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Don't play at rip off venues control cost

*#1 PEASANT* 11 Mar 10 - 08:01 AM
artbrooks 11 Mar 10 - 08:22 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Mar 10 - 08:37 AM
folkandroots 11 Mar 10 - 08:45 AM
The Villan 11 Mar 10 - 09:02 AM
theleveller 11 Mar 10 - 09:58 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Mar 10 - 10:42 AM
Backwoodsman 11 Mar 10 - 10:44 AM
MikeL2 11 Mar 10 - 11:09 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Mar 10 - 11:53 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Mar 10 - 02:01 PM
artbrooks 11 Mar 10 - 02:12 PM
Will Fly 11 Mar 10 - 03:00 PM
Bonzo3legs 11 Mar 10 - 05:01 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Mar 10 - 08:47 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Mar 10 - 08:50 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 11 Mar 10 - 08:53 PM
Leadfingers 11 Mar 10 - 09:40 PM
Backwoodsman 12 Mar 10 - 03:05 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Mar 10 - 03:49 AM
Will Fly 12 Mar 10 - 04:02 AM
theleveller 12 Mar 10 - 04:20 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 12 Mar 10 - 04:48 AM
John MacKenzie 12 Mar 10 - 04:58 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 12 Mar 10 - 07:54 AM
The Villan 12 Mar 10 - 11:11 AM
Will Fly 12 Mar 10 - 11:16 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 12 Mar 10 - 01:53 PM
artbrooks 12 Mar 10 - 02:12 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 12 Mar 10 - 03:15 PM
Will Fly 12 Mar 10 - 03:27 PM
Don Firth 12 Mar 10 - 03:46 PM
artbrooks 12 Mar 10 - 03:48 PM
Will Fly 12 Mar 10 - 03:53 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 12 Mar 10 - 05:19 PM
Don Firth 12 Mar 10 - 06:31 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Mar 10 - 09:14 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 12 Mar 10 - 10:30 PM
Genie 13 Mar 10 - 03:12 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 13 Mar 10 - 07:36 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 13 Mar 10 - 07:50 AM
Don Firth 13 Mar 10 - 04:22 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 13 Mar 10 - 08:52 PM
*#1 PEASANT* 13 Mar 10 - 09:23 PM
Don Firth 13 Mar 10 - 11:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Mar 10 - 03:06 AM
MikeL2 14 Mar 10 - 06:30 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 16 Mar 10 - 11:10 AM
John P 16 Mar 10 - 11:29 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 16 Mar 10 - 11:36 AM
Don Firth 16 Mar 10 - 03:30 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 16 Mar 10 - 03:51 PM
Maryrrf 16 Mar 10 - 05:06 PM
DebC 16 Mar 10 - 05:53 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 Mar 10 - 06:24 PM
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Subject: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:01 AM

On face book yesterday a representative of a pipe band responded that they dont know and dont care about the prices charged in the venue that they will play at on March 17.

This is wrong and counter productive. Helping a venue rip off your audience is not good. The only way to get prices down is to insist that venues charge reasonable prices. Or simply go somewhere else.

The best way to arrange things is for the prices to be bargains when you are playing. You will find that more people can afford to come and will stay longer.

There may even be created a demand for another night performance. But not if you let venue managers crank up the prices. It is easy to find out what they pay for what they are selling.

Same with festivals. They charge outrageous entrance fees and food and drink are higher than elsewhere therefore locking out a good number of audience who can not afford and limiting the ability of those who do manage to afford to come to purchase cds etc. from performers.

If all musicians look into excess profit taking we will find a growth in attendance and a proliferation of venues.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:22 AM

Oh, sure..."I'm not going to accept your offer of a gig at your festival because you charge too much for admission. I'd rather play somewhere else for 1/4 the fee." Sounds like a good way to stifle a musical career.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:37 AM

I agree Art, for too long we have been complaining about how hard it is to make a living as a folk singer, because of the scarcity of well paid gigs.
To do what the OP suggests, is to make a rod for one's own back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: folkandroots
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:45 AM

I'd dispute that folk festivals are charging outrageous prices but I am curious to be honest, how exactly do you expect festivals to cover their costs by charging 'bargain' prices?

