THE RESULTS ARE IN: This is why you don't go to shows

Why do you stay home instead of going to a show?

Thanks to everyone who responded to the poll question I posted the other day. It got way more response than I expected, and, judging by the answers I got, it got way more honest response than I expected. There were only a few ridiculous answers submitted under the “Other” option; most of the rest fell into categories roughly defined by the questions the poll asked. With one exception: There was a good bit of hostility toward going downtown to see shows; quite a few respondents mentioned finding parking, getting panhandled, and dealing with douchebags downtown as things that kept them home. It didn’t even occur to me initially, because those things – as real and relevant as they are – have never kept me from a show that I actually wanted to go to … however, Friday Night Douchebaggery has definitely have kept me from going to see a show I was on the fence about.

I did toss out a few answers that came in under the “Other” category, because they didn’t actually answer the question or they neglected to notice that I was asking what keeps you from going to a show that you want to go to. Thus, all the people who said “No good bands come to Orlando” are clearly as illiterate as they are incapable of reading a show calendar. The main point of asking this was to help those people who are always wondering “Why didn’t people come out?” maybe start to come to some of their own solutions.

Judging by the response, I’d say a pretty good way to start would be to start having non-smoking shows that have the headliner wrapping up by midnight, with a limited and appropriate selection of opening acts. (I’ve long advocated for having opening and closing acts on a bill; I know it seems weird, but why not have one opening band on at 9:30, the headliner on at 10:30, and then, with, say a half-hour intermission after the headliner, a couple of other bands for the folks who want to hang out and drink until late? Just a thought!)

Here’s how the answers broke down (and yeah, I know it comes up to 101%; I think my spreadsheet program did a little rounding it’s not telling me about.):

  • The bars are too smoky. (26%) This is pretty self-explanatory. I know it’s a tough call for a bar to make, in balancing their role as, you know, a bar, and their role as a music venue, but it’s clear that a whole lot of people are just staying home instead of subjecting their lungs and sinus passages to the same abuse they would have allowed their liver and ears to endure. On one hand, I’m not at all surprised that this is the #1 answer, but at the same time, I’m completely surprised.
  • The shows start too late and I’ve got a job. (25%) Again, pretty self-explanatory. Starting four-band bills at 10:30 does a good job at keeping employed people away. And employed people are the ones with money to buy tickets and beer. Just sayin’.
  • Unappealing lineup (14%) This category of answers includes two of the responses that were on the poll – “I don’t want to sit through a bunch of bands I don’t know to see the one good band I do know” (8%) and “[that band] plays all the time; I’ll catch ’em next time” (5%) – as well as similar “Other” (1%) responses like “not interested in seeing unpracticed bands” and “over-booked bills.”
  • Personal (13%) Almost all of these were “Other” responses, but mainly were along the lines of “don’t feel like going out alone,” “kids and family duties,” “already have other plans,” “burnt out from other shows,” “I’m lame,” and, my favorite, “laziness/Netflix.”
  • Economics (12%) I lumped in two poll responses – “tickets are so expensive” (5%) and “drinks are so expensive” (4%) – with likeminded “Other” responses (3%) such as “paycheck didn’t clear on time,” “not in the budget” and “I end up drinking too much and spending all my money.”
  • Promotion (6%) This is a combination of the “I don’t find out about the shows until too late” (4%) and “I forgot the show was happening” (2%) poll responses.
  • Downtown (3%) See above. These were all “Other” responses, so folks felt pretty strongly about their antipathy toward going downtown.
  • Other (2%) These answers spanned from practical (“sometimes it’s 21 and i’m 19,” “tickets were sold out”) to useless (“not enough good bands play in orlando”).

Anyway, thanks again to everyone who participated. Hopefully some club owners/promoters can learn something from it.

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30 responses to “THE RESULTS ARE IN: This is why you don't go to shows

  1. “I don’t want to sit through a bunch of bands I don’t know to see the one good band I do know”

    i think that excuse is really lame. i’ve been introduced to so much great music by ‘sitting through bands i don’t know.’

    • Bob: I sort of agree, and, personally always try to catch opening bands, but maybe it’s the “bunch” that’s the issue. Four- and five-band bills seem to have become something of the new norm, which means that for some people, the band they paid to see doesn’t get on stage until very, very late.

