Our Goals For 2016

2016 goals - the garage venue crew

Hi again! I mentioned in the last post that blogging more consistently was one of my goals for this year, and shortly after publishing, it dawned on me that it might be good to share the rest of our goals for the year. (When I say “we” and “our,” I’m referring to the entire crew that used to make up The Garage Venue staff and now comprises the community of managers that keeps this website up and running.)

We’re pretty excited about what this year holds. Even though we had to close our doors, we’re still a pretty tight-knit family and keep in touch quite often. Before 2015 ended, we all met for dinner and made a collective list of our top New Year’s Resolutions, and we thought it would be helpful to let your loyal website visitors tune in and hear (ahem… read) what they are. So, without further ado, here are some of the things that each of us (individually and as a team) would like to accomplish this year:

Goal 1: Get healthy. I know, I know. It’s the most popular New Year’s Resolution on the planet. But it’s a very necessary achievement, especially in the US where 80% of the population is overweight or obese). I, personally, have started seeing a Charlotte chiropractor to help me get my spine back into alignment after the car accident I suffered last year. On top of that, all of us have committed to a once-a-week dinner at one of our houses, where the host prepares a plant-based meal. Though I won’t allow myself to stop eating meat altogether (I love me some steak!), we all figured that one vegan meal a week would help us stay on track to eating better. We also do a community yoga outing one Saturday each month, led by yours truly. (You didn’t know I was a yogi, did you?) — 🙂

Goal 2: 1,200 new eyeballs on this website. 100 unique visitors a month isn’t an incredibly lofty goal. It’s actually very doable. You might think we’re lazy, but we wanted to set a reasonable goal that we could realistically achieve by the end of this year, so that’s how we came up with this number. None of us are online marketing experts by any means, and we’re not looking to profit off of this website. We honestly just want to build a genuine community of loyal, interested readers. So if we hit 1,200 new readers total by the end of this year, we’ll give ourselves a pat on the back. If we surpass that goal, we’ll buy ourselves a round of craft beers.

Goal 3: Attend at least one live show every month. Again, this isn’t too lofty a goal; we wanted to keep it reasonable and be realistic. Plus, here’s one thing that makes this a tad bit harder: it can’t be just any show; no popular artists allowed. In an effort to support local art, we’ve committed to attending at least one show that’s either an open mic or a music performance by an independent Charlotte artist each month. Given how crappy this city is at supporting local musicians, that cuts out a good chunk of the entertainment.

We only have 3 big goals on our list, and that was done on purpose. Anymore, and we feared we’d accomplish none of them. It’s best to keep your goals list short if you actually expect to achieve what you’ve set out to achieve. We’ll update you periodically on our progress throughout the year—probably once a quarter, so stay tuned!

3 Things to Look For in an Entertainment Venue

Hey y’all! (In good, Southern North Cackalacky fashion, I just had to say that.)

I know I haven’t posted in a quite some time, but life gets pretty busy when your blog is a hobby. It has to take a backseat to making a living, and ever since we had to close the doors of The Garage Venue, I’ve had to find other ways to make some cash.

But, I’m back now, and I have a goal to post more regularly (at least once a month) in 2016. Hey, quality over quantity, right? I may even post twice this month as a special treat to all those who have been waiting so patiently to get the scoop.

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend of mine the other night. She was telling me how she went to a concert at the Fillmore at NC Music Factory when she was 8 months pregnant and how she’ll never go back. As much as I’d like to hit her upside the head and say, “well of course you had a bad experience; you were 8 months pregnant,” I kind of can’t help but agree with her. I’m not a big fan of that venue either. I think it’s overhyped because of its name and subsequent association with the legendary Fillmore in California. (Now, that place is a different story.)

Our version of the Fillmore is not only overhyped. It’s overpriced, unaccommodating, and pitiful compared to its predecessor.

So what makes an entertainment venue a good spot to hear live music or watch a performance? Several criteria immediately come to my mind, and I’d like to think we did a good job with every single item on this list.

#1: A versatile layout. As I mentioned before, the Fillmore was highly unaccommodating to my friend, especially considering her body’s condition during her visit. When you’re 8 months pregnant, standing-room only just ain’t gonna cut it. And forcing her to pay $25 extra for a “VIP” seat that’s far left of the stage and doesn’t even provide a “VIP” viewing experience? Pffft. Not cool guys. Not cool.

When it comes to your layout, you want to be accommodating to many different types of people, as well as different types of entertainment scenarios. Having a large standing-room area that can double as a sitting-room for more upscale events where you want to serve food and drinks alongside the entertainment will open a lot more doors for you in the long-run.

#2: Reasonable pricing. I really wish venues in this city (and every other big city for that matter) would quit charging outrageous prices for cheap beer. I’m sorry, but I’ll pass on the $8 pint of piss-colored water (a.k.a. Bud Light). No thank you. And $75 for a ticket to a concert where the opening act is a crappy DJ and the headliner hits the stage an hour late? (Not naming any names here… I’ll leave it to you to guess who she went to see). Um… Big FAT NO again. If you want people to enjoy an experience at your venue and come back for more, be reasonable. That’s one of the things we prided ourselves on at The Garage Venue. We charged a normal amount for local craft beer on tap and provided food to our guests on some occasions. We also housed a variety of different artists, both independent and big-label. Which brings me to #3…

#3: Support local artists! For crying out loud, why is it that most GOOD musicians in Charlotte feel the need to move to Austin or New York to get a break? There is more competition in both of those cities, yet our most solid performers are flocking there because they can’t even get a gig at The Evening Muse. If you are a local venue, consider supporting more local art. I know it can be harder for independent musicians to bring people in the door, but if you’re a good venue, you should be able to carry some of that weight. Don’t put it all on these poor starving artists who are struggling just to make a living off of their art because the music industry sucks these days.

That’s all I have, folks… what about you? are your thoughts on the local Charlotte music scene? If we were to build another entertainment venue, what would you like to see? Or if you’re not local to the area, we’d love to hear your opinions on the music scene where you live!