Improving Live Entertainment
Acts, Agents & Venues….. Get with it!
Not for the faint hearted! If you get easily offended, don’t bother reading some of these entertainment truths!
Constantly we hear bickering between some acts, agents and venues! Venues expect this, acts expect that and meanwhile in the middle earning a disliked reputation are the agents! (Please note the below is not referring to all acts, agents and venues, just some! And it is to these some to whom I write.)
If acts who are looking for better quality bookings and more work, updated their publicity material, the songs they perform and stuck to business agreements made, there could be more for people to go out for and less for agents and venues to moan about! We get emails from established acts on a weekly basis telling us they have been professional for years, but they don’t have publicity, videos of them performing, up to date images, and they don’t have any work! (Wonder why?) Times are changing acts, get with it! How is the agent supposed to promote you for quality bookings when they have no publicity to promote you with! Imagine if a bride/groom came to us and said, (example), “I want a band for my wedding, my budget is £1500,” we say “yes ok we have a band who can do this,” then they ask us for the bands publicity, but we say either “sorry we don’t have any,” or “ok but it’s a really old image, they don’t look like that anymore,” are they going to book? No! And they don’t!
Some of you wonder and moan about why other acts are busier…. Many times it’s because the other acts have good publicity, they are on social media, being positive and pro-active etc! Get your stuff up to date and while your at it, get some new costumes! Not ones that every other girl or boy can buy from the high street, look special! Look and feel like a star! No excuses, new publicity images don’t have to be expensive, video footage doesn’t need to cost thousands, we in fact have taken the time to filter out the best most inexpensive companies and people to use, so that you the acts can start pushing forward and getting new publicity which will equate to more work!
Now not missing anyone out, as it’s not all about the acts getting with it! If venues started advertising outside the venue (not posters in the Loo’s) if they provided better facilities for acts to change in and perform on (let’s face it, standing in peoples wee when getting changed in the toilets in disgusting and performing in a one meter wide gap, inclusive of equipment and no lights is rather restrictive and degrading) and if venues stuck to the agreements made with the acts, then cancellations could be much rarer and live entertainment could have more of an appeal to the public. The acts would be in a far better place when they start their performance if they had better facilities.
Venues, get on social media, (its free!) update your websites, get referrals from your customers, if you’re having live entertainment, improve your facilities, make sure all your staff know what’s happening with the entertainment, times, details etc. You’re paying all this money for live entertainment, your obviously doing it to increase awareness about your venue and to MAKE MONEY! NOT LOSE IT! GET IT RIGHT VENUES! These are small tips you can change yourself! Some venues do this brilliantly, and some fail miserably! Failures, listen up, people want better quality!
Now then……I’m not saying all agents are saints, I know they are not! I worked with 25 of them in my career as a singer! Some are amazing, some should be banned from doing business! (Forever!)
If agents started sharing more information about what the customers at the venue want and the venue owners’ requirements, the acts would have more chance to prepare before the gig and know what to expect! If agents started taking care and time to interact a little more with acts and venues, provided clear payment terms and contracts then perhaps acts and venues wouldn’t be so angry at you! These points are just the tip of the iceberg! Agents, you are supposed to be the experts. Help the acts and the venues and make some improvements to the world of live entertainment.
Now for the Audience! The Public! (Not all of you of course, just a minute few in every audience)
You have seen so many different forms of live entertainment on Reality TV! You are now so quick to judge a professional act within the first 30 seconds because you now think you are experts due to the misconceptions that these programs have provided you with! The acts can visibly see you talking and passing judgements like you are “One of the Judges off these programs.” Most acts can lip-read what their audiences are saying and the acts have a great view of you too (unless there is a pillar in the way)! You have no idea what it is really like behind the scenes on these reality tv competitions, even if they make you believe you do. You don’t see all the camera trickery, or what it would be like without the lights, the choreography by some of the best in the business, amazing concert stages and effects etc. I must say though, some of the stages and sets are out of this world! The acts down at your local restaurant function night or social club don’t stand a chance when their audiences are comparing them to these shows!
Many of the acts get picked before they even go through to the audition stages that you see on TV! The acts are selected in order for the TV Program to make the most amount of money out of you, the public. Anyway, this article is not all about these TV “talent shows”, which are brilliant money making businesses by the way!
Meanwhile…….Some of the other busy, high quality pro acts who are not performing one, two minute song on TV this Saturday have been learning 3/4/5 songs this week and practicing their skills, maintaining their PA Equipment, dealing with the ins and outs of bookings/agents, driving to the gigs, getting stuck in traffic, setting up at the venue, (who aren’t sure if it’s going to be busy) waiting, (no free food or drinks,) getting changed in the loo, the cellar, the land lords room with the dog, in their cars because the thought of everyone seeing you change there is simply better than in the porta cabin outside the venue with no heating is far better! Then guys and girls, the acts go on stage, give a 90 minute performance (by god don’t make a mistake), take down their PA’s, drive home and do it again tomorrow! Give them some credit! They are getting paid for a job, but im sure if you are human you make the odd mistake here and there at your jobs!
If agents, acts and venues made some minor changes to improve live entertainment that you see in venues around the UK, would you go out more? Would you let your hair down? Just enjoy it for what it is? Have a party, have a good night and have a boogie! Have fun! Turn off the TV and come out, watch these fantastic acts performing live, who are entertaining you. The ones who take the time to update, rehearse and get it right, they love it, they wouldn’t and couldn’t do it if they didn’t! They love to entertain you the audience, they love it when you dance, when you smile, when you laugh! Your amazing, that’s what they live for! Performing to a crowd of 10 people can be as thrilling as performing to a crowd of 37,000 people if they have a great time, if they enjoy it.
If acts, venues and agents promise to make these small changes, please will you promise to come out, let them entertain you. Go and experience these fantastic venues and acts we have in the UK!
If you have any ideas on how venues, acts and agents can make some live entertainment improvements to make everyone’s experience better, then please, let us know. We want to help, we want to make it special again.
For more information on how to make improvements to your business, contact the Actastic Office to discuss how we can improve your venues entertainment facilities, improve and develop your act, increase your footfall and profits and more! 01704 880894 firstname.lastname@example.org