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Worst Thanksgiving Weekend in Memory. The toll of Sandy and Shopping!

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  • Worst Thanksgiving Weekend in Memory. The toll of Sandy and Shopping!

    This year we had our traditional trifecta of gigs locally during Thanksgiving break. Every year this weekend is quite busy in the clubs... full of college students fresh from college, itching to get out and meet up with friends. This year all three nights were disappointing for one reason or another.



    Wednesday night was busy but disappointing. Every year we play a large 3000sq ft dance club that usually has 1200 people moving through the front door. This year compared to any ordinary night it was packed to the gills, however this year the draw at the door was considerably lower (around 650) and the energy of the crowd was simply not there. We worked the audience all night long and they smiled and bopped their heads but it wasn't the usual enthusiastic sing along, call and answer that we've come accustom to. To be fair I'm thinking we've out grown this club (or they've outgrown us). 5 years ago there was a heavy roster of bands with a DJ spinning in between. Now we are the only band booked playing special events. You can just feel the crowd waiting for the DJ to start. When I asked friends who were out and about how the other clubs in the area were faring.... all except one reported back that the bars were pretty dead.



    Friday night was at our new A-list Anchor club. We play here once a month and in the summer have drawn a few thousand through the door... in the winter 800-1200 are great numbers. By my guesstimate less than 300 on Friday night... it was busy but never packed (it's a large restaurant bar area). In fact I've been in the club when no-named bands were booked and there were more people milling about. I was pretty disappointed and when talking with a bartender he admitted it was their best Friday night in about 4 weeks. The previous Friday they closed at 1am and sent the band home early.



    Saturday was a predictable bust. We were booked at a new club that is struggling. I thought that we'd draw at least 50 people looking to get out of the house. Instead no one showed. I'm serious. Crickets. The venue we played the night before was closed at 12:30am.



    I remember the same lull after last year's freak snowstorm on Halloween. There was a 3-4 week period that never seemed to recover in the bars. I'd guess the same happened this year as well with Sandy... but instead I'm wondering how the retail shopping season really hurt us. Stores here in NY opened 8pm on Thanksgiving. I remember people leaving early on Wednesday night to prep for Thanksgiving and to get some sleep to be up all Thursday night shopping. There were people at our show on Friday that showed for 1-2 drinks and headed home because they were shopping all day.



    Anyone else experience an overwhelming lull in bar traffic?
    so over this signature BS!!!

  • #2






    Quote Originally Posted by wheresgrant3
    View Post

    Anyone else experience an overwhelming lull in bar traffic?




    Yep. I posted in another thread that it was one of our worst crowds in a long time. It seems that no one around here went out anywhere that I know of.



    The people that were there had a good time, but not to the extent that we're used to seeing.
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    My cover band

    HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN'T WORK HARD

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    • #3
      Same here. Not sure why. The weathers been good but the folks that come out seem a little down. A lot of places have been closing early too. I don't get it but no cancelations yet.

      Comment


      • #4
        Good for where we played but not great. In years past we did MUCH better. the bar manager said the people who drank drank like crazy but there were a lot of people ordering water. Lost of Designated Drivers that night, which is good- there were a TON of cops out in our area and they all seemed PISSED!!! LOL We got pulled over BEFORE we got to the gig! ugghh!- and the guy who shot our video got pulled over on the way home- apparently the cop was riding his ass which made him sped up and the he was pulled over and given the full sobriety test... THATS A DICK MOVE! lucky for him he shot video of us, had one beer and went home.



        BUT saturday night we played a restaurant in the poconos and it got crazy! (wish I had a video camera for that!)



        Now neither of these places can hold the amount of people you are talking about though...
        www.ostrichhat.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Also don't forget that the economy has sucked for years. Eventually, even beer can fall off the list of priority purchases. Combine that with the Black Friday deals, when you can get a Wii or whatever for the $50 you would have spent on a (fun) night out, and the choice becomes even more clear.



          Plus those who still have a bit of money tend to be older and less likely to get out on Thanksgiving weekend. Kids these days are beyond broke, at least around here.



          Personally I've pretty much given up on fronting a cover band. For those who aren't already established, there just doesn't seem to be enough reward for the amount of work involved. Maybe I'll get somewhere as a singer/songwriter. If not, I can always go back to beer.

          Comment


          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by rangefinder
            View Post

            Eventually, even beer can fall off the list of priority purchases.




            BEER will NEVER fall off my list! (good beer that is!)
            www.ostrichhat.com

            Comment


            • #7
              It was a pretty typical Thanksgiving week where I DJ - packed out Wednesday and Friday, much calmer Saturday. But we didn't have a hurricane to contend with out here.



              I've been at this same club for three years now and it's always the same thing. By Saturday night they're partied out and many of the young adults who were visiting family are headed home, so it's quite a bit off from the other two nights.