In terms of venues, tis true some may charge over the top prices (I'm aware of a venue/event in Leicestershire charging £25 a piece for known names on the folk circuit who charge around half that elsewhere, that would and does exclude people) but for the most part these are businesses with their own costs, overheads and staff to be paid so again its all very well you suggesting a bargain price but in the real world... (and leaving aside the question of whether an artist wants to be able to afford to eat)


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: The Villan
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 09:02 AM

Maybe 1P should run a club and festival and do exactly what he is saying.

The rest of us can get on with doing things in the way we see best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 09:58 AM

I know nothing about organising festivals or gigs but I agree with Villain that if OP thinks he knows better, let him put his money where his mouth is. I do know that some local festivals try to attract sponsorship or grants to keep costs down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:42 AM

If we're talking folk-venues, I've heard of one where they 'rip-off' their audience price-wise - usually the opposite. good performers at bargain prices.

I recently paid £24 for the 'Transatlantic Sessions Live' gig at Birmingham Symphony Hall, and for that sum I got:-

1) A first-class performance hall with stunning acoustics,
2) Superbly comfortable seats with acres of leg-room for even the tallest punter,
3) Seventeen of the best artists I've ever seen performing two-and-a-half hours of top-class American and British folk/roots music. To name but a few - Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Michael McGoldrick, Jerry Douglas, Dan Tyminski, Tim O'Brien, Eddi Reader, Cara Dillon, Karen Matheson.

That's the most I've paid for any folk/roots concert ever. Compare with £75 for Muse, £45 for Fleetwood Mac, £28 for Alison Moyet, all in the past 6 months.

I reckon folkies get a great bargain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:44 AM

"I've heard of one where they 'rip-off' their audience price-wise"

SOD! I meant "I've never heard of one" of course. Bloody old age again! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: MikeL2
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 11:09 AM

Hi

Like John McEnroe used to say " You can't be serious".

I have been involved ( like many others here ) in organising events,concerts, Folk Clubs etc etc and have been a performer so I think I know just a little about what goes on.

In the vast majority of cases organisers know roughly what the going rates are. So they set budgets which includes fees,overheads etc on the one hand and proposed income on the other.

The organiser and the performers do some negotiation to agree a performance fee. In my experience both sides are extremely co-operative in trying to be as fair as possible.

This way the organiser can set his entrance fees ( if indeed he is able to) accordingly.

On occasions performers have been more than fair and on the night have accepted lower fees if the turn-up was bad.

You idea may sound good in theory but it just won't work in practice.

It might come as a surprise to you but making money is not the highest priority in folk music.

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 11:53 AM

A lot of clubs run their singer's nights, just so they can defray the cost of paying a good guest. In case they don't take enough money on the door that night, to cover his/her/their fee.
In common with many folk club organisers, I have paid less than I took on the door on a given night, to that evenings' guest.
Only one performer has come to me and said, "You haven't taken much tonight, don't feel you need to pay me the full amount".
Well I paid him the full amount, as that's what i agreed, and he has a living to make. This was some 30 years ago, and that guy is still singing today, a lovely bloke, and a great entertainer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 02:01 PM

many festivals have too many extras- all you need is music and a field
too much unnecessary overhead if it was more of a community event rather than a commercial one things could be different. I do several events a year. People bring food and drink and although I bring a keg and cook a turkey it is not all that expensive and we had 125 at the last big one. Of course I could hire all kinds of people to do all kinds of things but I would rather charge nothing and have people play who want to play. Musicians could also make much more if it was more of a community effort.

When I go into a place and can only afford to drink one pint somethings wrong and in the end the performer will loose while everyone in the food chain takes excessive profits.

Yes there is a good amount of money charging wealthy people far more than anyone ordinary can pay but why keep out a person who could pay a reasonable price. Lots of them out there.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 02:12 PM

You "had 125 at the last big one"? You consider that to be big? We have a 1 1/2 day festival coming up in June here in Albuquerque...that will include four stages, six workshop tents, three jam tents, food and other vendors, three hundred volunteers and several thousand visitors...and we are trying to do it on a $50 thousand (US) budget. We consider this to be a small festival.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 03:00 PM

all you need is music and a field

Yup - where you can take a leak and a dump in the open air - and get soaked to the skin when it pisses down. And where the performers won't care when their instruments get soaked. And where the drivers won't care when there's nowhere to park. And where the audience won't care when there's nowhere to get a bite to eat. And where no-one cares if someone has a heart attack or a diabetic problem or breaks a limb or has an asthma attack or has a stroke. And where there's nowhere to pitch a tent or park a campervan or a trailer. And where there's no amplification or power because no-one cares if they can't be heard or if it gets dark and they can't get home.