      • well, most people go to shows for a particular band, but closing yourself off to the other bands or worse, not even going because you don’t have the patience to sit through a band you’re not familiar with not only does the individual a disservice, but doesn’t help to cultivate ‘the scene.’

        but to your point, shows should definitely start earlier with a 4 or 5 band bills and keeping the opening bands set lengths a bit shorter (which i thought was pretty standard) would also help a lot.

        i also don’t see what’s so hard about banning smoking, but then again i don’t smoke. the Social is non smoking now, isn’t it? last time i was there, there was no smoke and it was packed. can’t other venues follow suit?

  2. Venues should mention when a show is ‘non-smoking’ just as they say ‘all ages’ or ’18+.’ I was pleasantly surprised to attend Smoking Popes in a smoke-free (I know) environment. Had I known that ahead of time, I could have persuaded at least one or two more friends to tag along. This important (to me and 26% of the respondents) detail could be easily listed next to ticket price and door time. It’s definitely a selling point.

    • I agree! Sometimes I will even call the venue and no one will know if the show is smoke free or not. A couple of times we were told it was going to be smoke free and then it wasn’t! If I knew a show was non-smoking ahead of time (and it actually stayed non-smoking) I would def go more often. Also, because I have been pregnant for 9 months I haven’t been able to go to any shows! Just because I am pregnant doesn’t mean I don’t want to enjoy live music sometimes, but with the smoke I just can’t go.

  3. Jessica Pawli

    Thanks Jason. I did learn a few things. Some things I already knew were reinforced. I’ve long been a fan of the headliner in the middle theory and that is why I book most of the shows I produce and promote in this way. Some people just don’t want to stay out as late, weeknight or not. Since they are more than likely there for the headliner they should be able to see the band the came for with out falling asleep while they are on stage.
    I find the smoking issue one of the most difficult ones to deal with. It seems like either way you go on this, someone is upset. I wonder what the solution is? I surely haven’t found it. The only instances that I’ve seen the majority of everyone in attendance accept a non smoking policy is when the request has been made by the artist. Perhaps more acts should ask their fans what they prefer and ask the venues to comply the night of their show? With results like these staring us in the face I hope a solution can be found to the smoking issue so we see higher attendance and healthier lungs on fans so they can cheer louder.
    Thanks again for taking the time and going through the effort to host this survey,

    • Jessica: As far as the smoking issue goes, I don’t think anyone has ever said “I’m not going to see that band I like because the venue is gonna make me step outside to smoke.” But, obviously, quite a few people frequently say “I’m not going to see that band I like because the venue is too smoky.”

      • i have actually not gone to shows because it is non-smoking. if I have to step outside to smoke a cigarette then im missing music, which i paid to see.

  4. Jason, here in colorado, you can smoke all the herb you want in most venues, but all cigarette smoking (in indoors venues) is done in a fenced off smokers corral. There is no smoking cigarettes indoors at shows here.

  5. I think you glossed over the “too smoky” responses. It’s not just that standing around in a smoke-filled room is bad for you and people don’t want to expose themselves to it. People with allergies and sensitive eyes (possibly eye allergies, I’m speaking from experience) can find it painful or at least uncomfortable to spend so long surrounded by smoke. And then your hair and clothes smell like it the whole ride home and can stink up the car, too. But as for being unwilling to subject their lungs and sinuses to smoke and trying to compare it to subjecting livers and ears to damage, well people don’t HAVE to drink at shows (I always chose not to, I had to drive home and didn’t feel like wasting the cash), and people can use earplugs to protect their hearing. There is no way to avoid smoke inside a smoky venue. On the flip side, to require a show to be non-smoking, we KNOW there are breaks between bands definitely long enough for people to step outside for a smoke break. Arena shows do this because they are not “bars,” but there is no reason a bar HAS to allow smoking inside all the time.

    I’m not in Orlando, but my experience in Tampa with all the shows in Ybor is essentially boiled down to the same reasons. Shows I would otherwise go to are smoking venues, parking is a hassle, and I am gainfully employed in a 9-5 job (where I often have to work late). I used to go to shows 3 or 4 nights a week when I was in college and only part-time employed in minimum wage jobs. Having a real job every day with daily deadlines means I go to sleep and wake up on a regular schedule and that even carries through on weekends. Anyway, it got to a point where I stopped bothering to even look at who would be playing locally because I know I won’t go. Sad, too, because I used to help promote the shows and sold tickets at the record store I worked in during college.

