So my band is doing very good for shows, we aren't going hungry lets just say... and well this one bar we play at is one palce where we get low crowds and the bar owners said our next gig there (the saturday after T-day) if we don't get a good crowd in they wont book us anymore.

Now this is a shock for me, because we talked to them before and we don't have crowd issues at other bars we play at but this one and it is in part to how they schedual us... most times they put us to play are nights where another bar around the area is having a bigger thing going on or just not a night for people and they bring the blame to us... (example is they booked us for a festival this summer but they put us on the same day a HUGE local band was playing in an area like 2 blocks down... so of course people would go there more)

anyone else get this frustration when you feel it isn't entirely your fault for a show and you have to suffer for it?

Sure we don't really need that bar but if we think like that then well think that for other places too and then wed have no where to play..
Honestly, if the bar is booking you on bad nights, it's the bar's problem. They'll realize soon enough that it's not you keeping people away, it's just that other places have better things to offer on those nights.

However, Saturdays are usually one of the best days to play. You might do good this time, if there's nothing else going on.
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It's happened to me a couple of times.
It's worth considering that when you play to low audience numbers, it also has a negative effect on your reputation.
Whenever it's happened to me, I always try and arrange another gig at another bar near to the one that bombed, just to keep that reputation intact.
If it happens again at your next gig there, forget this venue for now, play other local places and fill them, eventualy they'll notice you doing business and drawing business away from them and make you another offer.
If they do, make sure that they will schedual you correctly before accepting the gig......

....and charge 'em a little more than you did previously too!

I hate to say it, but it is about 80% your responsibilty to fill the place with your fans. The bar can put up flyers and spread the word on their end, but it's really up to you. Mine your data base of fans with emails and text messages to spread the word. Chat it up with your fans on MySpace and get them to the show. If for some reason your crowd is small, consider telling the bar owner that you will play your next gig there at a reduced price, so he can recoup his losses. Good luck and rock on, Brother!

you can think about it two ways:

don't do the show if you know its going to be a **** turn out (if a bigger band is playing, if its during a holiday when everyone is out etc)

if youre doing it for the money then its sort of your job to bring in the crowd. The bar is booking your band, they arnt managing your audience for you, thats not their job.

all in all it could be an empty threat, if youve done them good shows before, then they must be real pricks to just slam you guys off the booking roster. You don't need places like that anyway, it should be about the scene and the music.

from what ive learned the past few years of touring, is that its up to you to start the hype on your own band..hype your own shows. We've done shows in places we've never been, and we've had great crowds because we went on myspace, got to know the bands that were playing that night, and got them excited to play with us, in turn they'll hype it up to all their fans. On the other hand, we've played some ****ty shows at ****ty times on ****ty dates, and you live and you learn. You can't really get mad over it, it just makes you smarter, and you'll know when to not do shows. It does it to a point where you realize playing a ton of shows at one place or one city isnt always a good thing. Spread yourself out. Why arn't you the big local band playing two blocks away?

Good luck with everything,

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Last edited by ark at Nov 19, 2008,