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Low crowds for recent metal tours...

Discussion in 'ProgPower USA' started by labrekk, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    What? "Our experience sucks and is hard work, so it should suck and be hard work for you too"? That's crazy-talk! If I go to a fine restaurant, that means the dining room should be hot, smelly, and loud, because that's how it is in the kitchen? Using my iPhone should make me feel like I'm an underpaid, overworked Chinese laborer because that's how it's made? Living in my house should be tiring and cold because the carpenters who built it in the winter were tired and cold?

    Maybe that's your own definition for how a "true fan" should behave, but I can only imagine that's a terrible way to get respectable numbers to turn out to your show. In terms of converting your effort into paying customers, I think you'll get FAR more bang-for-the-buck by doing everything in your power to make the experience enjoyable and painless for them, rather than scolding them and trying to convince them that they should suffer more!

    Certainly there are people out there who will pay money to suffer by convincing themselves that they are doing something honorable and "building the scene". But their numbers are inconsequential compared to the available market of people out there who will pay money for a concert simply because it's something they expect to enjoy. That's the market every band should focus on.

    The customer is always right!

    Neil
     
  2. Diamond45

    Diamond45 Terminate Bad Music

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    +1 We are so lucky to have them around. I hope the new owners keep up the quality bands that Jay has managed to get over the years.
     
  3. Metal_Camden

    Metal_Camden Member

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    That is as far away from the point I was making as saying that a restaurant should be hot and sweaty like the kitchen (and sometimes that's awesome!!) My point is, plenty of people, regardless of what band is playing, don't show up for weekday shows. It's shocking to see great and BIG bands play in front of 1,100 people on a weekend and then play to 75 on a monday or tuesday! That's just disappointing statistics.

    All I'm saying is that, myself, along with LOTS of other people, shuffle around or financial matters in order to make sure that we are out supporting shows! I know people have money problems, just like everyone else. I also don't need a lecture on how to make fans or that the customer is always right. Music will speak for itself regardless of how much sleep the fan gets that night. No matter where we play or how big the crowd is, the fans get 100% of us on stage. You may not like our music but I promise that your "metal palate" will be thoroughly satisfied after a cheap, low attended, weeknight show. If a fan likes the music, and enough to sacrifice a few restful nights here and there, it helps tremendously. And usually the smaller shows you get to meet everyone instead of waiting outside a tour bus until 3AM to catch a glimpse of your headliner! cheaper ticket prices too! why not? hell drink OUR beer that the venues give us if you must have a drink and cant afford it due to a long drive, kids, or a hotel room.

    I mean the only way I could be nicer to our fans is to physically pay for their ticket, have a place for them to crash and to cook their dinner, All of which Ive done before, numerous times. Getting 6 hours of sleep instead of 8 and attending a show makes the world of difference in some tours that are starting out. Encouragement is all I'm after, not bashing the fans. I mean, do you really think I'm trying to sit here and be like "RA RA RA come out or you're just a dick?"

    hell no.
     
  4. nailz

    nailz Member

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    On the other hand, Metal and music is my fun time, not my job. Sort of. I guess that's not really me anymore, is it.
     
  5. skyrefuge

    skyrefuge Member

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    No, not at all; frankly, you seem way too intelligent and reality-based about all this stuff to even be a musician in the first place. :D But it seems like your frustration was overriding your logic a bit there. The frustration is completely understandable ("really? After all we go through, you can't just get by with a couple less hours of sleep?"), but I don't think it leads to a valuable strategy. That's why I threw out "the customer is always right" mantra. Of course in reality, the customer is NOT always right, and they're frequently wrong, but it's something that the store owner says to his remind his frustrated cashier how to run a successful business. The real meaning is "the customer is a friggin' jackwad, but we must treat him AS IF he is right, because it's fruitless to try to change his behavior, so we should just focus on what WE can do".

    So I think this is my main disagreement with you. If by "LOTS", you mean the 75 people who come out on a Tuesday, then ok. But that's all I would put in the group of people who have even *considered* the concept of "supporting the scene" when deciding to go to a show.

    Lines like this make for a motivating speech, but I only really hear this type of language when people are talking about shows that no one goes to! If you went to any show with 1000 people and gave them that speech, 900 of them would say "uh, I don't know what that's all about dude, I'm just here because I like this band!"

    So by appealing to the group of people receptive to the "support the scene" argument and encouraging them to skip a little sleep, you might increase that number from 75 to 85. But if you can increase the number from 75 to 1100 by playing on a weekend, that seems like a more effective strategy.

