GDPR Reading List

One of the biggest projects for many arts organisations in 2018 will be preparing for the introduction of GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation is a new set of rules about how organisations are allowed to use personal data. With these regulations coming into effect from May 2018, we all need to ensure that we are fully complaint by this time.

The GDPR regulations relate to how you collect, store, process and share personal data such as customer, audience and employee records. As such, it is relevant for most arts, culture and charity organisations! Happily, there is lots of information available from trustworthy sources online. Here’s a short reading list of GDPR articles, best practice and guidance that we think will be most relevant for our clients and contacts…

1. Arts Council England has created an incredibly useful site called Sharing Data which clearly and concisely sets out best practice for data collection in relation to GDPR and the arts. This site is a great first stop introduction to the subject, and includes case studies, FAQs and a list of further resources to investigate.

2. Museums will benefit from the Association of Independent Museum’s thorough Success Guide – an extensive document intended to brief small museums on how privacy and data regulations impact them.

3. Charities and non-profit organisations will need to consider donors as well as audiences and customers. The Information Commissioner’s Office has put together some GDPR guidance specifically for charities. This includes a charity sector toolkit, explaining how to implement appropriate policies within charitable organisations.

4. The Institute of Fundraising has created a guide designed to teasing out the elements of GDPR that are most relevant for fundraising organisations. They call their guide “a starting point for fundraisers to be aware of some key areas that they need to be thinking about.”

5. Finally, ArtsProfessional’s no nonsense article lists practical tips for implementing GDPR within arts organisations.

Making sure you are compliant with the new data regulations may seem a daunting task, especially for smaller organisations with limited resources. But these guides and articles should offer a good place to start, and help you to build up a basic understanding of the impact these changes will have – and the work that needs to be done to prepare for them!

We’re recruiting: Admin Assistant Internship

London Calling and Culture Calling are now looking for an organised and efficient Admin Assistant to join us for a one month paid internship (paid at London Living Wage) at our London office in Islington.

This will be a hands-on role primarily concerned with supporting the sales and marketing teams to run efficient b2b communications, giving the successful candidate lots of experience of office admin within a busy arts marketing environment.

Find out more about the role and apply!


We’re Recruiting: Account Handler

A new and challenging opportunity to be an important part of the growth of our dynamic arts and culture marketing company. The role is focused on sales, managing a portfolio of small and medium sized organisations as well as looking to bring in new business for the company building on our well established existing client base.

We are looking for someone who has flair, energy, is confident in dealing with people, has imagination, is focussed, highly organised and tenacious. This role would suit a person with some sales experience who wants to develop into a more senior sales account management role. Some marketing experience in a commercial environment is also important, as is having a flexible and innovative approach to work.

This post is part of a team of Account Managers who work alongside our new business and marketing teams as well as with our related company Culture Calling.

The post will be incentivised with a basic wage of between £22,000 and £27,000 dependent on experience and a monthly commission being paid on the basis of meeting and exceeding agreed targets.

See the full job description.



The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon 2017

We’re an active bunch at London Calling and we love getting out-and-about to experience the city’s most exciting events. So taking part in The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon was too good an opportunity to miss! RPFHM celebrated its 10th birthday on 8th October when 16,000 runners took part in one of the most picturesque and landmark-packed half marathons on the planet. Our Head of Distribution Guy Smith entered the race to find out if it was as good as we’d heard…

London’s eight Royal Parks cover 5,000 acres of green space across the capital, providing Londoners and visitors respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. The RPHM takes in four of the eight Royal Parks on its route – Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James’s Park and Kensington Gardens – and with the roads closed especially for the race, you get a VIP view of some of the loveliest sites in the city.

Travelling to the race I spotted many fellow runners in their yellow RPHM t-shirts and gave a knowing nod while making my way to the tube. At the race village in Hyde Park the complicated logistics of getting 16,000 people into an orderly queue was done incredibly smoothly. Bag drop was swift and even the nervous pre-race queues for the toilets seemed to disappear quickly! All this efficiency got me to the start far too early and I had a 25 minute wait in the starting pen to ponder my pitiful lack of training in the past two weeks and to think of adequate excuses for my expected poor time.

After the elite runners had departed, the remaining mere mortals started in waves, every five minutes, depending on their expected finish time. I was safely tucked somewhere in the middle where it was becoming rather cosy and people were starting to strike up new friendships: “Nice shoes!” and “What’s that tattoo meant to be?” I heard around me. The answer to the latter was, incredibly: “…a pig with a chicken’s head.”

So what if my training had been poor? This was a flat course and a beautiful morning – sunny but cool with absolutely no wind. No excuses.

