Wednesday, June 9, 2010

All you ever wanted to know about listings

Posted By on Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Readers, I hope this won’t come off as crabby, but I feel now is a good time to give you a bit of background on how we do listings and live music (Playing Around) here at the Indy. My hope is that this will serve as a handy reference, not a scolding.

There must be rules to play, but I still want your listings, kids. I want the biggest, fattest community calendar in town, and thanks to all of you who submit with us already, we're well on our way.


Here’s the rundown:

Listings and live music is a free service. But that means I’m in charge.

All listings are read and entered into a database by me. Whether sent by e-mail, fax, snail mail or entered through our website (click "Submit a Listing" on the calendar box on our home page), they are edited and adjusted for clarity and sent through our listings program to appear in upcoming issues.

This is what the database entry form looks like.
  • This is what the database entry form looks like.

• Listings must be submitted in writing, so we can keep a record of them.
• Deadline for listings is Thursday at noon for the following Thursday’s paper.

We receive close to a hundred listings requests per day. That means we can’t guarantee publication (for that, gentle reader, get thee to our ad department), and one-time events will likely only appear the week that they occur. Ongoing listings are set in a rotation to appear as often as there is space.

• The average listings document I download off our database each week is more than 10,000 words long. (By way of comparison, cover stories, average 3,000 to 3,500 words.) To fit what space we’ve allotted for our free pages, I cut it down to somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 words. Playing Around is never shortened.

Listings are also the best way to get your foot in the door for an A&E article. If you have designs on that, give us at least three weeks notice (so we have time to assign a writer, have that writer conduct interviews, etc.). For art shows, send hi-res images of the work, 250 dpi or more. That’s the best way to get yourself noticed and have your image run in the paper.

• However, the best listings are short and sweet, with all the most pertinent information.

Like this.
  • Like this.

Listings and ads are completely separate. Just because someone buys ads with us, that doesn’t mean they automatically get a listing. We tend not to list prohibitively expensive events (unless it’s for a charity), or business-oriented get-togethers. Certain events happening outside our distribution area are cut, too.

When looking on our website for a listing you submitted, remember I may not enter it until a week or two prior to the event. Also, the best way to search for it is to do so by keyword, leaving the fields for date, category and neighborhood open.


And remember, listings and live music are a service for readers, not for folks submitting listings. We’re more than happy to help give exposure to venues, musicians and nonprofits, etc., but our readership is the top priority.

And if you have any questions about anything, please ask. E-mail (, or is the best way to reach me.

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