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Monday, February 11th, 2013
Friday, January 14th, 2011
Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater has ended its relationship with ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster and partnered with a new company to exclusively provide tickets for the venue’s summer concert series, the amphitheater announced today.
The move to San Francisco-based TicketFly, which provides ticketing services for more than 100 venues across the country, will reduce service charges on tickets by up to 40 percent, according to amphitheater Director Marney Smith. TicketFly will also provide superior customer service and give the venue more control over how tickets are offered to buyers, Smith said.
“I am very excited that we are able to decrease service fees for our guests,” said Marcelene Trujillo, marketing associate for the amphitheater. “TicketFly is a fantastic addition to our team and has the right focus. They make the process of buying a ticket simple and transparent.”
Ticket sales will be available online at the Schwab’s website, over the phone and in person at The Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District. At The Ticket Mill, the first 300 tickets for each show that are purchased with cash will include further discounts on service fees.
The first shows of the 2011 season will be announced in late winter or early spring with the unveiling of a new website for the venue.
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
With two cool events happening there this weekend, the new music venue inside Century Center — a retail complex located behind the old Brightwood Mill property on Century Drive in Bend — continues to blossom.
Tonight’s show will feature a headlining slot by local faves Larry and His Flask, and Saturday night is Art for India, with a bunch of local art and a set by Empty Space Orchestra. You can read more about both shows by clicking here.
Both this weekend’s events benefit local humanitarian organization Rise Up International, and are the result of a tight relationship between the Century Center and Rise Up’s Jesse Roberts, detailed here.
That post, however, implies that Roberts will be the sole person booking music at Century Center, and that is incorrect. Owner Dave Hill wants an array of promoters producing shows at the venue, not to mention non-music events such as weddings, business meetings, fundraisers and the like, he said on Tuesday.
“It’s always going to be a for-rent event center. This is not going to be the rock ‘n’ roll mosh pit. We’re not going to morph into Boondocks or the Midtown,” he said. “We’re going to have a few shows a month, and other people can have shows here and there, but I also want other events here.
“I want to make music a cornerstone of what we do,” Hill said, “but not the only thing we do.”
So far, however, Century Center is doing music well. Bend Roots Revival‘s multi-night, multi-stage format fit the venue like a glove, and a Roberts/Rise Up-booked show by underground rap star Talib Kweli went off without a hitch in mid-November. On Dec. 18, the room will host The Soulstice Jubilee, with performances by Mosley Wotta and Eric Tollefson & The World’s Greatest Lovers, and produced by local booking guru Gabe Johnson’s company, Parallel 44 Presents.
“I want there to be diversity here, because I think it’s good to get more people exposed to the center, and I think it’s good for the neighborhood to have something to come to,” Hill said. “If someone wants to do an event here, it’s fine with me. I don’t want to be the sole promoter, so if other people want to promote, that’s great. But we’re only going to do a certain number of shows, and I just want them to be quality shows.”
Hill and his team have been hard at work improving the event center. What was once a stark concrete room now has interesting, locally produced art on the walls, and dozens of globe lamps hang from the ceiling. Hill has begun furnishing a green room with couches and chairs so performers have a place to relax before and after a show.
Hill is also in the process of figuring out a layout for a planned prep kitchen, or caterer’s kitchen, with hopes of completing the work early next year. That way, events can provide their own food by bringing in a caterer or restaurant.
“I’m not going to get into the food business,” he said.
With a capacity of 750 people, Century Center can handle “90 or 95 percent of the events in Bend,” Hill said, and if he wants to do something bigger, he has space outside on the property that can hold well over 1,000. (For the Bend Roots fans, that’s where The B.I.G.S. Stage was.)
When it comes to music, Hill said he doesn’t care what kind fills the space, as long as its well done.
“I’m cool with hip-hop. I’m cool with country. I was raised on classic rock,” he said. “I just like live music, and if it’s good live music, it’s good with me. The community will ultimately weigh in on that (based on) what’s working and what they’re supporting.
“We don’t necessarily have all the answers. We’re just going down the road and seeing what happens,” he said. “I just want to see more live music happen and people having a good time.”
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Bend’s busiest venue for live music, Silver Moon Brewing & Taproom on Greenwood Avenue, has a new talent buyer booking shows, and it’s a familiar face to anyone who pays attention to the local music scene.
