Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Live Nation Q&A

I missed the "town hall" meeting with Live Nation last week, but received an email from Mike Diegel with a paraphrased version of the crowd's questions and Live Nation's responses. Thought I'd pass this along as an FYI...

Q: Local musicians are looking for a low-cost place to produce their music; will Fillmore be available and at what rate?

A: While there's no rate sheet yet, we hope to provide a place for local
musicians, yes.

Q: What about noise on the streets for people who live downtown?

A: We'll shut down a little earlier than most clubs, encourage people to use public transportation. Most people will be there to hear the music.

Q: Will the venue be a magnet for drugs and alcohol?

A: Our liquor license is on the line; we'll take it very seriously. Shows are not what they used to be; most people there to hear the music. We'll also have an opportunity to learn what bands draw what kinds of crowds.

Q: When will construction start and what kinds of things could get in the way?

A: Interested people should reach out to County Council reps and let them know they want the Fillmore soon. (Mike: sign-up sheet on side table; we'll keep you informed. Mike explains process for state, county.)

Q: What are the differences/similarities between the Fillmore and the Birchmere? Was disappointed the Birchmere plans fell through.

A: There'll be a broader scope of music, more people. A few of the artists might be the same. Can easily see one band performing in Alexandria, Silver Spring, and Baltimore -- rather than just one stop in the DC metro area. People don't like to drive, so all the venues would do well.

Q: So you'd book them all in your venues?

A: Not necessarily; could be in any venue, but Fillmore Silver Spring will be the centerpiece. This will be the nicest venue. (emphasis mine)

Q: What about food and alcohol?

A: We'll serve food (more like snacks) but won't have a working kitchen. We'll serve alcohol.

Q: What kinds of bookings will you do? Will there be 2nd & 3rd tier and emerging artists?

A: We'll have a variety of acts. And yes, absolutely there will be opportunities for emerging artists to come into their own.

Q: Will there be opportunities for local artists as opening acts?

A: Yes; we don't like it when groups bring their own openers.

Q: Will it be a standing only venue?

A: No, there will be multiple ways to arrange the space to accommodate seated and standing crowds. Some bands don't want to perform at a seated venue.

Q: What do you mean? I'd rather have a seated venue. Will get a better crowd.

A: Some bands want a livelier atmosphere. No matter what, the nicer you make the place, the better people will behave. This will be the nicest venue around.

Q: How are you planning on partnering on others in the region so that you won't deplete each other with bookings?

A: Don't think that will be a problem.

Q: Do you have mock-ups of the interior we can see?

A: They're being revised. There will be a balcony and a lower floor.

Q: Can you go for a more unique look with the façade -- not quite as trendy?

A: We're required to keep the façade because it’s designated historic.

Q: Who'll be responsible for security (inside versus outside)?

A: Good question; hasn't been decided yet.

Q: A lot of people are looking for a good meeting place in town.

A: (Mike answers: The new Civic Center will serve that purpose; groundbreaking to occur very soon).

Q: Brilliant idea to have a large enough venue to host conferences, meetings, when stage is dark. Will bring lots of people to Silver Spring; they'll empty out into the streets to shop and eat.

Q: What about other economic incentives for the area -- local hires, vendors, etc?

A: We'll be hiring full and part-time staff. We'll be looking for the best vendors and want to support local vendors.


chaz said...

As bitter as I can be toward the Fillmore people, I pity them that they have to put up with us residents of Silver Spring.

Seated venue will get a "better" crowd--better how?

Seated venue will get an older crowd.
Seated venue will get a more sedentary crowd.
Seated venue will get a more Andy-Williams-fan-friendly crowd.
Seated venue will allow Silver Spring music fans to slump comfortably after they faint in horror at Jay-Z performance.

Springvale Roader said...

Ahhh, blow it out your piehole, Chaz. Some concerts are better for seated shows, and some are better for standing and dancing.

Nobody will faint in horror at a Jay-Z performance, though it's a nice strawman to set up and knock down.

But you know what? Rap and Go-Go shows do have a deserved reputation for bringing along violent incidents. You may not like hearing that, but it's true, so if by "better" crowd, it means a crowd less likely to cause violence and crime both inside and outside the concert hall, then hell yeah, let's encourage better crowds.

chaz said...

I don't disagree with the assertion that seats work for some shows--that's why they bring out chairs for "an evening with" type shows at places like 9:30 and the TLA in Philly (oh, excuse me, the Fillmore in Philly). A standing room venue can add chairs if need be--but a permanently seated venue (like DAR Constitution Hall) can't remove them. This is a silly argument--you can sit at your "Mickey Rooney Revue" show, and I'll stand at my N.W.A. reunion show--we'll all be happy.

Jay-Z comment was a ref to concerns expressed on local listservs (I admit, I only know this through blog hearsay).

Sligo said...

Any NWA reunion concert would be pointless without Eazy-E.

Yo Eazy, why you wear your pants like that?

For easy access, baby.

I believe there is actually a new law in Maryland against promoting a concert of a band without a certain percentage of original members performing? I'm not 100% on the details, but perhaps someone could back me up.

Springvale Roader said...

My "Mickey Rooney Revue"? Are you kidding?

Tell you what though, kid. Silver Spring has people of all ages, with all musical tastes, and there should be venues for all of them.

And what if they are some people who enjoy Andy Williams? Are their musical tastes inferior to yours? There are plenty of people in Silver Spring with gray hair who would probably love to have Andy Williams play nearby, and they're just as deserving of their music as you are of yours.

Also, people's musical tastes change and evolve as they grow older; yours will, too, unless you suffer from arrested development. It's called "youth culture" for a reason.

You might want to keep that in mind 40 years from now when you're walking slowly and painfully to your Jay-Z Revue.

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