Mudcat Café message #2583460 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119211   Message #2583460
Posted By: treewind
07-Mar-09 - 04:18 PM
Thread Name: Tom Bliss Article -So long and thanks
Subject: RE: Tom Bliss - So long and thanks
Switching from alcohol to coffee won't solve any entertainment licensing problems, and as pubs will often let a club have a room for free (because of the extra drinks sales) I can't see it directly solving any financial problems either.

There is a case for moving away from pubs, but it's not about drink. Village halls and other community venues can have at least twice the capacity of a pub function room. A well run folk event in such a building could pay the booked artist much more than a old-style folk club would. I've spoken to two club organisers this year who are deliberately moving from a cheap anything-goes format to a concert format (higher prices, no floor spots) - one is doing very well, and the other hasn't had time to tell yet, but he knows that some of the audience have actually said they were discouraged from coming to the club because of poor quality floor spots. And all of the really dead clubs (tiny aging audiences) seem to be in pubs.

There's still a need for the informal session/singaround format, of course, and pubs are still good for that. There remains the problem of how a budding performer breaks though from session culture to the semi-pro concert, but that's the same with all kinds of music. In the case of the organisers I mentioned above, one runs a pub and has music and song sessions there, and he can spot talent from behind the bar...