    • Alexa: Thanks for your response. A question: Do you think you would go to more shows if a) they were in non-smoking venues, and, b) the headliner’s set ended by, say, midnight?

      • I forgot to mention that one time, someone was smoking next to me, flicked their cigarette, and my pants actually caught on fire. I definitely did not appreciate that, not only having cigarettes flicked at me, but also the hazard it presented with burning clothing. I was lucky I noticed it right away and it hit around my ankle. Likely an isolated incident, but in a crowded club/bar where it’s dark and a band is playing loudly, no one needs a fire breaking out or having burning cigarettes flying around.

        It’s possible I would go to more shows under the conditions you listed, but I think my priorities have also changed since my show-going days. If it’s any indication, the last music event I went to (er, WANTED to go to, not just went out of politeness) was actually in Orlando at UCF in 2008, I paid over $400 to do the VIP thing for the Duran Duran concert and ended up with a ticket in the front row. Granted, it was smoke free and assigned seating, but the experience was worth the cost and the drive. Doing the VIP thing meant I got to show up early (parking was so quick and simple!), enjoy a cocktail hour with fellow VIPers, and there is a ticket lottery I was lucky enough to get seated front row on my chosen side of the stage. The opening band I’d never heard of, but their CD is still in my car CD player, and the timing of everything went smoothly. People had about 30 minutes between the opening act and the main event to go smoke, go look at merchandise, get drinks, use the restroom… And when it was over, there were promoters handing out free bottles of iced tea and water to everyone leaving. It was such a delight.

        That show was on a Sunday night, and because of the drive, I think I got home around 12:30 or 1:00 am. I did not mind because the show was worth every penny and a sleepy day at work on Monday.

        That was a completely different experience than club shows, for sure. I think one of the last club shows I went to was in St. Pete at the State Theater. For some awful reason, the AC wasn’t working, there were like 3 opening bands, and the headliner I think had equipment problems the entire show. I think my patience for opening bands has seriously reduced since I was in college. My tolerance for being crammed into small, tight, smoky spaces in warm venues has seriously declined. Some other people at these types of shows think it’s OK to talk through a band’s set, as if they are in a coffee shop and the band playing is there for tips, ignoring that others actually want to hear the band. Overall, club shows seem to attract people who don’t give a shit about the people next to them. I always knew this, but ignored it for the fact I paid $12 and got to see some cool bands. But now it feels like “why pay $12 to torture myself for 5 hours?” So perhaps, if clubs did something to make their shows more professional and less “it’s someplace to hang out for cheap for the night and there’s music playing,” I might find it more enjoyable. I’ve certainly had some good experiences at club shows, and a lot of it is audience-based. I saw Interpol at the State Theater when they were fresh out with their first album, and it was a great time, no one was drunkenly obnoxious, people were listening/watching the band, everyone maintained their personal space and made it a great night, but I only paid probably $12 for that show, too.

        So I would probably say that venues could do more to schedule shorter shows with fewer bands, disallow smoking, and MAYBE there’s something they could do to convey to other people in attendance that the show is not going on coincidentally, but purposefully, and shouting over the music to your friend for the entire set is rude. (Maybe it’s just Tampa people who do this? I’ve had to ask strangers to stop trying to strike up a conversation with me during a set at shows before.) Largely I just don’t think I’ll find it worth it anymore to spend a few hours enduring the rudeness of people pushing and talking in addition to the venue/length related issues.

  6. I have certainly decided against going to some shows because of service fees on the tickets. Paying a 45% premium to Ticketmaster is exceptionally distasteful for me. Not so much of a problem with local acts, but at larger venues, service charges can definitely put me off.