Yawn...


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:01 PM

When I go into a place and can only afford to drink one pint somethings wrong

Sounds like you are on the road to detox - sad and very unpleasant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:47 PM

put there by greedy venues and the musicians who enable them by letting them rip off customers and keep poor folk out
Simple- economic segregation and when folkies tell me they dont look into prices that is what the enable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:50 PM

artbrooks

who needs vendors
who needs electonics
who needs food providers


the tradition lasted fine with great huge gatherings without much of that.

Bring your own food and drink flip your own burgers and sell them at cost....stop thinking that you need all this crap that simply makes folk music less accessible


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:53 PM

Yes Will Fly

why is it that all these expensive trappings you cant seem to do without are recent developments (designed to feed a growing group of middlemen ) whereas the folk tradition for most of its life and including big events has gone on for centuries.

It is simply not necessary and drives up costs and when that happens keeps people from the traditon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Leadfingers
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 09:40 PM

Conrad - Have you not heard about INSURANCE ? That is a MAJOR overhead for an ntertainment event , at least in UK ! And Toilet facilities ? And shelter in the event of Rain for performers AND Audience ? A SMALL festival here in UK , just for ONE day , would probably have about a thousand attendees !
Get Real !!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:05 AM

But there's no rain on the Planet Zog!


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:49 AM

all these expensive trappings you cant seem to do without are recent developments

So, taking a leak, having a dump and wanting shelter from the elements are all recent developments? If you realy believe that then, fair enough, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But don't expect a big following...

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:02 AM

Conrad - I wasn't being purposely sniffy or clever-clever - just pointing out that, even in a simple field, people have to have some basic amenities and someone has to organise them in advance. It's just common sense.

The simplest way, it seems to me, to make music in your suggested spirit, is to do what seems much more common in the US than in the UK - to host a house concert. Pressure on the hosts, of course, but most amenities are already in place in a house. US houses, by being larger than ours, on the whole, seem ideal to me for such an event, though you wouldn't a huge number for an audience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: theleveller
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:20 AM

There are plenty of smaller festivals around us that have excellent facilities and some really beautiful venues, plus a fantastic selection of artists, for around £25-40 a head (not bad for 3 days entertainment). This year I'll be going to Ryedale (held in the brilliant Ryedale Folk Museum in one of the most beautiful villages in Yorkshire - if not England), Osmotherley, Moonbeams Wold Top (held in a lovely setting alongside the Wold Top micro brewery), and maybe Scarborough Seafest and a couple of others. This is all within a 60 mile drive of where I live in Yorkshire and there are lots and lots of others if only I had the time. Plus, folk clubs als o run weekend events - Kirkby Fleetham has two a year that are great events, held in the village hall with lovely home cooking and beer from the keg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:48 AM

"From: Will Fly - PM
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 03:00 PM

all you need is music and a field

Yup - where you can take a leak and a dump in the open air - and get soaked to the skin when it pisses down. And where the performers won't care when their instruments get soaked. And where the drivers won't care when there's nowhere to park. And where the audience won't care when there's nowhere to get a bite to eat. And where no-one cares if someone has a heart attack or a diabetic problem or breaks a limb or has an asthma attack or has a stroke. And where there's nowhere to pitch a tent or park a campervan or a trailer. And where there's no amplification or power because no-one cares if they can't be heard or if it gets dark and they can't get home.

Yawn..."

Sounds just like Knockholt which runs two weeks a year in Kent. Been going twenty years now I think. It's a real community affair, with minimal facilities of cold water tap, rented portaloos and big bonfire. Definitely not a "yawn" though, and very much up my street.

