Adelaide’s local independent scene encompassing the realms of fashion, clothing, style, identity and music, are proliferating in both growth and prevalence. As many have complained in the past regarding Adelaide’s lack of a ‘youthful culture,’ there is a prevailing change in our midst; an “Indie-licious’ flavour has been formed by the local Adelaide movement known as fourwords.
Some individuals have followed the lead of various Melbourne promoters, marketers and musicians by succumbing to this ‘Indie-licious’ flavour via the formation of new independent music movements and events. In 2010, a team of enthusiastic youths fashioned this new local scene and many have joined their call and inventiveness. Its sole purpose is to promote the independent arts and music, whilst focusing on a younger demographic.
Fourwords consists of an online site, blog, Twitter and Facebook page, all with the intention to endorse and showcase local talent. In a nutshell, they “promote and party.” The foremost significance of their blog is to keep Adelaidians up to date concerning events, music and even what the fourwords crew are currently listening and dancing to. Once a month, occasionally more often, a party is held at the Rhino Room, which previously featured the current content of the blog and site. At each event, they endorse a minimum of two local artists, one locally made film or film maker profile, one local band, along with local DJs.
However, as the fourwords movement has gained a sense of maturity and momentum, in addition to promoting local talent, they now feature guests from interstate and overseas. The site nowadays caters for all aspects of life, including Do Adelaide’s Independently Run Walking Tour. Furthermore, interviews with various acts are now undertaken and documented, along with their own artist warehouse.
Fourwords has already gained a loyal crowd and following via their blog which is ever-growing. In the near future, management is looking at doubling the amount of events at Rhino Room; the outcome enabling a greater coverage of musical genres, will appeal to a larger youth audience and reach out to more local artists. Fourwords aims at expanding and enhancing the local music infrastructure within Adelaide into a more supportive platform for local independent artists.
Drummer Ryan ‘Heff’ Gerlach of local Adelaide band Terracotta Palace shared his thoughts with me pertaining to the fourwords model.
"They are one of the only crews in town whose focus lies solely in giving opportunities to local bands and promoting live music. They work tirelessly for little to no money whilst still remaining dedicated to the growth and development of the Adelaide scene. I couldn’t begin to imagine how different the live music scene in this town would be without them."
By developing a strong following and combining both independent music and the arts, fourwords have developed a formula for smaller musical acts and artists, particularly the independents, to reach out to a demographic that they would otherwise not come into contact with.
The ways in which fourwords have nurtured a name for themselves and their artists is through instantaneous marketing. They currently utilise a variety of social media networking tools and have links with promotional material on their blogs. Facebook has been a tremendously essential tool for their marketing, particularly considering that the demographic which they appeal to are of an age that are very much in touch via social networking forums. A network of contacts within the local arts community has been established, which all provide secondary marketing via their websites, Facebook, Twitter accounts and emailing databases.
When fourwords was first inaugurated, I spoke with one of their founders, Amber Cronin. During their commencement, they did not exercise any online marketing, which was surprising. The idea not to market themselves on the web originated from the notion that relied on acquiring the public’s attention via different mediums. The plan evidently worked wonders for them. They firstly embarked by spreading stickers and stencils of the fourwords title around the city, which made the general public familiar with the name, creating a bit of mystery. According to Cronin, they recruited a following of people who identified with their brand in this specific method. The next step was to rely on word of mouth.
“The most useful marketing tool is word of mouth." Cronin stated. "It is the single most effective marketing tool that we could possibly hope to use. Word of mouth has brought people to the events, more than anything else that we have done. We encourage this by looking after people who are loyal to the event.”
Current members remain rather content with the development of fourwords since my conversations with Amber. Adam Cope, who’s main role consists of being their DJ and booking artists, expressed his delight with it’s growth.
“We’ve gone from a small time blogs and small parties featuring only local acts to a popular website/social media page and now host big parties featuring some interstate acts and renting our own artist warehouse.”
As the site suggests, fourwords is truly “a movement of music, art, culture and good times.” Many regulars feel like fourwords is 'a bit of a family' and I certainly feel it too. As Cronin affirms, “It’s these people to which we owe our success; they are the ones that ensure that there is a crowd every time, they are the ones that are spreading our branding and keeping the dreams of fourwords a reality.”
Give this fourwords “Indie-Licious” flavour a taste for yourself. Attend their upcoming 2nd Birthday Party on the 11th of August, at the Rhino Room.