Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Battle of the Band's Sales Numbers

So I entered my band into a Battle of the Bands to play an upcoming music festival. I get an email back confirming my band had been selected to be in the battle. But as I continued to read, nothing of battle was mentioned. Nothing about live shows, fans, venues, or even music was mentioned. Everything I read about was sales numbers, pricing, unique band links and promotion, and how to avoid coming across as a spammer, and....wait a second.....this isn't a battle of the bands at all.

This is a sales contest.

What kind of bullshit is that? Not only do they expect bands to essentially work for free as promoters and ticket jockies, they also have the audacity to patronize us at the start of the e-mail with a CONGRATULATIONS?! Congratulations for what, assholes? We get to work for you without getting paid, and on the off-chance we have the richest fan base, we might be able to buy our way in to the festival? We're being congratulated on being given the chance to exploit our fan-base so we can enjoy a hollow, meaningless victory?
 
Congrats, your band has been carefully selected to be given the honor of selling tickets to our show! You will receive no commission from these sales and the only way you will personally benefit is if you sell more tickets than everyone else! So get out there and start exploiting your fan-base! And again....congratulations!

So I continue reading about what the competition entails and......the competition is literally sharing a unique link and selling tickets and rooms to this festival. No music throwdown...no judges....no voting.....just ticket sales.

That is the most corporate, anti-music format for a Battle of the Bands I've ever seen. This isn't a Battle of the Promoters, it's a Battle of the BANDS, or at least it's supposed to be. Getting the most ticket sales is a hollow victory, completely meaningless. That has absolutely nothing to do with the music. I understand promoters need to make their money back, but I've done the promotion route and I'd never ask bands to exploit their fans to compete for a spot in a festival. Again, that's meaningless and hollow. They might as well set up Ebay auctions for those "Battle of the Band" timeslots.


Hip hop MCs get fucked over even worse. They pay $50, maybe even $100 to share a bill with 20 other assholes stupid enough to pay to play. Then they get a 5 minute set opening for some unknown rapper who once stood behind Tech N9ne in the line at a grocery store. Completely ridiculous. How gangster is it to pay money to play set to a crowd populated entirely by other people who payed money to play? That's the least gangster thing a rapper can do. Helping old ladies across the street is infinitely more gangster than paying money to get rushed on stage to rush through two songs. Ridiculously patronizing, dawg.

On the other side of the spectrum, metal bands oftentimes have to buy tickets up front and sell them to earn their money back. That's not fucking metal. You punch that promoter in the face and start headbanging. Then you grab their tie and yank on it, slamming their face into the table and covering it with even more promoter blood, screaming in your best death metal growl "WE DON'T PAY TO PLAY!" Then the bassist Larry comes in with a bitching King Diamond falsetto and the drummer Harrison harmonizes the King Diamond falsetto and cookie monster growl with a Ronnie James DIO inspired "LOOK OUT!" At this point the promoter, who soiled himself upon his business-tie face plant, will nervously agreed to these conditions. Upon hearing the negotiation is a success, random death metal floosies will seemingly appear out of thin air and the metal band will start doing lines of coke off their tattooed asses.

Sell tickets to play a show......
Spam a link across Facebook to get a slot.....

How less about the music and more about the money could that possibly get? Ask yourself, should this be about who has the richest fans and deepest pockets, or should it be about who has the crunchiest grooves, funkiest jams and ragin'est fans?

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