So last night the Nick Wolff Band was to play a going away show at Peabody's in Cleveland for a friend of the band, promotor Bill Bailey.
Nick (our singer) even went on 92.3's local show a few days ago with Bill to promote this event. The title of the show was Bill Bailey's going away benefit featuring 216, Keratoma and others. We decided to do this event at Bill's request,even though we have a long standing policy of not working with or playing at anything affiliated with Peabody's because of the scam they run on local bands, especially young bands. It works like this...
HEY: PEABODY'S IS HAVING A BATTLE OF THE BANDS. YOUR BAND CAN PLAY.
So innocent local band (the younger the better) calls up for their first show. So Peabody's says okay, the show starts at 6 pm and is going to feature anywhere from 10 to 200 hundred bands, depending on who we can scam to sell tickets. Here's a hundred tickets, the face value is 10 bucks, we want $9 per ticket. The more you sell the better time slot you get. Sell em for $10 and your band makes a hundred bucks. GO TO IT.
Oh, and don't forget: Anyone at the door whose underaged gets charged and additional fee.
So young innocent band sells them to their high school friends, their supportive parents, and gives PEABODY'S a couple hundred bucks for a Sunday show. When they show up, they're one of 13 bands that get herded around like cattle, don't get to play the main stage near the headliner (the one band not selling tickets and guaranteed a slot). Instead they are relegated to some hidden back stage. They play at 6 pm for their parents and a few friends. Peabody's takes out an ad in Scene to promote the show .
So for 800 bucks, what did the local band get? A dumb, disorganized show, no radio pub, no good time slot to showcase their band, and limited if any exposure.
If you're a local band, why would you participate? For 800 bucks you could rent a hall or a bar, have 3 of your friend's bands play, buy a full page ad in Scene and Free Times, promote on the internet, sell the tickets yourself and clear a couple hundred. All the while playing at a time you choose and having an honest to goodness real show.
So, back to the story... We show up for the Peabody' s show and even though Bill booked it, and we promoted it on the radio, they tell us we're not on the 15 band bill. We call Bill and he says we are. He calls the club guy Chris, who says we are and sent out a confirmation email the day before.
But the guy at the club SCOOTER says we aren't cause we didn't sell tickets and he booked the show. After much discussion, we decide to say forget it and just go to the bar instead of play the show. Which is good cause Bill calls us back to say that the club lied to him and all the bands except Keratoma and 216 had to sell tickets and if you don't sell you don't play.
Does anybody wonder why Cleveland's local scene is in such trouble now?