Such a no-frills community based event is only for those who enjoy it like that however. Freebie home-spun folk event like that can happily co-exist alongside grander more mainstream ventures which have a price-tag attached. One doesn't necessarily preclude the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 04:58 AM

No one seems to have mentioned local authorities in this idscussion. In most cases when holding an event open to the public, in the UK, a licence is required.
Then arrive the legions of H&S officers, Fire Safety Officers, etc etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 07:54 AM

The insurance problem is vastly over rated. We do lots of things without it at all. Simple gatherings of people are just that- family reunions for example. One can have a simple gathering in a national park. Just depends on how you define it. How could anyone know how many would turn up.....

Whiners about port o pots are just that.

Anyway whats wrong with portopot guys donating their time and pots as volunteers why do they always get paid! Stupid. Electricity- has not been around that long and over hundereds of years musical gatherings have done quite well without it. Demanding it is driving costs up and slowing the progress of the spread of the music by economic segregation. Anyway whats wrong with the electrical folks volunteering their time and materials just like so many other volunteers that help run festivals.

The reason that infrastructure providers do not donate time and materials for a few days a year is that they are all in it together with the musicians all part of a big food chain that is more interested in money than spreading the music and folk culture. If they really wanted to support the culture and the music they would be concerned with the costs of those who come to see them.

In urban centers facilities are everywhere anyway.

One must think outside the traditional formal overbuilt festival designed to rake in money and rip people off to get to the old style gatherings that were common before all that stuff was invented. and it went on for thousands of years.

That is if you want folk music to be as accessible as it could be. There are many on this list who seem happy to ration it using economic segregation for mutual benefit of those in the food chain.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: The Villan
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 11:11 AM

Conrad
You sound like you have a massive chip on your shoulders.

You can always go to a pub that puts music on. If the Landlord books the artist, you can very often get in for free. The Landlord looks to recover their costs in other ways.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 11:16 AM

Definitely not a "yawn" though, and very much up my street.

CS: The "yawn" was not about the stripped-back music festivals that appeal to you. It was a comment on the simplicity of Conrad's assumptions.

There are many on this list who seem happy to ration it using economic segregation for mutual benefit of those in the food chain.

Conrad: You're using phrases like "ration" and "economic segregation" and "food chain" as though all musical happenings are rip-off events with so many megabucks being made by the non-musical sector activities that (a) there is little left for the musicians and (b) the poor folks are kept away. It's emotive language and skews the arguments.

Even the simplest and cheapest of musical gatherings are far more complex than you seem to think. I'm involved in a private music festival which takes place in Sussex (UK). It's private because space is limited and therefore numbers have to be limited to about 150 people. It's called "Ditchfest", and this is how it works:

1. "I" - a friend of mine allows his garden and parts of his house to be used to make music and provide toilet and washing facilities from 2pm until 9pm on a Sunday in August. His back garden is used as the music gathering place; the front garden is where the kids can play table tennis, run, play, swing in hammocks.

2. The back of the house has a large wooden porch where the musicians play. The day before the festival, a gang of us gather in the afternoon and spend the some hours getting a large and a small marquee (belonging to one of the gang) erected. We collect chairs, carpets and cushions and stack them in the big marquee overnight. We erect a makeshift bar area and do all sorts of other preparations inside the house.

3. A small party goes to the supermarket on the Saturday morning and buys the makings of a huge paella for the evening, plus some beers to kickstart the bar.

4. Sunday morning arrives. At 10am, the gang sets up amplifiers on the porch, a PA system capable of taking mic and instrument inputs, a keyboard, guitars, drums, all wiring, cabling, labelling. If the weather's fine, we set out chairs, carpets, cushions en plein air. If wet, we cover as much ground as we can with canvas awnings. By 1.30pm or so everything is set up and we take a quick tea and sandwich break.

5. 2pm dawns. People arrive and have been asked to bring some food and drink. Food goes in the house and drink goes to the bar. A large blackboard has been set up and those who wish to perform get their names written on the blackboard and are given a number. Anyone can play anything they like - they get a 15 minute spot and then they finish. Informal jams and get-togethers of musicians who have never played with each other before are encouraged and welcomed.

6. I'm on the PA mixing deck and my mate "M" adjusts the mics for each set of performers. We run through the board list for 7 hours with short breaks for toilet needs, some food and drink and to perform ourselves.