  7. I want to say that I have been to over 400 shows in my 40 years on this Earth and the last 2 years I have cut back dramatically. It’s not because I want to…it’s because I cannot stand the inconsiderate jerks that smoke and have no problem making you out to be the bad guy if you politely ask them to co it elsewhere. I have allergies, simple as that. That people cannot go 1-2 hours without a cigarette just blows my mind. It’s selfish and inconsiderate to just expect people to accept someone blowing cancer on them all night long. Recently I had a big issue with The Social (which now operates The Beacham Theater). When their shows (Social) oversell they move them to the Beacham. I had tickets to see Airborne Toxic Event (I know, part 2) that was scheduled at The Social. I called to confirm it was a non-smoking show because most are at The Social. When it moved to The Beacham it became a smoking event. They wouldnt refund my money for the ticket even though I COULD NOT be in that venue with smoking for health reasons. Well I simply just had my CC company do a charge back and that was that. But the “promoter” (A “dj” that was a pompous ass) flat out refused to refund my money or even agree to warn people when shows changed to a smoking show. “Assume they are all smoking”.. I replied with “assume I will never see another show at your venue”. House of Blues might as well be smoking because they leave the doors open and one whiff of wind fills that tiny venue with smoke. Sorry to rant. I am just so mad I cannot see many concerts anymore because more and more in Orlando my favorite bands are going the club route. I saw Matt and Kim at Firestone earlier this month and literally was sick for a week after. Hopefully this survey will change the minds of promoters and venue owners.

  8. I used to be a smoker and would get annoyed when the shows were non-smoking, but there was never a time when I didn’t go to a show because it was non-smoking. I would go outside and bitch about it, then go back inside to watch the show. However, now that I am pregnant and I don’t/ can’t smoke or really shouldn’t even be around it, I pretty much can’t go to any shows. When there is smoking it really leaves a lot of people out of the mix.

    I totally get the annoyance factor of having to go outside, but there were even times when I was a smoker that I hated being at a show because of the smoke. I stopped going to Peacock (when I was smoking) because my eyes would burn and water so much. And Peacock doesn’t have a comfortable outside area to smoke, so there is no reason for anyone to go outside. I think a place that does the non-smoking thing well, it Stardust. It isn’t really my favorite venue, but I know that when I go there I will actually be able to stay and see the band and if I wanted to smoke there is plenty of room outside.

    As far as the other reasons, I have not gone to a show because I know the headliner isn’t playing until midnight or later (this is usually for bands that I am on the fence about. If I really like a band I will deal with it). I also hate it when clubs (i.e. The Social) deliberately wait to put the headliner on till really late (pretty much to make people drink more). And as we all know, there isn’t re-entry at The Social, so you are left with the decision of coming late and maybe missing the band, or being stuck standing there for hours listening to Don’t Worry Be Happy over and over again.

    Price isn’t a big deal for me, because if I like I band a lot, I will usually go see them at least once as long as the tickets are like less than $40. Anything more than that I better get a dinner or something.

    And finally, I do hate going downtown, but again, if I like the band I will make the sacrifice.

    So really, as a big fan of going to shows, the only real deal breaker for me is smoking. All the other things are just annoyances that I will endure if I really want to see a band.

  9. I think the state should ban smoking in bars.

  10. As a smoker & someone with allergies, I find that there is a distinct difference between venues in both the inconvenience of going outside for a smoke or being overwhelmed by wall-to-wall secondhand. In most venues with a decent air handler, such as Will’s Pub – not nearly as much of an issue. Uncle Lou’s or Backbooth can be rough. On the flipside of a coin, I’ve been to non-smoking shows at Backbooth and The Social where the seemingly simple act of going outside to have a smoke can be somewhat of an ordeal. That said, I’ve been to shows at Lou’s where people more often step out for a smoke rather than contributing to a cloud that forms quickly and hangs all night. There’s no smoking inside some of the coffee shops like Austin’s but you’re generally able to hear the bands pretty clearly outside as well.

    If venues cater to smokers with more convenient places to have a smoke outside the main part of the venue, maybe even where you can still hear the bands, many smokers will do so even if not enforced. However, from some poor experiences in California where there’s no smoking in bars by law – those areas need to have proper ventilation or really good air handlers… so it’s kind of a catch 22. I was told that a lot of smokers out there avoided venues whose smoking areas were inconvenient, crowded and poorly ventilated.

    Long and short, smokers being more conscientious & venues being better prepared would go a long way. Still, I have a feeling that particular statistic is rather skewed in this poll.

    As to the time of shows… no one in Orlando comes out before 10pm. It’s somewhat of a fact of life here. Those of you who are pulling for shows that start before 10pm, try and show up early. A lot of shows in this town are slated to start at 9 or 9:30 but end up being pushed back to 10 or 10:15 nearly every time because that’s when people actually start showing up. I think most bands would be happy to start earlier as well but not if it means playing to an empty room.

