Don’t Clear The Room!

I’ve been having a great thread of conversations with a few of my clients lately about how nobody likes to be on the unhappy side of a "cleared room." You know what I’m talking about… you’re on a bill at a showcase club and the second the band before you hits their final note, WHOOMPH — the room empties out, leaving but a handful of your own diehard fans. There’s a discussion about the phenomenon over at the Rope, and it seems like a few NYC bands actually orchestrate this, feeling like it will help them emphasize their importance to talent buyers.

Nothing’s further from the truth. Make a talent buyer feel like you did anything to remove people from their room, and you won’t get invited back. Those audience members, even after they’ve been counted toward your draw, are still valuable customers for the venue after your set. Deliberately pulling, say, 25 people out of the room could cost a venue $100. Remember, these places are supposed to be your partners, not your enemies.

If you can find creative ways to get your own audience to stick around for other acts on your bill, it creates some practical karma — a potential gig swap with those other bands, professional reputation as someone worth doing business with, more time to bond with folks in the audience and hand out your bounceback cards. Get unusual — talk up the bands before and after you on the bill, and maybe even engineer some last-set jams or collaborations to keep your own audience sticking around.

Besides, how do you like it when the audience vacates before your set?