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  by Catharine Wood Los Angeles, CA In the last few years, especially, I’ve been asked more and more about “what’s it like being a ‘female’ engineer, composer, producer”...and “why aren’t there more of you [women]?”...as if all of a sudden, it’s occurring to people that women exist in these fields. I’ve worked professionally in music for 17 years - with 13 of those as an audio engineer, music producer and composer in Los Angeles. Graduating from audio engineering school in 2005, I’ve grown accustomed to being the only woman in a room of engineers. I graduated #1 in my class (as the only female)... and was cherry-picked for my first professional studio job in Santa Monica — engineering on worldwide advertising campaigns for premier agencies. At the time, iTunes had recently come out and I was the assistant engineer on several of the first iPod commercials...Spotify hadn’t been founded yet — CD sales were declining. I was the only female engineer at the studio - but was always treated with respect by colleagues.   Based on my personal experience and current published numbers, you can find women working professionally in audio engineering at 5%, music producing 2%, composing 2% and DJ’ing 1%. However, I believe 2018 is the year that the pendulum will shift from asking us “WHY aren’t there more of you” to “WHAT can I hire you to do for my project”...The cat’s out of the bag. I love that the discussion is finally happening - but the only way to incorporate us into the greater fabric of the industry is to hire us...but to hire us — you need to know we exist...and for many prospective female engineers, composers and producers - with the slim percentages displayed above, they may not know their field of interest is even a career option. With physical CDs (and, therefore, liner notes) disappearing from the way listeners consume music - especially in the last 10 years with the succession of Streaming as the main method of listening now - most of us “behind the scenes” contributors have largely become invisible to consumers. Hopefully with streaming services beginning to add digital credit fields this will change.   In addition to being a voting member of the Recording Academy, I am a proud Grammy Producers & Engineers Wing member. Comprised of 6000+ of the recording industry’s top music makers, I gained membership through my professional work as an Engineer. I would speculate that of those 6000+ members, based on the 5% factor, there may only be around 300 female engineer members. In January of this year, I was honored to attend the 60th Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York City — and witnessed Janelle Monáe's cogent and inspiring “Time’s Up” speech in-person:   “Tonight, I am proud to stand in solidarity as not just an artist, but a young woman with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry: artists, writers, assistants, publicists, CEOs, producers, engineers, and women from all sectors of the business. We are also daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, and human beings. We come in peace, but we mean business. And to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time's Up. We say Time's Up for pay inequality, Time's Up for discrimination, Time's Up for harassment of any kind, and Time's Up for the abuse of power. Because you see, it’s not just going on in Hollywood, it’s not just going on in Washington, it's right here in our industry as well. And just as we have the power to shape culture, we also have the power to undo the culture that does not serve us well. So, let's work together, women and men, as a united music industry committed to creating more safe work environments, equal pay, and access for all women.”   And, ironically that same day, Neil Portnow, the President and CEO of the Recording Academy, inadvertently made his ill-fated “step up” comments when asked by Variety about only ONE solo female artist winning a Grammy during the CBS telecast show (Alessia Cara for Best New Artist...all other televised winners that night were male except Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild & Kimberly Schlapman for Best Country Duo/Group Performance...and Rihanna for her work with Kendrick Lamar on “Loyalty” in the Best Rap/Sung Performance category): “It has to begin with... women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level... [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”   And there we have it; perhaps the most perfectly naive snapshot of where our American culture, unfortunately, currently is when it comes to a perception of females in the music industry. Meant to be supportive but insulting in actuality...as we’ve (as women in music) been “stepping up” for years...decades...and centuries (in the minuscule percentiles)...with, in the engineering-related fields especially, few survivors making it to gainful employment to sustain a full-time career. Why is that? I’ll get to that in a minute.   On January 18, 2018, Billboard published an article asking “Where Are All Of The Female Producers?