Posted: May 20, 2010 1:50 pm
I'm on my lunch break, so I'll try to do sum up what I wanted to say last night really fast. I've taken to this thread because (you probably didn't realize) just your initial posts kind of open up a couple of cans of worms that have been fought about back and forth in the Memphis and ???? sections of the board for years. We'll get to those points in a moment, but specific to you, your comment:
asked except the ability to sell merch after the show...
This is almost a newer subject, but I feel it's important.
Vaction vs. Vocation
Every band that tours wants to make some money, and rightfully so. As such (I'm sure it's the same in many a town), typically the local bands that are gathered to put on the shows for the out-of-town bands give all the door to the touring band.
I am inferring from your statement that you guys in planning your tour are doing what most bands should do, which is get some supporting cash together to make sure you can handle actual cost of the tour, instead of relying on the gigs to pay off. Again, every band on tour should be able to make as much as they can on top of their operations purse; that's the whole point. But there are several bands who come through that do not plan as well, and they rely on their "art". It happens a lot, actually, and that's one of the many reasons locals give their door share to the touring band; out of sheer habit and good-naturedness. My sentiment is that most bands should always treat their tour as a vacation and plan accordingly, unless you are confident that your name will bring in folks regardless of the local bands.
As I mentioned before, we had the two out of town bands come through the other night on a Tuesday; as the local band, we secured the venue, made sure there was security to make it an 18+ show, scheduled it as an early show to try to bring in folks that have to work the next day, and our guitar player is the soundguy (typically) for the club, so PA rental was discounted. Made sure to tip the bartender well, did the door ourselves, bought at least one of each item of merch each band had. All to make sure the bands had an easy time here, in spite of the lack-luster crowd, if only to encourage and spread the word for bands to come here. One band was driving down to Dallas the next day, and the other to freakin' New Hampshire. And at the end of the night, you know what?
Both bands were, like, "Man thanks so much! It's cool if nobody came out, we were just glad to play here finally." I imagine their attitude was based heavilly on the fact that they Planned for the tour. It's not to say we wouldn't have worked just as hard for them if we didn't have to worry about it in the beginning, but I felt a lot better about them splitting the $35 from the door.
What may be unusual for bands doing this planning is the PA rental. Not every club here does it, but the ones that do can certainly have a valid point for it: PA Rental for some clubs come from the door, others from the bar, and some places are DIY. Paying for the PA can become a big deal, especially for weeknights.
PA from door:
PA from Bar:
Poplar Lounge (I think)
I have to go back to work, but I'll get back on here tonight about radio, promo, why some bands won't play with other bands, etc.
Memphis is funky, to say the least.