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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Wrinkles Starting a folk club (60* d) RE: Starting a folk club 22 Jan 05


Boy have things changed since my club and festival running days ;-)

Much good advice above Lynne, and some absolute cr*p too, but you're a smart lady and you'll sort it out yourself ;-)

Of the two things not mentioned so far however the first is _LOCATION_.

A fledgling club just has to have a good location, serviced by several bus routes and easy access/parking for cars; a close railway station/tube is always good too if possible.

Bums on seats is what it's all about from the promoters standpoint, so make it easy for those bums to get to the seats. Check out an area with these facilties for a suitable venue or two (a seperate room's good but not essential, but a small stage and quiet private off stage area is almost a must) and then have a chat with the landlords. If you look to him/her like you can get a crowd in who'll buy drink he/she'll love thee ;-)

A club with a good reputation, a name, can be located anywhere it wants, but you've got to get that name first, and that begins with a suitable venue.

The Second point is _Promotion_. You've got to let folk know that your club exists and when it's on. This need not be expensive. From posters in instument/CD shop windows to a listing in the local "What's on" magazine/web site and wrangling an interview on local radio to talk about the new club, to simply letting the national radio folk shows know you exist and press releases to the local newspapers in your catchment area. These people want items to fill their space and air-time, so give it to them ;-)

Make a lot of noise about your opening night to the media, and keep in touch with them, keep them updated and informed, and make friends with as many as you can. If there's a folk show on the local radio, see if you can get a monthly spot to talk about whats coming on.

Some comments on what's be said by others;
I strongly disagree with Breezy about owing the artist nothing. The promoter owes it to the artist to have promoted and publisized the event and not relied on word of mouth to do his work for him/her.
A name can only draw crowds if the crowds know the name is there.
If a name performs and the crowds don not show up, then it is always the promoters fault for not publisizing the event. The artist is only responsible for the success of the evening in terms of _entertainment_ and _music_; the _financial_ success of the evening is totally the promoter's responsibility!

Also good resident, who can make a warm happy convivial atmosphere, who know how to _perform_, is a jewel to be treasued. NEVER charge such a person entrance fees, rather you should pay them something for turning up each week (and to make sure they do turn up too). Likewise if the resident views it as a job, they'll find you a filler when they're unable to turn up for their regular spot.

A moderate sound system that can handle multiple inputs, a few mikes, stands, speakers, and hi stools are a good investment too.

Barbara (Wrinkles)

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