Venue Owners and You, the Musician! By Jerry W. Henry
In this part of the country the responsibility for promoting a gig rests on the bands shoulders. This really makes no sense to me. To my way of thinking the venue owner’s ultimate goal should be to build a fan base for their venue. To get people that will trust that you will have good music in your venue every night.
There seems to me to be too much at stake for venue owners not to be truly interested in the music presented in their venue. They know that live music is important to the demographic that they are trying to reach. They need to reach out to that demographic in a professional way. When a venue owner only thinks about how many people a band can bring to their venue puts them in a never-ending cycle. You are gambling on each band doing their job as promoters. How effective this system is depends on each band.
Fact is people follow bands, not the venue. Bands that come to your venue and play their very best is all that should be expected of a band but we all know better. To my way of thinking, show promotion is a shared responsibility between band and venue. The band knows that without a performance, there would be no money coming into the venue in the first place. But remember just because a venue has live music every night doesn't mean the music pulls in the crowd. Musicians and venue owners need to find a common ground of mutual respect, professionalism, and measured expectation.
There is a very interesting dynamic between venues and musicians. Bands look to increase their following by sharing their music with the people who love it and those who will come to love it. Venues seek great shows with bigger audiences and more sales. There’s definitely a responsibility on both ends to do more for the other and while I think many local venues and artists understand that now, that bond can be strengthened.