7. Food appears around 5.50pm. At around 7pm a gigantic paella dish appears, cooking it starts, and 150 people queue for paella which is ready at around 8.15 or so. A large bonfire is lit at the back of the garden. A blackboard inside the house takes names for washing-up duties and bar duties - all voluntary.

8. At 9pm the formal music finishes - usually with a short dance session around the pear tree - and the gang takes down all the electrical gear and musical gear. While they're doing this, people who want to stay gather round the bonfire and talk, sing, tell jokes - whatever. I usually head off home because, frankly, I'm completely knackered.

9. At lunchtime the next day, the gang breaks down the carpets, cushions, marquee, etc., and tidies up. And Ditchfest is over for another year.

There's a point or two to this tremendously overblown post: (a) I'm not talking diddleysquat about free and small music events - which, as you can see are not free in terms of time and effort and participation, and (b) even a relatively small and short musical event can require a great deal of organised and concerted effort, and starter cash to make it work. We've done this for several years now and have learned, by trial and error, how to make it a smooth and enjoyable experience for those who attend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 01:53 PM

So yes it can be done. I do it several times a year. But....around here most places charge much much more than retail for drinks and food especially when there is entertainment.

Why is food and drink so expensive at venues?
Because no one looks into it and insists that profit taking be kept to a reasonable level.
End result- fewer people can afford to attend and performers reach a smaller audience.

If the performers do not get the extra money then where does the money go? Everyone from producer of food and drink to distributer to providers of other services that is the food chain are taking too large a cut or someone is.

It has been demonstrated here that performers are unwilling or find it unnecessary to look into cost and profit taking therefore they seem to be partly responsible for the growing costs themselves.

I am not in any way saying that performers and venue operators do not deserve to make money I am saying that when people make too much money the market is under stress and people who should have access are locked out via economic segregation.

Only the "good people" get in and any system that lets this go unchecked is not doing right by the potential audience or the tradition.

Yes it can be fixed but one has to look into profit taking at all levels and work to keep it reasonable.

If one lowers costs one can attract more people so give another session, expand. Somehow I dont think folkies are concerned with expanding or performing more often. But lowering costs will increase volume which will mean more profit in the long run as well as greater exposure of the music and tradition. So one wonders why there is so much resistance to downscaling festivals and monitoring profit taking?

Yes the market will try to do it but generally this happens catastrophically with venues going out of business as they and the food chain remain dedicated to unreasonable profit taking. This is why there are so few venues. Lower costs and profit taking, streamline, simplify and we could have many more venues and employ more artists.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 02:12 PM

We charge the vendors (of both food and trinkets) for the parking place; they charge whatever they want, and I doubt any of them get rich. The drink vendors, for example, are hardly going to charge retail price for drinks. That would put a can of Coke at $.35. No - they charge $1, and that covers their overhead plus a small profit.

We pay the best known performers (not much) but most of the musicians, dancers, etc. perform gratis. We pay for ground rental, tents, chairs, tables, stages, power, a kickback just in case somebody plays something that is copyright, rental on the sound equipment, porta-potties, security so somebody doesn't steal it all overnight, publicity, tp print tickets, posters, etc. We charge admission - $25 for 2 days.

At the end of it all, we usually lose money. If there is a small profit, it becomes seed money for the next year. None of the organizers are paid anything - we even pay our own admission. Peasant, I think you need a serious reality check.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:15 PM

Why not run your own food and soft drink stands?
Get volunteers to flip burgers and take money for sodas....

Seems to me not rocket science!

Sell things at actual cost. You will not have to bother the venders, manage them. Power is not needed. never was and is an illusion to see it essential to folk performance today, no sound equimpent not necessary and kickbacks surely are not either- tickets not at all stamp hands....and the kicker porta-potties.....

There have been festivals from the earliest of earliest times. Most of that time no one paid for port o pottiess and they did just fine.

You have got to think outside the contemporary scene to lower costs and end the lock out of the thousands who can not get in.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:27 PM

There have been festivals from the earliest of earliest times. Most of that time no one paid for port o pottiess and they did just fine.

What would these festivals have been - and just when were these "earliest of earliest times"?

You have got to think outside the contemporary scene to lower costs and end the lock out of the thousands who can not get in.

