[Editors Note: This is a guest blog written by Gabe Anderson, a TuneCore Artist and blogger. Check out his thoughts and perspective on music and the industry over at his site, Gabe The Bass Player!]
When you show up and the stage is a weird size or shape: Here’s what most likely happened…
…A few hours earlier when the people were done setting it up, they had a back and forth conversation with each other about whether or not they should make the stage less weird, because they kinda had a feeling it was a little off. But that conversation that ultimately ended with, “…ahh, it’ll be fine.”
But now you’re the one who has to deal with the consequences of “It’ll be fine.”
When the venue decides to use other green room for extra beer storage and cleaning supplies…can’t you just hear that conversation?! Also a conversation that ended with “…ahh, it’ll be fine.”
And now all 3 bands and crews, roughly a bazillion people, have to mash into a room designed for 8.
When the designated merch area is located far far away from the main entrance/exit of the venue…”…the people who want merch will still find the march table…it’ll be fine,” said the person who had to make the decision but was not well informed enough to make a good one.
But you and I both know the location of merchandise at the venue swings merch sales by a million percent.
“It’ll be fine” in so many cases usually means, “This decision works for me right now. I don’t want to work harder to figure out a better solution and I won’t have to personally deal with the consequences, so for me it really will be fine.”
Musicians and artists find themselves on the receiving end of “it’ll be fine” conversations and consequences all the time, especially on the road. And the truth is these little wrinkles in the day can literally make the whole thing crumble in an instant. I know you’ve been there, the rock in your shoe that keeps on stinging.
So per the situations above: after someone has left you with one of these “ahh, it’ll be fine” situations…you’re still the one left with a weird stage, a crammed green room and poorly located merch.
What are you suppose to do with this blatant injustice?
Well the first thing is just that…ARE you going to do anything at all?
Hold on…first things first…take a few minutes and get it out. Vent it. Because you’re right…what on God’s green earth were they thinking doing it that way? You’re right, you could have done a better job and you don’t even run a venue for a living. You’re right, the shouldn’t get to screw up while the consequences get placed upon your shoulders.
Let it out baby, I understand, it’s warranted.
Now then…If all you’re going to DO is complain, take your two minutes of rage and then shut up about it. If you’re not going to DO anything, let it go, make the most of it, move the conversation and your brain onto something else.
If you decide you are going to try and improve the situation, be realistic about the possible outcomes. You know how venue managers are notorious for being a ball of laughs and extremely helpful to artists.
But just to emphasize the idea of being realistic with improving the situations…let’s keep going with the examples from above:
- You’re probably not going to get them to re-do the stage, it’ll just piss them off if you ask because to them it’s way too much work to pull off in a short amount of time. But you might ask to make more room on stage by putting the amps off stage, or putting the drum kit a little to the left so the keys player can squeeze in back there too as oppose to being up front.
- You’re probably not going to get them to clear out the beer and cleaning supplies from the other green room. Don’t ask. They just did the awful work of getting all that crap in there. But you could make a deal with the other acts that each band gets the green room to themselves the 30mins before their set time.
- You can probably move the merch wherever you want as long as YOU are willing to move it and it doesn’t violate fire code or access to the bar.
So I’ll leave you with two things to close:
When you find yourself about to utter the words “Ahh, it’ll be fine…”, remember how much it can put others in a pinch.
When you have to shoulder the consequences of “Ahh, it’ll be fine…”, as quickly as possible, decide whether or not you’re going to DO anything about it. If not, move on. If so, fight to employ a realistic approach on your part.
p.s. This could be fun: In what ways have you been on the receiving end of the “Ahh, it’ll be fine” mentality? Let us know in the comments!