Sunday, December 8, 2013


After looking at this weekend's live music calendar for various venues around the area (rock AND country) and with the exception of maybe 3 places, I now realize why it is that I rarely go to these venues anymore - CHEAP, second rate live music.

In today's economy, if a venue is going to showcase live music and charge a cover charge for that music, then they need to seriously look at who they're bringing in. Many are in situations where they have the extra money to go see live music around town like they used to, so when they do go, you can rest assured they are gonna go where they can be guaranteed that they're gonna get what they pay for.

I support the local artist, but fact is, if they're not good, they're not good and it shows in the vocals, the instrumentals, the performance and their image as a whole. If you're wondering why your attendance is down and why people leave early, it's not your atmosphere, it's not your drink prices, it's that people get bored. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and book new bands, not the same band every other weekend. There are lots of artists out there that won't break your bank and are recession friendly, yet perform like you paid much more than you did and will keep your crowd dancing, having fun and therefore buying more drinks which means more money for your venue. Just an example, if I'm looking for a good place to go on a Saturday night and one bar is charging a $10.00 cover charge for a band that's strictly local, hasn't really ventured out and you don't hear anything about them other than the fact they play the same bars ALL the time and the bar down the street has a band that's opened for national touring artists and has had exposure at local festivals and events for the same $10.00 fee or no charge, guess which bar is getting my business and more than likely is gonna get advertisement to my circle of friends, their circle of friends, and so on? Our Twitter page has nearly 10,000 connections and we also run other music promotions pages on Facebook Linked In and Google+ that have over 1000 connections where we promote the good live shows, so do the "word of mouth" math. Also, take the time to ADVERTISE!!! There are so many FREE media outlets that are completely free and will let you advertise to your heart's content (Just in my local area, examples are, local news community boards, Craigslist,,, Indy Weekly, etc.). Just take the time to sit down at your computer and submit your show, it only takes a few minutes of your day which can add up to a few more dollars at the end of show night. It broadens your audience base and also might give newcomers to the area that are looking for a good place to go a heads up in your direction.

When it comes to your venue, don't be cheap when it comes to paying your artists because if you are, you're gonna get what you pay for, no more, no less. Remember, they're helping you just as much as you're helping them so also be kind and be professional when they ask about booking your venue and respond to their emails and phone calls about bookings. As a former booking agent for several artists, nothing is more frustrating than making every effort possible to get in touch with a bar owner only to never hear a word back. Even if you're not interested, at least have the courtesy to respond and let the person on the other end know why you're not interested instead of leaving them hanging - not good business and does not reflect good on the way you run your establishment. Artists and their booking agents contact you because they're interested in playing your venue when they could have contacted someone else. Take a step forward and think about what it takes to give your bar a great reputation for good live music, which means a great bottom line for you.

I know several artists (both rock genre and country, as well as acoustic) that I'll be more than happy to put you in touch with that will NOT nickel and dime you to death and will guarantee a good show. Just shoot me a message, I'll be glad to get you connected and I don't make a dime for doing it. Just a suggestion from a true fan of live music...will you listen?

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