What thousands? Some documented proof of your assertions would be useful here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:46 PM

I agree to sing for a particular fee. That's between my employer and me. If I find it's worth my while to sing for what he offers me, then that's my business.

What my employer makes, be it ticket prices at the door if it's a concert, or if a club or coffeehouse, a cover charge or what he charges for his overpriced specialty coffees, teas, and pastries is between him and what his customers are willing to pay.

If you, as a customer, agree to pay $5.25 for a cup of specialty coffee, that's your choice, and if you agree to it, it's not a rip-off. If you think it's a rip-off, the door is that way. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:48 PM

Please see the final sentence of my last (and final) post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Will Fly
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 03:53 PM

Art - I'm with you here. Farewell from me as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 05:19 PM

Surely part of your desire to sing is to be paid but also to expand you following, get more employment and sell cds etc.....

How can anyone continue to perform where the audience is limited by excessive profit taking resulting in rip off prices.

Yes people deserve to make a profit but when costs are high not so many people will be able to conveniently afford to hear you. So not being concerned about profit taking is shooting yourself in the foot and that will be career limiting.

Yes....records of harper conventions and many folk gatherings through the centuries strange that you dont know about them. Read some of the nineteenth century accounts. Celtic music has been performed in public settings even large royal halls for thousands of years. No electricity no port a pots.

How did we become so dependent upon such things- and time is now to roll much of it back.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Don Firth
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 06:31 PM

I don't know how things are where you are, Conrad, but I've never encountered that problem. And there is plenty of folk music going on in my area.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 09:14 PM

""No electricity no port a pots.""

Most of us these days are sufficiently civilised, and concerned with hygiene, that we prefer not crapping in hedgerows.

Your mileage may vary, but I wouldn't be seen dead at one of your events.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 10:30 PM

No one was suggesting that- did you realize that in the USA there are thousands of miles of well traveled trails in national parks that are no where near restroom facilities> or trash cans-dustbins.

If you dont think outside of the overblown contemporary event you will never get it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Genie
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 03:12 AM

Just wondering why this thread is in the non-music section. Seems to me it's all about performing music.


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 07:36 AM

Just being cautious having my hand slapped a few times recently.
    I questioned your starting too many threads on more-or-less the same subject, Conrad. The FAQ says if you're starting more than one thread a day (averaged out over a week), that's too many. whether they are BS or not, is not the deciding factor. Music threads go in the music section - but you've started so many that people are beginning to treat them like BS instead of music discussions.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 07:50 AM

Actually the title of this thread could just as easily be

Don't go to venues even if you can afford them if the prices are outrageously far above retail and not bargains.

So often these days value is seen in monetary terms. If it is good you should see a big price tag otherwise it is not worthy. This is simply a capitolistic ploy.

Ace hardware ran an add for years which showed a customer looking at one of their low prices and telling the clerk to let them pay more.

When we go to places that are ripping us off we keep the prices where they are and keep them going up.

Although we ourselves could afford them we must think of others who can not and that is an increasing number. Poor, unemployed, minimally employed and they have a right to music too and folk music is poorer without them.

As I have said before I respect the right of all in the food chain from the artist on down to the venue operator to a decent wage however, there are strategies that can be employed to limit price gauging and still make a decent wage.

One of the easiest strategies is to simply sit down with the venue management and see how costs can be re-structured. I am finding that people here seem to reject that however, if one looks at entrenched practices one can often find better ways which save money and make for a better experience for the customer.

Simply spreading the cost of a performer over many weeks is one. Adding additional performances by the same performer accommodating greater volume is another.

Just looking around a bit for more competitive suppliers of the same food and drink is another.

Going further into the food chain might find a beer provider who might cut some slack in order to obtain greater volume of sales.

If nothing can be found at least one has tried to make music more accessible to the masses.

Exclusivity is a tends to make participants feel good. They dont want the peasants to be able to attend, to eat and drink. They want to feel like they are special, a small community. I propose that this economic discrimination enabled in part by musicians who don't care and venue operators who are greedy is no different than racial discrimination and is a bad force. Perhaps now unable to practice racial discrimination we have turned to other outlets for our human tendencies to discriminate where possible.

So perhaps instead of going out and paying outrageous prices several hundred times retail cost for simple goods food and drink we should go get equally good food and drink from the liquor store and food market and stay at home with a few friends and a few cds or perhaps the wondrous music of the BBC play it again.