  11. the top half of this graph 51% that says it’s too smokey or too late – are too old to even care about music. let alone enjoy it. Stay home.

    • You’re absolutely right Peter. We should be encouraging people to stay home and not go to shows. That way we can continually bitch about how “nobody supports the scene.”

      Seriously? Because people don’t want to hack up a lung or want to keep their job, they’re somehow incapable of enjoying music? That’s completely ridiculous. Clearly, the people who responded to this are people who want to go to shows. In fact, I’d guess that more than a few of them already do go to shows, it’s just that they’d actually go to more if it weren’t such a goddamned ordeal some times. For bar-owners and bands to casually dismiss these concerns is for them to just LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE.

      But yeah, let’s leave music only to second-shifters and smokers. You know, to keep it real, brah.

      • Hear, hear Jason! This poll was taken to see what can be done to encourage growth on the music scene not to see who should be excluded. Get it right Peter!

    • I care about music plenty, but there is a difference between being able to enjoy it somewhere you’re comfortable and feeling that the cons outweigh the pros when considering where you’re going to shows. When the cons make the experience unpleasant enough that you aren’t enjoying the show, it just feels like a waste of time and money and you won’t care to do it again.

      And I still support the musicians I enjoy by actually buying their music. It’s a bit disgusting that I know people my age who are living a comfortable lifestyle and still think it’s better to pirate the music they want to listen to than drop $5-$10 for a digital album.

  12. Jason, I agree with you… but I also agree with Peter to a certain extent. There’s an example above about the last show that someone actually wanted to attend having been Duran Duran at UCF and having only attended others out of politeness. People of that mindset aren’t going to support the scene even if venues are non-smoking.

    Additionally, I think ‘too smokey’ may be a convenient excuse in a lot of cases for “I’m too old for this shit” — I say this, not because I smoke but because I’ve been to plenty of shows with plenty of great bands at plenty of different venues that were non-smoking or largely smoke free where there was barely anyone over 30 in sight. I’ve also been to shows where the average age in the band is 45, they’re active in the scene & the community and there’s less than 20 people there who were alive when they attended high school.

    As someone who’s certainly not 18 anymore and has pretty significant allergies – I can understand clubs being too smokey as a factor and I can understand shows that start too late being a factor. However, I think the larger factors are: comfort in routines, laziness and a ‘been there, done that’ attitude. In that regard, Peter is correct. You can make all of the venues non-smoking. You can start shows at 6pm, maybe serve a little dinner (nothing too spicy, so as to avoid indigestion) & some cocktails, ban the use of foul language or distortion pedals so that parents don’t have to get sitters and be done by 10pm so that people can go home & tuck in for their 10 hours of sleep… and there might be a few more people at every show. A more snobbish & expensive version of Chuck-e-Cheese would do really well in this town. (Oh, wait… Disney did it first) But that’s not really very rock n’ roll, now is it?

    Speaking for myself, I would love it if shows in town started a bit earlier. Not because I have a burning desire to get 8 hours of sleep, but because it would make it more convenient for people who also get up at 6am every morning but might like to get 6-8 hours of sleep once in awhile. Still, those people who aren’t coming out for that reason also don’t seem to come out to early shows, show up before 10 on a Friday or Saturday night, etc. So, once again, I call a bit of BS. If you want to be involved, be involved… show up when & where you can, support what you’d like to see more of. There are plenty of bands playing before 11 or 12pm, plenty of non-smoking shows or venues with decent air handlers. Those who stay home and make excuses aren’t supporting anything but making excuses.

    • Let me clear it up, I posted that the Duran Duran concert was the last show I went to that I _wanted_ to go to, because technically the last concert I went to was Rush this past October. My boyfriend wanted me to go with him, so I did.

      When I see the listings of shows playing locally (Tampa), most of them are bands targeted at a younger audience who still think singing about high school rebellion is cool, and the local openers are the most awful things ever (that’s my opinion there, Tampa’s local music style is generally not to my liking, with a few exceptions, but I can’t change what style of music Tampa musicians want to play). I know from years of paying attention to bands’ touring stops that Orlando gets more shows and better shows, and that’s when Florida gets shows at all. I got tired of seeing bands’ tour dates making a stop in Atlanta and thinking that was south enough. So, you’re right, it’s not really in my interest to go to shows “just because” anymore, my priorities have changed. But I still can’t support seeing someone locally when they don’t play locally, and I’m not in the category of people who will go to a show just to check it out anymore.

