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Topic: Music Presenters
Replies: 68   Pages: 5   Last Post: Sep 1, 2005 7:38 PM by: Ray Rolfe

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Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:18 PM
  Reply

Sorry to be dense JP, all I know is that the NorShor is closed. Did a management team back out? Why has there been so much shift in management in the last few years?

J.P. Rennquist

Posts: 27
From: Duluth MN
Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:19 PM
  Reply

I took over the theater in January of 2005 after having run the concession area.

Concessions are really not my forte, community organizing is.

I got really excited, and honestly got a lot of other people excited around the idea of focusing with intensity on one prospect for the theater: BEAUTY.

For nearly 100 years the buildign has hosted beauty in all its forms. What we did was to present the many kinds of beauty that had been experienced there ... an attempt to be inclusive to all local people, most of whom have a NorShor stroy. this really includes all living generations, cultural groups, etc. So it was very exciting.

Financially however, things were tough. the Fire Marshall's closing was controversial and certainly not necessary. However, we could not survive in our financially fragile position and the whole place is closed indefinitely. Perhaps reopening later this year, maybe 2006, maybe later. Who knows, it's tough.

Steve McClellan

Posts: 18
Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:21 PM
  Reply

Shorter reponses right? Well I met Chris the first time when he was working for Twin Tone records. Although at the time he was a veteran to me, as I certainly didn't know what I was doing. AND, he, working with Peter Jesperson, represented the part of the "indie" music scene that knew what they were doing. I had the advantage that the "veteran" promoter in the market, Hartley Frank from the Longhorn, didn't seem to be into the music as much as the "bar scene". I guess that made it easier to open the entry.
Steve

J.P. Rennquist

Posts: 27
From: Duluth MN
Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:21 PM
  Reply

Glad to see that you raised the issue of promoter fees, venue collaboration, etc.

The consolidation of venues and the enormous sums paid as "guarantees" are a major threat to the possibility for a public to experience art collectively in large independent venues. Including the NorShor.

J.P. Rennquist

Posts: 27
From: Duluth MN
Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:23 PM
  Reply

Back to Colin on the NorShor.

A number of management teams have tried and failed to make it work for the last 10 -15 years. the most successful one was Rick Boo.

I guess today you could consider me a failed entreprenuer but a successful community organizer.

Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:25 PM
  Reply

No need for the short responses. I find the longer ones to have more meat. I'm just in the position of being able to ask questions to prompt discussion, and that can be really short posts.

J.P. Rennquist

Posts: 27
From: Duluth MN
Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:26 PM
  Reply

I hope that no one misunderstands my statement about artist gurantees being large. I beleive that art is valauble and artists must be well compensated.

I'm getting at the issue of consolidation and mass market oligopoly or monopoly. the $$ are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. While the Wolf Man Jacks of Mexican Radio are not making the calls as DJs, the venues are also kind of puppets of the same force. Independent, new and grass roots music performances don't get the media support that they might have in the 50s or 60s.

Steve McClellan

Posts: 18
Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:27 PM
  Reply

I think I attempted to answer that question with a previous response. BUT, since we are talking now about the smaller venues like the Turf, The Triple Rock, the 400 Bar, and a multitude of others, I guess we can focus on the artists rather than the agencies. Since clubs like First Avenue's main room and the brand new MYTH (over 4,000 capacity, I was told), the Quest, and possibly the Fine Line, it comes down to agency support.
On the other hand clubs like the Turf and the Triple Rock (not to mention suburban spots like Renegades or Star Central) all seem to have working relationships with the local bands that attract audiences to their specific rooms. This again, is a situation that hasn't changed much except the drinking age increased and the number of roooms depending on 18+ and all age concerts have increased drastically. There is also a much larger separation now between what club's can get away with in terms of diversity. The Medina Ballroom does better with COuntry and MEtal acts than with World Beat or Reggae. The showcase clubs can have diversity still, but cannot get as many people out for developing artists.
I could go on and on. But, what was the question?
Steve

Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:28 PM
  Reply

It seems to me one of the biggest differences between now and 20-25 years ago is the number of venues for performing. I know that is true in the dance world. Do you agree? Has the change in available venues changed the music that is happening in the Twin Cities?

J.P. Rennquist

Posts: 27
From: Duluth MN
Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:30 PM
  Reply

I think that what Steve is saying is directly responsible for some of the troubles in our venue.

If a venue is identified with a certain kind of art in a metropolitan area, suc has the Twin Cities, then perhaps there is enough of a market to support that.

Medina Ballroom is country and Metal, great. However, in our community we need to be diverse, not just to serve diverse people, but to attract a larger and larger CORE group of customers.

Steve McClellan

Posts: 18
Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:30 PM
  Reply

Yeah, Rick Boo was the promoter I worked with when the non-profit DAMF (presently called DEMO) produced Mike Watt and Jonathan Richman at the Northshor.
I liked the people and the room. THere was a small, yet active supportive community that I think is represented by both artists and fans.

J.P. Rennquist

Posts: 27
From: Duluth MN
Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:33 PM
  Reply

People can be quite fickle.

For example, if people in this area don't "know" and act they won't come out pay a cover, "waste" their time, whatever.

So at the same time that you can't just do one thing, you have to figure out ways to get the word out about these great performers and pry the money out of people's wallets to get them through the doors.

Again, if radio were more independent, they would be playing these artists and that would help. the internet, myspace, other sites are great at promoting artists and connecting us with a customer base. Also forums such as this one, but the internet does not have a critical mass of support yet. At least in Duluth anyway.

Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:35 PM
  Reply

JP,

Even with the email, websites, etc... do you think that grassroots effort have less impact than they did in the 50s and 60s. What about people like the Rhyme Sayers that have grown they're own audience and marketshare? Or the power of a radio station like Radio K that has a world wide audience thanks to the internet.

Colin

Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:37 PM
  Reply

I am curious what you two think of The Current. Are they independent enough and funded adequately to really compete with organizations like Clear Channel?

J.P. Rennquist

Posts: 27
From: Duluth MN
Registered: Aug 20, 2005
Re: Music Presenters
Posted: Aug 30, 2005 7:37 PM
  Reply

I tried really hard to model many things on what Rick Boo did, so I'm glad to hear you say that.

The NorShor auduence must braoden or it will never work financially. And broadening could be just diversifying financially. The model of the last ten years is that alcohol sales support the entire facility. Tickets/covers rarely cover band/promoter costs.

However, it is critical to me that as it boradens, however that happens, the postive, welcoming tolerant vibe remain. Hence focusing on beauty, a deep and possible primal concept. And not just focusing on one kind of art, film or music.

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