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4 Jul 2010

Should Artsin run gigs in Leicester?

Should Arts in Leicestershire put on gigs?

Tell us what YOU think by leaving a comment.

Here are the issues:

1. So far we have only LOST money by putting on gigs.

Promoting gigs is a difficult business. The main costs are hiring a venue and hiring bands to play. It's very difficult to find venues that will hire themselves out on a ticket income basis. Most want some kind of flat fee. That means there is a risk of making a loss.

2. One off gigs require a lot of promotion. It is suggested that if we have a monthly gig, then people will get to know about and it will become a favoured event for rock music fans.

Yes, if we can get the right venue and the right bands. Not easy in Leicestershire. It also involves a lot of work. The more time we spend organising gigs the less time we spend producing the magazine. There is a finite amount of time available and our priority is updating the web site on a daily basis. Just listing gigs for other venues and promoters takes up about 7 hours a week.

3. If your gigs worked well it might make money for the magazine - then you could afford to pay people to work on the content.

Nice idea but a big IF. If we were able to make money from putting on gigs, it would not be much and if we paid it all back out hiring writers, we would be not much better off. The alternative is to work with existing promoters - and there are a few good ones - who could put on gigs backed by the magazine and we would pay back in publicity. The only purpose for doing things that way would be to put on bands that we wanted to showcase and maybe attract industry presence. or we could promote a particular style of music - such as Ska, Metal, new music that is under-represented in the current offering of gigs.

4. The market is for gigs is already saturated and will become worse as we head into the autumn and the opening of more new venues.

On prime nights like Saturday and Friday, there is already, often, a choice of gigs and still not enough fans to go round. Gigs with ticketed entry are in comptetition with those offering free entry. If people want to go out to a show, they are often spoilt for choice.

5. Is there a big market for rock gigs, compared to say, hip hop or drum and bass?

That's difficult, some gigs attract a decent crowd but we know so little about other genres of music and the following they attract. On some nights you could see as many as 500 people going out to gigs in Leicester but its not likely to be much more than that. It needs a bit of research.

6. The reason people don't go to gigs is because there are so many crap bands and crap lineups, they can't be bothered.

Yes, I have heard this said many times. There is truth in it: some lineups are random with metal bands being put on with pop bands and no thought being given to how well those bands fit together. Yes, there are crap bands that no one wants to go out to hear but listen, we see very good bands playing to tiny audiences. There doesn't seem to be any connection between the musical quality of a band and the number of people who will pay to see them play. It's also a well known fact that some good bands play Leicester far too often. They can't sustain audience figures because they play too many times in a month and their gigs are too close together.

7. People want to see BIG bands and will pay good money to go to Birmingham or Nottigham to see them.

So I believe. This might change when the O2 Academy opens in Leicester and some promoters are trying hard to bring bigger bands to town but its a risky business. One factor is that the venues in other cities are of a much higher standard than many of those in Leicester. Bigger bands can't come to Leicester because we do not yet have big enough venues to put them in. That is about to change but it's where we are at now.