Nightclub flyer with picture of a girl with a tattoo of the Cream logo and text 'Cream. It's a part of you.'

Cream nightclub flyer © National Museums Liverpool

Flyers help to develop and promote music scenes by providing information on forthcoming music events. They are usually cheaply produced by musicians and music fans and entrepreneurs and either posted to interested parties or distributed by hand. Often this involves handing flyers out to members of the general public as they are passing in the street, particularly those who look as though they might be interested in the kind of event that is being advertised.

Flyers are also targeted at places that attract the kind of people who might be interested in participating in the event(s) being advertised. Often this involves circulating them at particular cafés and bars, record shops and music venues.

Some flyers are pretty straightforward and simply state the date, time, venue and other details of the event that is being publicised. But there are also flyers that are more creative and adventurous in terms of their design.

Most flyers end up being thrown away but some have been kept and preserved, either because they evoke personal memories of particular music scenes, sites and events, or because of their local and historical significance. Here, for example, is a 1961 flyer advertising the first ever public performance by Bob Dylan. It is part of the Robert Shelton collection at Liverpool University's Institute of Popular Music.

Flyer with photo of a young Bob Dylan blowing a mouth organ

Courtesy of the Robert Shelton Collection, Institute of Popular Music, University of Liverpool.
Text reads: The Folklore Center presents Bob Dylan in his first New York concert. Sat Nov 4, 1961 8.40pm. Carnegie Chapter Hall, 154 West 57th Street, New York City. All seats $2.00. Tickets available at: The Folklore Center, 110 MacDougal Street, New York City 12, New York or at door.

Here are some more recent examples of flyers advertising dance music events in Liverpool.

Two flyers with variations on the Cream logo

Cream flyers courtesy of Outlar.
Text reads: 'Cream Easter Special, 22 March , Nation, 10pm-6am' and 'Cream Boxing Night, 26 December, Nation, 10pm-6am'