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Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by lucretius, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. lucretius


    Apr 7, 2006
    Has anyone else's band participated in Emergenza? If so, what are your thoughts on the whole concept and structure of the competition?
  2. IanStephenson

    IanStephenson UnRegistered User

    Apr 8, 2006
    I know a band that won it a couple of years ago. They got some nice gear, a few minor "name" support slots, and now they're back playing local gigs, dropping names of the people they met during their 15 minutes of near fame, and acting like they're too good to be still around here...

    It did them no good at all really - they're still unsigned, and now they're famous as the band that almost got famous a couple of years ago.

  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
  4. CrazyAlexZX3


    Feb 1, 2005
    stay far away from emergenza
    my band did this last year, and it was a very bad experience.

    they take your $70 and talk about how they can get you industry attention, free gear, some great shows, blah blah blah

    fact of the matter is we paid to play at a ****** bar.
    we didn't move on, but neither did two of the best bands that played that night.
    didn't bring enough friends to cheer, and vote.

    also the guy running the event who announced each band and counted votes got drunk by the end of the night

    we didn't even get the free strings we were promised
    its just a scam to take your and your friends' hard earned money
  5. lucretius


    Apr 7, 2006
    I completely agree with Emergenza being a scam. First of all, counting hands is a horrible way to tally the votes. Second, depending on the 'manager' of your city, he can sway the votes any way he sees fit and you cant do **** about it. Third, I live in Milwaukee and Ive been told by many people that 2 years ago, a metal band won in Milwaukee, but the 'manager' didn't want a metal band to represent the city, therefore he chose the 2nd place band. When my band played a few nights ago, our drummer's double bass pedal fell apart, the left pedal wouldnt work. So in between a song he ran to get an allen wrench to fix it because we use a lot of technical double bass in our songs, we got yelled at for it and we got time docked from us, when the band before us got 6 extra minutes. Oh yea, we were the only metal band that night, and then next night, 6 out of 8 bands were metal bands. We played with a lot of acoustic/light rock/alternative style bands.
  6. lucretius


    Apr 7, 2006
    p.s. Im not just saying these things because we didnt make it to the next round, Im saying them because Ive seen it happen with many bands in the area and Im just sick of watching quality bands get kicked in the nuts. Actually we're not even mad we didnt make it, we're just mad that 2 of the bands that did make it actually made it, cause they suck.
  7. Andy Will

    Andy Will

    Apr 11, 2003
    London, England
    Forget it!
    We came 5th out of 7 bands of which 4 bands go through to the next round. The bands who beat us were all school kids (while I am 30) supported by their family and school friends and were playing punk, hardcore and school project-style music as their first or second ever gigs at an unbelievably low standard.
    As we play quite regularly around Amsterdam, we can't ask our friends to come to 'every' gig plus pay (an over the top entrance fee) to see us when they could see us free (for longer) the week before and after at better venues.

    On top of that, we had to use their provided backline of a full 100 watt amp with 4x12 for the guitar, while the bass amp was a 50 watt combo??? Not even slightly enough for the size of the venue!!! Plus, someone turned the bass amp down after stage volumes were set without me knowing so I heard nothing for the first song of the set! Normally I use an Aguilar DB rig, so you can imagine how rediculous this was!

    Avoid the Emergenza festival unless you really need a gig desperately, as we walked away feeling like we totally wasted our time even though I normally love playing anytime/anywhere 24/7!
  8. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Things like emergenza really get me pissed. It's a pay to play scam (that others also do) that is generally a way to boost bar business and make some money for themselves. Everybody pays to play, so they can't lose - and then the whole thing they try and do is get bands to promote like crazy so they can fill their bars up on the worst possible nights.

    I had a band promoting their emergenza shows on my myspace page last year and the gigs they were begging people to come to were absurd... one was on superbowl sunday I believe, and the other was equally absurd - mother's day maybe?. I don't remember the holiday, but I remember it was a day that I knew it would be virtually IMPOSSIBLE to get people to come to a bar.

    They secure some crap ass grand prize that doesn't do a damn thing for the one out of god knows how many bands they get to pay to be in this thing - and everybody wins but the bands.

    I did it once for the Inside Connection magazine, and we won. After playing 3 crap bars on 3 crap nights and getting treated like dirt, we won 6 hours studio time (which is promo for a studio because they figure you can't really do much in 6 hours), something a handful of Inside Connection CDs with OUR song on it :eek: , and the opportunity to play 3 songs at their BIG Inside Connection show. Woooheeee!!! Inside Connection is doing quite well as a publication now. I think those early contests helped a lot.

    I actually like the magazine though, and I'm glad they at least distribute if for free.
  9. Shane E Davis

    Shane E Davis

    May 28, 2006
    Kenmore, NY
    We peformed in last years cycle of events. We came in second in the regionals. We were too old to represent in NYC is what I heard from the judges behind the scenes. The band that went to NYC was very good at what they do, very hard core. That being said, if you push your own shows as hard as you need to push the Emergenza shows, you will be more successful on your own in the end.
    Good luck.
  10. I've heard very similar accounts about Emergenza as well... Just a scam. :crying: ;)
  11. rockwarnick


    Jul 29, 2006
    Rockville, MD
    my band played emergenza before i joined. they got to play the 9:30 club in D.C. twice. but thats about it. apparently the winner got to go overseas.
  12. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Yeah, if you don't promote hard, you're giving them money. We've done it twice now, and it has many positives and negatives.

