How To Get Musos and Venues Back Together, ASAP!

Raihan Babu
Raihan Babu

As the work year winds down and the holiday season ramps up, the music workweek should be in full swing, but things are looking slightly different this year. After being given the go-ahead to kick things back off- something we were not supposed to hope for till early next year, once again, we’re ready for action, and our venues are too. So, with that in mind, we reckon it’s about time that we get our favourite duo back together. 

Musos and venues, you need each other, so let’s see how we can get you back on the road, fast!

Musos aren’t the only ones who struggled to make it while juggling a makeover 

Venues

New contactless payment systems, socially distanced seating plans, a dedicated delivery service that’s like a second kitchen now, sparkling clean venues, renovations, seamless service, and a dream menu that’s been two years in the making. Our venues have been BUSAY!! – And who would be able to tell, as you remained stoic in providing for the community while battling to keep your venues open, at limited capacities no less.  

+ Musos

Likewise, in the downtime that has been the most productive period of our music journey, as well as the literal definition of starving for our craft – OK we get it now, can we stop?? This pause also left many musicians turning to other full-time work, being forced to leave their careers, and wondering whether it’s worth the battle to secure gigs when the industry will only operate at 30% capacity. But we aren’t here to talk about that, because seeing Melbourne potentially lose its status as the live music capital of the world is a lot right now. 

= the perfect comeback duo 

OMG, you see it too right??

We are getting our groove and our economy back.

According to the PwC outlook for 2021, there is about $86 million in losses to our economy to recoup, with a trajectory of $2.2 billion to look forward to by 2025 if we can manage to keep afloat and ease restrictions so that Musos and venues can do what they do best for our industry. 

The thousands of job losses, venue closures, cancelled tours, cancelled festivals, cancelld live music industry(yeah those casual devastations), have some pretty fast bounce-back potential if the right people put their hands up and lead the scene forward.

Melbourne wasn’t taking the major hits lying down, as it easily filled the Sidney Myer Bowl with exactly 4000 music fans – its venue cap, heading straight out of the longest lockdown ever, and right into the arms of Amyl and the Sniffers and King Gizzard. With about 10% to go till Victoria hits its 90% target of vaccinations and the resulting ease of venue restrictions, the scene shall rise again. 

If you don’t believe in that, then remember that Muso is a live music booking platform that has been fully operational amid a pandemic, and just celebrated another successful round of funding, plus continuing to support artists and venues because it believes in the power of live music. 

  • No, they didn’t ask me to add that into this article, I’m just amazed. 

I was just reminded of that quote: “You’re a ghost driving a meat-covered skeleton made from stardust, riding a rock, floating through space.

FEAR NOTHING” **cough cough** We’re busy. 

 

SO BE THE SCENE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD 

Pretty sure that’s what Gandhi meant.

But yassss, those small business owners a.k.a artists are basically venues with legs. You both entertain, they just exclusively travel for their work, whereas you’re an Ubereats and Menulog partner now – but there are parallels between that rock and roll lifestyle. 

Live music was on auto-pilot for a long time, but we have come back with the tenacity of a Eurovision comp, and we are just as invested in the chances of its key players. I can’t shake this thing about losing our Music Capital status, but the reason we achieved this in a world of LAs, Nashvilles, and Londons, isn’t through some behind the scenes project to music domination, but an obsession with music that has been in the bones of Australia, and put on, on every available corner that could host a beer tap and some soundproofing. 

We built this city. 

Live music IS the mood.  

Earlier this year, the Australian Live Music Business Council’s live music survey showed that households felt that they would not be attending live music in the same capacity as they did before Covid. 

As we ease back into a time where we can all go out now, customers may need some extra incentive to stay out. I know, it’s weird to even say it, but remember that a habit takes a month to create, and we have had two years of a staying home habit to break. Though ideally, we would all be running out the door, humans are only human after all, they need some encouragement to leave their houses and be social again. They need the anti-Netflix.

So how should we like, do this? 