              We had a fair crowd on Thanksgiving night too, but that was because we were the only bar open for probably 20 miles. I'm not kidding... after the restaurants (and their lounges) closed around 80 we were it.

              Comment


              • #8
                While I've been generally optimistic lately, and our band has had some of it's best gigs ever in August and Sept, a couple of our October gigs at our regular clubs were similar to grants experience, slightly lower crowd numbers, and less than enthusiastic participation from the ones who were there. I have a hard time blaming H Sandy, as it really had little effect in my area - it did kick our asses, but my region had everything back up and running in 4-5 days.



                I'm thinking it's something else, but I don't know what. There's been an obvious downward swing in local music for years now, but spring and summer this year proved to be an upward lurch, and maybe I got a false sense of security with it, but we were doing extremely well for most of this year, at least until October.



                We're playing the same two clubs this weekend and the next, and I have a sinking feeling that it's going to be crickets. I'm additionally worried that the venues might downgrade our bookings or pay because of the lackluster fall / winter so far. ;( sad times.
                Sig Fail

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                • #9
                  The numbers seems to be down on winter texans so far this season. Time will tell is they are just staying up north in the cold this season or just a delay in comming down> Our peak month is feb where things typically run at full throttle for winter people. This economy is killing retired folks, who are uncertain about future earnings.
                  "you mess with him and you mess with the whole trailer park"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Summer and Fall crowds have been up and down for both my bands... and from what I have heard other bands its the same for them. When its down it's REALLY DOWN...



                    We will see how it goes as winter comes.
                    www.ostrichhat.com

                    Comment


                    • #11






                      Quote Originally Posted by wheresgrant3
                      View Post

                      We worked the audience all night long and they smiled and bopped their heads but it wasn't the usual enthusiastic sing along, call and answer that we've come accustom to. To be fair I'm thinking we've out grown this club (or they've outgrown us). 5 years ago there was a heavy roster of bands with a DJ spinning in between. You can just feel the crowd waiting for the DJ to start.




                      This is a horrible feeling. We'd been playing a pretty cool gig (one of only 3-4 bands on their small roster) for about 2 years pretty steadily, but going into 2013 they axed us from the roster. We commented exactly that we can just feel the crowd waiting for the DJ to start. I'm not sure what happened...we used to get such a great response from that crowd, but the last couple gigs it just hasn't been there.



                      We had a really GREAT Wednesday and Saturday on Thanksgiving weekend. Friday totally sucked.
                      Christian

                      SpaceCat
                      www.spacecatband.com

                      "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix







                      Originally Posted by wheresgrant3


                      Our singer is basically butchering the Grade A material into deli meat, but don't fear... the crowd is there for big sandwiches.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Obviously you guys need to invest in some Karaoke machines



                        *runs out of the room cackling wildly*



                        ( sorry, coudln't resist
                        Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.

                        The show, no matter how retarded, must go on. This is why musicians drink so much, alcohol helps them cope with facts by enveloping their brains and auditory senses in a haze of thickly applied B.S.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Our main club here is always slow for Thanksgiving weekend, but this one set new records. Worst EVER. Reflected poorly on my group, although it's not all our fault (I listened to a set that I recorded from Sat. night and thought hey, WE DON'T SUCK!). But the club filled up Sunday night to see an up-and-coming younger, country-rap band (ala Colt Ford) so I dunno, maybe it WAS our fault.
                          Gear: a room full of really LOUD plastic crap

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                          • #14
                            So I'm curious.. this seems to be a pretty wide trend across many regions.. are we getting a glimpse of the future, or do you all think it's just a bump in the road?
                            Sig Fail

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Reading all of these comments makes me glad that I chose to block off the Thanksgiving weekend (and night before). I had a wonderful time with family and enjoyed sleeping in for four days in a row. Ahhhhhh...









                              Quote Originally Posted by Kramerguy
                              View Post

                              So I'm curious.. this seems to be a pretty wide trend across many regions.. are we getting a glimpse of the future, or do you all think it's just a bump in the road?




                              I think we are a dying breed and our time is coming to a close. Twenty years ago, people were outraged if an artist was discovered lip-syncing to a song (Milli Vanilli). Even if a model pretended to sing in a Technotronic, Black Box or C+C Music Factory video, they were villified. Now? People could care less, as long as it sounds like the record. Music has no value to customers anymore (rampant illegal downloading is proof of that), so watching a band play songs "live" doesn't mean anything to them if it doesn't sound the way they want AND they aren't allowed to get onstage to sing the songs themselves too.



                              I'm just going to ride out the wave until it ends, then sell my equipment so someone else can use it for Karoake and DJ'ing, because I'm certainly not going to go to the dark side and do that...
                              (This is my Non-Signature.)

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