A congested first mile saw runners jockeying to find space to hit their intended race pace but once we were into Green Park the field started to spread out and you were able to run more easily and take in the magnificent view of Buckingham Palace with the morning sun lighting up the Victoria Memorial. Next was St. James’s Park and then through Admiralty Arch just after mile 2, taking a sharp right turn down Whitehall for an ‘out and back’ past Downing Street.

At mile 3 we hit the Strand and keep going along the Strand… and we’re still running along the Strand several minutes later… Who knew the Strand was so long? Phew, left onto Aldwych and an about turn back onto… the Strand again! Then back towards Trafalgar Square, through Admiralty Arch, and down The Mall back towards Buckingham Palace, making a note to myself that I must go to the ICA very soon.

Back through Green Park and into Hyde Park at mile 6 where the crowd support was just overwhelming. The entire route was well lined with cheering spectators, bands, sound systems, even Morris dancers, but the depth and noise of the support in the parks was amazing. Mention must also be made of the efficient and encouraging staff of the plentiful drinks stations around the course providing much-needed supplies of water and Lucozade. You’re awesome.

We skirted the Serpentine and completed a double loop of Hyde Park covering around 4 miles. This is where I completely lost my bearings, not knowing in which direction we were going. It was only at mile 11 that I realised we were now in Kensington Gardens when, out of nowhere, came The Hill! I say hill, possibly just an incline really but a long one that came as a shock after 11 pancake-flat miles.

Once I spotted the Royal Albert Hall I knew we were almost there and somehow managed to up my pace slightly for the last half mile. I’d decided to avoid looking at my watch during the race and just enjoy the surroundings and was delighted to cross the finish line in a time much faster than expected. The beautiful Royal Parks wooden medal (something I have coveted for some time) was placed around my neck and I staggered away, slightly delirious, for a well-earned banana and a lie down.

In the 10 years of the RPHM over 128,000 runners have now taken part with over £35 million raised for more than 750 charities. So in the week that I received my annual London Marathon rejection, this beautiful and inspiring race was more than ample compensation!

Inspired by Guy’s experience? You can now register your interest for the 2018 race!



How to Effectively Combine Print and Digital Marketing

Print is a powerful tool which can help businesses connect with their key audiences, as well as reaching new, previously untapped demographics. That said, if you’re not incorporating digital into your marketing campaign, you could be missing a trick. So if you’re at a loss on how to combine the best of both print and digital into your marketing efforts, we’ve pulled together a couple of tried-and-tested ideas to help you get the most out of your campaign.

1.) Be Consistent with your Branding
It might seem obvious but, as with any type of marketing, consistency is key. When considering your print campaign, you want your leaflet/flyer/poster to stand out and make an impact, however how this transcends into your digital efforts should also be considered. It’s important to come up with a clear brand identity. If you don’t, you invite confusion or simply risk your audience not being able to connect your brochure and website as part of the same marketing effort.

2.) Make the Most of Social Media
Again, this one may sound like an obvious suggestion, but we’ve seen so many campaigns fall short when it comes to utilising their social media channels. Social media offers the perfect launch pad not just for digital campaigns, but for your printed output as well and is one of the most effective digital tools for reaching a lot of people in a short space of time. It can also help push traffic from print to digital and vice versa.

Be sure to include details of where readers can follow you online on your print. Encourage discussion around your brand by creating an interesting hashtag unique to your event/brand/product and use it in your own social media activities. This will help create a recognisable correlation between your social media channels and print displays.

3.) Use QR Scans and Tracked Links
QR (Quick Response) scan codes can be can be a really effective way of directing those interested in your print straight to your website via a smartphone or tablet. The versatility of these codes allows you to use them on any printed material, and scanning them will take you to the desired landing page, whether that’s a special offer or your website’s homepage. When paired with personalised URLs, you can track the successfulness of these codes and where users are engaging with your print materials. When used well, these codes can bridge the divide between offline and online marketing by encouraging offline customers to visit your digital channels.

4.) Use CTAs to Drive Traffic from Print to Digital
A lot of print can be designed with only one aim in mind, be that a specific event or product, a special offer or to raise awareness. By incorporating a powerful CTA (Call to Action) into your printed material, you can again help to bridge the gap between print and digital. Use clear CTAs in your printed materials to encourage consumers to visit your social media page or website for more information. For an extra push, using an exclusive offer or special promotional code can help as an incentive to drive more traffic from your print to online.


So there we have it! A few ideas to help you get started when it comes to integrating digital into your print campaign. Any of these sound like something you’d be interested in? Get in touch with our client services team and they’ll be able to help!

London Calling Playlist: October

The music we’re loving in the London/Culture Calling HQ. 

