I posted this in the Sasquatch setlist thread - but I thought I’d repost it here as it occurred to me anyone not going to Sasquatch is pretty unlikely to read it, and it is relevant for all jammers:
Cards on the table - I’m finding all of this just too hard.
Organising a Jam session is something that is difficult to describe unless you’ve done it for yourself - and not just on the periphery - I mean carrying the can.
Since starting this I’ve tried to tread a very very thin line - a line that means that in the main, the jams try to make as many people as possible as happy as possible and somehow has the pretty much impossible blend of “what each people wants out of the jam”.
Believe me, it’s pretty much impossible. I receive an awful lot of PMs about the jams. Some good, a lot bad. In the main, everyone has an opinion as to what the jams should be - it’s rare if two opinions are the same.
Too much organising and people say it’s too formal - not relaxed, too highly stressful, too pressured and not comfortable. It can also lead to frayed nerves and a feeling that we are rushing through to an endpoint.
Too little organising and it can be chaos - people trying to play with no prep, not knowing what they are prepping, some not liking the gaps between songs, some wanting to swap out amps and others not wanting them to do the swap outs.
Either scenario can lead to some songs not being done - and inevitably both scenarios lead to some people not being happy.
Add to this the stress of getting the venues done, getting the money sorted, and getting it done on the day.
I will be utterly honest here - I’ve run 5 Jam days and I haven’t enjoyed the actual days themselves at all because of the stress of making sure it went well and hoping everyone who turns up gets something out of it. Not once. I’ve not enjoyed the post Jam PMs from people not happy, or nagging for recordings, or asking if x or y can be done differently next time. I’ve not enjoyed the stress of getting everyone paid and hoping the venue will be okay on the day. I’ve not enjoyed quad going dark on me for nearly a month.
It’s even more difficult when from an admin point of view the Forum wants one balance of things, but yet many of the members who come to the jams want something else. Well, I say that - the truth is that I hear about 50 or 60 different opinions as to how the jams should be run - all valid, and Tony’s is one of them.
But from a forum point of view as a whole, I’m never going to make everyone happy all the time. Actually, I’m not going to make the majority happy - only some, and only occasionally.
And most importantly - I’m never going to make me happy. The jams will always be a bind to me, they will always be highly stressful, will always come with baggage, will always be a plethora of PMs ranging from “I’m bored of you always banging on about the Jams” to “why can’t you do these monthly? Some of us want to play more - you don’t seem to be putting enough effort in”
And so I can only come to an inevitable conclusion - I will never win. I will never create jams that everyone feels is just right. I won’t be able to do what the forum wants because not enough members agree. I won’t ever be able to enjoy them as a punter does - and they will always be a source of great stress - from organising, from the whinging and criticism, and from the fact that they don’t do what the forum really wanted them to do.
So I am going to regretfully withdraw from organising. I’ve been thinking this for a while - this thread certainly hasn’t caused this. The currently organised jams will happen, and I will support them, but if there are to be more in future then someone else will have to do them.
Oh, and to those who PM’d me asking me to stop banging on about the jam sessions as you were bored of hearing about them - here you go, I’m stopping - and fuck you very much for your support.