Friday, September 21, 2012

Live Nation vs. IMP vs. Birchmere, Revisited: The Results

Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the Silver Spring live music survey I posted earlier this week. There have been over 200 responses and counting. Earlier today I decided I had enough responses to get a good read on people's concert-going behavior and music preferences to make the comparisons I wanted to make, so I went ahead and crunched the numbers...

A vast majority of survey responses came from residents of the 20910 and 20901 ZIP codes, followed by Wheaton and some SSINO areas.

On average, respondents reported attending roughly one (.92) event at the Fillmore during its first year of operation. This was higher than the Birchmere (.47), but well below the 9:30 Club (1.53).

40% of respondents reported going to at least one event at the Fillmore, not a whole lot less than the 46% for the 9:30 Club. (It was just 16% for the Birchmere.) The difference is that people who did go to the 9:30 club during this time went there more frequently, for an average of 3.2 shows vs. just 2.2 for Fillmore-goers.

Each respondent was presented with a list of all acts that performed in the last year at the Fillmore, Birchmere and 9:30 Club and asked to select each performer they would be interested in seeing live. (The venue at which any particular act performed was left unspecified.)  Here are the top 25 or so most selected acts:

Rank Performer Percent Selected Venue Played
1 They Might Be Giants 36.7% 9:30 Club
2 Lewis Black 31.1% The Fillmore
3 The Smashing Pumpkins 30.6% 9:30 Club
4 The Roots 26.0% The Fillmore
5 Moby 21.9% The Fillmore
6 The Cranberries 19.9% 9:30 Club
6 Aimee Mann 19.9% The Birchmere
8 Foster the People 19.4% 9:30 Club
8 Gotye 19.4% 9:30 Club
10 The Magnetic Fields 18.9% 9:30 Club
11 Cyndi Lauper & Dr. John 18.4% 9:30 Club
11 George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic 18.4% 9:30 Club
13 Band of Horses 17.3% 9:30 Club
13 Garbage 17.3% 9:30 Club
13 Thievery Corporation 17.3% 9:30 Club
16 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones 16.8% 9:30 Club
16 The Ting Tings 16.8% 9:30 Club
18 Ben Harper 16.3% 9:30 Club
18 Matthew Sweet 16.3% 9:30/Birchmere
18 Snow Patrol 16.3% 9:30 Club
18 Lyle Lovett & His Acoustic Group 16.3% The Birchmere
22 Blondie 15.8% The Fillmore
22 The Psychedelic Furs & Tom Tom Club 15.8% The Fillmore
24 Ziggy Marley 15.3% The Fillmore
24 Drive-By Truckers 15.3% 9:30 Club
24 Jane's Addiction 15.3% 9:30 Club
24 Portlandia The Tour 15.3% 9:30 Club

Who knew They Might Be Giants was so popular? I thought they just did children's music these days. And the Cranberries... clearly a lot of people are nostalgic for 1993.* Interestingly, Levon Helm just missed the cut, and he's deceased.

While 3 of the top 5 acts performed at the Fillmore, overwhelmingly the acts represented on this list were booked at the 9:30 club (70%) , followed by the Fillmore (22%) and the Birchmere (11%). Matthew Sweet performed at both 9:30 and Birchmere, hence the total percent exceeding 100%.

So what, if any, conclusions can we arrive at using this data? Let's just assume for the purposes of discussion that this is at least somewhat representative of the opinions of concert-goers residing in Silver Spring.

The Fillmore pulls from all over the region, so it's not like it's dependent on Silver Springers for business. That said, the results of this survey indicate that locals are significantly more likely to deal with the hassle of going to the 9:30 Club than make the short drive or walk over to the Fillmore, due to the former booking acts that are preferable to the ones performing locally. Perhaps Live Nation could adjust their mix of bookings a little. I would think that many of the bands on the list above that performed at the 9:30 Club aren't outside of the Fillmore's wheelhouse. Of course, if they're doing well with what they have, why would they bother to change? Some of their bigger artists who had sold-out shows weren't near the top of the list, including Guns 'N Roses (#37, just below Fountains of Wayne) and Mary J. Blige (#84).

The results would also seem to show that the Birchmere Silver Spring that never was would likely have been significantly less preferable than what we ended up with.

Would the slate of shows an IMP-run venue be preferable to the one we've gotten at the Fillmore? Tough to say. Would they have kept all their prime bookings for 9:30 and assign their second-tier acts to Silver Spring? It's not like they don't already book shows in the 'burbs, though. IMP booked Metric (who I'd like to see) for a show at the Strathmore tonight, even though Live Nation booked them at three other Fillmores this month. Why not this one?

Anyway, take from this what you will. If there's any interest, I can post the detailed results on Google Docs.

*Admittedly, I checked this box too...


Anonymous said...

Not surprising. Think this says more about the demographics of your readership than anything, though. Especially considering race, though certainly age as well.

Anonymous said...

TMBG rawks. Also, does this have any real meaning or is it just an exercise in futility? Or a waste of time? I clicked on the link for the survey and bailed because one question had a zillion checkboxes. Lame.

Anonymous said...

I suggest that the fact more people went to shows at the 9:30 Club can be explained simply enough-they booked more shows during the year.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like rocket science to me.

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Not surprising. Think this says more about the demographics of your readership than anything, though. Especially considering race, though certainly age as well.

Friday, September 21, 2012 2:59:00 PM


So this blog is primarily read by hipsters? the comments section tends to show that anyway

Anonymous said...

@ anonymouse 1033

amen to that! too many hipsters on this board and WAY to many in this damn town (btw not being sarcastic)

Anonymous said...

Too many spelling champions in this town too.

Anonymous said...

soooo has anyone else wondered this? why is there an elf and a flying spaghetti monster in the picture?

Anonymous said...

btw, meant smurf and meant to comment on the last posts' picture

Sligo said...

See the original post (from years ago) from whence that image came. At the time, the Fillmore seemed like a fictional place, as the the project was taking forever to get off the ground. I simply re-used it for the hell of it.

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