I’m glad you asked because I think the old ways are the best. Like dating, it’s about making a connection in any way you can. Don’t worry, you both want the same thing. 

Advertise that your venue is looking for talent, and make it a celebration

It is hard to put yourself out there after two years of rejection, struggle, and the impending anxiety that no one is going to turn up to your shows, signalling and you’ve peaked by playing DJ sets to the Butcherbirds that frequent your windowsill to try and eat your air plants. Sorry, is that just me? 

While venues once had a rather intimidating process for trying to get a promoter to notice an artist or bless you with the worst slot on the roster(you know who you are), we have all become humbled by this equally disruptive pandemic. So why not make it fun for everyone to get involved? Share the booking process, highlight the artists who play, and have a conversation about how wondrous it is to have live music as a part of your venue offering. Show Musos that you want to be in business. 

  1. ARE. FAMILY.

Host a competition

This is a great way to get the community involved. Collaborate with some local businesses and get some door prizes going as a bonus for your customers. Musicians would be very interested in winning free studio time, SCHMONEY, or a weekly residency at your venue. You don’t need to have all contestants compete on the same night, so why not make a week or a month of it so you can flex those venue restrictions as far as possible and then build up to a grand finale? 

Use the Muso app to see who is out there

Ummm hi, we are Muso, and we literally hook up artists and venues via our music booking App. We have been spending our pandemic vacay getting to know more and more artists from the great Aussie scene and connecting them with venues who are out there waving their big bright flags, proclaiming that “We still out here!” And no, we did not predict how helpful our online gig profiles would be in bridging the social distance between you during a pandemic, but we are pretty stoked at how that played out! 

Encourage your guests to namedrop

You could be the first person to give a go to emerging bands or musicians, and it would all be because a proud friend put you in touch. Some of the crew are a bit shy right now or just don’t know where to start looking. But as we all put our best foot forward, remember that some aspiring Musos finally had the time to become actual Musos or were on the brink of a career, but had to take a major step back, therefore having to wait a few years to get their time in the sun. They probably think it’s too crucial a time for venues to be giving them a run. 

*Personal side note: As an established DJ it was a struggle to get back out there again, especially when I transitioned from living in Melbourne for two years to relocating back to Brisbane amid lockdowns. I started getting gigs again because people were recommending me. It was an amazing push to be contacted by promoters whom I had no idea were looking or interested in! 

*TAG YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL ARTIST IN THIS POST.

Your work here is done. 

But seriously, it’s time for another spiral down the social media rabbit hole. 

You can find anything on Instagram these days. Find your dream artists, explore local hashtags, see what other venues have been up to, see who your favourite local bands are following, comment-dive, talent scout, DM your heart out, uncover an aspiring local legend. All through the power of social media. Follow your favourite underground radio stations, grow an online network, and take over the neighborhood without even leaving your doorstep. 

YOU ARE THE SCENE NOW. 

Collab with your Musos in a ‘Host Your Mates’ night

We are fans of this one because it’s all about harnessing the power of community. Putting your faith in the musicians you already have in-house, to spread the love even further is just the purest definition of music-sharing that we can think of. 

Host your mates could also be a ‘Host Your Mates’ venue swap, which gives you and your neighboring venue the chance to host more talent and give the artists you feature multiple gig opportunities. There’s enough music to go around, and not enough nights in the week to host it all, so if we can share this between as many venues as possible, then everyone would be contributing to a block full of music bliss. Door-to-door gigs are back. 

Honour those who came through for us when borders shut for international acts

Venues and promoters have been the first to admit that they took their local artists for granted in favour of big-name international artists. But had to cop the rude awakening when a complete roster of big names had to cancel shows due to border restrictions, and all of a sudden, the Aussie names left at the bottom became bumped from warm-up sets to headline slots – some that artists thought would take years to play. 

Local talent from all over Australia have stepped up to fill these slots and have essentially kept the scene alive. Now that venues return to a new normal, we have it on good authority that they will be front and center. – This is what we like to hear! 

*Insert your inspirational ‘fight for the scene’ song here, we’ll make a playlist. 

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