is like a family, and the fanbase is pretty much one as well. Everyone is an automatic friend, so welcoming, and so kind. They’re eager to hear new music and share what they like with those around them. They keep going out to shows, they buy the merch, and bring along their friends. It’s easy for there to be a sense of elitism around music fans, that whole “I’ve liked them longer than you” nonsense, yet I have hardly seen that in the XMR fan circles, and that speaks volumes to how special their fans are.
Those who sign up for the Xtra Mile Street Team are fans of some of our artists, and are open-minded to the rest. Every mission I send out to our reps (the “XMRMY” or “Xtra Milers”) is voluntary, so they can pick and choose what they want to do. This works out well, because if it’s a task for a band they haven’t listened to yet, the rep can check them out first to see if they like their music. Then the reps share whatever tools we supply: links, videos, flyers, etc. Our reps have also been in music videos, chosen an unsigned band to be featured on XMHC Vol 5: Smokin’ and are hosting acoustic Skiffle Parties (house shows) for our artists. We encourage our reps to share about our artists, but also to share with each other and build relationships with their fellow fans. After all, their new bestie could be a fellow street teamer on the other side of the world.
Now's the time: contact us and get involved. Enthusiastic about our bands and music? Join in. It's more fun that way. Always always always get in touch via Facebook or Twitter @Xtra_Mile or even email us at contributions[at]xtramilerecordings[dot]com. We'll do our best to respond as soon as we can. And get in touch with fellow fans! Meet at gigs. Change your own lives. We'll gladly be facilitators. Help us out and help our artists out. What else are you going to do with your spare time?