“...to which Ari Herstand answered with a published list of 150+ “Female Producers You Need To Know” (which I’m proud to be included on alongside Björk, Wendy & Lisa, Linda Perry, Sylvia Massy, and many more). In the Billboard article it states: “...nowhere has that notion been reinforced more than in the Grammy category for Producer of the Year, Non- Classical. Since the trophy was first handed out in 1975, no woman has taken home the golden gramophone. Just a handful of women -- including Janet Jackson, Paula Cole, Sheryl Crow, Lauryn Hill, Mariah Carey, and Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin from Prince's band The Revolution -- have been nominated for producing their own music. Only one nominated female producer was not also the recording artist: The Matrix's Lauren Christy in 2004. (The situation is less bleak for producer of the year, classical: Three women have won in that category, including quadruple-winner Judith Sherman. Imogen Heap and Trina Shoemaker have earned Grammys for best engineered album, non-classical.).”   Given the statistics, recent public comments and generally discontented state of the #GrammysSoMale aka “boy’s club” music industry...the Recording Academy has implemented a task force in the Spring of 2018 led by Tina Tchen — Focused on female inclusion and diversity issues, the task force will be charged with identifying "the various barriers and unconscious biases faced by underrepresented communities throughout the music industry and, specifically, across Recording Academy operations and policies,”...looking at governance, hiring and promotion practices, membership, awards and the Grammys telecast, the Recording Academy said in a statement to Billboard. I believe this is a good step forward - and have seen other similar initiatives popping up at various film studios - including the recent co-piloted Universal-DreamWorks Animation “Inclusive Film Composer Initiative”.   One major factor that I’ve observed as a successful navigator in my chosen fields (Engineering, Producing, Composing): it’s very, very competitive. And you’ve probably heard this elsewhere, but as a woman in today’s music industry, you can’t just be good at your craft to establish your name...You have to be outstanding in every corner of the industry you choose to associate your name with. Networking is mandatory - as is developing respected, long-standing and positive business practices that show a reliable and trusted track record. When your entire income is made behind the scenes, in a referrals-based industry, your name and credits must speak well for you to continue employment. Speaking for myself - though I see it in many of my colleagues (both male and female) - you get into commercial music because it’s something you’re passionate about. You love sounds, music, creating and solutions. Flexibility, perseverance and positivity are keys to success in these fields — and teamwork...because most projects involve several creatives.   So why aren’t there more of us thriving in these male-saturated fields? I had a recent discussion with an old high school friend — who went on to gain her doctorate in Astrophysics — is a leading scholar on black holes — and teaches at university. We debated why there are so few women in STEM fields. We agreed that everyone’s brain power is the same and there is no reason whatsoever that a woman shouldn’t be able to do the same job as a man. I added that there is a social element, at least to my chosen industry, which adds a “boy’s club” X factor which has nothing to do with one’s mental capabilities - but would categorize it as a sort of “social intelligence”. To navigate an industry like the music industry - one must have a “thick skin” and a certain amount of social know-how.   Having grown up a tomboy with a close brother and majority male friends before age 13, I was the only girl playing football with the guys at recess...and hockey...and baseball...the list goes on. Choosing a male-dominated field was a natural, comfortable choice for me - but I realize my experience is far from usual. Communication is critical in any profession - and I’ve never perceived men as different from me in ability, creativity or intelligence. Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses - but I’ve never attributed it to gender. I love working with talented individuals.   In this industry, respect is key and earned by demonstrating one’s abilities. It can be hard- earned for a woman (or any minority, for that matter) — but, in my experience, it is the key factor in advancement. That and learning to communicate directly. My advice to women trying to break in? Be yourself, be fearless and passionate about the things you’re good at and don’t rely on having an example to lead the way. The legitimate perspective of “you can’t be what you can’t see” definitely holds water in this case...but I’ve always been a firm believer in the Abe Lincoln approach: “The best way to predict your future is to create it”. Don’t wait. Don’t ask permission. Just do it. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t evolve into a successful player in my chosen fields. I expected it of myself and I work every day towards achieving the goals I set for myself.   