The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38927   Message #551511
Posted By: Suffet
16-Sep-01 - 09:45 AM
Thread Name: New York Catters... a proposal...
Subject: RE: New York Catters... a proposal...
Greetings from New York,

April 20 looks OK. I don't see any conflict with another major event.

We should be very careful in how we deal with to the issue Liz raises. At the risk of sounding totally off base, when it comes to producing a concert, sometimes a great deal of musical diversity is counterproductive. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

For example, a little over a year ago I helped produce a fund raising concert for the first Ships to Save the Waters Conference. Our three headliners were Paul Winter, David Amran, and Pete Seeger, any one of whom could have filled the 1,200 seat house. In the end we drew a paying audience of fewer than 500 and we cleared less than $1,000. The problem was that many people who would have come to hear one were at best only mildly interested in the others.

I should note that the concert was musically wonderful. In addition, it gave some of the non-headline acts, such as the Johnson Girls, good exposure. But overall, it was a show buisness flop. It would have been easier to have asked Pete to hit up a few contributors.

My own suggestion in striking a balance between musical diversity and keeping a strong audience base is that we follow the lead of the Sis Cunningham tribute concert held here in New York in 1997. The organizers managed to put on somewhere around 30 performers, with lots of diversity in regard to age, ethnicity, and even musical style, but all of whom drew from a "folkie" base.

By the way, having a "folkie" event doesn't preclude encouraging and helping other musicians who may want to put on concerts which draw on their own audience base. And I speak as a person who got a punk rock band, Viva Fidel, onto a Woody Guthrie tribute, and a rap group, the Disciples of Hip Hop, onto a Sloop Clearwater concert. In each case it was a mixed success, but I wouldn't try to place too many folkies onto the bill of a punk or a rap concert.

Let's discuss this further.

--- Steve