I was talking with a musician the other day about why it’s so hard to find places to play lately. We’re in another real estate surge nationwide, which means that all the cheap spaces and run-down buildings that are great for rock and jazz venues can suddenly fetch double or triple their current leases upon conversion to swanky restaurants or retail spaces.
It’s a common occurrence. You may not realize it, especially when you’re haggling with a talent buyer about whether you can get two or one free drinks on your rider, but clubs (like all bars and restaurants) run on razor thin margins. If you can’t fill the room consistently, you’re better off closing down and becoming a Spaghetti Depot.
While that’s sad, it also means an opportunity for renewal. If there’s no place for you to play where you live, create your own venue — like these folks did. And start the next wave of great places to play.0