    • Kelly: I think there’s a pretty wide gap between making a show non-smoking and making it Downtown Disney. The whole idea that rock ‘n’ roll must be played late nights in a smoky bar is a romantic one indeed, but I think for people who actually like music and aren’t just hanging out trying to get drunk or get laid (all three of which are admirable pursuits!), there must be some sort of solution that can keep the spirit of “going to see a show” intact while making it more accessible to more music-lovers. And by “music-lovers,” I don’t mean “people who say they’re music-lovers,” I mean “people who actively enjoy going to see live music as often as possible.”

      I’ve just gotta say, I think that the majority of the readers of this site (and, by extension, the majority of the people who responded to the poll) fall into that latter category, and they overwhelmingly say that smoky bars and super-late set-times keep them from going to as many shows as they want to. That tells me that instead of saying “well, that’s not very rock ‘n’ roll,” and disregarding their concerns, musicians and venue-owners would want to try and figure out a way to get those people back into the crowd.

      Just giving up and saying “well, they won’t come out anyway” doesn’t seem like a solution that will yield very positive results. What you say about people not coming out early is VERY TRUE, of course, but I think that’s more a matter of conditioning than anything else. People always seem to make it to 7pm shows at HOB, because they know the show’s gonna start at 7pm and there’s not gonna be some band-member telling the sound guy “Hey, can we wait until a few more people show up?”

    • Oh, and because I didn’t say it earlier: Thanks for your thoughtful response(s).

      • Thank you for raising the question & for all that you do in general!

        I agree that there is a pretty big gap between preferring not to watch shows in a teargas filled room in the wee hours of the morning and Disney. I drew that comparison basically to illustrate what I see as another wide gap – that which lies between what is convenient & what people are willing to jump through hoops for.

        I agree that most of the people who read this site care about local music and are at least interested in keeping up on it. I also agree that it’s stupid for venue owners and musicians to simply dismiss all concerns & stated reasons that people don’t come out. That said, I think if the poll included more information about what venues people do or don’t attend, what types of shows they’re interested in, etc. then that info would also likely correspond to a lot of the existing data. People make HoB at 7pm because the bands that are playing HoB tend to be a very different group of bands than those who are playing venues downtown or on the non-tourist side of Orlando. Bands that are playing HoB are often more established bands who draw from further away as well.

        The Social, BackBooth, Stardust, Firestone, Wills, HoB, Peacock Room, Hard Rock, Uncle Lou’s, Amway Arena, etc. each have their own sets of issues, and in truth, some differences in who/what crowds & acts each appeals to. To lump them all together, to lump the fanbases of the acts who play each of those venues together, isn’t going to give any venue a definitive idea of what their specific issues are or what to do about them. That doesn’t necessarily mean music only gets played in smokey late-night clubs but it does mean that every venue & every band aren’t going to appeal to everyone, nor should appeal to everyone and that, while it’s good to have an ear to the ground – trying to appeal to everyone is pointless. The best any venue, band, soundguy can do is try and do the best they can to bring people in & show them a good time. If that means no smoking in the venue, so be it. If it means starting shows at 7pm, so be it.

        My entire point boils down to this: You can’t lump it all together and draw neat conclusions. It’s not all about any one or two aspects…. and lastly, while issues do exist, people are lazy and/or disinterested. The latter being demonstrated by the fact that a lot of broke people aren’t showing up to free shows either, non-smokers aren’t showing up to non-smoking shows and venues are virtually empty until 10pm, regardless of whether bands have been playing since 7pm or not.

        Lastly, it’s convenient to say that band & sound guys push the timelines back. This is a fact. However, they do this for the very reason stated – because no one has shown up. They’d be just as happy to go on at 9 or 9:30 rather than 10:30 if they wouldn’t just be playing to the same 5 people that show up early to every show. Therefore, personally, I’ll blame the band and the sound guy when I start regularly seeing shows where 30+ people show up at 9 just tostand around waiting for the band to set up & soundcheck.

  13. It is funny that the concept of people “being too old” has been thrown around, because it isn’t like all the venues are packed out with kids either. The fact of the matter is, many shows in Orlando have had low attendance regardless of the demographic for quite a long time.

