Saturday, October 27, 2007

This is what some bars really think of musicians

What do you think?

I asked a nearby booker at a local venue the following, admittedly pointed question after seeing on their booking website that they don't book metal bands OR cover bands. This is a venue that I've gone to many times to see metal bands, and never knew they were only there because they were on tours and this club exempts tours from their rules. And lately I'm seeing those tours play to a nearly empty house.


Wondering if you have open mic nights.... and your booking restrictions scare me. No death/thrash/progressive metal bands unless they're in a promotion? And... what about tribute bands? I think if I were you guys (my opinion is flying loose here, I can't help it) I would be looking for as many acts as possible, even some of the national acts -- and GOOD acts -- you've been booking have had dead nights over there because nobody hears about them, and that ain't just the band. You cannot expect bands to do all the promotion for you, is the flip side of that promotion coin. Remember you're competing for much of the same audience as the State, the Brass Mug, Fast Eddie's and Bourbon Street to name a few. Anyway write back if you have an open mic night and if you book tributes, and what the procedure is.


Here was the real answer the booking guy at that venue gave me, I swear to God I didn't make this up, it's the whole quote with only the identifying details omitted:


Umm, no, no, and no. And who cares. Why don't you concentrate on your business, and not ours. *** has been around for *** years, and we are aware what the problems are. My (flying loose) opinion is the music scene is getting infected with a lot of jaded, greedy musicians that think the clubs exist only for them or that think the clubs owe them something more than they did 20 years or even 10 years ago! WE are not a bands promotion tool, and we do not do a band's promotion for them! This is a concert venue, not a nightclub with a built-in crowd. If we wanted a built-in crowd, then we would have covers and tributes.So please, keep your opinions to yourself because I have a lot more counter opinions myself and I don't feel like justifying any of them to you. I don't know you, nor have I ever even heard of you anywhere else. If you want to toss your opinions at the club then call and ask to speak to the manager or owner, because they won't see this. Good luck with that.


There are people in this business not looking out for musicians OR fans and don't care about anything except whether your act draws a crowd and that it's THEIR kind of crowd. "The customer is always right" apparently means zilch. Let me know what your feelings are on the matter if you read this, maybe those musicians, fans, promoters, bookers, owners and others with much more experience than I have some light to shed.


A footnote: The same place recently posted a shoutout to any bands at all who could be booked in the next two weeks. They'd had a booking snafu and you know whose fault that was. :)


Turtle of Xanth said...

The bar referred to in the article is now out of business.

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