I, personally, look forward to the day when the impulse to include gender as a title modifier is no longer “current”; to be defined by gender because of "rarity" instead of skill — this, in my opinion, is the societal hole that I believe we should be trying to dig ourselves out of. However, I fully appreciate that there are many of us out there who prefer to be defined and celebrated as a woman in the field — that equality and equal opportunity should be the goal regardless of how female you are...Or how you define your professional skills as a woman. I celebrate us all — because there is no one way to achieve this common goal of equality in music. If you’re a woman looking to get into this field and looking for a strong woman to look up to - hit me up. My door’s always open: info@planetwoodstudios.com — I’ll be happy to point you in a helpful direction as there are many resources available to you.     Catharine Wood Twitter & Instagram @planetwood5163 [Photos Credit: Rodney Chonia]
Want something more than a fraction of a penny for your song streams? Get your recording or music video heard by supervisors, music libraries, labels, producers, directors, filmmakers and others looking for fresh, new music. The  Hollywood Music In Media Awards™ (HMMA)  recognizes and honors the music of visual mediums (film, TV, movie trailers, video games, commercials, etc.), and the talented individuals responsible for creating, producing and placing it and the music of artists, both mainstream and independent, from around the globe. What are the Benefits for Music Artists? By just submitting, your music will be heard and evaluated by the industry professionals that make up the HMMA Selections Committee. This means you’re already reaching the individuals you may be seeking to hear your music. Additionally, your music may be selected for the HMMA monthly sampler that is accessible by industry professionals in the HMMA network, including music supervisors, music libraries, labels, producers, directors, filmmakers and others looking for fresh, new music. How is the HMMA different? The HMMA was created to equally recognize mainstream and independent music artists and composers worldwide for original recorded compositions. The HMMA does not select nominees or winners based on record label affiliation, sales, radio play, box office or popularity.   And here’s the best part… As a registered artist on Muzaic, you’ll get an exclusive discount of 33% off your submission cost in both categories: Music Genre and Music in Visual Media.   Register now and don’t miss out on a real opportunity! Good luck! -The Muzaic team
Being a musician can be challenging in terms of setting up gigs with other musicians and finding venues to play at. A startup that offers the ability to find these things for free has been accepted into a virtual incubator run by  TiE SoCal  Labs. TiE is a non-profit global community founded in 1992 by a group of entrepreneurs. TiE SoCal’s HQ are in Cerritos. Muzaic , a booking platform for the live entertainment industry with HQ in Irvine, was founded by Vinay Kathuria (CEO), and Gig Boss, who’s also a promoter at the House of Blues in Anaheim. They’ve bootstrapped the company so far. Muzaic’s mission is to make live shows more profitable for the artist, promoter and venue. To that end, Muzaic strives to make the booking process easier and more efficient with the goal of reducing risks for all parties involved. Kathuria said Muzaic is timely because “more and more live music venues are closing their doors and moving away from live performers.” “Combine that with the rise of services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, and the competition for consumer spending on entertainment becomes even more fierce,” he added. TiE launched the incubator last year to bring together promising early-stage companies and expose them to serial entrepreneurs, high–tech executives, and other professional investors, according to its website. Muzaic is looking forward to investor intros, mentoring and support to “further define our vision, strategy and roadmap,” from the virtual incubator, Kathuria said.  The company has already launched a beta version and hopes to launch nationally soon.  How it Works: The website works like a combination of an employment service, dating app, and Airbnb, matching artists with opportunities and venues, and giving talent buyers and promoters a set of tools to source, hire, and manage bookings online. And, it’s working as well as expected, Kathuria said. He told OC Startups Now that promoters and talent buyers have reported a “huge time savings” in booking shows.  “What used to take two to three days, (can) now be done within a few hours,” he said. “Artists also benefit from getting opportunities better suited to their genre, gig preferences, or type of act, as well as exposure to event organizers who might have otherwise passed them up.” Kathuria is also a performing musician who plays guitar and co-writes music for the band,  Antehero . This band credits progressive rock and alt rock influences. Their live shows are “journeys through sonic moods delivered against a backdrop of short films and psychedelic imagery.” Antehero has opened for touring artists like Wishbone Ash and Which One’s Pink. Antehero is scheduled to perform at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai with Jefferson Starship this summer.  “From our perspective, Muzaic isn’t just a better way of doing something, it’s the start of a movement,” he said. “Our hope is that we can reverse the current trend of venues dropping live entertainment altogether.” Currently, the services provided by Muzaic are offered free–of–charge. Later this year, the company plans to start charging talent buyers and promoters a subscription fee of about $30/month. That will provide access to do bookings – the core feature of the site – plus some premium services, which are in development. For artists, the site will continue to be offered free of charge.   This article originally appeared on OC Startups Now, www.ocstartupsnow.com , on May 30. As subscribers, we have permission to repost this article here…  
Did you know that Promoters and Talent Buyers are 10 times more likely to send you opportunities if your Muzaic profile has music, videos, and the bio of a “working” band? Below are some tips on how to improve your chances of getting a gig. 1. Make your tagline descriptive such as “Hard working, L.A. based, Alt-Metal band, Social media warriors, Battle of the bands winners”. Next to your profile photo, this is what creates the strongest first impression.    2. Live videos beat promotional videos, always. Promoters want to see your stage presence, and how you engage the audience.   3. Sort your music files with your best songs on the top of the list. This will make it the first song played in your profile.   4. You bio is your sales pitch, not a history lesson. List your accomplishments, what makes your band unique, and why someone would want to hire you.   5. Be honest about your draw. You might have 10,000 social media followers, but how many of them will actually show up to your gig?   6. Unless you’re a cover band that can play just about any style of music on request, selecting 3-4 genres is good enough and ensures you get matched with the right opportunities.   7. Keep your schedule as open as possible. Only block out the dates when you’re out of town or when you absolutely can’t play a show.    8. List all and only the Compensation types that you’re open to. Never accepted tips before? Maybe you’ve never asked.   If you think about your Muzaic profile as your professional resume instead of your fan page, you’ll be ahead of the game! And nothing says "professional" more than attention to details.   It's easy! Login to muzaicshows.com, select Edit Profile, and get ‘er done!   Happy Gigging! V.   Vinay Kathuria is the Founder and CEO of Muzaic- a free service for booking talent and getting gigs. website: muzaicshows.com | social: @muzaicshows  
"Thou shalt not steal." Most of us have heard that line forever, maybe even before the first time we five-fingered a Hershey bar from the corner grocery store when we were 8 years old.  And most of the time, based upon my upbringing and personal ethics, I believe it and wholeheartedly endorse it.   Except for when it comes to musicians and gaining fans.   If you're not actively charting a course to steal fans from other bands, then you're doing things the hard (if not impossible) way.  If you're trying to grow a fan base and aren't soliciting gigs with bands that are similar to yours in genre and ability, then you're making it tough on yourself.   Think about what a live music fan is.  It's someone that enjoys and appreciates your music and your show, and will make an effort from time to time to spend a few bucks to see and hear you play... whether live and in person or on your CD's.   I know many of you have booked a gig, only to find out when you arrive that you're a reggae band playing after a death metal band and right before a jazz band... or something f***ed up like that.  And there's a good chance that the first question the promoter or booker asked you when offering you the gig was "What's your draw?".   If you want to really expand your fan base, you have to play gigs with bands that are as close to you in genre and ability as possible, and then out-play and out-entertain your supporting acts to steal fans away from those bands.  It's what I try to do with each and every one of my shows; blend bands together that will make a show, not slam bands together in a showcase format.  Because of that philosophy, I recently had an out-of-town band at one of my HOB shows report to me the following day that they not only sold 40 CD"s at the show, they also completely sold out of t-shirts.   Of course, you're welcome to play shows with mismatched bands, and you might find one or two fans (like me) that can appreciate almost any style of music and will become a follower.  But I guarantee you that if you play shows with similar bands, and put out the highest level show you're capable of, you're much more likely to gain a greater percentage of new fans by 'stealing' fans from the other bands.  And don't forget to work the room, both before and after your set, by talking to people.     