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Friday, April 17, 2009

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Sioban McMahon

Honestly, I'm perplexed by this.

Our venues in the West of Ireland aren't seeing the downturn described. The pattern is much as it's always been.

The size of the crowd at any given event depends on:

- size of the performer's following, new performers sing to our regulars primarily. Established performers bring a crowd with them.

- what sort of competition we have with things going on in RL. Some holidays, people don't log on as much.

- Day of the week and time of day, we have our more popular times, of course.

Attendance is still good and donations are still good.

Doubledown Tandino

Excellent, thanks Hamlet.

Let me digest, and I'll be back in a minute.

In the meantime, my overall thought runs parallel to Crap's, although different. I say, that all music, all musicians, all performers, all DJs, can be ADDED as an EXTRA to anything in SL. People ARE doing the out there totally creative crazy projects and events. ADD LIVE MUSIC TO THAT as a bonus.

The "live music event" may be why people are lacklustered. When you go to an inworld 'live music event', each avatar is giving up their own abilities (freedoms) to come and sit and listen to live music (and dance or talk).

I think anything in SL thats happening can have live music added to it (unless its a voice discussion or something else that needs the audio freed up) ... so.... to all those project people, developers, collaborators... there's no need to "create a live music event" ... instead, create an event, and add live music to it as one of it's many features.

Sioban McMahon

Some additional thoughts generated by reading Crap's post on his blog.

The explosion in open space sims last year meant a huge increase in the number of clubs that opened. The January restructuring decreased this number somewhat, but quite a few of the displaced venues did more to parcels from OS sims. This means there is a LOT of competition between venues both for high quality performers and for audiences.

I agree with Crap and Chesnut that some venues aren't necessarily promoting themselves. "Build it and they will come" doesn't work in a virtual world where folks can instantaneously tp all over the grid. I also think that too many venues are essentially the same. You have to work hard to stand out, through through the look of your place, through friendly and helpful staff, and through interesting events that change. Think about how many disco looking places you've been in. Can you remember the names of them? What's your reason to go back there? How many times to you go to a venue, get a token greeting, then stand there dancing while the staff and a few regulars have a chat without trying to engage you? On a side note, those random linden giveaways sort of have the sound of desperation to them. You're telling folks you'll pay them to come to your venue. People who will come back regularly for live music (and tip/donate) are probably different than those who will stand waiting to see if their name is called for the prize.

I also believe that many venue owners aren't clear on the mission/goal of their place. Decide what it is you want to do. Live music? Shopping? Strippers/escorts? Take the function you want most and make sure it's highlighted. If you are highlighting music, I should easily be able to find the stage. If you are highlighting art or the quality of the look of your venue, don't hide it behind particles or other obstructions. If you want to do more than one function, separate them a bit. Do music fans want to thread their way between boards selling run of the mill dresses in order to find the performance?

If, as a performer, you aren't getting the crowds, look at a few things. Where are you playing? Does that venue regularly get sizeable crowds? If not, move on to ones that do. How are you and the venue owners promoting events? Are you shows in SL events? What groups are notices going out to? Do you let Chestnut and her contemporaries on other SL news sources know about your events?

Here's a more difficult question for both venue owners and performers. Do people want what you are doing? If the answer is not a strong yes, tweak things or change entirely.

It's hard work keeping up a good sized crowd on a regular basis and even with the hard work, every now and then SL or RL will throw you a curve ball. That being said, it CAN be done and people are doing it.

Arcadia Codesmith

One factor I find a turn-off in the SL music scene is the running feud between boys with guitars and girls with backing tracks. It usually takes the form of some supercillious thug showing up at a vocalist's show, pointing his nose in the air, and saying, "oh, karaoke" before poofing out in a cloud of badly-rendered particle effects.

Guitarists: Buy a clue. A singer's voice is her instrument, and she works just as hard mastering it as you do with that axe.

Singers: be nice. A good guitarist is a joy to listen to, and an even greater joy to sing with.

Flautists: Yeah, I know, you're not a part of this. Seriously, where the hell are you guys? SL needs more flutes!

If they spent less time sniping and more time collaborating, maybe all sides would win over new fans.

Crap Mariner

Ham Rambler's comment on Nex's blog is short, sweet, and to-the-point.

Study up on how Dublin has done it. Watch the Metanomics show where he appears and take notes.

As for WOI, I kinda overloaded on Celtic in college to the point my Celtic cells exploded. But the storytelling sessions I've attended there as well as the announcements I see show a strong community, a good cause (raising funds for the kids in the conflict), dedicated and talented performers, and reliable organizers/hosts.

