SXSC was set up by Oliver Gray and Richard Williams in 2004. We did it in the attempt to get some of our favourite bands to play in Winchester. That way, we wouldn’t have to keep dragging ourselves all over the country to see them. So it isn’t exactly an unselfish enterprise.
We started off by booking Peter Bruntnell, partly because he’s a mate and partly because he’s a crazed genius. That went really well and soon after we started getting phone calls and emails from bands asking us if they could play. And from there on it’s pretty much snowballed.
We don’t really have a booking policy. As long as we like something and we don’t think we’ll lose our shirts on it, we’ll give it a go. As it’s turned out, almost all the bands we book are American and Canadian, and we have become part of a national circuit of small roots / Americana venues. It’s an entirely non-profit activity, a hobby really, which means we concentrate on keeping the quality up and don’t book bands who we don’t want to see.
We do re-book acts that we like, but we like to keep new stuff coming in too. Some of our most rewarding shows have been those with tiny audiences but great music. If you have any suggestions of who we should be booking, please let us know.
There have been changes in recent times. After farcical threats of litigation by the South By South West Festival in Austin, Texas, we have been forced to change the name to sc4m (South Central For Music). The Railway has changed hands and Richard has moved to Spain. sc4m is now run by me (Oliver) and my wife Birgit. We have tried out other venues with varying success but nowadays we use the Railway, The Winchester Discovery Centre and our own log cabin, which goes under the name of The Swiss Cottage. These small, intimate shows have proved a big success. We also run the annual one-day sc4m Festival each September.
We can’t do it without your continued support, so thanks for turning out and we hope you carry on enjoying it. Please tell your friends! A big shout also goes out to Christian, Ben, Joe, Luke, Dan and everyone at The Railway.
As Bruntnell would say, thanks folks.
To contact Oliver about anything SXSC related, email him here.