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We need to cut one of these venues...


mstreck

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a) a rock club with no natural draw that has house PA (a competent house soundman is optional for $75 or we can bring our own).

b) a restaurant/bar that is always busy where we'd need to lug our PA up the steps and run sound from a small stage (no room for the board out front).

 

They both want rebookings, but we're very established at another venue in the same area, so there isn't room in the schedule for us to play both of these places with any kind of regularity.

 

Keeping in mind that both venues pay the same, which would you pick?

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Well, that's my philosophy...
:thu:

 

In your situation I'd choose the venue that offers you the best opportunity to build your audience... regardless if it huge club or a small bar... whereever you have the most exposure to people and have the ability to draw your own will put you in a better position down the road. I've seen bands choose club A vs B, because choice 'A' was a sexier destination... only to see that club fail. Then the band has two choose club 'B' with their tail between their legs. So whichever club you think has the stronger long term viability is the direction I would go in.

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Playing to a crowd trumps lugging a PA around. Lugging the PA is why we get paid anyhows, am I right?

 

 

Agreed. I've always said the cost isn't us playing. We'll do that all night. The real work of the evening is set up and tear down.

 

Lug the gear and play to a crowd.

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I would pick the place with the better crowd.

 

For us our best gig has the worst load in. It's a bar/restuarant inside a casino. It exposes us to a {censored} load of new people... and these people come back with more and more people every time we play. The pay is about the same as most bars we play, the load in is horrible but the crowd is great! It has been (slowly) opening more doors for us so we do it.

 

So the better crowd always wins with me. Do you guys do well at the other place? Maybe give them a date or 2 when you can. We have a few places in our hometown that we rarely play but toss 'em a date when we see a hole in our schedule. We dont tell 'em they are on the bottom of the list but they are.

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Do you guys do well at the other place?

 

 

We do OK at the rock bar - better than most other bands that I've gone to see there. Our worst crowd (this past Friday - Punkin' Chunkin' weekend) was about 60 people - our best was a month ago (around 150). The problem is that this place is ONLY a music venue - only open Thu, Fri, and Sat and no food whatsoever - so the people that show up are there specifically to see whatever band is playing - we're not gaining any new fans unless our current fans drag them along. One thing I forgot to mention - on Friday, they wiped out all of our bar tabs at the end of the night (and we weren't drinking lightly).

 

We've played the restaurant/bar only one time - easily 100+ people with their natural draw. It's a 10-15 minute drive out of town, so we lost a few people to that (they usually just go to the other in-town venue) but we gained quite a few new fans and had a crowded "dance floor" throughout most of the night. The five bartenders were always busy and I got a handshake and a "we'll definitely have you back" from the manager at the end of the night when we got paid. The only thing I don't like about the place is the additional time for load-in and tear-down. Not to mention that we will always sound better with a soundman out front (instead of me trying to adjust while playing).

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Agreed. I've always said the cost isn't us playing. We'll do that all night. The real work of the evening is set up and tear down.


 

+1

 

Typical booking conversation:

 

Client: what does it cost to book you guys for a 4 hour performance?

Me: $XXXX

Client: what about 3 hrs?

Me: $XXXX

Client: what about 2 hrs?

Me: STILL $XXXX

Client: why's that, when you're only playing half as much.

Me: You're paying for the load-in and load-out. The actual performance is free. UP to 4 hrs. Anything over that? We'll negotiate. :D

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The shredded wheat side of me says to play the club with the PA as it's better for your brand as a band. You don't have to promote your show very heavily and more opportunities for private parties etc will come your way. The frosted side says "why would you want to work twice as hard for the same amount of money?" and that side thinks you should play the physically "easier" gig.

 

If it were my band two years ago I would play the one where we brought the PA. If it was my band today I'm playing the place with the build in PA etc.

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Not to mention that we will always sound better with a soundman out front (instead of me trying to adjust while playing).

 

 

unfortunately this isn't always true. if the 'soundman' isn't just some random bartender who happens to know where the ON switch for the mixer is, chances are s/he will act like god's gift to music, know NOTHING about what your band is supposed to sound like, do pointless sound checks (what's the point unless you're going to REMEMBER the settings?), and then abandon their post as soon as you go on stage!

 

of course there are a lot of solid soundguys out there, but the hacks definitely outnumber the pros, and unless they have the requisite skills, personality, musical knowledge, and reliability, i'd rather do it myself!

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I'd lug gear to the crowd every time. We play two clubs with house PA and I would swap 'em every day for a bigger venue/crowd the I had to load in/out.

 

 

depends on how much of loading is "WE" and how much is "ME" because I own most of the PA gear we would use and I dont want to have to load it into my car and out of my car by myself nor do I want to set it up mostly by myself.

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It's interesting, we just had an experience where we played a charity gig on the LSU campus. We generally play a really large venue on campus with a good built in crowd, but we have to drag all our {censored} there. The charity gig was at a much smaller room, but they had a nice PA and lights. Set up literally took 15 minutes. The place where the charity gig was wants us to play there too, but really one on campus gig is plenty.

 

We probably wont switch as the pay is not equal, but it's tempting to play the easy gig from time to time...

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+1


Typical booking conversation:


Client: what does it cost to book you guys for a 4 hour performance?

Me: $XXXX

Client: what about 3 hrs?

Me: $XXXX

Client: what about 2 hrs?

Me: STILL $XXXX

Client: why's that, when you're only playing half as much.

Me: You're paying for the load-in and load-out. The actual performance is free. UP to 4 hrs. Anything over that? We'll negotiate.
:D

 

:thu:

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depends on how much of loading is "WE" and how much is "ME" because I own most of the PA gear we would use and I dont want to have to load it into my car and out of my car by myself nor do I want to set it up mostly by myself.