In the end, Music is Storytelling... Fricker Fracker and Cypress do it with flutes, Shandon Loring does it with words without music. Musimmersion and Thumper/Sherry do it with both and the environment... the build. When the environment takes over, you get a Tuna or a Thoth mind-blast. (The Frogs from Backintyme shift between storytelling and music with an 1800's theme)

I'm extremely curious about the suggestions of a record label at MNP and how well they worked with Trax after Music Awareness this past weekend.

Finally, something I didn't bring up before... perhaps the one hour gig isn't cutting it... the times I attend Effinjay for their 2-hour Friday sets compared to the HIPS ones, it's a different feel. And one of the best I've attended was when Spence Wilder went for almost three hours (Cylindrian surprised us by driving over there and joining him). Gives more time for directed banter.

Lyndon Heart and Kaklick Martin sometimes "go long" when they feel the vibe going and everybody doesn't want it to end - THAT is when the MAGIC has happened.

Could hop in, hop out, conveyor-belt-stage one hour sets might be the issue?


-ls/cm

Sioban McMahon

"Could hop in, hop out, conveyor-belt-stage one hour sets might be the issue?"

Depends on the performer.

I've done long events, including a full four hour show by Tone Uriza and his RL band from a club in Phoenix (two relatively short breaks in the show). It was a GREAT event, well attended through the whole thing. A performer needs a strong following of real music fans to pull that off, though. It also takes an experienced performer who can hold attention and has GOOD material to fill the time or can improvise/jam. That said, the long shows do have a fair turn over. Just a handful of people make it end to end in a show that runs 2 hours or more.

Sunshine Kukulcan

No dwindling attendance to the concerts I attend...all Japanese, fantastic effects and audience camaraderie.

Check out Yaz Rockett.

Mo Hax

Just a guess, but seems people have less free time to take in a concert. Either they have gotten busy expressing their own creativity, managing their own SL business, or turned down their SL involvement. Recently I have heard several in SL say they need a break from their SL 'work' if not SL entirely. Seems people are less likely to party when they are stressed in other areas.

At the same time, I personally am seeing an increase in beginner interest. But so far few of them even know about the live music scene or any performances. Even lots of oldbies have never heard of some of the better ones. I recently discovered Buck Buckley and Phemie Alcott, both wonderful musicians. Then, of course, there is always Tamra Sands live performances some more modern some in her Broadway tradition.

I love the idea of incorporating more live events where things are happening. Say adding a live music event to a few popular sandboxes full of builders looking for creative energy.

radar

Mo Hax hit the nail on the head for me. I don't have time. And right now I have a few things I'm working on, and that's all I have time for. TBH, I just don't care or miss it at all.

I wonder how many other people short on time have cut music in favor of working on other projects?

Claus Uriza

I have to say I don't see the downturn my lab. It's about organizing, focusing and timing. Sure the competetion is harder and also more musicians in than ever.
And well too many clubs without a certain filter or direction.
Also too many solo artists we need bands! Or damn good performers!
And we all simply need to think entertainment all ends.
The diversity of SL activities have grown too.
Increase the quality and we'll get there :)


anna gulaev

Good performers at classy venues seem to still be doing okay. Problem is, some of them seem willing to play at Redundant Slutware Malls. It cheapens their image.

How is the average resident supposed to find the good among the bad? It's a problem with every aspect of Second Life.

You happen across a few performers you like and you follow them around, but sometimes you find yourself in a thinly disguised zyngo parlor, or a room full of bots, or a Redundant Slutware Mall, and the crowd is dead, and the host is chat-spamming... and in your foul mood you notice the artist doesn't sound as good as you thought.

Repeat this experience enough times, and throw in a few live events that aren't, and a bunch that just plain suck, and you stop bothering to show up anymore.

YP

There needs to be more variety. Everyone sounds the same. I hate karaoke and that's what most shows are like.

Artists need to do one show a month I think instead of everyday, which gets a bit boring.

Not everyone likes country and western.

Matthew Perreault

I'm not seeing any dropoff, personally. My regulars show up regularly, and I make at least one new fan per show. I don't think it's just me, either. Hell, I went to Montian Gilruth's show last weekend and it was packed to the gills.

That said, it hurts us not at all to take stock now & then and see what things could be done better. See my comments on Crap's blog post for more in that vein.

YP, think about your statement for a moment. If artists only played once per month, it would be impossible to build a following, much less to make any sort of income from it. In RL, several shows per week are the norm, at different venues, which is exactly what happens in SL. For those of us looking to make an actual living in music, we have to get ourselves out there as often as possible. No one's forcing you to go to every show.

Every artist is different, and will have a unique approach to improving their performance and presence inworld. I'm extremely curious to see what others come up with.

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