It drives me crazy just how lazy some people can be. In everyday life but specifically when it comes to music, events and shows.
Putting on gigs should be simple, but it never is. The theory is this.
1. Book a band with a following. These will be your headline band.
2. Book bands that fans of the headliner will probably like.
3. Ask these smaller bands to make an effort to help promote the show.
4. Promote the show yourself safe in the knowledge you have put together a night that is cohesive and appealing to a certain fanbase.
The idea is that people knowing how good the gigs are at this venue from previous experience show up in the time to see the early bands...fall in love with them and before long they are the headline band.
In reality this is what happens:
1. Headliner booked. Often a band that is no different in profile to the other bands on the bill.
2. Opening bands booked seemingly at random. Headliner is metal? Cool, let's stick an indie band who sound like The Coral on right before them.
3. Opening bands either through laziness or through being jaded with the system make no effort to promote the show either so the place is dead.
4. The small audience show up, have a generally disappointing night as out of the 4 bands only one was in a style they liked and the bands walk away with no new fans and the promoter is pissed off due to no money.
This happens ALL the time. There is no need for people to make it this fucking hard. I know i'm no expert and people can give me loads of reasons as to why i'm wrong, but it just screams common sense to me. Look at dance music, they are really good at putting on nights. You know a specific 'night' with DJ's that are from the same sub genre with the night advertised to the kind of people who'd like that night. After a few weeks word goes round and the night establishes itself through being good. Through being what the people want and not having a bit of this and a bit of that (lack of knowledge of dance sub genres is pretty evident here).
Surely if a venue decided that every other Thursday was punk night or something like that. Then put on the best bands they could find, not just a bunch of kids who can bring their college mates to their first show. No, something so that punk fans go to the night see great bands and tell their friends. Even rock clubs tend to get this right, but not gigs and it drives me mad.
Then you get the lazy bands who also ruin any effort by a promoter to put on a decent night. they show up, borrow the other band's gear and then piss off as soon as they have played, barely speaking to anyone at the venue. I always wonder what they're getting out of doing that, they get no new fans, they don't get paid and surely playing to no-one is pretty boring after a while? It IS the promoters job to promote a show, but if bands also put in some effort (there are some who do) then there'd be music fans all in the same room and some of their fans might also become fans of another band and vice versa. Before you know it its a success.