One of my favorite methods of capturing new fans is to introduce yourself to a few people that you don't know at a show before you play, and ask those people if they would do you a favor by honestly critiquing your set for you when you've finished.  The immediate returns are: 1.) You've personally introduced yourself and your band to someone that's unfamiliar with you, 2.) You get someone to stay through your set that may have left before or during your performance, and 3.) You've given those people the power to make you a better performer.  If that doesn't gain you a fan, then you need to hock the axe, find a day job, and go back to karaoke nights for your music fix because you're just not a very good musician/entertainer.   Do your groundwork.  Check out other local bands on Reverbnation, Facebook, or wherever you can find them.  Listen to their stuff.  If it's similar to yours, try to get out and see one of their shows to see how they match up with you.  Take a press kit and CD's with you, and if they're a suitable match, introduce yourself to band members after the show and tell them that you'd love to play some gigs with them.  If necessary, be persistent... not pushy... until they capitulate.  Do things smarter, not harder.   And then go steal their fans.   Peace,   -GB    GigBoss is an independent concert promoter in Southern California and co-founder of Muzaic (Muzaicshows.com), a free service for booking talent and getting gigs. website: muzaicshows.com | social: @muzaicshows   Photo by Aaron Mattern    
Want to sustain your music career and satisfy your fans' hunger?  Then throw away your microwaved social media posts and try some home cooking.    We've all got to eat.  It's the way we sustain ourselves.  But when it comes right down to it, would you rather have a microwaved frozen dinner or a good old-fashioned home-cooked meal?    Some of you may have said, "frozen dinner is good enough", and that's okay.  But let's assume that you receive dinner invitations from two separate friends for the same evening. One invitation says "Come on over for dinner and I'll throw some frozen enchiladas in the microwave. The other says "Come on over for dinner. I'll be making some homemade enchiladas from a recipe that my grandmother used when she grew up in San Antonio. I've always loved Mexican food, and I've never tasted anything better than these. I'll also be preparing some authentic rice and beans and we'll have some ice-cold Mexican beers to wash it down with". Now assuming that you enjoyed the company of both of these friends equally and they lived the same distance from your house, which invitation do you think you'd be more likely to accept?   There’s a certain appreciation for someone that takes the time to create something truly wonderful and different from what you might normally expect, or from what you're used to. And that appreciation goes even deeper if they're doing something that you know might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, or something that you might find difficult or impossible to re-create on your own.   If you're a musician, you sustain yourself through the people that you touch with your music.  When you play your live shows, you're sustaining your financial ability to create more music and play more shows by the number of people that you touch with your music.  You want people to leave the venue after your shows saying "That was sooo good... I'm stuffed!” but maybe even take a little doggy bag of merch home with them. You want to be the gourmet chef on the stage, creating something so delicious that everyone who tastes it has to tell their friends about it.   So why do you only send out microwaved internet invitations to your shows?   Technology has given us a multitude of tools to simplify the process of collecting and preparing the necessary 'ingredients' to create and distribute notifications of your upcoming shows to the people who might attend them.  We have access to email lists, social media followers, and dedicated fans, all at the touch of our smartphones or PC keyboards.  We can literally serve up our show invitations to hundreds... maybe thousands... of possible show-goers with a few simple clicks.  But then you take only a couple of ingredients to a potentially successful show and plop and squirt them into your invitation.  You go with the quick and easy method instead of taking the time to create something mouth-watering.    Younger musicians may not remember the days before streaming music. As a kid, (yes, I’m dating myself here), even buying a single CD was a decision I didn’t take lightly. I could only afford to buy one album every week or two, and I treated it as an investment. Maybe even as a personal statement. It was something I was going to live with for a little while, and to some degree, I needed to be “sold” on it before I even got the store. I might have read about it a magazine. A friend might have been raving about the day before, replaying the best parts for me with his air guitar. And when I’d get to the store, rarely would I just grab it out of the case and run to the counter. I’d take a moment to read the liner notes, check what musicians played on it, who produced it, and maybe even compare with other earlier albums by the same artist. Now you might already be thinking “fans can get all that info from our website”. But the reality of social media is that they’re just as likely to swipe to next video appearing in their Facebook feed of a dog riding a skateboard. For this very reason, you need to entice your audience, make human connection, give them something tangible, and get them excited about the personal experience they’re going to have attending one of your shows.   