    I know some other factors that have always been an issue with Orlando is how far away things are and lack of public transportation. I know when my husband plays venues out by UCF there tends to be a really good crowd. I figure (besides that they may like his music) that it was easy for a lot of kids to get there and they can drink/ hang out close to home. I know when I visit other cities with good music scenes I can hop on a subway or what-not, enjoy a band, have some drinks, and go home. Orlando isn’t really set up to just go catch something, especially if a show is at HoB (long ass drive, dealing with tourists, etc), Hard Rock (same as HoB), or downtown. This combined with high ticket prices at times, I think a lot of people would just rather have some drinks at home or their local bar instead of seeing new bands.

    I know a good example of solving this problem was the Orange You Glad Fest. They provided transportation to local venues, had many different venues and bands to choose from as well, and I think it was pretty successful as far as turn out goes. I also remember when Florida’s Dying used to have their party bus take people to shows, which were always packed.

    What I think it really comes down to is that bands and venues shouldn’t just expect people to show up for “the scene.” I don’t just buy a product because I should. Bands and venues need to use a little creativity to find out what their consumers want/ need and do their best to come up with a solution. That is why I think this survey is pretty valuable.

    I wouldn’t really call the people not-going to shows “lazy,” they just find better things to do. Not calling anyone out, but I know some bands and venues that don’t promote, don’t make their facilities very comfortable (i.e. smoking, space, bad sound etc), charge high prices, and don’t really even entertain at times (many a times I have seen bands just phone it in, local and national). If anything, I would call this being lazy. And to say that “Rock and Roll” has to be experienced in this fashion, again is just lack of creativity. With the changing times, maybe venues and bands will need to continue to change as well. Just booking a show, hanging up a few flyers, posting on facebook, and crossing your fingers just isn’t enough anymore, especially for new/ local acts. If you are an established band that has put the leg work in, people will deal with pretty much all of the hassles that have been discussed and see the damn band.

    Oh, and last thought, when I used to book shows in college I knew one way of always getting people to shows… a free keg of cheap beer. People seem to always pay a cover for cheap beer. Of course, this often conflicts with the bar owners and we run back into the douche bag factor, but I found it very effective with getting asses in the doors.

  14. I’m pretty sure I’ll be in the minority here. I go to all kinds of shows and I wish I could go to even more. I’m a music lover- that’s what I do. I have all kinds of opinions on this subject but I’ll be brief:

    I like the idea of shows starting earlier and having bands done by midnight. Venues can have dance parties/DJs after bands where people can continue drinking (like Back Booth). If people show up late…. well, they’re most likely interested in the latter over bands anyways. Is that too much to assume?

    One thing I don’t care for is getting to shows on time only to stand around as bands get pushed back. It happens too often. That doesn’t keep me from going to shows, mind you- just keeps me going to more shows.

    Also, no re-entry. Really?

  15. Buy a drink, pop a smoke between your lips and occupy yourself while the boring stuff is going on. It’s dark, dank, smoky, and sticky from spilt beer.
    It’s an aesthetic that some like / some (many) do not. To change the nature of the bar is to change the purpose of the business; sell alcohol.
    If customers are going outside to smoke, that is time spent away from the bar, chatting and puffing away valuable sales.

    It raises the question of the ideal venue. How is a business sustained on catering to music lovers rather than social drinkers?

    As a person who works full time with a kiddo, doesn’t smoke, and rarely drinks, the bar is not my haven. I would cherish a dedicated venue with a killer PA operated by sound guys as capable as Will’s Pub’s.
    Everybody has to get paid however; where is that cash generated?

    • Well put & thought out. I’m not much of a drinker, myself. Though I make it a point to at least buy a few sodas & tip well if nothing else.

      Some dedicated venues would be a fantastic addition to this town. Maybe we’ll start seeing something more substantial develop along those lines in conjunction with some of the newer art galleries in town. Obviously people aren’t smoking inside & the atmosphere is significantly different than that of a bar. However, again, it’s a question of how a venue (bar or otherwise) can make money & stay in business and that musicians might make a few bucks here and there as well.

      There has been a lot of stuff mentioned which seems to arrive at “not interesting” – Meanwhile, there are a lot of bands, venues, promoters, etc. in this town who are quite good at what they do and working hard to provide something worth seeing. That said, anyone have solutions that don’t involve free admission, free beer and well-known national acts playing free shows comprised only of people’s favorite songs?

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