Subject: Coffeehouse Management 101--how to do it right
I just came home from a wonderful weekend up in the U.P. of Michigan, playing a terrific songwriter festival in Grand Mariais hosted by the marvelous Kellie Lin Knott and a magical coffeehouse--8th Street Coffeehouse in Escanaba The latter experience was so extraordinary I just had to share it with you. If one ever wrote a book about the perfect singer-songwriter venue, the author would need look no further than 8th Street Coffeehouse
Consider the following:
AND, last but not at all least,
16. PUBLICITY!!!!! Finally, a club that "gets it."--that the music is as much a part of its menu as is the food and the coffee. To illustrate: I called on a Tuesday night to book a Friday gig. After some mixups, we confirmed the gig Thursday morning. I arrived Friday afternoon to find flyers with my picture up not only in front of the club but all over downtown--and numerous mentions on local radio stations. The result?
Now, there are plenty of other venues that feature one or more of these things, but 8th Street is the only venue I've encountered that has it all.........with no "attitude" whatsoever. No insistence upon a local draw, no refusal to deal directly with the artists (so many venues now will deal only with booking agencies), no insistence that the talent handle all of the publicity. At a time when it's like pulling teeth to get a venue to post even a "Live Music Tonight" sign (never mind a list of who's playing) in the window, this is SO refreshing.
Check it out: http://www.8thstreetcoffee.com. Only wish they had a guestbook on-line to sign. Soon as I can get the link to my webmaster, I'll post it on my site. And no, they did not suggest I write this. I just felt it was so extraordinary--that there are still venues that care as much about their performers as they do about the bottom line (and that realize there's a cause-and-effect relationship between the two).