ION INDIE MAGAZINE September 2016, Volume 28 - Page 130

So, I must give credit to MSFX for always seeing the situation as it is. One simply cannot look at things evenly when they are in the midst of a place of uncertainty and trial. Instead of completing the somewhat scathing review of how we can improve the value for the Live Independent concert goer, while I am waiting for my oncologist in the cancer center, I chose to re-write in the comfortable confines of the headquarters of The New Order. Obviously, to verify if the article you are about to read has any credibility, you first have to always know about the author, so let me save you a little bit of trouble. I am the Owner and Station Manager of NEUE REGEL RADIO and the creator of the concept mission THE NEW ORDER. No, NOT the New WORLD Order. That’s something completely different. I am a Creative Director for over 25 years, specializing in EVENT MARKETING, having worked in close concert with the likes of MTV, MTVU and VH1 back in the heyday. We have helped elevate the careers of artists such as Muse, Paramore, All American Rejects, and yes, even Taylor Swift. What I am going to address in this article are the issues and solutions of live shows and how everyone could be doing everything better to increase the VALUE of your local independent artists and venues. Now, as an independent artist supporter (one who PAYS for the tickets to local shows) no matter who is on the bill, I look for quality in an event, something to keep me engaged, something to change my perception from just going to a show, to making it an experience. What is an EXPERIENCE? An experience is when to the total package of sight and sound transport you to feeling like you’re at a 20 thousand seat arena and getting more VALUE for your dollar--one which always entices you to pull out an extra 20 to buy a shirt and CD. People innately don't invest in artists because they don’t see them going to the next level. They are seen as LOCAL artists only, or they are doing their FRIENDS a favor. As I tell all of the hosts for Neue Regel Radio, IT’S ABOUT THE LISTENERS AND the FANS. These are the ones who generate the support for artists. We support artists in ways other stations cannot because we are MISSION BASED and not for financial gain. In the same context, YOU DO NOTHING for the artist if you are just playing to their fan base to get your numbers and listeners up. Our job is to gain unique listeners that turn into fans. The same goes for when you invest in a local club or artist. Here is a quick synopsis of things we ALL can do to improve the FAN and LISTENER EXPERIENCE. Some of the most egregious offenses that turn off the concert goer are high prices for alcohol, house lights on during a change- over and live set, sound and light techs who don’t care, and unapproachable facilities. A concert goer can and will always be priced out of an event. I do not want to show up at an event that just cost me $20--to quickly increase to $30 because of a need to increase their per pour margin. I will easily spend over $50 in beer for me and my friends instead of $20. Because the venue doesn’t make it cost effective for me, my evening will end quicker and I have less interest to spend 4 hours in a club watching 5 bands while going broke. There is nothing worse than heading into a venue that disguises it's a poorly lit petri dish. You can be COOL, without being a health concern. I am so tired of having the house lights on the stage and watching these poor bands hook their gear up, running around frantically. The essence of the rock and roll mystique is gone at this point and ruins the experience. Could you imaging watching KISS go on stage and hooking things up without the Famous Kiss curtain? PUT up a retractable screen. Create the illusion. Plus, you can use the screen to advertise local businesses and pass the savings on to your concert goers. If you treat your venue like garbage, that’s exactly what your clientele will do. Invite the positive change. ALL promoters should be required to have a business and marketing degree, a general love for the music they promote and at least 20 hours of counseling, because you have be nuts to do that for a living. We all know your job is to get asses in the seats (sad music in the background), and we all understand the plight of too many other distractions to get people into a venue. Again, you can make positive change in your methodology by choosing better continuity in your lineup for a show. I do not want to go to an alternative rock show and be forced to listen to a pop/rock style band. You upset your attendees and they are not apt to spend money in the venue or even stay. An artist that musically doesn’t fit the style of a show should not be added to offset costs just because they are local or have a lot of “likes”. I recently went to a huge event that was basically ALL alternative artists; Bush, Chevelle, etc., and they had a Slipknot style band go on at 4:30 on a Friday