How PMN Runs Online Song and Poetry Swaps?

First, PMN members register to perform in any number of upcoming weekly song swaps.  Then, using a private link to a Zoom Video Conference, which is provided 2 days before the event, the group meet together live at the appointed time.

Technical Requirements: To participate, your computer must have:

  1. a functional camera.
  2. a functional microphone.
  3. a high speed internet connection.  

*** Find information on how to improve the audio quality of your performance when you register. 

Facebook Live Broadcast:  To enable a larger audience to hear these swaps, we export the video feed from Zoom to a Facebook livestream.  With or without a Facebook account, anyone can tune in to the livestream by going to PMN's Facebook page.  

Tech Run Through for Performers:  Registrants receive an invitation to participate in a tech run through, which runs from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (EST) on the night before each swap.  We discuss different mic options, lighting, and camera angels.  The group offers feedback on different settings you can use to improve audio and video quality.  The tech run through is highly recommended for those who have not previously performed via Zoom video conference.  Our goal is to put on a good show for the other performers and the broader audience tuning in.

Registration Deadline: Registration normally shuts down at 8:00 PM two nights before the swap takes place.  (For example, the deadline to register for a Friday swap would be Wednesday at 8:00 PM).  Be sure to register by then!

The Performer Line Up: Based on who registers, a final line up of performers will be released by the morning before each swap takes place.  (For example, the line-up for a Friday night swap will come out Thursday morning.)

Prioritizing First Timers:  Priority will be given to PMN members who have not yet performed in one of PMN’s online swaps or who have not done so recently.  Additional considerations for selection include racial, gender, and age diversity. 

Time Limit:  Each person gets 5 minutes max.  Extra kudos to those whose performances come in under time!  Keep intros brief, but tell us your name and where you live.  The majority of songs by singer songwriters are in the range of 3-5 minutes, and we can accept up to one song in this range.  In some poetic and musical genres, it is common that artists will perform shorter pieces of 1 or 2 minutes.  For the PMN Online Song and Poetry Swap, in order to respect everyone's time and keep the audience engaged throughout, the important thing is that the performance as a whole including introduction not exceed 5 minutes.

Wait Lists:  Every registrant not selected to perform will be added to a waitlist, which we will begin to go through, if time is available.  Each swap is limited to 2 hours.   Waitlists don't automatically carry over from one swap to the next; you must register for each individual event that you wish to participate in.

Regular Sign Ups:  PMN members are encouraged to sign up for as many songs swaps as they wish to participate in.  If you wish to participate every single week, that is great!  Please indicate this by registering for every song swap we are holding.  Since newcomers are given priority, please don’t worry that your registration will take a space away from someone else who wants to perform.

If we start getting many more registrants than we have spaces for, we’ll consider adding additional weekly swap dates.  PMN plans to continue hosting these swaps for the foreseeable future, as long as doing so continues to sustain and grow our diverse political and artistic community. 

Our goal is to maintain these regular online swaps as a vital and exciting space, especially during this pandemic when almost everyone is struggling with the effects of imposed social isolation.  To reach this goal, we need "regulars", because they help define this online music sharing space as uniquely characteristic of the values of People's Music Network.   We also need new people to join this space, because they represent the dynamism of an evolving network and they are, potentially, the new "regulars". 

Topics and Themes:  For some swaps, the theme is intentionally quite broad.  For others it is more specific.  Please consider the theme when choosing which song or poem.  The goal is to create a sense of shared meaning.

Sharing Lyrics:  The registration form gives you an opportunity to upload the lyrics of the song or poem you are sharing.  If at the time when you register, you’re unsure what piece you plan to perform, you can leave it blank.  You may send an e-mail to <> with the lyrics you'll use up until noon on the day of the swap.  All lyrics will be added to a google drive folder, which will be made available in the chat box during the swap.  The goal of sharing lyrics is to encourage sing along during the swap and also to make it easier for others to sing and refer back to the songs that were shared.

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© 2017 People's Music Network for Songs of Freedom and Struggle.
People's Music Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. c/o Sally Campbell 252 W 91st St Apt 64, New York, NY 10024-1135

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