September’s playlist is a mish-mash of the dying embers of the summer’s festivals, gigs the team have been to, new releases and recommendations from some of the fantastic artists, musicians and actors we’ve interviewed over the past month. There should be something for everyone, with rock, electro, RnB and jazz all whisked together to make a delicious October playlist. Tuck in.

Feel we missed something? Join the debate and let us know your favourite songs at the moment by tweeting us or messaging us.

Down The Line (It Takes A Number) – Romare

It was with a fairly heavy heart that we bade farewell to British festival season for another year, though we leave laden with memories. Our Editorial Assistant Will saw London-based DJ Romare play a 90-minute set at Sunfall Festival that was full of beautiful, groovy afro-tinted tracks. Down the Line (It Takes a Number) is from his breakthrough Meditations on Afrocentrism EP.

Cherry Glazerr – Miss Ratched

We always have music playing in the LC offices, and every now and again a playlist, or a radio station, throws something unexpected into our midst that catches our ears and just won’t quit. This track from Cherry Glazerr’s recent Apocalipstick album is one of those – a scuzzy rock number full of catchy melodies.

Cut-Out – Grizzly Bear

We spoke to comedian and writer Mark Watson earlier this month, and he professed his love for the new Grizzly Bear album, Painted Ruins. Our former New Business Manager Simon is in the same camp – so this one’s for you, Simon.

Broken Clocks – SZA

SZA’s 2017 album ctrl marks the emergence of an artist with serious potential. Our Account Manager Willow has caught on early, and heartily recommended her blend of neo-soul and RnB styles mixed with skilled rapping. There’s a project in the pipeline with Mark Ronson/Tame Impala, so you’ll no doubt be hearing more from SZA very soon.

You Want It Bad – Club Kuru

Will paid another visit to the Sebright Arms (one of the finest pubs in London to catch great under-the-radar artists), this time to see Club Kuru. Back with a new EP, their psych-tinged pop tunes and charismatic live shows make them a band to keep your eyes on.

Midnight in a Perfect World – DJ Shadow

James Lavelle recently spoke to us about his numerous Daydreaming projects in various locations throughout Camden – specifically his week-long residency at the Jazz Café. Midnight in a Perfect World comes from the iconic Endtroducing….. album by DJ Shadow – the record that propelled Lavelle’s Mo’Wax label into the public consciousness.

The Way You Used to Do – Queens of the Stone Age

James also mentioned some of the albums he was currently enjoying, and the return of Queens of the Stone Age was mentioned. New album Villians – their first in four years – is a return to their original sound, and as such The Way You Used to Do is a fitting single. It’s classic QOTSA.

tonite – LCD Soundsystem

Office Manager Kate was lucky enough to catch the mighty LCD Soundsystem at the Ally Pally this September, following the release of their hotly-anticipated fourth album American Dream. James Murphy’s pioneering New York rock band, back after a seven-year hiatus, have released an album that sounds as if they’ve never been away. American Dream is a definite 2017 highlight.

The Human Abstract – David Axelrod

Back to DJ Shadow and James Lavelle, this David Axelrod track forms the basis of the earlier Midnight in a Perfect World. We thought it only right to include The Human Abstract so you can marvel at the sampling skill of DJ Shadow, and to introduce anyone unfamiliar with American composer, arranger and producer David Axelrod to his superlative avante-garde soul music.

Keep the Customer Satisfied – Simon and Garfunkel

Out with a bang, we wanted to end with a song that’s very close to our hearts. Charles Blyth, who plays the role of Art Garfunkel in The Simon and Garfunkel Story, is also a big fan of the song, as he mentioned when we interviewed him alongside his co-star Sam O’Hanlan (Paul Simon). If this doesn’t put a smile on your face then we don’t know what will.

Account Handler: An exciting opportunity in Arts marketing

We’re recruiting for a new Account Handler to join our friendly Client Services team!

This is a new and challenging opportunity to be an important part of the growth of this dynamic arts and culture marketing company. The role is focused on sales, managing a portfolio of small and medium sized organisations as well as looking to bring in new business for the company building on our well established, existing client base.

We are looking for someone who has flair, energy, is confident in dealing with people, has imagination, is focussed, highly organised and tenacious. This role would suit a person with some sales experience who wants to develop into a more senior sales account management role. Some marketing experience in a commercial environment is also important, as is having a flexible and innovative approach to work.

See full details of the role here.



We’re Recruiting: Editorial Intern Position at London Calling



Looking to kick-start your career in arts journalism? London Calling are looking  for an enthusiastic intern to support the running of our cultural recommendations website

We operate a rolling three-month internship programme for graduates and those looking to move into arts journalism or publicity.

