Those of you who read my last post know that last night was concert night at one of the places I work! We had Taylor Branch and The Lone Star Ramblers open up for Kody West, and we had a packed house! We also featured a raffle for a free pair of Hey Dude shoes given to us by one of the local retail venues in town. That being said, we had several people at the door showing a decent amount of shock when we announced to them how much the cover charge is. I would like to address some of my favorite questions that I’ve had come through the doors on concert nights.
“Ten dollars? Are you serious? Why’s it so much?”
“Three dollars for a Budweiser? Well I’ll never make that mistake again.” (do you mean paying the three dollars for it, or choosing Budweiser? Because ew.)
“Wow, twelve dollars? For real?” *insert exasperated sigh while reaching in the wallet*
“You have to have my ID? I’m not even drinking.”
“You’re really gonna make me go all the way out to my car and grab my ID?”
“You’re still gonna charge us each $12? There’s only like 20 minutes left of the show.”
The thing is, there are so may people out there who are so quick to throw away hundreds of dollars to go see concerts for artists and bands who tour all over the nation and all over the world. People that aren’t going to have the time to sit and talk to you after the show, unless you spend another arm and another leg to get backstage passes, and even then, good luck with that line. But for local artists? And even artists who have toured all over Texas? Why so expensive?
My answers to these questions:
-This was from one of the band members of a headliner once, who came to me to purchase tickets for his kids who were coming to see the show. The band receives a cut of the door, and this particular artist holds more talent in his pinky finger alone than what ten dollars could justify. The people that were complaining about the price to me that night were quickly informed of the talent of the band and the worth of the tickets.
-Seriously…Budweiser? (Serious note though, the kitchen is closed now and the venue has to make some money, too)
-Yes, twelve dollars. You have an acoustic artist that traveled three hours to be here, to open up for the Season 6 runner up on The Voice. You’ll be getting your money’s worth, don’t worry.
-Yes, TABC requires me to see your ID since we do have a bar.
-Yes, TABC requires me to see your ID since we do have a bar.
-Yes, I’m still going to charge you a total of $24 for two people even though you decided to show up 20 minutes before the show is over. That is not in my control, nor is it my fault that you decided to show up this late. If you’d showed up earlier and seen both bands, you might have a better understanding of why we’re charging $12 a head.
-Yes, $15. Think of it this way-$5 to see the opener (who kicks ass), $5 to see the headliner (with 8.1k likes on Facebook alone), and $5 to enter a raffle for a FREE pair of shoes. Not to mention the great night out making memories with friends? Priceless.
In all seriousness, these musicians put in a lot of time and effort. Several of these artists and bands have to work a main job to earn a living–partially because there are so many people that aren’t willing to shell out $10-$15 to see some live music. The artists that are playing sold out shows in giant amphitheaters and huge venues aren’t relying as heavily on one single person. There are people that would rather spend hundreds of dollars to drive several hours to see someone live that either they won’t get to meet, or probably won’t remember them the next day. Not because these big artists are terrible people or anything, but because they meet so many people and have so much going on. Meanwhile, these same people don’t want to spend $15 to see a local artist fifteen minutes from where they live, where the members are some of the easiest people to talk to, and they have excellent memories and recollections of who they met and what they talked about at each concert. We’re too busy maintaining our support for people who don’t really need it, to start building up people we see on a daily basis to the point where they can get recognized and they can eventually work their way up to the sold out venues and amphitheaters.
That’s my biggest rant for working the concerts at the restaurant (second biggest being the few people that act as though they’re better than you because they get to have fun at a concert while you’re stuck waiting on them and getting them beer–I’m not only getting into the concert for free, but I’m also earning money while I do it, so who’s the real winner?). We always have incredible shows and the turnouts get better and better every week. Overall, I really love my job and as a musician, I love getting to meet and talk to all of the different artists that come through. Though sometimes the ignorance/arrogance gets pretty frustrating, I really am kind of a winner at the end of each concert night.
With all that off my chest, please be sure to keep an open mind at the shows you go to or consider going to. The bartenders/door people don’t set the prices and we don’t make the rules, we’re just trying to do our jobs so that a) the band is able to leave each night with the money they’ve earned, and b) if TABC should happen to walk through and started checking for IDs, our venue doesn’t get shut down because we decided to let you through knowing that you didn’t have yours on you. The artists aren’t trying to be greedy, they’re trying to make their money’s worth after all a) the time spent rehearsing, loading in, loading out, and traveling, and b) the money spent on equipment used to entertain the crowds, gas, food, and still making a profit. And last but not least, the venue is not trying to screw you out of all your money, they’re trying to a) make enough money to keep providing the restaurant with great food, the bar with great drinks, and the venue with great music, and b) build and maintain a comfortable and relaxing environment to keep our regular customers, and still build our following and spread the word about our great place to other locals and potential future regular customers.
Thanks for reading, and remember: treat your bartenders, your local musicians, and your local venues with respect. With a narrow mind, it may seem expensive or unnecessary. But if you can look at the big picture, we only do what we do to make our customers, our clients, and our audiences as happy as possible!
P.S. Taylor Branch and Kody West ROCKED last night!!!!! 😉