You can’t get to know a place without knowing what the folks in town listen to. The best way to do that is to keep your eye out for gig flyers. In all likelihood, the shows have already taken place. Still, what you’re left with is, at best, a testimony to local music, at worst, the work of an overzealous label intern.

Missed the Gig is a new group column. Consisting of photos of gig flyers from around the world, its purpose is to highlight the role that concert flyers play in our lives, signifying cultural and political diversity, as much as they do the existence of hometown music scenes.

This column will not just focus on flyers, but also their political contexts. Hence the lead photo, shot in Berlin in the Spring of 2010. No explanation necessary.

Swiss comedy show, and Afropop gig flyers. Lugano, November 2010.

Squat gig and anti-Lega Nord flyers. Torino, Italy, May 2011.

Reggae and punk flyers, with anarchist anti-police poster. Berlin, April 2010.

Hip-hop gig flyer, with album adverts. Paris, June 2010.

Photographs courtesy of Joel Schalit