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Getting that "following" to book the cherry gigs- A side bar to "Horror Stories"


Chest Rockwell

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Ok. You're a new or relatively new band that has great original music in a town that loves this sort of thing. So, you have no following. You have loyal friends and they make appearances. But getting this mysterious following isn't happening overnight. You assume that club owners will book you as an opener for bands that already have a following to help get you launched but instead you keep hearing "you need to make friends with the bands that have big draws". WTF?? :freak: I like making friends but I also think that if you're the club owner, then you ought to have the ingenuity to expose new acts by working with them and the bigger draw bands. Any clues folks?
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When trying to book my band (covers, not originals), I've been asked for sample music and for bars we've filled.

 

We don't have any sample music - we hope to record some this summer.

 

We managed to find a bar that will book us. The bar draws 10 people (maybe). But since we haven't played that much, we're able to get our friends out (we had paying crowds of 87 and 65 people).

 

Being able to say that we've drawn a crowd has helped. And the gigs have been good (if infrequent).

 

Good Luck!

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Is it just me, or is there something inherently wrong when a club owner, or manager, asks the band to bring the crowd? Umm, excuse me...if you as the owner or manager knew what you were doing, you'd have your club already established on it's own merits! The band is here for entertainment IF you can make your club a place people want to come to.

 

After getting that song and dance about following, I told a club manager I had to doubt his competence for his position, since he hasn't done shit to get that club established and popular on it's own, and maybe the owner, him and I outta have a sit down talk about his job! I was havin' a bad day that day. I was asked to leave. Go figure :)

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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Yeah - I'm with you on that fig. And imagine that - you got tossed for trying to help the guy do a better job :eek::rolleyes:

 

My observation is that some places are hot. You have to be good to play there, since the risk to the owner is big. You should get paid well for being successful at a hot spot. Some places are cold, and you are bringing the crowd. If enough bands bring people, the place heats up a bit. Then you ask for more money. This bar we've played advertises the bands, but it's still a low-level bar. I'm not sure what you could do to make a place "hip". Although the staff there seems to turn over a lot, so there is something not quite right.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Is it just me, or is there something inherently wrong when a club owner, or manager, asks the band to bring the crowd? Umm, excuse me...if you as the owner or manager knew what you were doing, you'd have your club already established on it's own merits! The band is here for entertainment IF you can make your club a place people want to come to.

Interesting perspective. Which brings up the question- Are they thinking I'm just going to run people out of there? I got this same BS from a club here in town from someone working the door. I walked up with a demo and he said that would just be a waste of a demo. "Make friends with a big draw band. That's the way to get in here" :rolleyes:
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So....how does a new band develop a following ?

 

Have a good product.

Start Local.

Hook up with other, more established bands.

Tell everybody you know about shows.

Be persistant.

Be patient.

Don't get discouraged.

Be Humble.

 

PJR

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The Bar/club is a business.

Bottom line is people in the bar , spending money.

 

Bands that can consistantly bring $$ thru the door are the ones that get and keep the gig.

Very true, but very stupid from a bar/club owners perspective. Let's say my band brings in 100 people. Cool, bar/club owner is happy. But, if his only strong money maker is 5 hours in the evening, mainly on weekends, what about the rest of the week? The times there are no bands playing. Does it just sit and lose money because the owner/managers can't make the place a popular hangout when bands aren't playing? Cater to the 10 locals who hang out when there isn't a band?

 

Seems to me an intelligent owner/manager is gonna want to make his/her place exciting and the 'place to be' even when there's no bands. On it's own merits. I played a place this weekend that is a 'place to be' anytime. Bands only on weekends during the day and night, but I've been there during the week. And it's a meat market chocked full of people during the week. They don't need the bands, but the bands are a nice add-on for their income, and not a necessity for their income. There-in lies the difference.

 

Have to lay blame solely on the owner/managers who won't develop their investment to it's fullest potential.

 

Of course, I've been doing this for about 30 years, and don't need the money, so my 'willingness to play anywhere' meter is on the low side.

 

However, I'm stating the fantasy part of things, and PJR nailed the realities and gave great advice.

Bassplayers aren't paid to play fast, they're paid to listen fast.
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