Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nice goin Lads and Lassies...

What can I say, Riley's turned out to be a really fun spot. Nice staff, great sound engineer, friendly patrons, cozy couches, good drink specials; just an all around nice evening. We'll definitely put them on our "let's do it again" list. Hope everyone had a safe and fun St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring is in the air...

Aah the sweet smell of spring, the sound of chimes blowing in the breeze, flowers startin' to peek out of the flower beds and birds in the air. Can't help but get excited about all the cool outdoor events, concerts and venues!

The only drag in sight is the ball-n-chain of this lousey economy and how it's effected the model for booking arrangments. I'm all for band members beinging asked to be active in the promotion of their gigs. Gone are the days where bands get a flat fee per set guarenteed by the venue and the venue handles the promotion, cares for the patrons, runs specials and books good entertainment (i.e. bands)to bring them in. In turn their patrons have a positive experiance, stick around and spend their hard earned money for a good time and come back again to party with the band they just had such a great time with. Todays model has shifted to the "pay-to-play" model and the venues are being assisted by middle-men booking agency's who make their cut from both sides leaving the bands wanting and the venues pleased not to deal with booking or paying out any share of the bar or food profits. Basically the band pays the middle-man by selling of tickets for which they are offered a small percentage and the promise of a bigger share IF they reach a pre-set tier. But wait there's more! The band should realize the agent is doing them a favor by "getting a slot" in the line up so they can "gain exposure"! Now doesn't that sound like a deal?! LOL This model dosn't seem to ultimately benefit the venue or the band. It just splits the money into even more bite-size pieces. My observation (since I don't work under this model) is a noted lack of effort on the part of the venues to promote the bands, or even the events. They do promote their venue, their specials, other up coming events and general info all during another band's event night, on their ads, flyers, and FB walls. Venues and booking agents now demand the bands/artists handle ticket sales (including advance) sales and offer small percentage as compensation, while they benefit from free advertisement, guarenteed ticket sale profits, new patron soliciation, and cost free entertainment. Then they book 5 and 6 bands and load you in and out like cattle and treat you about the same.

The other model is "Open Jams", where the house band (or at least the band leader/manager) gets a set amount and the hired back-line gets a petty sum and maybe a free drink. They play the first set and other musicians fill the night and the house for them and the venue.

What happened to sharing the night, we spilt the door and get a percentage of bar after a set minimum is reached. We all promote together. Bands use to at least get one free drink or meal. Good luck with that these days.

DJ's, Karaoke...don't get me started!

Just sayin'....

Well it's a good thing I and the foundation members of ZG enjoy the music and the people we play it for because there's little motivation outside of the fun. Fortunately it's what's important in my life; to share the music, the fun and build lasting relationships. I would, however, love to support the band with much needed cash now and again and fund a recording project. So "thank you" to all the fans who come and pay the covers, drink the drinks and eat the food; and to the awesome number of musicians who continue to be optimistic and willing to play first for the love of music and second for their selfless nature and willingness to share their talent. You are all what keep the wheels greased.

Keepin'

Keepin' the music LIVE,
Deborah