PMS is Pécs Music Society, a group formed by music-loving and music-playing students of the University of Pécs. It’s not a band, or a single event, maybe better described as a ‘world-view’ to promote live music and musicians in Pécs. PMS started in 2010, at a table outside the old Fortuna Cáfé in the medical faculty, by a Swedish student Arvin Lashgarara (now living in Sweden) and Ian O’Sullivan. The Society was born in UP, in the Medical School of UP to be precise, and maintains a close friendship with the university. UP students form the backbone of PMS, and we love to perform for the students and to invite them to participate. The main organizers are Ian O’Sullivan, András Langer and Alan Abada.
We organize regular and one-off events around the city to give opportunities for amateur and professional musicians, who might otherwise just leave their instrument at home and play in their bedroom. Pécs has nightclubs, bars, theatres etc. but for many people an evening entertainment involves meeting at a bar or a restaurant with a DJ (or iTunes :) ) in the background, then going to a nightclub with DJ (or iTunes DJ!)… We always felt there was more space for live music. Live music is a living, breathing thing and we wanted to show that the city has an appetite for real performances by real people and that this hunger has not been satisfied. Over the last 7 years, as our events have grown and grown, we are continuously seeing that there is a strong appetite, a huge appetite for live music. It makes us happy to have people who would have remained ‘closet-musicians’, doctors, teachers, dentists, electricians or shop workers, to come on stage and show what they can do; We have also met musicians who have gone on to play on the national scene like Márk Járai (Halott Pénz), Dániel Misota (Zanzinger), Dani Ertl and Zsuzsanna Weber (Delusions of Grandeur), Magnus Maloy and Ian of course (Mongooz and the Magnet) and many more.
The ‘flagship’ event of PMS is what is called ‘Open Mic’. It runs every second week in a bar called Trafik, and gives an opportunity for anyone (anyone!) to get up and play. The deal is simple: give us 2 songs, and we give you a free beer. It started as an international event, but now there are as many Hungarians as foreigners, something that makes us very happy!
We organize other events around the year and will be organizing a ‘PMS: Rhythm against Racism’ stage, which will be the main stage at the Pécs City Carnival, the biggest Halloween party in the city (PMS Halloween). We shall also participate in some Medical School events like the International Evening, the Egészségügyi Felsőoktatási Napok, City Race, and more.
We want you. Everyone. If you like music. If you play music. If you don’t want to sit around and listen to the same ‘sláger lista’ one million times. Our aim is to give a fresh alternative. If we have live music, it’s a range of styles and genres that our DJs provide, if everyone else plays dance, we play hip-hop. We want to give alternatives and broaden the spectrum of events in Pécs. At our one-off events we always try to make something special happen, we’ve already had parties interrupted by spontaneous shows like break dancers, brass-bands and even Halloween actors with chainsaws! We don’t like to be lazy, and give you ‘some of the same’ every year.
It’s a great place to meet other musicians if you are an aspiring musician, and our events offer stages that would otherwise be inaccessible to a small band that isn’t famous (yet!). We have a very open-minded and tolerant attitude, just like our audience, which is great.
Every year we have bigger events, with more people, that everyone keeps asking when the next event is coming, and that people keep coming is the best feedback we can get. You never know what will happen at an Open Mic, who will get up on stage. Even we don’t know. That’s part of the magic, and why we still love it after all these years.
See you at the First Open Mic of the semester! September 13th
Photo: Oliver Nivbrant
Author: Alexandra Kékesi, UnivPécs