What was Pineapster?
Pineapster was an online music community created by Cuttlefish Multimedia that was active from 2001 until around 2012. Although open to all East Midlands bands, it was particularly popular in Leicester and for many years was effectively the Internet home of the Leicester music scene.
It pre-dated MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, SoundCloud and other social networks, but offered many of the features these sites have gone on to offer. These included editable profiles and pages for musicians and artists, picture and mp3 hosting, events guides and discussion forums.
By 2012 it was clear that the site had served its purpose of supporting and encouraging music making in the East Midlands and that there were now better ways of doing what Pineaspster had been good at. The community was fading and we pondered shutting the site down.
In 2014, after reviewing the archives, it became clear that Pineapster conveys the story of Leicester's music scene at an amazingly vibrant time. So, rather than throwing the site away we thought we would archive it and use it as the basis of a grass-roots Leicester Music Archive.
The first Pineapster ran between 2001 and 2008. The system worked well, but the rise of social media (in particular MySpace) led us to redevelop the software making it more social media aware. We have a full archive of the site and the forums, plus almost 600 mp3s that were uploaded by members.
Pineapster took us over two years to develop and was focussed on allowing users to collect their social media services together. It worked well, but the use of links to pages such as MySpace for music meant that it didn't build a large music uploads collection as had the original Pineapster. We did, however, start producing compilation albums of Pineapster artists and members themselves produced some amazing song-writing and recording projects. This may result in 300 tracks once we have catalogued them.
Summer Sundae was an annual music festival in Leicester between 2001 and 2012. We have a copy of the festival website as it was when the festival came to an end.
The ability to listen to music by local bands was always at the heart of Pineapster. As well as hosting tracks by individual bands on the site, we released some great compilation albums and hosted a number of music-making projects.
The Pineapster compilations are currently being uploaded to our SoundCloud account. This will be followed by the member projects such as PRAG and then the individual mp3 uploads from the first Pineapster. The complete music library could well stretch to as many as 1,000 tracks.
The Summer Sundae Fringe Festival emerged from Leicester's Pineapster music community in 2006. It became the annual 'pre-party' event leading up to the main Summer Sundae festival and ran until the main festival was shelved after the 2012 event.
The Summer Sundae Fringe Festival helped to showcase some of Leicester's best local music talent at a wide range of venues throughout the city. The festival was organised by a team of volunteers and donated all takings to local charity LOROS.
Stench was an online and offline community for people interested in live music, experimental arts and innovative performance. It organised events in Leicester and ran an annual 'Stenchival' mini-festival. Stench made use of the Pineapster infrastructure and released a podcast of experimental music.