    I guess my general point is that people behave how they behave, and there's very little you can do to change that. Your 75-vs.-1100 example illustrates this perfectly: day-of-week has a big effect on behavior, and that's something that's been constant across time and genres. Yes, you may be able to get some marginal increases by making personal appeals to alter peoples' natural behavior. And maybe for your band in your situation, that's enough for you. But to make REAL differences in numbers, it would seem much more effective to adapt *your* behavior to match the existing behavior of the market you're targeting (and of course I'm not saying this is easy or even possible, but it's probably more possible than single-handedly inducing a cultural shift in behavior).

    Neil
     
  6. DuchessOfDork

    DuchessOfDork Member

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    That's something we musicians need to keep in mind. People come to see us as entertainment, because they want to. Not because they have to. So making it more enticing and/or convenient for them is the key to getting people to come, if you're not being backed by some financial monster like a pop star or something.

    That's why it sucks to do week day shows, so you gotta pimp the shit out of them to expect a turnout. Or, yanno, give away free doughnuts. :loco:
     
  7. Diamond45

    Diamond45 Terminate Bad Music

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    Bring them to the Sabaton show on Monday! :lol:
     
  8. edgeofthorns

    edgeofthorns 24 Hours Ago...

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    Sorry dude...I wasn't intending to come across insensitive. Now that I go back and read through the other posts I can see why my post hit you wrong! I have a few friends (and family) around here that I more or less was thinking about. It's basically ok to do everything else in the world but going to concerts is for kids...it's that type of attitude that pisses me off.

    John, I apologize if you think what I wrote is total crap. It sounds to me that you think being married and having a family is a total burden. I hate that you feel that way. With that said, I've missed one ProgPower since V...that was due to starting a new job at the time.

    ~Brian~
     
  9. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Member

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    Personally, I've only missed one (and my kid is 5), and it was only partially due to finances. Hell, last year I brought the whole family to Atlanta. They did the museums and I did Progpower.

    Yeah, my son is expensive, and my wife hasn't worked for a couple of years, but I manage to budget it somehow.
     
  10. J-Man

    J-Man Old as Yoda

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    No Brian I do not think that being married is a burden, that is not what i meant at all, i was responding to what you wrote in the first line of that post of yours i quoted, you said and i quote "It drives me crazy when people use the excuse of getting married and having kids as to why they don't attend shows." Sometimes family and family needs come first, and if their excuse is my son/daughter is having his/her tonsils out or something to that effect then that is a valid excuse. Or if they are getting married and need to save money for either the wedding/honeymoon or furniture or just plain utilities and food then that is valid, but for you to say it drives you crazy for people to use excuses like that to not attend a certain concert, doesn't hold water my friend.

    I haven't missed one since #6 until this year and I had my reasons for missing, but i won't go into them. I am not trying to start a fight it was just the first sentence that is wrong.
     
  11. SkiBumMSP

    SkiBumMSP Member

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    If I ever go to a show in New York, I am taking the train! Figure after all the gas, parking, tolls, etc - I might as well just take the train. That way, at least I can sit back and sleep or listen to the iPod or play games on the DS, etc.

    Anyway, with the topic of this thread, there are plenty of reasons why people just cannot make it to shows. Hell, I've missed several shows I really wanted to go to. I missed a Symphony X show for the simple fact that the traffic was complete shit trying to get to Jaxx on a Sunday afternoon (fucking beach traffic!) to the point that we ended up saying 'fuck it' and bailed. Missed the last Kamelot show because there was no way in hell I was driving up there in what is basically full-on hurricane conditions. I encountered Jay at the Firewind show and asked him if anybody even showed up at that show. Found a bootleg of that show on YouTube and looked like there was still a pretty good crowd there, despite the complete shit weather. Also missed a number of shows, including a Hammerfall show simply due to being at the ski hill instead. During the winter, if the conditions are good (or simply due to ski patrol scheduling), skiing will more often than not take precedence over going to concerts.

    Yeah, going to those weeknight concerts can be a real bitch at times. At least I am lucky that I only live less than a mile from my work, plus am in a position that I can sleep in if need be and still show up at work at a decent time. The fact that I am one of the seniors there and all but practically help found this company that I work for also helps that I have some pull in that if I do show up at say 10 AM instead of 8 on one day, nobody's going to give me any shit about it. I'll more than likely give them shit back for trying to give me shit. Along the same lines, I have no kids and also making some pretty darn good coin where I work, so to me, money is not an issue for going to these shows. Granted, I am probably more the exception than the rule. And yes, I am going to Saxon up there at Jaxx tomorrow evening as well as Sabaton on Monday.