The role

The successful applicant will help to run the websites on a day-to-day basis, ensuring their look, feel and content are perfect for our readers. This will involve:
• Working extensively with the CMS system to create and manage online content.
• Writing and uploading articles, interviews and features.
• Interacting with PR agencies and in-house press departments to secure the best and most exciting opportunities available.
• Attending press events, visiting venues and conducting interviews to create great content for the website.
• Working on additional short-term projects as they arise.

The ideal candidate

• Be fluent in English, both written and spoken
• Have an interest in the arts and cultural industries
• Have an interest in writing and journalism (to include editing, proofing and copy writing)
• Be confident with computers with the ability to learn new systems quickly

• Have a good knowledge of London, Brighton, Bristol or Oxford
• Have a background in online journalism, whether this be on a blog or other cultural sites
• Have experience of content management systems
• Have experience of other forms of digital content creation, such as video or podcasts.

How to apply

Please apply by sending a CV and short cover letter along with a sample of your written work to Helen Dalton, Marketing Manager on

The Editorial Internship lasts for three months. However we will be accepting applications continually and will keep your application on file until the next time we are recruiting.

This internship is paid at the London Living Wage.

London Calling Playlist: August

What we’re playing in the office this month…

Our August playlist is up and running and full of inspiring gigs, heartfelt jazz, classic albums and Mercury Prize-nominated masterpieces. The list comes from interviews we’ve held on both and, Spanish festivals and East London pub gigs, soundtracks from blockbuster exhibitions, new releases and unearthed gems. If you have anything you think we’d like to hear (our tastes are varied, so don’t be shy!) then please get in touch and let us know. Sharing is caring.

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free – Nina Simone

We paid a visit to the Tate Modern’s latest blockbuster exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power and were absolutely bowled over. Not only one of the best exhibitions of 2017, but one of the best we’ve ever seen. The Tate pulled together a playlist of music from the era to accompany the exhibition, and this iconic tune from Nina Simone is a particular highlight.

Bitter Winter – ALASKALASKA

Will went down to the Sebright Arms in Stoke Newington one Wednesday evening to see this band, recently signed to Marathon, and was completely won over by their mix of indie grooves, sultry vocals and jazzier elements from the piano, drums and tenor sax. Ones to watch for the future, that’s for sure.

Lost Kingdoms – Nubya Garcia

The sax flourishes on the last track lead us nicely onto Nubya Garcia. We spoke to the South London saxophonist ahead of her sell-out August date at Ronnie Scott’s, and thought it only fitting to include the opener from her debut EP of solo material Nubya’s 5ive. It’s easy to hear why she’s one of the most in-demand musicians in London right now, and we can’t wait to see her perform live.

Soleil Soleil – Ahmed Fakroun

Ahmed Fakroun, pioneer of modern Libyan music, may not be a household name over here but luckily for us, our new Culture Calling Editorial Assistant Gunseli introduced her to the office airwaves. Now it’s our turn to spread the word, as the multi-instrumentalist from Benghazi – who fuses traditional Libyan instruments with a more Western pop sensibility – introduces a Talking Heads-style funk element to this track.

Yes I’m Changing – Tame Impala

Culture Calling spoke to actor Oliver Johnstone about his role in Nina Raines’ award-winning play Tribes, which played at Sheffield Theatres last month. Amongst other things, we spoke about music and he confessed to being in love with Tame Impala’s 2016 album Currents. No shame there – we are too, and this groovy slow-burner is one of the album’s many highlights.

(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano – Sampha

Speaking of long musical relationships, our New Business Manager Simon is similarly besotted with Sampha. His release earlier this year, Process, is never far from Simon’s stereo and it appears he’s not alone – the album was nominated for the 2017 Mercury Music Prize. This beautiful piano ballad demonstrates why he’s up there with the front-runners for the gong.

Quiet Fire – Mammal Hands

If it’s powerful, emotive music you’re after, look no further than Mammal Hands. Will caught their closing Sunday set at this year’s Ealing Jazz Festival and felt the earth move. Ridiculously evocative, the soaring saxophone and glistening piano on this track – the opener to their most recent album Floa – will melt even the hardest heart.

Season 2 Episode 3 – Glass Animals

To avoid any accusations of favouritism, we’ve included another Mercury Prize nominee here. The Oxford quartet Glass Animals’ sophomore album, How to Be a Human Being, is a catchy, 8-bit indie record with thumping percussion and ear-pleasing melodies and guitar riffs. This track is the third single from the album.

