Secret Agent, Mannnnnnnn
I had a conversation with a booking agent this afternoon.
Many of you have asked if we plan to play this winter and the answer is... we don't know. Our pre-pandemic venues haven't brought back live music, yet. But there's a nearby hall that's booking acts and, this week, I reached out to see if we might be a fit.
Bottom line (after several emails and a phone call): No.
Although we worked more than any band I know during the pandemic, we are still the sort of band "people don't need to pay to see." First: Wow. These is apparently quite the divide between bands that people reach into their pocket to pay for a ticket. Why buy the cow when you can get the music for free?
And then this agent uttered the sentence I freaking hate to hear in any context professionally, because it's lazy: "I've done this many years and it's never worked."
Does he know how hard we worked to launch Timberstock, stay in business, make music for our friends, neighbors, followers? Does he understand that times have changed? Has he freaking met me?
He continued, "Bands like yours think they can bring people to the show. They can't."
And during the hour between the phone call and the email that said, "Nope. Not going to bring you in," I drafted an email to the band members, asking if we could all try to bring people to one venue this winter. I had some hope. I felt we could do it. I mean, we worked regularly during the pandemic and the people who support us will totally step up, right? We could start earlier. Partner with some food-provider. Do a shorter set so that families could join us. There are ways to change. Ways to encourage attendance. Ways to make this work.
But no. No chance. Everyone needs their pound of flesh and we aren't fat enough. They won't make enough off of us.
We let them go. We let them pursue their business model.
We are Becky and the Swingin' Bards. We will endure and prevail.