Wiki -> Writers -> Event Reviews Guidelines

  • 300-350 words for gig reviews (everything below 250 and above 400 words will be sent back)
  • 450-500 words for festival reviews (everything below 350 and above 600 will be sent back)

  • Try and use fun, interesting and punchy language. Don’t repeat yourself or say the same thing in two different ways. Use short, snappy sentences. If a sentence has more than two clauses, break it down into two shorter ones. Write in such a way that would make the reader understand if the gig was poor. If it was great, write in such a way as to make them wish or feel that they’d been there themselves.

  • Explain the flavour of the event/music not just its ingredients; remember it’s about conveying experiences not a step-by-step account of what happened.

  • Always include basic info about the artist/gig you are covering, such as artist’s origin, music played and few words about the venue. These can be grouped in the first paragraph (recommended) or in another one (accepted), but we’d prefer you not to scatter them randomly throughout your feature.

  • In fact, you’ll have to write an introductory paragraph to your feature that will be posted to Facebook with a link back to the full review. Make sure that it’s enticing and includes the basic info mentioned earlier (artists name, country of origin, style of music and venue name). Put this in bold at the bottom of your preview when you submit to the website. This text can be the same as your first paragraph.

  • Try and give a little background to the artist, mentioning his/her career, life and/or the music from where they are from so that the reader will learn something about the artist or style of music. Bear in mind you have to show that you’re knowledgeable for the people who read this, and they are giving you their time so they should come away with something. Don’t assume that everyone will know what you mean when telling them certain musical styles, but at the same time don’t patronise the audience by explaining things they probably already know e.g. what a kora is.

  • At the same time, Rhythm Passport is not an academic journal, so keep this info accessible and try to use a lively language.

  • Don’t ever copy and paste from other sources (for artist or genre info) If you are using information from other places re-write it and make it your own.

  • Don’t just rewrite from one source. Look around for other references to make sure that what you are writing is true and not another writer’s mistake. Don’t just trust Wikipedia, but use more reliable sources like artists’ official websites, billboard,,, …

  • Feel free to use metaphors and be creative with your writing; we also encourage you to try to invoke imagery with your own words. But keep in mind that, at the end of the day, you’ve got to sound clear and understandable.

  • Keep the number of superlatives to a bare minimum, e.g: “it was amazing/awesome/the best thing ever…” This tells the reader nothing other than the fact you thought it was good, if you thought something amazing your words should communicate that in such a way that the reader thinks “that sounds amazing”.

– Don’t be afraid to be critical, give bad press or even tear to pieces a performance, but always be constructive (how could it have been better), motivating and explaining your reasons. You have a responsibly to justify your reasons as what you write can have a very negative impact on an artist or label.

  • Pay attention to spelling (UK English please) and grammar, and make sure your sentences read fluidly. Read and re-read through your work before sending it and use a vocabulary, thesaurus and grammar/spelling check website if you’re not confident. Double check spelling for artist names, countries, genres and instruments.

  • Try to get hold of the set list. They are often printed out on the floor in front of the musicians.  Or ask someone for the set list and take a picture of it. This is very useful later on when you are writing the review. You may want to make specific references to certain songs, which is always engaging for the readers. If you are editing, listen to the music so you get an idea of what the writer has experienced.

  • Even if you really like her/his music, try not to sound like a fan of the artist/band. Don’t use the first person. Try to remember that even if we’re promoting their gig we’re not an artist fan-page.