SUBCULTURE BEATROUTE APR 2014

I recently read a blog article titled ‘Are Vancouver Musicians Working Against Themselves’ by some corporate muckitymuck promotion scheme that was bemoaning the dwindling payouts that bands are getting …

I had to respond because I saw a bunch of people sharing the article without seeming to understand what it takes for a venue to exist … On that note, godless forbid you have a $lumlord … I do feel for musicians, but it seems the tech age has actually over-saturated a bands hype with societal impersonalization … So now lets blame the venues?

I’ve run a venue that had top notch $ound and paid out over 2K a month for it which was a bargain … John the sound guy is golden … I’m just a booking coordinator now … The only time I’m an official ‘promoter’ is when I take on a guaranteed bigger show … Yet it seems, I do more promoting then some so-called promoters with the work I do for the venue … I whip up posters and print physical posters to get hung up with the budget the venue restricts me to … The venue maintains a Georgia Straight ad for $400/wk and Beatroute ad for $400/month … I update free social media sites to get the word out and create events on Facebook … It seems to be too much effort for some bands to even share an event, invite peeps to it or copy/save the poster I whipped up and get some handbills printed up … Then there is the live music cover charge outrage at the door … Something is really fucked up in this city … Too much of a good thing?!

More approximate venue costs … Licenses 2K /yr … Insurance 7K /yr … staffing 10K minimum /month with a skeleton staff … Rent 5-15K /month minimum …. Taxes on sales are approximately 15% gross /month … Booze cost 10-15K month small venue… Print Ads 2K/month … Posters $300-500 /month … A small ice machine like I had at the Cobes was 3K … Etc etc etc … I bleached the shit out of the toilets … Picked up booze myself … Did the legwork for poster runs on transit, besides booking the acts and doing all the graphics … Most live venues are D.I.Y. Dive Bars … Yet this article writer seems to be talking like venues are corporations …

If bands expect untold riches for zero promotional effort on their part, something is lost in translation here … Only attending a show when their band plays … Loading out and leaving the show after you play … Only showing up at the show before your slot with no crowd mingling … I could go on, a venue can only hype shit so much and are experiencing declining attendance … Bandwagon promoters that don’t give a shit about cross-booking or booking a band that’s been scheduled to play a date down the street for over 2 months … The band itself for playing the other show and expecting people to show up at either …

Self band promotion is a lost art … Handbills … Reaching out about your show … Spacing out your shows to create demand … We’re lucky to have the venues that do exist for live music … It’s a costly endeavour and a gamble considering the more economical trend of the DJ drone machine … I wish people that write and believe shit like this have actually done some research to see the other side of the issue …

I always try to swing gas money and beers on dead nights … I can’t count how many times I’ve paid out of pocket … One can always just hope things even out….

Author: wendythirteen

WRITER OF A COLUMN ABOUT THE UNDERGROUND MUSIC SCENE CALLED 'SUBCULTURE' APPEARED IN BEATROUTE B.C. FROM OCT 2011 - OCT 2016 NOW WRITING FOR ABSOLUTE UNDERGROUND FROM DEC 2016 ON ----> BOOKING LIVE HEAVY BANDS IN VANCOUVER B.C. CANADA NO BOLLOCKS EVENTS

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