Sure, it takes a little longer to list the other bands on the bill for your show.  It takes time to cut and paste links to those bands' web pages on your social media invites where your invited guests can have a quick listen to their music, in case they might not be familiar with them.  Remember that you're inviting people to enjoy a 5-course meal of music, not just a microwaved frozen entree (aka "your band").  You may have to think a little bit to write something engaging--using adjectives and adverbs--that 'sells' your show by spicing it up and giving it flavor.  You'll want to spend a little time each day leading up to the show prompting your invited fans--marinating them--to remember that you have a show coming up; whether it be by general posts on your social media, individual personal messages, or even a phone call.  Let them know that you're cooking up something special, help them smell the aromas of that delicious musical meal, and remind them that you'd like them to join you at the dinner table for the feast.   On almost any given night, no matter how dedicated your fans might be, they have opportunities to attend other shows with other bands, some of which (gulp) might be better than yours. You and I certainly hope that's not the case, but why would you jeopardize your next meal by taking shortcuts when you send out your invitations, instead of investing a few extra minutes to let them know that your event will be well worth their time and effort to attend.   You want to sustain your career and satisfy your fans' hunger?  Then throw away your microwave and try some home cooking.     About the Author   GigBoss is an independent concert promoter in Southern California and co-founder of Muzaic (Muzaicshows.com), a free service for booking talent and getting gigs.  website: muzaicshows.com | social: @muzaicshows  
GB and Vinay talk about how artists can better promote themselves using technology and good ol' fashioned charisma. Listen here: http://ocml.us/awareness-is-priority-things-you-can-do-for-your-band-to-be-noticed-online-and-at-shows/
With more live music venues closing their doors and moving away from live performers, California based startup, Muzaic, has launched a free website to ensure tomorrow’s rising stars   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Irvine, CA) Live music venues are closing their doors or moving away from live music performers at a record pace. With every venue change from live musicians to DJ's or karaoke, the odds of having great music tomorrow being born today is slowly diminishing. For the venues and concert promoters who organize live entertainment, the challenge isn’t a shortage of ‘rising stars’... It’s the extremely time-consuming and difficult task of bringing together the right talent to create great entertainment experiences night after night. Combine that with the rise of services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube, and the competition for consumer spending on entertainment becomes even more fierce.   The life of a musician often consists of long hours, tremendous competition for gigs, and little to no financial rewards until – and only if – they become a household name. But as venues continue to change formats or close at their current pace, the chance for those household names to hone their craft until they become a 'bright new star' grows dim, or goes out completely.   Seeing the writing on the wall, a performing musician and a live show promoter teamed up to address this issue head on. Together, Vinay Kathuria and GigBoss created Muzaic: a free website designed to make live events more profitable for the venue, promoter, and artist.   Muzaic was launched in Fall of 2017 to a small test market in Southern California, achieving impressive and promising results. Today, just four months after going live, the site is used by hundreds of bands and solo artists, and by people who book shows for venues like House of Blues Anaheim, The Viper Room (founded by actor Johnny Depp), and the world famous Whisky a Go Go on Sunset Blvd.   The site works like a combination of an employment service and a dating app, matching artists with opportunities and venues with performers. Promoters and talent buyers have reported a huge time savings in booking shows. What used to take 2-3 days could now be done within a few hours. Artists also benefit from getting opportunities better suited to their genre, gig preferences, or type of act; and exposure to event organizers who might have otherwise passed them up.   