Will this place stay open?

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Skokiaan, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Skokiaan


    Jun 19, 2004
    New Jersey
    My band just played the opening Saturday of a new club - actually the grand re-opening of an existing club under new ownership and a new name. Our bandleader put out $350 for some advertising and got 800+ people "interested" on Facebook - which usually translates into to 40-80 people actually showing up. $10 cover.

    It's a nice place. I used to play here two owners ago. Multiple rooms: an indoor club with a stage and long bar, a smaller bar with a small performance area, an indoor/outdoor enclosed bar, and an outdoor area with another bar and stage. We were playing the outdoor stage - sound engineer (nice guy) with full PA and lighting. Weather was perfect. Club is right on a river. Nice view.

    Load in is 6:30. There were maybe 15 people there when we arrived (pre-cover). Only the outside two bar areas were open, which I thought odd. Did they not expect much business?

    Right next door is a minor league baseball stadium, which was very busy. People were even parking in the club's lot for $5.00. We go on at 9:00 and I figure the game would end by 10:00, so we should pick up some people leaving the game and have a good crowd.

    After sound check, a terrible DJ played classic rock, but crossfaded into each song poorly, usually in the middle of a verse.

    We were told meals and drinks are included in our deal, so we all eat. Food was good.

    By showtime, maybe 30-40 people are there. We played well. The people present liked us.

    When the ballgame ended next door, the BL's wife went outside to hand out half-off-admission flyers. So now it's only $5.00 to get in...but the LED sign above the doorway was flashing "NO COVER." So which is it? Nobody came in. Nobody.

    The owner was apparently distracted and cranky all night because his wife, sister and girlfriend were all there. Wife and girlfriend didn't know about each other. Not sure what the sister knew. We saw him berate some staff. I steered clear.

    We ended at midnight and were paid very well.....but were told our meals weren't included. Our agent wasn't happy, but settled for 50% off the bill.

    So why were so few people at the grand opening of such a nice club? Simple....the owner didn't think to advertise. He said so himself. We asked around and realized nobody had even heard of this place (under its new name). Nobody knew it was open. Previous owners advertised everywhere. It used to be one of the top clubs in the state.

    Still, as I said, we were paid very well, and the stage setup is good, so I would certainly play there again.

    My wife's band is scheduled to play there next month. Hope it's still open then.
    Garret Graves, Mr_Moo, McG and 3 others like this.
  2. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    At least he acknowledged that it's also in his responsibility to advertise. A lot of gig stories make it sound like bar owners never think it's something they might want to do, and then take it out on the band if no one shows up.

    Glad to hear things turned out differently this time.
    Garret Graves likes this.