Certainly it is clear that musicians could do a bit more perhaps through their unions to put a bit of pressure on the food chain to limit profit taking to a minimum and to re-structure arrangements to maintain income while protecting the consumer from excessive pricing.

The same is true of festivals. Internet flash events demonstrate the ability of people to gather in great numbers without excessive infrastructure. Time place and date. Play music, bring your own food or get it from existing shops. Yes we Can!

Conrad


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Subject: RE: BS: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 04:22 PM

It seems to me that Conrad has built a straw man and he wants everyone to kick it apart.

Where is the overpricing happening, Conrad, and who's doing it?

All the folk festivals I have participated in have been free to the public or with a nominal entrance fee ($25.00 for five days of concerts and workshops). If anyone makes any money, it's the performers having an opportunity to sell their CDs. The festival mamagement takes a small cut of the proceeds, but since they provided an opportunity for the performers to showcase their talent and knowledge and present their wares, it strikes me as only fair. Also, the management provides the facilities:   concert hall, meeting rooms, etc. AND compensation to the performers.

How else are they going to do this? Out of their own pockets and the goodness of their hearts?

And as far as clubs, coffeehouses, and concert venues, I can't recall any where prices were out of line with what other places were charging.

What's the problem?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 08:52 PM

"what other places were charging"

They are all charging too much.

How does one make the folk music venue into the best bargain in town.

I am in Baltimore- I can't afford the beer. I dont go - same with lots of other folks.

Yes places are full- enough.....

So I ask folk musicians if they have ever looked into over charging or the price structure.

Most have responded....why should we!

Same with festivals- well we have to have layers of excess spending

It seems that it can be less expensive but no one is trying.

I don't see a folk venue on every corner nearby in my community-

because.....

folk musicians want to keep it exclusive, small maybe so they can continue to complain about not making any money!

I dont think it has to cost a musician a livelyhood- I have demonstrated how re structuring prices can help create more volume, encourage demand etc...in the end you make more money not less.

I have never been to a festival where I thought I was getting a bargain on anything. Always more expensive. I do believe people aren't making money and they should make money but there are a few ways that they can try to accomplish that and the way forward is not denying that change can occur.



Conrad


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 09:23 PM

Thanks Spaw- that was colorful. Actually not two one is a coat the other is a suit jacket. One is an alto horn buggle the other a baritone.
Subtle differences but important ones. The main point is that I did not get a government grant to make them nor did I join the union or take an airoplane to get them completed. Actually they were mostly recycled from other bits and pieces.

And no...I don't charge people to hear me play. They just request music and take photos and I go with that.

I also did not think small and elite and stop at one but made two- expanding- so not folklike.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Mar 10 - 11:30 PM

"folk musicians want to keep it exclusive, small maybe so they can continue to complain about not making any money!"

That just isn't true, Conrad.

I can't speak for others, but for several decades I managed to make a fairly good living by singing and teaching guitar. For several years running I was singing two or three nights every weekend, either in a coffeehouse or doing concerts, mostly at colleges and universities, but sometimes smaller house concerts. Often I would get hired for private parties or to sing at non-folk clubs. In addition, I've sang a fair amount on both educational and commercial television. I also participated in the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, singing every Sunday afternoon at the United Nations Pavilion, and in the summer of 1963 at the Seattle Center Hootenannies. These events were free to the public. I have also participated in many of the Northwest Folklife Festivals. This annual event is also free to the public.

I know a number of people around here who were doing the same thing. Check out this web site, for example:    CLICKY.

Let's have some figures. Who are these gougers who are charging too much and what do you consider to be too much?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 03:06 AM

Ah - Woodford charges about $300+ for a week long camping fee - and the retailers have to pay up front a rather large amount. I drink water...


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: MikeL2
Date: 14 Mar 10 - 06:30 AM

hi

I have come back to read this thread just out of interest to see where it is going.

As I read it it appears to me that this has got more to do with the price of beer and food and nothing at all to do with music.

Yet Conrad continually continues to berate folk musicians !!

I live in the UK and Conrad you should know that even the landlords of the pubs don't control the prices - they just do what they are told!!!!!!!

