fewer live venues

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by buldog5151bass, Apr 9, 2014.


  1. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    It has been discussed in different threads about a decline in venues available for live music in many areas. I have been playing the bar/restaurant/campground circuit on and off for over 20 years in Connecticut.

    A good number of places that used to offer live bands on a weekly basis no longer do so, or only want you there if you are bringing x number of people (some are more explicit than others).

    What is your experience, and why do you think?
  2. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Where in CT are you gigging? There's no real shortage of places to play in the Milford/New Haven area or down by Stamford.

    My band gigs almost every weekend in Stamford area, sometimes multiple gigs in one day or up to 4 over the course of the weekend.
  3. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I used to do the Rte. 1 circuit in Milford - a number of those places have closed down, or don't have live music every week (or pay lno more than they did a decade ago).

    I'm up in northern Fairfield, where you would think there would be more money, but same situation.
  4. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Here in N Austin it seems like a lot of the newer bar & grills etc that are opening up try to offer live music.....but then again it is Austin. There's probably 10 venues within a short drive of my house that have live music most nights of the week.
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  6. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Mendocino County, California
    As in "venues," you mean bars where old dudes play classic rock 'n roll cover songs and blues standards from the 50s/60s/70s? Yeah, those might be on the decline. But there are lots of other venues if you're willing to play other types of music. There is a stronger demand and need for live music at wineries, civic events, benefits, retirement homes, etc. You can get plenty of gigging there, but you've got to be willing to ditch super loud volume and often the vocals, too, as they are distracting. It's called "background music" to enhance the ambiance of the event. It's actually a lot of fun! And better than staying home and grousing on TalkBass about the lack of places to play Mustang Sally.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Actually, I am playing modern country and jazz (two separate gigs). Campgrounds are one place that is easy to book (for the country), and it is nice to be done and packed before midnight.
  8. prd004

    prd004

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    If there were no places to play Mustang Sally I'd be ok with that!
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I've seen places with a "No Mustang Sally" rule painted on the wall.
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    People go out less, there is less nightlife everywhere thanks to the internet. Life is getting more expensive and people have more reasons to stay home and save money.
  11. emf818

    emf818

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    My goal in life is to get Mustang sally to be the new Freebrid :D
  12. Joe Louvar

    Joe Louvar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA USA
    Yeah, there is and has been a bar/club decline in northern California, USA due to all the reasons discussed in previous threads.
  13. fastplant

    fastplant

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'm also in CT. Been gigging for about 20 years too. Definitely a strong decline in venues. And the ones that DO have music seem to be more anxious and stressed out about having music. Like if ANYTHING goes wrong they lose it. There are still some good places to play, but because there are few it's harder to get into them.

    I agree that the internet is to blame. But so are DUI laws (not necessarily a band thing), smoking bans, economy, etc. The most depressing trend I've noticed among the younger crowd is a general distaste for live music. Most of the younger crowd want to hear a song EXACTLY as they heard it on the record, and if that means just DJing it instead of playing it live, then they'd rather have a DJ. Doesn't matter how amazing you play it.

    I've also noticed a strange behavior where we'll pour our hearts into a set to zero reaction. No applause or anything. We finish a song and you could hear a pin drop. Of course I assume the crowd hates us, but then I can't get off the stage because everyone is coming up to tell me how much they love us. I think these "kids" don't even understand what they're supposed to do when they watch a live band.

    And yes, I'm getting old. :)
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Getting old beats the alternative.
  15. prd004

    prd004

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    The main reason people don't go out as much and thus why there are less venues........... Money.

    People are broke, I make les and less each year and work harder and harder.
    If you don't have any expendable income, you can't go out and have a good time.

    There are lots of other reasons, all pointed out in previous posts, but the biggie is people are broke and going out costs. Bars charge $7 for a measured shot, don't even get me started on the price of bar food.
  16. bassgod0dmw

    bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Location:
    White Plains
    Yep, I notice that stuff too at certain venues
  17. obimark

    obimark

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    This is definetely the case- if you aren't a "New Country" Band in ATL good luck. Classic Rock is all but dead other than some dumpy places out in the sticks... (ie 25 miles outside of the city)
  18. BassCliff

    BassCliff

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Hi,

    Here in the So. Cal. I've noticed fewer "A" rooms to play in. Man, in the 80s and 90s we were working in all the big rooms with big stages, big dance floors, big sound systems, big crowds, five or six nights a week. There are still plenty of little watering holes for a quartet to play just about any kind of music you want. I have a few friends who play jazz almost all the time, others who play classic rock, and they work regularly at smaller rooms usually in trios or quartets, sometimes a quintet. There are still a lot of private and corporate gigs in the area if you know how to get them.

    Quite a few places around here have stopped having live music, or cut back to only the weekends. Some have closed altogether. But there are new places opening here and there too. It could be worse. I may play fewer gigs nowadays but they pay better so it evens out.

    It also depends on your area, the local economy, the local LEO situation. When the legal limit went down in CA it hurt the bar business. It seems to have reached a new equilibrium. That's good for the taxi business, I guess. ;)

    Thank you for your indulgence,

    BassCliff
  19. bass12

    bass12 Fueled by chocolate Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Definitely a decline around here, and a lot of the places that still have live music don't pay. I used to be able to count on a couple of paying bar gigs a week but not anymore.
  20. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut
    A lot of the corporate stuff here has dried up.
  21. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2002
    I'm going to start a band called the Mustang Sallys. The only tune we are going to play is Mustang Sally. For four sets. The only people in it will be old dudes. Who can't play, but that was probably obvious.:spit:

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