 

 

I own all the PA and haul it (trailer)...but I get plenty of help from the guys.

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a) a rock club with no natural draw that has house PA (a competent house soundman is optional for $75 or we can bring our own).

b) a restaurant/bar that is always busy where we'd need to lug our PA up the steps and run sound from a small stage (no room for the board out front).


They both want rebookings, but we're very established at another venue in the same area, so there isn't room in the schedule for us to play both of these places with any kind of regularity.


Keeping in mind that both venues pay the same, which would you pick?

 

 

Really depends on how much you need the exposure. If it's just for the money and you have good exposure gigs already then house PA beats haul it up the stairs. If you need to book the private parties you might pick up at the restaurant/bar then there's your answer. Sometimes my favorite gigs are the more relaxed ones that require the least effort.

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of course there are a lot of solid soundguys out there, but the hacks definitely outnumber the pros, and unless they have the requisite skills, personality, musical knowledge, and reliability, i'd rather do it myself!

 

In this case, the guy knows his stuff (and the system). He definitely went out of his way to make sure we were happy with the monitor mixes and Amy and I both wandered out front (wireless) and FOH sounded great! :thu:

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depends on how much of loading is "WE" and how much is "ME" because I own most of the PA gear we would use and I dont want to have to load it into my car and out of my car by myself nor do I want to set it up mostly by myself.

 

 

Fortunately, we have a gear trailer that houses the PA between gigs, but that's my situation as well - I always end up doing the most work for load-in. I'm the only one that can dial things in, so that's even more work on my part.

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a) a rock club with no natural draw that has house PA (a competent house soundman is optional for $75 or we can bring our own).

b) a restaurant/bar that is always busy where we'd need to lug our PA up the steps and run sound from a small stage (no room for the board out front).


They both want rebookings, but we're very established at another venue in the same area,
so there isn't room in the schedule for us to play both of these places with any kind of regularity
.


Keeping in mind that both venues pay the same, which would you pick?

 

 

I would continue to do them both explaining that you have a tight schedule but you will work them in. They both pay the same. its kind of a no brainer really. you dont want to shoot yourself in the foot by ditching one and having the other poop out on you. juggle the sched and keep them both in play.

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I would continue to do them both explaining that you have a tight schedule but you will work them in. They both pay the same. its kind of a no brainer really. you dont want to shoot yourself in the foot by ditching one and having the other poop out on you. juggle the sched and keep them both in play.

 

 

I'd really like to do that. Unfortunately, our schedule *is* tight in this area. We're established in one venue local to the area (playing every 6 weeks) and we don't want to lose that. Around here, a small rural area with three music venues, that is the minimum time between shows to avoid "oversaturation". If we're going to add to our schedule in this market, we're messing with the supply/demand curve - so it really comes down to making the most beneficial decision for the long-term. Whatever we do, we need to space out the shows so we aren't competing with each other (something we've already experienced).

 

FWIW, the rock bar novelty is starting to wear off for the locals. The place really only survives because of what bands bring to them, and the national acts do very well for them, but the local bands that play there aren't seeing much benefit other than being mentioned on their radio ads. A month ago, we brought them one of their best crowds - when I think about it, the only thing we got out of it was an "easy" night.

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I'd really like to do that. Unfortunately, our schedule *is* tight in this area. We're established in one venue local to the area (playing every 6 weeks) and we don't want to lose that. Around here, a small rural area with three music venues, that is the minimum time between shows to avoid "oversaturation". If we're going to add to our schedule in this market, we're messing with the supply/demand curve - so it really comes down to making the most beneficial decision for the long-term. Whatever we do, we need to space out the shows so we aren't competing with each other (something we've already experienced).


FWIW, the rock bar novelty is starting to wear off for the locals. The place really only survives because of what bands bring to them, and the national acts do very well for them, but the local bands that play there aren't seeing much benefit other than being mentioned on their radio ads. A month ago, we brought them one of their best crowds - when I think about it, the only thing we got out of it was an "easy" night.

 

 

.Not sure if I buy the oversaturation deal. If the venues want to book you,, go play them. Its there dollar its their club and its their decison on who they want on their stage. the good bands tend to play the most in any area. The notion that you need to stand down due to oversaturation seems alittle strange to me. hell down here bands play two shows in one night at two different clubs. The whole music scene is in a two mile strip. the last thing anyone is worried about is oversatuation.

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.Not sure if I buy the oversaturation deal. If the venues want to book you,, go play them. Its there dollar its their club and its their decison on who they want on their stage. the good bands tend to play the most in any area. The notion that you need to stand down due to oversaturation seems alittle strange to me. hell down here bands play two shows in one night at two different clubs. The whole music scene is in a two mile strip. the last thing anyone is worried about is oversatuation.

 

 

Salisbury, MD, Ocean City, MD, and Dewey/Rehoboth Beaches, DE are all within an hour's drive. Those populations can support playing every weekend - there are a large amount of people and many are very well-off. But it's a different scene here - Seaford and Laurel, DE - two depressed small towns 7 miles apart - very rural - most people can't afford to go out every weekend, nor are they very willing to drive to the other town, especially to go see bands.

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Salisbury, MD, Ocean City, MD, and Dewey/Rehoboth Beaches, DE are all within an hour's drive. Those populations can support playing every weekend - there are a large amount of people and many are very well-off. But it's a different scene here - Seaford and Laurel, DE - two depressed small towns 7 miles apart - very rural - most people can't afford to go out every weekend, nor are they very willing to drive to the other town, especially to go see bands.

 

 

Sounds like South Dakota except when a big name act comes to town, they got the money to go.

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