    As for ProgPower, yeah, I could probably save a bit of money on a lot of what I do there. But damn, all those awesome albums just ready for the taking, plus a few that are not even due to be released for another month or so. Of course, I am going to grab what I can of the CDs while I am there instead of having to deal with mail-order and shipping and such. Not only that, I really do like staying at the Artmore, even if there are cheaper alternatives around. To me, it is worth paying the extra.
     
  12. TychoCelchu

    TychoCelchu Member

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    I went to Firewind tonight (well, yesterday night) and there was a surprisingly good crowd there - I'd say 75 or more people, which despite being an example of a low number from earlier on this page of the thread, is a pretty good amount for a weekday show in a minor market (New Hampshire).
     
  13. Riceloft

    Riceloft Member

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    I would like to echo some of the sentiments in this thread. Since I moved in with my wife (fiance at the time), finances have been tighter. For the first year she was still in college, so I didn't go to any concerts except for ProgPower. The next year she started working and finances were much better, but this year we have a new baby + her 3 months of maternity leave. That tightened up finances again. I've probably been to a total of 6 local concerts in the last 3 years plus 2 of the last 3 ProgPowers. I've skipped shows from Kamelot, Symphony X, Edguy and others because I simply couldn't justify spending the money.
     
  14. Metal_Camden

    Metal_Camden Member

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    HAHAHAHA well thank you! You have to be smart with anything you do in music, I mean, there is cold hard money and lots of it being invested in our project. Smart decisions, smart investments = eventual success (hopefully, or at least that's what I'm aiming for! haha)

    Ya, I thought about this last night and you are right. You have to think, a 23 year old kid in a power metal band pouring every penny he's had since highschool into 2 different music projects gets a little flustered sometimes and maybe vents a bit. haha, I cant help it. I love what we do, I just wish people WOULD be that way. I know they will never do that and we have to go out of our way to make it easy, convenient, and most of all, enjoyable for our fans when coming to see the shows. The question is NOW, how do we make weekday shows appeal to a large crowd? Something new has to be done, and the person that figures it out will be headliner over Firewind!!! haha ***gets pad and starts scribbling ideas***

    I mean, 75 people isn't bad for a Tuesday night for most bands. I mean, I was surprised when over 30 people came out to the UTPOM show in NYC on a tuesday, but that's considering Seven Kingdoms has played there once and Creation's End maybe twice at that time? ehh, not sure but Milton would have the info on CE :)

    People can pick on bands like Blackguard or Powerglove but they are the ones that have the young kids lining up to see them play on a week day. SX played on a fucking tuesday at Firestone Live and there was almost 400 people there. easily 50-75 for blackguard (all wearing blackguard or a day to remember shirts, congrats to victory records for making a cross over) and easily the same for Power Glove! TOUR TOUR TOUR with BIG BIG BIG bands is what they have been doing. I think the days of little bands going out together on tours is slowly becoming a gigantic waste of money when considering that the ONLY way for a new band to tour and get exposure SUCCESSFULLY is to, well, steal the "older successful" band's crowds with something new and fresh. At least this is what I believe will increase a young bands fan base. And its just rewarding on those shows to open for 1,100 people and then to have them buy all of your CDs at the merch table :)

    You get what you pay for..... if you are smart.

    I was actually just informed that the Firewind kick off date in St. Pete @ the State Theatre had "maybe 50 people" there for Firewind via Keith our drummer. That's just Disappoint, but again, why would a tour of that size start on a Sunday???????

    Well at that point I would take the line from Chris of Widow and start just thank thank thanking those people for KEEPING the metal scene alive and then go into how Trve and awesome everyone is, haha!

    My theory,

    TOUR:

    Jump on the biggest possible shit you can get on. Again, bands like our size best spend their money on supporting big national tours. If you do 6 week long stints with 30 people or less at each weekday show, you will spend almost as much as going on a national tour with a big band playing in front of LOTS of people. Why wouldn't you do that? Just to put it out there, Imagine how the UTPOM tour would have gone if all the bands had toured on Big Nationals at least twice EACH? probably double or triple the amount! but then again, who knows! its just a theory :)

    Numbers will go from 30, to 50, 75, 150, 300, 400, 600 then finally 1000. Of course this is an average (weeknights proven terrible) but generally that number should grow as long as you DELIVER every night, are EXCEPTIONALLY personable and thankful to your fans, and again, smart with your touring decisions. Once you saturate your sub genre (say ours is power metal) then you start looking towards the cross overs, where you can play in front of MASSES which will in turn equal more fans.