Gabe Johnson — founder of Bend-based booking agency In the Pocket Artists and guitarist for Jukebot! — has taken over the job from Cassandra Moore, who booked shows for Silver Moon for the past couple of years and oversaw the expansion of the bar’s offerings from mostly acoustic and roots music to a variety of genres, from folk, rock and bluegrass to funk, jazz, reggae, hip-hop and even some electronica.
Moore said she’s going to “take it easy for a bit” and is looking forward to filling her days with something other than a constant stream of e-mails and phone calls from bands wanting to play the Moon. She said she’ll continue to promote shows in town through her independent company, LOUDGirl Productions, including a Sept. 22 Silver Moon date with Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers, but that she’ll spend at least part of the fall taking some much-needed time off.
“Booking for the Moon has been a great experience,” she said, “but it’s simply time to move on.”
Johnson founded In the Pocket in 2006, and the national booking agency has 20 exclusive artists from across the country on its roster, including Rubblebucket, Head for the Hills, The Macpodz, The Staxx Brothers and Bend’s own Empty Space Orchestra. Johnson has also booked a significant number of the free shows at McMenamins Old St. Francis School and Les Schwab Amphitheater in recent months, plus several of the shows at Bend’s seasonal festivals.
Johnson said he’s taking on Silver Moon’s booking as a “labor of love” and a as fan of both seeing and playing music at the venue.
Here is Silver Moon’s September lineup, which is the final month booked by Moore, with the exception of Sept. 11. October is the first month Johnson is responsible for booking, and he says to expect a very active and hot slate of shows.
Sept. 7 — Open mic hosted by Paul Adams
Sept. 10 — Empty Space Orchestra album fundraising show
Sept. 11 — “Secret Surprise Show featuring the Who’s Who of Bend”
Sept. 22 — Ruby Dee and The Snakehandlers
Sept. 23 — Bend Roots Revival pre-party with Emma Hill, John Shipe
Thursday, August 5th, 2010
The previously announced performer at tonight’s Munch & Music in Drake Park, Jah Sun & the Redemption Band, is not playing. Instead, attendees will get the roots-reggae sound of Portland’s the Instigators.
Combine the replacement of one middling west-coast reggae band with another and the fact that a lot of Munch attendees barely pay attention to the music, and you have what may be the least important post in the history of Frequency. So here’s some bonus content: Jah Sun isn’t showing up tonight after a dispute over money. I and lots of other folks know this because Cameron Clark — founder of the company behind Munch & Music, C3 Events, and a man who values transparency and is not afraid to thoughtfully speak his mind — talked about that dispute in a post on C3’s Facebook. That post drew a couple dozen comments about whether it was an appropriate forum for such a topic before it was deleted earlier this week. (This post immediately followed the one that was deleted and includes further discussion.)
Which is all to say this: If you want an entertaining and eye-opening look at some of the behind-the-scenes business of putting on concerts, you should go befriend the C3 Facebook. Watch Bend’s biggest event-production company search for a piano to rent for Paula Cole! See them try to book an opening act 80 minutes before showtime! (Or 36 hours before showtime!) Read details of their haggles with a booking agent in an effort to bring John Hiatt to Bend! (It worked.)
I find it all to be quite fascinating, organized chaos.
Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
One of Bend’s most prominent music spots — the building on Greenwood Avenue that holds the Midtown Ballroom, Domino Room and The Annex bar, heretofore known as “the Midtown” — is in for some changes in the coming months. Time will tell, but the changes are almost certain to be improvements.
Here’s why: Co-owners Rhoda and Creig Jones and Duane McCabe and Lise Hoffman-McCabe are taking back control of the venues. The quartet ran the Midtown for years until 2007, when they leased its operations to a new team. (They had put the property up for sale in 2006. It never sold.)
That new team — JT Taylor, Chris Fought and Jim Dickey — is now out of the picture. The Jones/McCabe team has hired a new manager, Roy Nowell, who will handle most of the booking duties for the venues, though I just got off the phone with Rhoda Jones, and she said she and her partners will have some say in the acts that perform there.
“We will be suggesting,” she said with a big laugh. “We’ll have something to do with bringing back our old favorites. It will be very familiar, I think.”
Before the Jones/McCabe partnership quit managing the Midtown, it was a bustling nightspot that featured a steady stream of blues and roots-rock acts (the Jones’ favorites) as well as shows by other promoters, most notably Bend-based Random Presents. Back then, the two venues — this was before The Annex was open — hosted concerts at least weekly, and sometimes several nights per week.
