Berwick’s Radio rooms is a crackin’ wee venue…but….

THERE’S set lists to be printed, merch to be sorted and gear to be packed for tonight’s show at The Radio Rooms in Berwick,

I’ve just finished packing the car when Betty drops by and hangs out for a bowl of soup before we need to get on the road.

We’re impressed when we roll up at The Radio Rooms – owner Brian and his wife Karen are waiting for us and make us welcome. It’s a great wee room and a first class PA.

But…there’s not many tickets gone in advance via the Eventbrite ticketing I set up…and no walk ups. I hang out and chat with ‘all’ the folks before I kick off the show – none of them had heard of me or my music before they saw one of my Facebook ads. When they ‘clicked through’ they were happy to take a punt and buy tickets for a show from someone they previously hadn’t been aware of?

What becomes apparent is that the venue hasn’t really done anything to indicate there was a show on or that I was visiting. Nothing on their website, nothing on venue’s Facebook page…a couple of posters up but given that the venue is only open for the gigs and private hire there hasn’t been much opportunity for ‘visibility’. For grass-roots level shows to work they need everyone to pull their weight – venue, promoter, artist everyone needs to put in graft and work together.

As it’s a self-promo show one could argue that responsibility lies squarely on my lap – and I don’t shirk that responsibility…nor am I trying to play any kind of blame game. I’m just trying to get my head round the current climate and perhaps validate some of my growing thoughts and theories,

The low turnout and feedback from the folks that have come out confirms my theory of late…none of the ‘traditional’ press/media really seems to get noticed these days. I don’t want to diss the support of traditional media but it’s really looking like the best you can do is get the coverage then spread it online as extra content and social proof.

The fact of the matter is, that if I hadn’t done some paid advertising on my socials we would have had a zero turnout.

It crosses my mind that perhaps I have no audience in the area and while that no doubt plays a part in the situation along with our (necessary) ticket price (the gig is a self-promo). In conversation owner Brian tells me that they had a zero turnout for a well-known artist (who I shan’t name) recently…and attendance has been low across the board.

Maybe my PR/promotion is shite? Possible, but unlikely given my track record and the amount of work and effort I put in.

The town is of a reasonable size and there’s not much else to offer venue/live music wise so I don’t think folks have too much choice. perhaps The Radio Rooms is a bit off the beaten track not being bang in the town centre…but it’s still in easy walking distance and is a really good venue for both performers and audiences.

What’s the problem here…me? My music? No profile in this area? Lack of teamwork? Wrong venue? Economic climate? Poor promotion? Something else? One, some or all of the above?

Ultimately, these things happen and sometimes defy logical explanation. But still…the more we understand, the better we can do….

Anyway, the ‘Berwick Four’ as they will be known thoroughly enjoyed the gig – as did the owner, Margaret and myself. They were great company, good craik and bought merch. We all had a nice time.

Margaret and I with ‘the Berwick Four’ after my show at the Radio Rooms 🙂


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