Wow we're half way through our winter break of 5 months. The lady chasing us to buy the restaurant offered us next to nothing so we will be back with a vengeance come October. Already my mind has shifted towards new menus, new art attacks and I have started booking musicians. I am amazed at the explosion of music venues, apart from bands in pubs, since we started nine years ago. It's great for the musicians to have so many to choose from but I am concerned that there just aren't enough punters to go around and we are adamant that we won't book gigs that are playing in other local venues.
It's not easy hosting live music. At first people would walk away rather than pay a $5 cover charge although they would come in and buy a beer for that. We lost money on every gig for the first couple of years so it took a greater vision of helping struggling musicians, educating people about the value of performance and building ourselves into a serious music venue. We still have trouble with some agents in the industry who think that because we are small (110 max.) we don't qualify for the big names but we have done the hard yards and their 'big names' had to start somewhere. The musicians once they have played here love to come back because of the intimate atmosphere where they can get a rapport going with the audience.
So now most people recognise the value of paying musicians well (the movies cost $15!!) and are willing to pay $5 up to $30 depending on the artist.
They probably recognise also that by supporting other musicians coming into the area it keeps me off the stage! I'm learning new songs I promise!