You Never Knew – Haim

Another of Simon’s favourites, the LA trio released their second album Something to Tell You in late July, and this track sees the Haim sisters channelling Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac. If you ever get the chance to see them perform live, take it. Their gigs are a lot rockier than their more polished studio sound, and it certainly won Will over one Glastonbury a few years back.

Shoot the Runner (Live at King Power Stadium) – Kasabian

In terms of festival performances, there aren’t many mightier rock bands than Leicester’s Kasabian. Carolina saw them headline at this year’s Benicàssim festival in Valencia, and can attest to that. This track comes from a live recording at the King Power Stadium in the band’s hometown – a second disc on the Deluxe Edition of newest album For Crying Out Loud.


Life of a London Calling Distributor: Julian Beere

Our driver and distributor Julian provides an insight into the behind-the-scenes of a London Calling distributor. Here, he talks us through his passion for his allotment, beekeeping and how this has been reflected in his work with London Calling. 

When not distributing leaflets and posters for London Calling I’m likely to be found gardening on an allotment near Chingford, away from the metropolitan hustle and bustle of my workplace. I’ve worked for London Calling on and off since 2002 and full-time since 2010. Since then I’ve dedicated much more of my spare time to the allotment and it is essentially what I, personally, bring to work.

The whole allotment site is situated on a hillside at the edge of Epping Forest, close to the Lea Valley reservoirs. The site has a sense of a secret garden about it; surrounded and enclosed by houses with long back gardens, walls and fences amidst dense rambling hedges of trees and shrubs. It is a walled garden – a peaceful place that offers sanctuary from the grime and grind of Central London where I do most of my distribution work.

One of the edges of the allotment is a dense briar patch out of which we cut a niche 13 years ago, to be an apiary with, currently, 2 hives for honeybees. Our beekeeping is an important part of our practice and ethos of organic and sustainable gardening, cultivating diverse fruits, herbs and vegetables that we harvest for ourselves, our families, neighbours and friends including our workmates. The garden is a large and demanding project that requires a lot of work, commitment and energy and an essential motivation for me is having workmates who are interested in taking the produce as part of their groceries. The bags of fruit and veg I bring to work are, hopefully, part of the culture and fellowship of our workplace.

I trained as an artist-craftsperson and I have worked in this capacity in London, creating performative artworks for a broad range of events, including Notting Hill Carnival, Thames Festival, installations at the then Theatre Museum (Covent Garden) and many London parks and gardens. I think my background as an artist partly has been essential in my role as a  distributor for London Calling; I could imbue the work with some creative interest and so actually promote the culture. One of the first instances of these two careers crossing paths was in 2003 when distributing leaflets for, ‘Linked’, by Graeme Miller. The work alerted me to and involved me in a brilliant and inspiring installation situated close to where I lived in Leytonstone. I have also been fortunate to work for London Calling distributing for events I have participated in as an artist and a gardener – most prominent of these being the E17 Art Trail and Waltham Forest Cultivate Festival.

A more recent example of this sort of serendipity occurred when doing the distribution on behalf of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and their large-scale installation ‘The Hive’. The leaflet, a guide to, ‘The Hive’ and the surrounding gardens, invites visitors to ‘step inside and discover the secret life of bees’.

With 13 years of beekeeping experience I am familiar with, and as baffled as ever by, the lives of bees inside our hives and beyond. The diversity of forage can be seen by the many different colours of pollen that form an intricate patchwork pattern. How is this intricacy and order of the honeycomb created by and communicated about by the bees? Would I find out by visiting, ‘The Hive’?

I visited the installation on a blazing hot day in August 2016. It is a marvellous structure, a gleaming tessellation set upon a grassy mound in the magnificent grounds of Kew. The lattice work makes up a large cubic structure within which a dome-like (or skep-like space) is defined. Stepping inside involved a winding walk up through a meadow of native wild flowers before reaching a wondrous sky-lit vaulted ceiling over an elevated transparent hexagon panelled floor. The overall effect was arresting and absorbing, the ambience altering through subtle changes to the lighting and sound, the latter triggered by activity in beehives close by. We were part of a performance – a promenade and reverie. ‘The Hive’, is the centre-piece for a range of other attractions and activities aimed at creating insights into the lives of bees and other pollinators; for me it was more a spectacular homage, resonating as something quite different from objective understanding.

Emerging from, ‘The Hive’, I made my way to the superb kitchen garden, to forage for inspiration and guidance for our allotment. Kew Kitchen Garden is managed by Joe Archer, who gardened with us, briefly, in 2013 before moving on to Chelsea Physic Garden and then Kew. It was a fitting way to complement my visit to, ‘The Hive’, and hopefully continue doing things that make a positive contribution to living and working in London.