Beware the Ranting Psycho

Sitting here at yet another hip-hop show with Mike and Chachi, I can’t help but comment on how horribly run these things seem to be.

Problem # 1 – Tonight’s show was so disorganized that the flier announcing the show didn’t even have a start time listed. When we showed up, we were pretty much the first ones here. There was another small group of people who were across the street at the convenience store, but the person organizing the show was nowhere in sight.

Solution = Promote your damn show! If you spend the money to book a show, promote it. You don’t need money to promote, so don’t use that as an excuse. Use your MySpace page. Use your cell phone contacts. When you talk to anyone, mention the show. If you can print up some basic fliers and pass them out, do so. It is also important to note that promotion involves letting your potential attendees know where and when the show is to occur. This includes an accurate street address, a date and a time for the show to start. You should also have a list of groups that will be playing, with a set list for everyone. This way they will know what time they are going on and can tell their friends. You can also contact the City Paper and other “newspaper” sources to see about placing free or low-cost ads. The more you let people know about the show, the better chance you have that people will show up.

Problem #2 – I am “with the band” when I come to these shows. I set up the merch booth and manage the merchandise. So why is it that when I’m here working I’m expected to pay the admission charge? Tonight we got around that by use of an “Artist” pass that Sorg gave me. Granted I don’t actually get up on stage with the guys, but if you listen carefully to two of the songs on the CRAP debut CD “It Doesn’t Matter” you will hear me singing some of the backing track for Cell Block 6 and Disco Ball. So it should count, and if not, Sorg didn’t care tonight because of the crappy promotion.

Solution = Make sure that the people you are letting in with the band are either band members or are directly working for the band. It’s okay to limit “guests” to one or two, but if I’m sitting at a merchandise table all night, it is safe to say that I am “working” the event on behalf of an artist. I’m not in it to just get a free ticket in and then not actually work for it.

Problem #3 – There was one group opening before our guys tonight. They got up there and their songs wouldn’t play correctly. The sound guy and the group gave up on it, and they put our guys on instead. Halfway through their set, the CD started to skip. So, Sorg opted to plug his laptop into the sound board and is now running sound for the show from his laptop.

Solution = If you are putting the show on, make sure you show up early enough to set up and test the equipment. If you are unfamiliar with the equipment that you will be running for the show, make sure that you have a qualified “sound guy” to make sure things work the way they’re supposed to. Remember, this is your show afterall and any failure will reflect upon you. If you are a band performing and are using a CD, make sure you have tested your CD and that you have a couple of copies in case something goes wrong. Obviously if the problem is with the sound and not the CD, it isn’t the artist’s fault, it’s the promoter’s fault or the venue’s fault.

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