I am writing this post about something that truly upsets me deep to my core. It seemingly happens all over the place and is widely excepted as a method of sound means, but it really is not and we can probably help stop it or by pass it into extinction.
The ‘thing’ I am speaking of is the notion that it is ok for gig promoters to offer bands ticket splitting deals for shows. You know the kind of thing, you get the gig offer on the condition you pick up a load of tickets and sell them to your friends and you the band recoup generally less than 50% of the original ticket price! You the band become the hands and legs and mouth of the promoter and forcibly use your friendships with other people as a ransom for them to buy tickets from you! it is bullshit I hate it so much. It is exploitation in the highest order, what makes it right for this kind of deal to exist? bands do fall this all the time. I sometimes think it is because of the idea that by having your shitty inexperienced band being seen to be playing an O2 academy or other larger venue in your city it maybe elevates your status as a band, when in actual fact you are becoming a pawn to the venue/promoter that is probably needing to fill in the blank dates between the actual events set up through that month or the next and keeps the bar ticking over with punters during quiet times.
IF YOU ARE EVER OFFERED THIS DEAL IN ORDER TO PLAY A SHOW SOMEWHERE, PLEASE, PLEASE TELL THEM TO GO FUCK THEMSELVES!
With the effort you put in to sell the tickets and chase up the cash etc. you may as well put your own show on. It is relatively easy to do and you don’t have to rip off your mates in order for your band to get ripped off by a promoter or venue. All you need a room somewhere in a bar, or somewhere more interesting; a shop for instance, a launderette (this has been happening) do it in your practice room or bedroom? you never know until you try. For instance we got offered a show recently £6 tickets and we get £1.50 per ticket we sell!! what utter bullshit. Why not put your own gig and charge your mates the £1.50 you were gonna earn while lining someone else’s pocket. The low price would definitely interest more people in coming down and if you explained it to people that the door tax is to sort your petrol, soundman etc. and basically fund a party where everyone is contributing to it both financially and physically joining in with the fun. Big venues aren’t all that, smaller the gig better the vibe, especially for gaining live experience and playing in front of people and creating the level of charismatic banter that comes with time.
Don’t feel like anyone has the monopoly on your creative output… it’s not weird marxist political bullshit, it’s about having a sense of pride over what you do, you write the songs and practice them for hours on end week in week out, so why drop down and grab your ankles at the first sight of gig and take it in the as!? if you can sort out a band practice you can sort out a gig simple. Let’s not tar all promoters with the same brush the majority out there just want to put on a decent night thats entertaining, interesting and fun and if something is genuinely that good people will go to it, thus creating a financial gain or equilibrium at the least. If someone offers you a ticket split deal, tell them to GET FUCKED RIGHT OFF! you don’t need to earn their money for them. Do It for yourself and the people who enjoy watching and listening to the music you make, it doesn’t matter where you do it!