Muzaic has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness to the problem, and operating capital. Founder and CEO Kathuria said the company’s plans include expansion to cities with the largest markets for live entertainment, and eventually to the local pub just down your street. “Every dollar raised will go towards keeping our website running as a free service, and marketing efforts to increase our expansion. Our hope is that we can reverse the current trend of venues dropping live entertainment altogether. ”   Partner and co-Founder GigBoss elaborates, “from our perspective, Muzaic isn’t just a better way of doing something, it’s the start of a movement. Without these stages for local artists to play and hone their craft, there will be no musical heroes to look up to tomorrow.   For more information, visit  savelocalmusic.org .     ABOUT MUZAIC Muzaic is a free service that  helps artists, promoters, and venues to book shows easily, and create great live events. Their mission is to make the local live music industry more profitable by giving users the power to make better decisions, which results in fewer risks, better outcomes, and increased brand value. Visit: muzaicshows.com     Media Contact Muzaic Press @ Muzaic contact@muzaicshows.com 8 Whatney #100, Irvine, CA 92618 714-868-6787
There’s an old saying that “Timing is everything”.  At Muzaic, we agree. Although we’re sure that the time is now for a technology like ours to help revitalize local live music, we’ve decided that it’s just not the time to charge a fee to anyone to use Muzaic.  Therefore, on January 31st, 2018, Muzaic stopped charging monthly subscription fees to venues and promoters... and it was always free for artists. We feel so strongly that Muzaic is going to be a game-changer in our industry that we took this step to show our commitment to seeing your success.   You can help us to continue building cutting-edge services by donating any amount you're comfortable with. We're not funded by any banks or venture capitalists, and we'd like to keep our operation independent for as long as we can. Your support is greatly appreciated! - The Muzaic team    
As a concert promoter and a fan, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting and going to a number of local live music shows, and I've enjoyed the hell out of most... but not all... of it. As I get ready to see some of my friends at NAMM in a few days, I thought I’d just take a few minutes to ramble on with a few personal observations that have stuck with me regarding the four major components of any local music scene: the venues, the promoters, the bands, and the fans. I don’t mean to sound so negative here, but when everything comes together for a night, all I remember is a damn good show. When it doesn’t, this is the stuff that sticks with me.   THE VENUES Let’s start with a general overview of your venue. Like any establishment in the hospitality industry, it should be clean and comfortable for your customer demographic, and the service should not suck. Have a decent sound system for your artists. They work very hard to craft and perfect a sound, and if your system doesn’t do them justice, then you’re disrespecting their art and disappointing your customers who came out to hear them play. I know that not all venues have the luxury of having a nice big stage and stage lighting, but whatever area you use to display the talent that you book, please help the artists do their best to entertain your customers with their music... at the very least, turn off the damn TV’s behind and around the performance area so that the artists can have their spotlight during their set. You can be a sports bar and a live music venue, just don’t try to be both at the same time. If you have more than one artist playing per night, try to provide a safe and secure area for them to stash their gear before and after their sets... or at least a few parking spaces near the artist entrance and a diligent security person there to watch their stuff all night. If you book your own talent, do your homework and book the right artists for your events. The last time I checked, people were more likely to stick around and order another drink when the band following the one they came to see was similar in genre and just as good, if not better. Don’t open with a reggae band followed by a country band followed by your nephew’s kazoo tribute to Tool. The idea is to get customers talking about your venue, but not about mistakes like that.   THE PROMOTERS If you’re going to call yourself a promoter, then get out and promote. Notice that I said “get out” and promote. Yes, social media and other internet portals can be great avenues for promoting your shows, but if you truly believe in what you’re doing, nothing will sell your shows better than the passion and enthusiasm on your face when you go out and talk to people about them. Think of the fans, bands, and venue before you put a show together, and place their needs above yours. The fans are the lifeblood of live music, and if you don’t give them a memorable show (without a kazoo tribute), they’ll spend their money somewhere else the next time they go out for an evening. Don’t try to make a killing in one night by booking five incredibly mismatched bands, even though they might be the best drawing bands in the area. People do not go out to see five bands; they go out to see a show. If you’re going to charge someone $10 to see a show, then don’t give them two dollars worth of a band they love and make them suffer through eight dollars of “why are these bands playing together?”