To combat an all-time low in live performances since the crackdown on nightlife began, various companies including the artiste management agency Dream Makers, have intensified their marketing strategies.
“We have to find new ways of getting people out. We planned a gig recently, which we promoted via a YouTube channel, radio shows, social media marketing and free entries,” says Shreya Naik, founder of Dream Makers, adding, “We now have an open-mic night coming up, where the winner at the event will be judged by the audience too. This way, the performers make sure they bring people to the gig. Otherwise we’re doing shows and making no money.”
Recalling a recent incident where a venue could not pay a band that Naik manages the pre-decided amount, Naik adds, “They said, ‘why don’t you take the payment in the form of F&B (food and beverages), instead of a performance fee?’ Now as managers, we can’t charge a percentage of food and beverages, can we?"
Venues are coming up with other ways to get the moolah flowing. Roydon Bangera, manager of metal act Devoid and alternative rock act The Hoodwink Circle, says, “The nightlife crackdown has affected things in such a way that venues like Blue Frog, which used to pay bands up front, have now opted for gate-sharing. The number of people you bring in will decide how much you get paid.”
When contacted, the management of the Lower Parel venue chose not to comment. Bands, in turn, are changing their own strategies. A city-based band on the condition of anonymity reveals, “Most of our gigs have been cancelled, pushed or put on hold. We’re focusing more on outstation gigs now.”
F Lounge.Diner.Bar in the spotlight?
Members of a city-based salsa group who were supposed to attend the Havana Nights event on Sunday evening at F Lounge.Diner.Bar at the India Bulls Centre, were informed at 9.30 am that the event had been cancelled. The mass message, circulated on social networking sites and instant-messaging services, read, “FBar shut as the cops came and asked the club to close since the owner is not on the premises. Sorry guys.”