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An Interview With Education Sessions, Bristol's Vinyl-Only DJ Night

'We want to create opportunity without making people jump through hoops to do so.'

THE CROFT/ 'We want to create opportunity without making people jump through hoops to do so.'

Since coming to Bristol, I've been fascinated by how many young DJs emerge around the city. They've always seemed like an enigma, an impossible career - yet with collectives like Education Sessions, the sense of community is so strong that it seems a totally different landscape. Speaking to Benjamin Dann, who began running these events in September 2022, he affirms this - 'The community we have curated around our events could not be created elsewhere. This city is very welcoming, very creative and it’s great to see such diversity in line ups, and in day to day life... something I rarely saw before coming here.'

Photographed: Jake Om, Altitude Sound ©Leila Sparks

We asked what made Bristol so attractive for arranging music events, and what makes the process so fulfilling in this particular city.

'If you've been on a night out in Bristol - you would understand?

Before we started Education Sessions, we wanted to make sure those people who pay homage to the scene in Bristol get the respect they deserve. It's been nice to have security with our residencies which allows us to pre-plan things and also give opportunity to those who deserve to play out again whilst having the opportunity to get paid also.

We want to create opportunity without making people jump through hoops to do so.'

Event at 'To The Moon' ©Leila Sparks

This aspect of the collective, looking to create equal opportunity for as many creatives as possible, is incredibly evident in the way the collective conduct themselves. The atmosphere between the musicians is overwhelmingly friendly and supportive , and it's so refreshing to see such passion in everyone that isn't marred by a destructive sense of competition.

The audience experience mirrors this - the feeling of appreciation for the music is intimate and comforting, which is reflected the venues that are selected for the nights. 'We have three different residencies in the city - Cosies every last Thursday of the month, and The Bell every first Thursday of the month, and To The Moon. We have a massive headliner closing down our year of residencies at Cosies on Thursday 30th November.'

©Leila Sparks

I think the collective represent one of the best things about Bristol; unlike other major cities, where there is a sense of ruthlessness in creative industries, the possibility of finding an artistic community seems open and possible. Education Sessions are particularly inclusive in terms of age, representing everyone from students to seasoned professionals.

'We have loved working with the likes of Altitude Sound, Interlude, USB Bristol. The younger generation are refreshing to work with and it also reminds us older heads why we got into mixing over a decade ago.'

Photographed: Benjamin Dann, Co-Ordinator © Leila Sparks
©Leila Sparks

We ask where the collective see themselves in the next five years.

'Stronger than ever and a go to platform for those who are still interested in keeping vinyl alive in Bristol.'

Find details to Education Session's upcoming events on Facebook! We're excited to see how the collective builds over the next few months.

Featured Image: Leila Sparks