Simon Vare Biography February 2022
After completing a double degree in Kinesiology and Meteorology with Otago University , working life began at Radio One 91FM 1988-91 with a couple of years in programming and promotions followed by two years as Station manager . In that final year work began to establish Otago’s Community Access Radio Station ( Incorporated Society ) now OAR FM …where I was employed through until 1994 including setting up the station out in South Dunedin. The Yellow Eye record label partnership which had begun in late 1990 while still at University was then brought together with my distribution and promotion job concentrating on the South Island territory . This role developed and grew over the years with representation for Naxos, BMG, Jayrem , Ode and other indie NZ distributors / labels who were all located in the North Island .
In the late 90’s a full distribution and promotion service was provided for New Zealand retail and direct importing and dealing with a number of overseas labels / companies began- focusing primarily on material from Germany , Scotland and England .
Over the last half dozen years or so with the changing nature of physical music distribution work has headed toward live show management and promotion as well as organisation of tours. Beginning with artists on labels that we worked with ( Big Daddy Wilson , Watermelon Slim, Breabach, The Shins , Shooglenifty, CW Stoneking and more ) in recent times local artists have also been engaged in management and booking services including ( Swamp Thing, Rob Thorne , Into The East , The Nukes , Delgirl ,Craig Smith , Bernie Griffen &The Thin Men , Jan Preston and Li’l Chuck One Man Skiffle Machine ).
From this work visits to schools has become a part of the job description thanks to the likes of Craig ‘wonky donkey’ Smith and the Nukes ukulele trio who required booking and organisation in those early days for their school daytime programmes . Now more artists have been included and a greater emphasis on participatory workshops at these school visits has been developed . With Ministry of Culture & Heritage support under the Te Urungi programme Sept 2021 further work on this side of the business has been undertaken ( website development around artists in schools alongside festivals & events ) .
As a member of the Dunedin Edinburgh Sister City Society since 2014 building relationships between our two cities with cultural and event exchange has been undertaken and fostered . Visits to Scotland for local artists with shows around Burns night and Celtic Connections ( late January ) as well as Scots visiting us around the St Andrews Day celebrations ( late November ) here in Dunedin . Further development on this reciprocal relationship continues .
With the current Covid environment coupled with the return of consumer demand for vinyl music and hard to come by low to mid price cd the Yellow Eye distribution service has been reignited to provide releases from various UK suppliers on a monthly basis to NZ retail stores .