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Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Dan and I was born in Bishop Auckland. I play drums for Compression Session and I have my own project Mojave Desert Star. Also, I am honoured to have joined the immensely talented Amateur Ornithologist as their drummer. 
What is it you do?
I created the gigupnorth website, an ongoing gig guide of local and original bands and musicians and festivals. Also, I do three or four reels a week on Instagram of the week’s upcoming gigs. The website also lists over 550 local original gigging bands and acts. They are also listed by genre for the benefit of promoters/managers etc. The site is also a resource for musicians and lists local rehearsal rooms; record labels; engineers; videographers; magazines; radio stations and everything and everyone in and around the music industry in the North-East. The whole thing is free to use or promote yourself on. The idea is to bring the local music scene closer together and to help everyone support each other.
How long have you been doing it?
I only started in February 2024 and already it has consumed my life!
What inspires you?
I guess I’m inspired by my love of music, my love of the area of my birth and by the amazing people out there who are creating awesome music. I love to see all the young lads and lasses playing in bands too. Even if they are mostly playing covers (and even if those covers are of Oasis!) it’s brilliant to see the next generation learning instruments and getting on stage. And I’m inspired by the potential in collaborating. The music industry is tough to get into but if we all pull together and help each other we can create an even better local scene that will make more people sit up and take notice of our area. Also, the wonderful people I have met just in these few short months really inspires me to keep going and to shout about what our region has to offer.
Tell us about your work.
At some point about a year ago, I was looking to go to more local gigs. I’d stumbled upon a few bands who blew me away and I realised I didn’t frequent the local scene enough. Looking online I was disappointed to see that there was no dedicated gig guide to local bands so I decided to create my own. Another problem was that I was never sure if bands or acts listed to play at venues were local bands. And if they were, were they original? That inspired me to create the A-Z of bands alongside the guide. There are guides out there, both in print and online, but my USP is original local bands only. So I show who is playing and where, and you can find the bands on my site and click on the links to their music and websites to check them out. So far only about 25% of bands have sent me their details. Ideally, you would find every single band on there. The information is out there, but I feel it is so disparate it needs to be brought into one place. Sometimes it’s very hard to track a band down on Instagram just by typing in their band name.
What have you got coming up in the future?
In association with The Link in Stockton, I’m putting on a gig featuring three local bands. The venue have been amazingly supportive and are as keen as I am to showcase local talent. The show is an official gigupnorth launch and is only £2 a ticket. Hopefully, if it is a success we can build on that and showcase local bands regularly. Hopefully, the gig guide will get better and better. Some bands are on board with sending me details of their gigs, but I know I miss the odd one here and there. I hope to collaborate more with other gig guides to share information and increase the promotion of local music. Plus there are some secret exciting projects in the pipeline that I can’t reveal yet!
Where can people find out more about you?
The website is a well of information and is at or follow me on Instagram. I encourage bands and acts and anyone doing anything connected with local music to contact me and be part of something I hope will be of great benefit to all involved. And it’s all free. 

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