    I mean Trivium is on tour with Dream Theatre, who saw that coming 5 years ago???
     
  15. Metal_Camden

    Metal_Camden Member

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    This is where people differ. I would have sold crack on the side of the road to see Edguy live... not really but you get the point.

    I guess I would be one of 75 people :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:
     
  16. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Member

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    Last time I saw Edguy (touring with Epica), I was mildly disappointed. Combine that with the disappointment that Tinitus Sanctus was, it took a lot of enthusiasm I had in seeing them out of me.

    I'd love to see Symphony X again, but they have this bad habit of playing when either I'm out of town or have another committment. I haven't seen them since the Odysey tour, and not because I don't have the desire to see them.
     
  17. Dragon KLaw

    Dragon KLaw Shadow Lurker

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    I think that if a band could experience some of the fans employment obligations, then the band itself may appreciate the turnout that they do manage to get on a weekday. Most of the band members that I know have the flexibility to modify their schedules. I do not. My job relies heavily on my eyes and my concentration. With the amount of downsizing that is going on in my company, I can not afford to take the risk to screw something up by being exhausted and become on of the causalities. That would pretty much eliminate ANY show that I would be going to see. I do whatever I can for the scene and I go to as many shows as I can. But I do have to admit that comments such as these about fans have recently begin to get under my skin and I have began to start taking offense to them. Enough to totally dismiss a band or 2 recently. It is a shitty economy. I have to do what I can to pay the bills. If that means I think it is best for me to preserve my job and miss a show, then that is what I am going to do. If I feel that I am being guilted or shamed into going to a show, that stays in the back of my mind and will be taking into consideration the next time I can actually make it out to one.
     
  18. Fizrider

    Fizrider Quasi-Old Fart

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    I would add, and I believe Cam may have said it earlier, the effort taken to see a mid-week show is often rewarded by a better total fan experience - akin to being one of the crazies who sticks around an outdoor venue when the heavens dump water everywhere... you wind up being 1 of 375 people getting to hear [insert name of insanely popular band here]. Weeknight shows are the ones where you have a beer with the lead singer, you get the lead guitarist to show you EXACTLY how he makes that seamless transition from B7 dim to D 7/9 look so freaking easy... all the while the drummer is taking lewd candid photos of the bass player making out with the hottie bartender.

    All because you are one of the 25-35 people who took the time to go to the show, and are likely only one of 12 who went to see THAT band, as opposed to the headliner, or one of the local openers.

    Well - except for Seven Kingdoms - those guys NEVER take the time to speak to ANYONE - it's like they don't even enjoy making music, y'know?
     
  19. DuchessOfDork

    DuchessOfDork Member

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    Last time I saw Edguy, they were awwwwwwwesome... x_x It was at Jaxx I guess 2-3 years ago? Man I loved them!
     
  20. Metal_Camden

    Metal_Camden Member

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    I'm not trying to cause offense, but you do have to realize that you along with a large basket of people are going through he same financial problems including people in bands.
    Sabrina and Keith have already been through 4 different jobs in the last year because of our schedule not including the "in between" times of no cash flow coming in on top of a $15,000/per national expense + $12K-$15K's worth of budget for the record next year. And loosing a job every time we tour. So we come from the point of quitting your job and getting another one is not as important as bringing music to the fans.

    This whole thread could very easily turn into a pissing contest of how much financial/life struggle everyone is going through. Lets not turn this into a place where rap lyrics get taken from, and leave with, DO WHAT YOU CAN to support the metal scene and DO WHAT YOU CAN to see the bands that you WANT to see. High energy encouragement is all I was trying to convey :)

    It's also going to be very stressful on the fans with their money problems, I think that some of the stress would cause you to "write off bands" because of what they say, but I stand by everything I have posted and if you feel that way, I'm sorry. We all have a struggle in some shape or form, its just up to the person to decide what to do and how to handle it ;)

    EDIT:You also left out that you are pretty much the invisible promotional side of a lot of local GA shows and hell even prog power!!!!! You do more than a lot of people (once put a forum name to an actual person! haha) when it comes to making shows happen. We thank you for all your help with all the shows!!!

    HAHAHA you know, We are so appreciative to everyone that DOES come out to a weekday show (of course weekends to)! I cant speak for other bands but I promise (on behalf of 7K, a **small** band) if you decide to spend the $25-$100 weekday outing just to see us (drive, drinks, ticket, ect) then we will personally make it worth your while and a night to remember ;) ENCOURAGEMENT PEOPLE, ENCOURAGEMENT
     

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