Finding the local D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) music scene can be an integral part of moving to a new area and discovering its local culture. Rather than playing traditional venues, D.I.Y. artists cut out the middleman by setting up shows in living rooms, backyards or basements. Picture the classic house show: a small band playing inside a living room for 20-100 extremely sweaty attendees. While the D.I.Y. scene often prides itself in not being an exclusive community, these shows are often naturally advertised solely by word of mouth. Sometimes, you might have to know-someone-who-knows-someone-who-knows-someone to find out about a show.
In the age of social media, spreading the word about D.I.Y. shows has gotten a little easier. For those who might know where to find information on local shows, the Instagram account @slo.diy offers a solution.
@slo.diy is an Instagram account run by an anonymous fourth-year Cal Poly student. The account’s main purpose is to compile information about upcoming shows and local bands. The account owner wishes to remain anonymous for privacy reasons and to keep the account as official as possible.
As their Instagram bio states, they “DON’T BOOK SHOWS!,” so @slo.diy does not serve as a manager who connects bands to venues —which would go against the nature of the D.I.Y. mantra —but rather, a page that serves as an organized list of upcoming all-ages shows in the areas of San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria.
The inspiration for the account was from a Snapchat group chat made by the owner of @slo.diy where they organized a group of people to attend shows at the now-defunct local D.I.Y. venue The Chlorophyll Cave.
“I was involved in the music scene at home, and it was so important to me that I could find a new music scene to be a part of when I moved to SLO for college,” said @slo.diy. “I loved getting my friends to come see the magic and fun of being at a show.”
The Instagram account was created in 2019 in an effort to make the joy of being at a show accessible to more people.
With over 1,800 followers, the page serves another purpose of amplifying the voices of local bands who might have a smaller following.
“I can see that a lot of people are interested in being involved with the music scene and want to go to shows and support local bands,” said @slo.diy.
Despite what the account name suggests, the page is not exclusive to notifying followers about local D.I.Y. shows; @slo.diy occasionally posts performances for local bands playing at more large-scale venues, like local breweries.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, the focus of @slo.diy expanded. The account used their platform to spread information about public health and social justice issues. While the page still posted music content, like album releases from SLO-based bands, it also featured information about COVID-19 vaccines and Black Lives Matter protests.
“I had a pretty good following on the account, and I would hope that people who follow the account also cared about the safety and well-being of others and are anti-racist people as well” said @slo.diy.
Whether you are a music lover who wants to get into the local music scene, or you are someone who has never heard of a house show, @slo.diy has you covered. @slo.diy is not just an Instagram page, it is emblematic of the values of the entire DIY community, and it serves as an open invite for anyone to enter the inclusive space of the music scene.
The account owner of @slo.diy would like to remain anonymous, however they would like acknowledge that they are not white or a cisgender male and that the music scene should not be excluded from anyone of any identity.
Maile Gardner is a biochemistry major, content writer, and DJ trainee for KCPR. Maddy Worth is an art and design major and designer for KCPR.