In the 2-1/2 years since, though, the Midtown’s live-music offerings have dwindled. Random Presents continues to host shows there regularly, but the Taylor/Fought/Dickey team never established a consistent slate of shows. The Midtown Web site has been “under construction” for months. These days, the venues are quiet most nights.
That’s about to change, Jones said.
Friday, August 21st, 2009
I referenced this earlier, but wanted to highlight the article in today’s GO! Magazine about Moonalice, the Bay Area-based jam band led by super-successful venture capitalist Roger McNamee. Not because I think it’s a brilliant article or anything, but because of what McNamee — a guy with extensive business experience and a genuine passion for music — had to say.
Essentially, Moonalice began a couple years ago and went about distributing their music and marketing their band just as the vast majority of bands have done over the past several decades. They spent a bunch of money to record an album and promote it and tour behind it. And it wasn’t working to McNamee’s liking. As he says in the article:
“The necessity here is that the music industry just isn’t supporting much in the way of new bands, and it’s for sure not supporting established musicians who were not the (big) name in their band. People in my band have all been in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bands … but the industry … is not making room for all the incredibly talented musicians out there.”
So the guy dove headfirst into a business model for Moonalice that takes advantage of social media (Twitter, Facebook) and the direct connection with fans that those services can provide. Again, from the article:
“We have this notion that we will not be undersold. The theory is to make the barrier to adopting Moonalice the lowest it’s ever been in the music industry. Anything that we can record for free, we’ll give away for free. That’s the basic algorithm. It’s all about building an audience, because in the long run, the thing that sustains you is your ability to play live.”
Something McNamee told me that didn’t make the article is that, since the band dropped its manager, publicist and other hired guns and McNamee began concentrating on pushing Moonalice through social media, they’ve seen a significant upswing in interest and support from fans. The band’s Twitter followers are energetic and enthusiastic about Moonalice; the Bend gig, in fact, came about in part because of the tireless work of local techie and Twitterholic Julie Anderson (who also hammered on me about Moonalice until I paid attention, too.)
The point is, there’s no way to know whether or not the Moonalice model is the wave of the future, or whether it would work for every band. Certainly, McNamee has a deep pool of money he can use to subsidize Moonalice, though he makes the point that nearly every band that has ever made it big was infused with capital at some point, either by a record label, or family member, or whatever. And remember, it’s not money, necessarily, that has put Moonalice on an upward trajectory over the past several months. The band has, in fact, cut costs (by eliminating the manager, publicist, etc.) and much of that work is now being done by McNamee, who says he spends about three hours each day on marketing Moonalice. I thought this was a particularly insightful quote:
“It’s like farming. You’ve got to prepare the soil, you’ve got to plant seed, and then you’ve got to work it. It’s taking the only things that most bands have — time and content — and leveraging it like crazy.”
If you’re a local (or even non-local) musician or band, only you know whether what Moonalice is doing would work for you. Perhaps it would, perhaps not. But I think McNamee’s right about one thing, for sure: Most bands may not have his kind of money, but they do have time, and they do (or can) have content. And for a band looking to build an audience and a brand, a well-oiled social media machine could be a fast track toward achieving those goals.
The whole Moonalice article is available to everyone (even non-subscribers) right here. I hope you’ll read it. And if you have thoughts on this topic, I’d love to hear them in the comments.
Friday, June 12th, 2009
If you follow the Bend music scene closely, you probably know there’s been some turnover at Players Bar & Grill.
And even if you don’t, you may have seen the words “THE SHOWS WILL GO ON” on the west-Bend bar’s marquee and wondered what’s up.
Rumors are flying, but here’s the scoop, straight from former manager Buck Bales and new manager Chrissi Thompson:
Thursday, May 21st, 2009
Five years ago, I saw the Pixies play one of their first reunion shows at the Big Easy Concert House (now known as the Knitting Factory) in Boise. As a longtime fan who didn’t see the seminal Boston quartet during their initial run in the late ’80s/early ’90s (skipping a Pixies show in high school remains one of my biggest concert-going regrets), I was stoked to have a second chance to see one of my favorite bands of all time.
So stoked, in fact, that when it was announced recordings of the show would be available to purchase on CD on the way out the door of the club, I pounced. It was expensive ($25 for a double-disc set, I think) but worth it to have a document of the experience.
The Pink Snowflakes don’t have quite the same budget as the Pixies, but the Portland psych-pop band is trying something similar.