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Really nice, small venues...
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Really nice, small venues...

I’ve been having a run of really nice small venues lately that offer all the right amenities to make the gig experience really enjoyable and worthwhile. These are not bars or restaurants with a stage stuck in a corner, these are “real” professional venues with a bar or restaurant on the side.

They’re all under 500 capacity, with professional production equipment (light and sound) with experienced and knowledgeable staff running things....and two nights ago I got schooled on how house techs and other venue staff are supposed to operate. From stagehands, technicians and the people who take care of the dressing rooms and catering, everybody was on top of their game, nobody served drinks, smokes, or anything else...just a very high level of professionalism. The Stage crew seemed to be always a step ahead of me and the band..it was awesome but unnerving at the same time, even the band noticed.

All of these venues offered clean and well equipped facilities that would put some prestigious venues to shame...good PA, lights, stage, microphone stands great access, inside and outside, riders were respected to the letter etc. here are pictures of a couple of them...more to come.
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Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
 

Thanks for the thoughtful topic. There are a lot of talented, hardworking people working venues like this. There are also the occasional dolts but they tend not to last long, even if the impression they can leave endures.
Old 6 days ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

More small venues, don’t understand why the photos are not all here, or in order...they’re also not in the right orientation.
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Last edited by Samc; 6 days ago at 09:20 AM..
Old 6 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 

More venues, this one in Germany:
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Old 6 days ago
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 

Great to see point source alive and well. Where are these clubs in Europe?
Thanks for sharing.
Old 6 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro Sound Guy View Post
Great to see point source alive and well. Where are these clubs in Europe?
Thanks for sharing.
These are all privately owned clubs in Europe, they survive on the strength of the entertainment they provide and therefore they have to be able to attract high level national and international acts who will sometimes play smaller venues for various reasons.
Old 6 days ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Valentine View Post
Thanks for the thoughtful topic. There are a lot of talented, hardworking people working venues like this. There are also the occasional dolts but they tend not to last long, even if the impression they can leave endures.
It’s hard to hide in venues like this simply because of their size and because they also have to be extremely efficient. Having good facilities, equipment and staff is really the only way they’re going to attract a certain level of band/artist, which in turn will attract a certain type of audience.
Old 6 days ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Sam has described a sliver of hope for accomplished performers that have developed a recognition factor that does not require extensive advertizing promotion. In the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live and work we do not have many if any of the pristine small venues with "5 Star" tecks and restaurants however the most important element he mentioned is the clear connect between audience expectation and discriminating talent. We have a plethora of small town "arts Councils" that offer an annual concert schedule for their venues that will range from 350 to 700 seats that fill up with a listening crowd that constitutes a great audience that is ready to "connect" with my performance. This is the only reason that I still am working: I look forward to sharing my efforts with an appreciative audience.
When I started these shows more than 20 years ago I had to provide all of the SR gear and for this reason I have a trailer loaded with a KV2 ES system , bucks, trays and all of the requisite cables and power distribution to facilitate good point source distribution. Today most of these venues have installed SR systems that range from decent to very good and I now carry Just my mics and processing to deliver to the house a two mix of my show. Given the protocol I have developed my deal is pretty much a set-up and forget it process that does not require manipulation management. The most important point of this revelation is that my I-Pad is dealing with song lyrics during the show: not performance alteration. WIFI traffic is never any threat to any part of my show for this reason.
Hugh
Old 6 days ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

Burg Wilhemstein in late-night-action! Beautiful!
Old 6 days ago
  #10
On the road with a "famous" C&W female star. We did an advance for an upcoming performance in the Great Smoky Mountains at an open air theater. The owner assured us that he had "first class sound and lighting systems and we could leave all our stuff "on the truck". We get there and his 'sound system" is a Shure Vocal Master and his state of the art lighting was three par cans on stands on each the side of the stage controlled by some "Lowe's light dimmers" Needless to say we unloaded our truck and setup our own "sound and lighting. The guy told us that the stage had been used by some of the biggest names in C&W and they were fine with what he had. One of the other techs on our crew mumble "yea in the 1940s and 50s". Anyway the show went off fine. Glad to hear there are some good venues still left even if they are in Europe.
Old 6 days ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
The guy told us that the stage had been used by some of the biggest names in C&W and they were fine with what he had. One of the other techs on our crew mumble "yea in the 1940s and 50s".
around here, there are not too many places left in their stage from the 40's or 50's - not a particularly 'bright' era...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Glad to hear there are some good venues still left even if they are in Europe.
...there are however many places which date back a few hundret years: i'm currently mixing a theater play in a 750-year old church which showed one of europe's most famous 'danse macabre' in the middle ages...

regarding more modern venues, i could name one in every other city!

[plenty of place up to ca. 2200 capacity. things get really difficult though for capacity between 3000-5000; then there are various places again for 8000-15000 - of course the larger venues are not purpose-built but (partially) owned by the cities and mostly get used for trade shows, conventions etc.]
Old 6 days ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I've seen artist like Prince, Keith Richards, Carmen Linares (Flamenco superstar), David Bowie, Robert Cray, Buddy Rich, Roy Hargrove, and a some of the best jazz musicians to ever walk on this earth in small clubs like The New Morning in Paris and Ronny Scot's in London for example.

Here's a photo of Prince at the new morning for example....a

All the venues in my photos are purpose built/configured for music performance and are very well equipped for these events, the equipment may not always be the latest or greatest, but everything is usually in top working order and the crews know everything about the facilities. Every time I work in one of these clubs there is always one or two trainees working on the lights and sound.
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Old 6 days ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

The venue pictured below is a little over 500 places but I'll include it because it too is privately owned and operated and the level of detail that was put into this purpose built place just blows my mind. The owner is a chef with a Michelin star who decided to add a performance stage to the restaurant, it worked so well that he eventually built this venue out in the countryside and added his restaurant to it...there's even a heated swimming pool for artists enjoyment. The food is absolutely fabulous and his regular lunch and dinner restaurant crowd can see the concert on a big screen in one dining area if they want.

All the technical facilities were designed with input from international touring bands and crews, and everything from the loading dock to the dressing rooms and the catering area is well thought out and vey functional. The thing that strikes every person who walks into the place however is the acoustics of the place...this is only one of two privately owned venues that I know of where the acoustics costed more that everything else in the place. The best part is he did it because he simply wanted the place to sound good...no neighbors to disturb or to bother him at all but the place is tighter than a drum and sounds really good.
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Old 6 days ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samc View Post
(...) The owner is a chef with a Michelin star who decided to add a performance stage to the restaurant, it worked so well that he eventually built this venue out in the countryside and added his restaurant to it (...)
this is brilliant!

love those places which are well designed, operated and equipped, both the venue and the kitchen :-)

(bad food made me stop going on tour to eastern european countries back in the 80's for some time, especially during winter! things got much better in the 90's though, independant of the scale of artist or format/level of production i've been involved)
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