As a semi-pro musician I made some money. BUT is wasn't in folk music!!!! I came back to my roots and found that while the enjoyment was still there and the buzz from performing; I would not have been able to survive without having a separate profession.

You should really listen to people who have experienced performing today and know what they are talking about!!!

Cheers

MikeL2


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 11:10 AM

I never berate folk musicians. They deserve a decent wage and benefits period end of discussion I have always stood for that.

I propose only strategies for musicians to think outside of the box so that they can expand their audience size and make more money.

You do this by playing where the greatest number of people can afford to attend spend time, and enjoy themselves.

On this thread you will find people making excuses for not looking into pricing within folk venues.

I grant that venues and everyone in the food chain supplying them need to make a profit.

Profit is greatest when you have the largest possible volume and best quality.

You can not have the greatest number in the audience when you disregard the cost of a pint.

You might fill a place but you will not have it as packed as when prices are reasonable.

If people find prices high when a band gets them to come they might stop following that band.

If prices are reasonable they will come back at greater rates. Bands could be hired to do several more performances per month. Everyone still makes a profit and the profit expands with volume. Not only that but costs should also go down with volume expansion.

Win win win....no loss just gain.

What is the fair price of guinness-

Cans of imported guinness with smoothafier- 14.9 Oz today in Ferndale Maryland USA sell for $1.46 each. That is roughly .09 cents an oz which oz being american and almost the same as an imperial oz.

So go figure. Why work someplace where your product costs a consumer 5-600% more than they need to pay?

General price of a pint in Baltimore no music no snacks is $6.-7. dollars in D.C. much more. My supplier told me he is making a healthy profit on the price of $1.46 a 14.9 oz can. I would give a bar maybe %100 profit over that but not what they are doing generally. And when music is playing it goes up of course. Which is fair but baseline of several hundred present profit is not making business sense in the long run for anyone.

So there are a few facts to consider.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: John P
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 11:29 AM

Conrad -- My suggestion is that you get a job. Become part of a real live community by earning and spending money. Be a real folk musician by actually being part of the lives of the people you live amongst.

Quit expecting other people to be poverty-stricken because you don't care enough to do whatever you need to do to be able to afford a pint of beer.


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 11:36 AM

So I should join the work force - more than I am doing now- so that I can be stupid and get ripped off- and it seems to me according to you....enjoy it!

NO THANKS!

By the way I worked hard to afford the two cases of reasonably priced guinness that I purchased today.

I could just see you turning up at my place-

Me: "here is a free beer"

You: "its not good if its free let me pay $6.00"

One wonders Are you ripping folks off when you work for them so that you can proudly be ripped off elsewhere?

Amazing!

The market has nothing to do with it. Extracting unfair profits is simply wrong. Enabling the practice is just as bad.

Conrad


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 03:30 PM

Conrad, John P. is a working folk musician and he's been at it for a long time (as have I). I would suggest that you pay attention to what he says. You could learn a lot by listening to him.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 03:51 PM

He isn't interested in learning, discussing, or logical thinking Don.

All he is about is himself getting everything on the cheap.

Not worth the cost of a cartridge to shoot him.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Maryrrf
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:06 PM

What would you consider to be a reasonable price for admission to a folk music concert?


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: DebC
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 05:53 PM

Places where public concerts are free (USA):

-Public Libraries
-Public Museums and Galleries
-Public Schools-all grades and grown ups are always invited
-Public Concerts in the City, State and National Parks
-Sunday church services (especially UUs)

Anyone think of any others? I have performed in many venues above and all had free admission AND I received a decent wage. I am NOT making Conrad's argument for him, tho.

Folk music is probably the most reasonably priced music that there is. I have no problem paying the prices for artists I want to hear. I wish all music was free, too. But then if ALL music was free I wouldn't get paid.

Debra Cowan


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Subject: RE: Dont play at rip off venues control cost
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Mar 10 - 06:24 PM

Conrad, it's none of my business and you can tell me to fuck off if you want, but ...are you a native born American, or a recent immigrant ?

The reason I ask is because you seem to have a very strange way of expressing yourself, not the way I would expect a native English speaker to express himself.

If you are in fact a recent immigrant to the States, that might explain your rather original take on the economic system in the West.


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