. Treat your artists with honesty and respect. They’re people first, and they deserve to be treated decently until they screw you over. Be straight up with your artists, be willing to put terms of the gig in writing, don’t ever double-book a show (which is total bullshit and you know it), and if you ask the artists to arrive early and stay all night, be willing to provide something for them to snack on so they don’t starve. If your festival doesn’t draw as well as you’d hoped and you can’t pay everybody what you’d promised, pay them what you can and keep paying them until you’ve made good on your word. You weren’t going to share your personal rewards with them if the festival went huge, so don’t take it out on them when it didn’t. And for Pete’s sake, please show up to your own shows.   THE BANDS Play the music that you believe in, not what you think people will like... unless you’re a cover or tribute band. Be businesslike about your band from the moment you decide to play live shows. Approach venues, talent buyers, and promoters with professionalism and understand that you’re one of hundreds of artists competing for a show. Get your stuff together by assembling a nice EPK to make it easy for whoever does the booking, and keep it up to date. Make your contact info readily accessible, and then respond ASAP when contacted about a gig... even if it’s only to say “Let me check with the guys”. Unless you’re planning to open for a national act and can sell tickets on their behalf, don’t try to get a show at a venue that’s well beyond your draw capabilities, and don’t lie about your draw capabilities to get a show. Venues rely on attendance at live music shows to generate revenue. If you screw a venue over by not bringing in the anticipated numbers that they expect to pay their overhead, you’ve put them one step closer to going out of business, cutting out live music and/or changing formats to karaoke or DJ’s, or getting them thinking about going with a pay-to-play business model so they can stay in business. Don’t forget to bring your gear to the venue, and don’t forget to take it home when you’re done. Don’t be too drunk or wasted to perform your show. Don’t put two dozen people on your guest list. Don’t invite all of your friends into the green room. Don’t show up 15 minutes before your set and leave immediately after, unless you’ve got a real reason besides you’re ‘too cool’. Don’t ever think because you’re in a band that your sh*t doesn’t stink. Take care of your fans, because they put you in a position to think that your sh*t doesn’t stink. When the day comes that you can roll up to your shows in a half-million dollar tour bus that your record label bought you, then you might be able to call yourself a rock star... but your sh*t will still stink if you forget the people that got you there.   THE FANS If your buddy is in a band and you want to see him play, pay your way in like everyone else... unless you’re willing to give away freebies from your chosen profession to all of your buddies. If your buddy’s band put on an underwhelming performance, tell them truthfully; they may not take the initiative to get better if their friends always say “you guys were great”, and they’d probably rather hear it from you than from some unknown schmoe. Show the artists some respect when they perform. If it’s a small, intimate venue, put away the cell phone, shut your pie hole, and pay attention. If it’s a huge, loud venue, make yourself a part of the energy in the crowd. If you’re not there for the entertainment, don’t ruin the experience for those who are. If the overall sound is too loud, tell the sound guy. Loud is cool, but too loud pushes people away from the experience and causes permanent hearing loss (just ask me), and the sound guy just might have better hearing protection than you and not know how loud it really is. If you’re not there for the entertainment, don’t ruin the experience for those who are. If you see a great band at a show, buy some merch or at least give them some social media shout-outs and bring along friends the next time you see them... they appreciate that. If you have a great experience at a venue, show that venue some love on Yelp to maybe help draw more business their way and help them keep creating great experiences for others. If you know of a promoter that consistently puts on terrific shows, let them know you appreciate their efforts... and again, tell your friends. Ultimately, it’s the dollars that the fans spend at shows that keep the shows going. If those dollars are spent at good venues for good promoters booking good bands, then (at least in theory) that should continue. If those dollars are spent at crappy venues for pay-to-play shows with less-than-desirable bands, then those shows will continue... you have a choice. But try to go to a local show when your time and finances will allow it, because without local artist shows today, there will be no national artist shows tomorrow.   GigBoss, Partner and Co-Founder Muzaicshows.com