    -If you just go and play a show, you're giving them money.
    -They are SUPER unorganized. Be ready to yell at the staff when they double book your slot.
    -You do get a good chance for some more exposure. That exposure is NOT to the industry. It's to the fans. Every show we played, we ended up with 20-30 more votes than tickets we sold, and we've had lots of cd sales, mailing list adds, etc.
    -You don't pay to play. We actually MAKE MONEY every time we play. Yes, you have to sell tickets, but they don't make you pay for any tickets. It's not like some places, where you have to buy 100 tickets at face value, and then it's up to you to sell them, and if you don't, you're s.o.l. They give us a book of tickets. We sell what we can. We give the rest back. And we keep some of the money.
    -Towards the end of it, you start playing with some other cool bands. The schmucks with no work ethic and the high school kids who are only bringing their friends can't muster more than 30 votes or so. That might get them through a first round. It won't last.
    -It's not going to make you famous. Period. But it can be some big shows at some venues we never would have played otherwise. We played the finals in front of 1400 people.

    We made it to the regional finals last year. Prolly make it again this year. If you don't make it that far? It's because you were lazy.
  13. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    You are giving them money, you pay an entrance fee and then you sell tickets for $15. If you got to keep all of the money or even 50%-75% of it for the tickets you sold, that would perhaps be a working situation, but that's not how it works.

    If you can promote hard and sell a lot of tickets, why do you even need Emergenza??? You contract directly with the venue and come out much better since you have a strong hand to bargain with.[/quote]

    See above.

    Again, why bother?

    You do pay to play and your friends/fans pay by for you by proxy.

    'Work ethic", this is nonsense.

    Are you working for Emergenza?
  14. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Caught Me! Actually, no, I don't work for them. But I do make money every time I play one of their shows.

    We didn't pay to play. They asked us to come out. No registration fee. YMMV. The bands that DID pay paid 75$, and we made 200 at our last gig there.

    Sure, I can call up a venue, and schedule some shows. But can I call up the Majestic Theatre and do that? No. Can I play in front of 1400 people on my own? No. Can I expose my music to lots of people that haven't already heard it? It's just one more avenue to people in my area.

    I don't think these shows are going to make my band rich, or make us "break into the big time," or any of the other ******** they promise you. But it's garnered us some more fans, merch sales, and contacts with other good bands. It's just some good shows, that's all.

    FWIW, I didn't try to push these gigs any harder than any other gig I play. Just some bands have different ideas about what good promotion is. If it stops with telling your friends, and maybe publishing it on your myspace, then good luck with that.

    I'll admit, these shows aren't for everyone. If you can't bring 50-100 people to a show, it's going to be a waste of time and money. Emergenza preys on these bands, and makes a ****-ton of money doing it.
  15. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    I guess what I'm saying is, I understand that I'm one of the unique bands that didn't have a negative experience. It had ups, and downs. No more than the regular club circuit. But it wasn't all bad. Maybe it's because the regional manager dude likes me, I don't know. But we made some money, got some fans. We didn't go into it all starry eyed and expecting to win the world.
  16. lucretius


    Apr 7, 2006
    "Maybe it's because the regional manager dude likes me, I don't know."

    thats exactly why. they pick people they like, and they have the desire and the ability to make things happen for those people. one more reason Emergenza is a pain in the ass.
  17. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    They do have that power, particularly with what time slots and dates they assign for bands. I could see it being a huge pain, but it's worked out well for me.
  18. JNBlack


    Dec 5, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    My previous band (7th Cycle) was in it last year. We came in first place in each of the local shows, and then went to Pittsburgh to represent Columbus in the regionals. We placed 5th at that show, which was the end of the road for us.

    With that said, I would highly recommend staying far far away from Emergenza. My previous band has a pretty decent following so we ended up making them a ton of dough (and a little for us). They made all kinds of promises of free gear, exposure, and great shows. I got a set of Ernie Ball strings, and that was it. There were no industry scouts or anything like that, and the shows were in hole-in-the-wall bars (except for Mr. Small's in Pitt).

    They claim to pay for your gas and hotel accomodations when/if you make it to regionals. This is mis-leading! They give you one $20 gas card and pay for one room at the hotel of their choice. I don't know about you, but one hotel room doesn't cut it for a 5-piece band and their spouses.

    Also, the hand-raise count voting system is only for the first couple rounds (not that it is accurate anyway). After that, it is judged by "professional judges that work in the industry." So ya, if they don't like you, you don't go any farther.

    The very nature of the competition doesn't seem to be fair. We played one show with bands of the following genres: screamo/punk, pop rock, folk (!), prog rock, metal, funk/reggae. And that was one show! On one hand, it was great to see all those types of music in one show, but there was no way all the bands could be judged objectively. My buddy's band, ...And 5 Makes 20 (check 'em out:cool:), didn't make it past the second round. IMO, they were way better than my band!

    I could go on for days. Plain and simple, it's another means of separating you from your money.
  19. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    Last year it came through our city. We (music community) figured they probably made about 60k off of everything. No one out here got anything out of it.

    This year we stopped them from doing Albuquerque.
  20. ukearwig


    Dec 16, 2011
    We just fell victim to the Emergenza firm at London's Upstairs At The Garage. They had no panel of judges just took money from all the bands to join (£50) Those with the most fans to attend are guaranteed to win - win what you ask?! - you get to play yet another well known venue (which you could also hire yourself & promote it) Your fans have to pay an admission of £8! that's just disgraceful and you've already paid them £50 too! The staff are cowboys, rude and unhelpful. They are not looking for talent just your money! They've also made a lot of bar takings for the venue too! I'd also like to point out that you'll only find your people at these shows and the other bands crowd if any. They do not promote the show as a live event or anything, so where does that £50 per band go? in there greedy pockets taking from poor artists who have done all the work. Believe me you do not need these unhonest cowboys! I felt sick when the snugglemuffin from the company was going round all the bands taking their fans cash and then there's the unacceptable £50 fee, you're being ripped off. This is pointless and wont get you anywhere so BEWARE! we've been there ... :mad: