I had originally anticipated to work for Landlocked Records, and had hoped to help them out on one of my favorite days of the year, record store day. They told me that they would let me know if they needed assistance which they ended up not. After that I was able to schedule myself to work for the street-team for the Buskins-Chummily Theater where they asked me If I would be able to help promote their future concerts In Bloomington, and they were thrilled to have me to help them out.
However after their Oscar red carpet event, they held a few remarked concerts. After that, there were no more concerts that Region McClain, Volunteer Coordinator, needed help advertising for because she told that while they host events for other organizations there were no more BCC Presents showing In the ear future because of their “sporadic business” although she promised to keep in touch and let me know when there is work to be done, even over the summer.
As a result from two different Internships In Bloomington falling short of the practicum requirements or just merely being postponed until summer, I decided to take a weekend away from Bloomington and visit the family in Chicago, where I volunteered and worked for the Bottom Lounge Music Venue in downtown Chicago. The Bottom Lounge has a pretty diverse collection of artists that play there, although the majority of the concerts are Punk or Metal. I worked for the triple feature show of Nit Grit, Gladioli, and Sugarplum under the supervision of the production manager Will Saleroom.
I interned there all last summer helping out with numerous shows, so they were happy to accept some more free labor when I was home for a couple of days. The Nit Grit, Gladly and Sugarplum concert was on Saturday April 5th, at 9:pm, although I got to the venue at 6:pm to set up the space and hang up posters in and around the building. As I was there, I was given numerous tasks to help them out with. First off. They had huge stacks of posters, all of which were for upcoming events. I was asked to help hang those up, and cover pretty much everywhere in the building (including the bathrooms).
I was also asked to set up the stage and lighting. That includes moving all of the equipment onto the stage, and angling the lights In the directions of the band members when on stage. After the show ended, at around am, I had to wait and make sure everyone left the venue and help take down the stage. Overall I think it was a positive experience going back in there and helping out. I think that going back to work In a music venue after having the knowledge I obtained In this class, I as able to kind of see first hand many of the things we talked about In class, such as techniques of giving out albums for free versus selling them.
I was able to realize 1 OFF their music unless somehow they manage to strike it big and gain celebrity status. While there were positive aspects, there were also negative aspects about working in a music venue. After I got there at 6, there is a lot to do initially to prepare before the crowd get there. But once everything is set up, and posters were all hung up, there was a lot of waiting around. I had to sit for about an 45 minutes by the box office to aka sure customers wouldn’t go back into the venue before the doors opened.
Through going back to Chicago and working at the Bottom Lounge for this report, I was able to realize the struggles it can be for an artist to make it financially, but more importantly I was able to relate the things we discussed in class to my experiences. I realized that even though there are so many struggles for financial security in the music industry, music is for the people and it puts everyone in a better mood. No matter what side of the music you’re on, you’re helping others out.
The artists were milling because they have a big crowd there to support their them and their work, and they fans are smiling back because, well they’re at a concert! As a current student studying Arts Management and Entrepreneurship, I want to open my own music venue in the future, and this was a great way to see what I am trying to get myself into in the future. As I mentioned earlier, it is increasingly difficult for artists to make any substantial money off of their recordings especially with the availability of illegal downloads, so it was very nice being in an environment knowing that the artist is making money by the end of the night.