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First Time's the Charm 2018

Event organized by PhilaMOCA

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First Time's the Charm is back! What started in 2013 and happened again in 2016 will be held for a third time this summer.

The idea is simple: as members of the DIY music community we need to do everything we can to make our scenes less homogeneously white, straight, and male. To that end we are holding a two day concert made up of entirely new bands that must include women, people of color, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people, and those with disabilities.

While events like this are always important, we feel that within the current political climate they are even more necessary in order to provide a space for those who are most often pushed to the margins.

The event will be held at PhilaMOCA on July 6th and 7th. More information about that soon.


Your band must be able to say YES to two of the following:

(1) Are one or more members female-identified, queer, someone with a disability, trans or gender non-conforming, or a person of color?

(2) Are one or more members playing in a band for the very first time?

(3) Are one or more members playing an instrument that they have never played before?

On the day of the show you and your bandmates will go up there and play a 15 minute set. You don’t have to be perfect but you do need to give a shit. This is for you.

This year’s event will be a benefit for Beyond The Bars, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that teaches music to incarcerated youth as well as those impacted by the criminal justice system. More information about them can be found at: beyondthebarsmusic.org/

The submission form can be found here: https://goo.gl/A44CWc

Frequently Asked Questions:

* How do I participate?

Anyone can form a band and sign up to play this show, but the group must fulfill at least two of the above requirements.

Submissions will open on April 1st. On that date, we will post a form for prospective bands to fill out. Before you sign up, make sure that you can commit to forming a band, practicing, and playing the show.

Selected bands will be notified by April 10th, giving you three months to work toward your show.

*Selected? Does that mean not everyone will get to play? How will you choose bands?

Last time First Time’s The Charm was capped within a few days. We expect the same enthusiasm this time around and want to make sure there is room for as many people as possible.
We will close submissions on April 9th, or when we reach 50 band submissions, whichever comes first. From there, we will decide which bands will participate based on the quality of the submissions. We will have a short waiting list which will be used to fill spots in case of cancellations.

*How many bands will play the show? How long will each band play?

Sixteen (16) bands will be selected to play FTTC. Eight (8) bands will play each night.

Each band will play three songs or for approximately 15 minutes.

* I’m in a band and we’ve only played one or two shows. Can we play?

FTTC is meant for people who want to but have not yet had the means to form a band. This is an event for brand new bands only.

* I’ve been playing in bands for years and I think this is important and want to be involved. What can I do?

Consider grabbing some friends who have not had the same opportunities and encouraging them to play in a band with you. You can be a great resource for them.

Loan out your extra gear and instruments to people. Help them figure out guitar tone, figure out a way to teach them how to take an idea from their head to reality. Let them make noise in your basement/practice space.

Come to the show! Promote it! Contact us if you’d like to play a benefit.

*Where is the show going to be? When is it?

PhilaMOCA, located at 531 North 12th Street, just north of Spring Garden. The venue is wheelchair accessible. Please let us know ahead of time if you'll need any assistance. The shows will be Friday and Saturday, July 6th and 7th, giving you three months to get ready!

*What will the money from this show go to?

The proceeds from this event will benefit Beyond the Bars. Beyond The Bars is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to opening creative, musical spaces to youth who have been impacted by the incarceration system.

FTTC is a microcosm of the change we want to see in our scene, our community, and our city. We are using our privilege to create space for people who have historically been shut out of making music. This is something that anyone can and should do, especially if you are involved with booking shows or playing in bands. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

Want to know the answer to something we didn’t address here?
Email us at: phillyischarming@gmail.com