Concert Venues Parting Ways With Promoters Are Capitalizing on Going DIY
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Billboard (11/25/14) Brown, Harley
A new wave of smaller, standalone venues are breaking with promoters to compete against multibillion-dollar corporate entities on their own. For example, when New York's Webster Hall's 10-year deal with Bowery Presents expired Sept. 1, it freed the venue to book music, corporate, and other events across the entire building. "Since the transition we've been as busy, if not busier, than in previous years with Bowery," says Webster Hall's Heath Miller. Today, smaller venues can connect directly with fans via social media and ticketing services, which has enabled standalone venues such as Webster Hall, Regent Theatre in Los Angeles, Nashville's Acme Feed & See, and others to provide their own booking services. "We're in an era when small venues can connect directly with fans via social media and ticketing services are increasingly cost-effective and cooperative," says Dean Budnick, author of the book, Ticket Masters: The Rise of the Concert Industry and How the Public Got Scalped. "I can do certain things only an independent can do," says Peter Shapiro of Brooklyn Bowl, a combination restaurant and bowling alley. "I don't have to go to anyone for approval, and it gives me a flexibility that leads to a better show." Adding touches such as light shows or a food service and lower ticket prices also helps midsize venues compete with larger venues.
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