Charging at the door for midweek gigs?



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Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Gary » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:00 pm

Hi all,
Just wondering about what others think about entrance fees for midweek country music gigs.
Personally , I think it is a great way to utilise a club which would otherwise offer little or nothing (in most cases) and ensuring that the acts get a giggin' wage.
The only issue I have, is that most CMC's who do charge, require a £2 (around Derbyshire/south Yorkshire) which I think is fair considering drinks/taxi etc. however some charge more i.e £4 pp. - which, in my opinion (and personal experience) does little to entice new listeners to country music to that club, especially when the acts are the same as those working in other clubs in the region at a lesser entrance fee. I appreciate that fee may sometimes include food, but the fee is not negotiable whether you want food or not.
For 2 of us, that's £8 already, before taxi & drinks. I would like to go every week, if possible, to a local CMC, but instead end up staying in and going occassionally.
I don't mean to sound stingy - but simply invitng other's views, and if more expensive fees has impacted on going to midweek gigs?

Thanks all

Gary
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby kev » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:07 pm

Personally I don't think £4 is a big ask for an evening's entertainment - it's certainly a lot less than you'd pay to go to the cinema, the theatre, or a concert.
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Gary » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:43 pm

Hi Kev, thanks for replying - and you have a valid point there - and gigs are more entertaining in my view.
I guess I'm thinking about encouraging potential newcomers to country music (of which I am, kinda speakin'), especially younger folk. If I'm being frank, I have noticed over the last 6 months that all but a very few (literally) of the audience are the same loyal weekly attenders (and thank goodness for them) but no new faces over that time
I guess that's probably the reality of it though - I think I'm a bit naive regarding CMC's really.
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby kev » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:09 pm

I don't think the problem with attracting new (younger) people is limited to country music clubs, it's seems to be the same all over. We used to go American Square Dancing and in the 5 years we were in the club, not a single 'new' dancer joined, just older experienced dancers who had moved into the area. We now belong to a folk dance club and it's much the same thing. One good thing though - hang about with lots of old people and you feel young again!!

One of the things that comes up regularly on this board, and on other sites across the internet, is that some people think that the current interest in modern pop-country will attract new, and younger, to country music generally and to their local clubs. I'm sure it'll happen to some degree but have always wondered how many of those who are attracted to the squeaky clean pop of pretty-young-things like Taylor Swift or Ward Thomas, or the bro-country of FGL or Sam Hunt, would really want to listen to grizzled old geezers like Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson?
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Gary » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:41 pm

Good point again Kev.
I like the strategy on how to feel young again :-D
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Smudger » Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:42 pm

kev wrote:would really want to listen to grizzled old geezers like Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson?

or even listen to grizzled old geezers singing Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson songs to backing tracks...............?
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Gary » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:51 pm

Hi Smudger - Yeah, I'm a nearly-grizzled backing track user, though I would suggest there is a pro angle to how they're used in a semi-live way (but will never sway some die-hard's) and as a 51yr old geezer, I don't drag any young 'un's in, that's for sure. Thing is I love the auld songs by Merle, Willie and many of the auld country legends, including Irish country legends - as well as some crackin' numbers over more recent years.
What to do eh?
:-)
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Smudger » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:24 pm

Hi Gary - I go to country music clubs around 3 times a month, and the majority of acts I see use backing tracks. Nothing against them as such, as I know that without them, a lot of clubs wouldn't survive. Some are good and some not so good, but I agree with your "used in a semi-live way" statement. What I don't like are solo acts pretending to play a guitar while all the music is coming from a naff backing track.
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Gary » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:09 am

Hey Kev - SPOT ON - I've looked at some of vids recently via YouTube etc and I whole-heartedly agree with you: as a guitarist I am disappointed at what often goes on, and it isn't limited to CMC's- and I can even see what can fool the unsuspecting eye (and ear) in several of the vids I've seen. This said, there are 1000's of crackin' muso's out there who don't get the acknowledgements they truly deserve.
Your comment has given me real encouragement, I mean that sincerely, as I am almost there with my 'Country Gig' with 100's of hours spent trying to make all my tracks sound as if coming from the same 'band' with a 'live' feel and with the least fuss onstage. I hope I have positive feedback when the venture starts.
speak soon - and hope we'll be discussing stuff on a different topic page... soon :-)
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby lo&m » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:58 pm

£2 entry is dirt cheap. Less than a pint of beer.
Country is a state of mind, not a state of America.
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Gary » Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:25 am

Hi, Lonesome - that is correct for sure, but to add some context to it, Country gigs are massivley declined / declining are they not? - and not recovering if I'm not mistaken. So is charging the answer - I don't know? I think my question a valid one: are new followers of CM being encouraged, or loyal fans paying the price? My qestion is entirely honest, even if somewhat naive, so please forgive that.

Cheers

Gary
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby lo&m » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:15 pm

The Brit CM club/festival scene has declined for sure. I guess it's the march of history; it's gone and marched off leaving a lot of us behind. Then too, we're all getting older as well. Back when I was a regular attender at clubs, We paid about £2 for a midweek club night then. If you're still paying the same as you did 20 years ago, is it so bad? I suppose it all depends on how much disposable income a person has, £2 might be a lot for some folk. At the other extreme we see things like C2C, where people pay top prices to see top performers. It seems CM is alive and well in the UK.
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby LoneShark » Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:49 pm

Entry prices are a real bug bear for me. People pay £7-8 for a packet of cigarettes, £4 for a beer but ask a reasonable entry fee for a live country act and there's hell to pay.

£2-3 to see a band, are you kidding me? Psychology suggests you pay that money then you'll get what that's worth!

Get real people. B
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby kev » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:41 pm

It's not just CM clubs: seems like everything we go to has people complaining about entry costs and then wondering why we meet in cold, crappy halls with terrible floors!
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Re: Charging at the door for midweek gigs?

Postby Gary » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:09 pm

Hi all,
I think my initial question was the wrong one to ask: having attended a local club (for the Country Music night) over the last 3 weeks, and paying the £8 (2 people) entrance fee, I can say it has been a pleasure to see some popular, established country acts. I personally, was not quibbling about the entrance £fee but asking the wider question about charging when country music venues (and popularity???) are declining.
As an established semi-pro clubland act of nearly 25 years, I invariably work every Saturday & Sunday. I am fortunate to still get consistent top rates for my gigs, of which there has never been an entrance fee.

However, I performed last night in a club (in south Yorkshire) that meets all the criteria for a great country music venue: good sized car park, bus-stop just outside, 2-tiered seating and large dance floor.
The room was half full, (and barely used mid-week) and a request was made several times over the mic, by the club secretary, for members to support the club and come watch the weekend's live(?) entertainment.

Thinking about the well-attended CM nights on Thursdays at my local club, I had a chat with the club sec when I finished, about midweek country gigs - and about how paying for acts would be the main, responsibility of the CMC organisers if not a shared percentage with the club - and how it could bring in folk (drinkers). I simply got 'Ah we've tried everything mate' (but not what I just suggested) - There was not an ounce of creative thinking - and even though I purposely added a few well-known country songs into my 3-part set (they went down very well - with positive comments) I would suggest that one significant stumbling block for re-establishing CMC's is the stuck-in-the-mud committee members who can't see beyond what they have always done and known over decades.

What's the saying - "If you only do what you've always done - you'll only get what you always got.

I will continue to make the same suggestion in clubs I visit in the future - not holding my breath though....
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