Category Archives: Audience draw

One of the new hats, 20+ people

I subscribe to this service, Indie On The Move, which emails updates of venues looking for performers. The posts sometimes list a go-between person (booker) as a point of contact between the club/bar/what-have-you and the performer. Other times the contact is someone from the club itself.  In these announcements they list what (band/solo), when, where, genres and target demographic. It’s great on one hand because you are apprised of who’s looking for live music and lousy on the other hand because, frequently, there are stipulations like the dreaded we’re charging x-amount at the door and after the first 10 people you’ll then begin making money OR you must have a draw of 20+ people. I have yet to write a song with the intention of making money from it  and I don’t have a ton of friends who can make it out during the workweek. Getting people to come out can be difficult. People have jobs, kids, lives of their own, it can be exhausting to extend oneself beyond ones usual course of action. A lot of my friends are musicians so when they show up it’s often an act of good faith and not necessarily to hear something new. The specific number of people though is a strange pressure/requirement…..what if I don’t know 20 people? Does that make what I’m making less valuable? And while we’re at it, what has the club done to promote live music? I was speaking to my friend, Tom Fitzpatrick (songwriter/guitarist/bassist extraordinaire, http://www.myspace.com/fitztunes) on Saturday about this, he’s been playing in NYC clubs for 20years. I wondered whether live music is on the way out or if now that everyone can more easily make and share music whether there are more players than audience members? Some large shifts in peoples attitudes towards things like art and music remain a mystery in the immediate moment. Tom was of the opinion that clubs definitely used to do more to promote shows. That onus is now on the artist. I’m not very clever or slick about that stuff….I’m pretty sure I’d make a lousy salesman or haphazard at best. I love playing live and will continue to do so but I think my attempts at getting heard are best pursued online these days. Have a wonderous day folks, thanks for reading -p