Monday, March 12, 2007

Pay To Play: That Much Worse

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my only trip to Studio B in Brooklyn was less than pleasant on a number of levels, including the one where hypothermia poked its ugly head, stared at me and started licking its lips. However, I was willing to entertain the idea of going back again...until this past weekend.

The home domain of (where this blog resides) is a clips page I built to link to all of the writing I've published, mainly over the past year. On that page is a link to a "contact me" page, because I'm a glutton for punishment who hopes to drum up business in the process and on Friday, I had the pleasure of receiving an email from Walter Cardenas, one of the guitarists from Everything's Ruined, which opened up for Destruction that fateful night. Although he had contacted me in search of a (forthcoming) review of his band's EP, we ended up discussing the show that night - specifically the sketchy ways of Bill, the Studio B promoter. Edit: the Darkcity Production promoter. Basically, when it says Studio B, read Dark City. Although I'm still not thrilled about having to wait outside in the cold. Thanks to Walter for the correction.

Bill is one of those pay-to-play guys bands hate (and with good reason - they're screwing things up for us fans, too), although he seems to operate with a special venom or a special level of retardation. Up until Friday, my understanding of pay-to-play was that the band and the promoter worked out a specific number of tickets the band would sell beforehand, the band would pay for those tickets up front and that was it. Any losses came out of the band's pocket, or something to that effect, but they're (hopefully) manageable because the band estimated the amount beforehand. According to Walter, Bill took this grimy business to the next level by giving Everything's Ruined the number of tickets he wanted to sell (70) and the price ($20) in an email before the show, without any negotiation. When the band arrived that night at the door with the money from the 24 tickets they did sell, Bill tried to demand that they pay for the extra 46 tickets themselves, at the cost of about $1,000.

Stupid sick, right? People like Bill make me think of the quote about the music business attributed to Hunter S. Thompson, because somehow, emotions go from sickened to outraged when someone takes something you love and exploit it to its last penny just for short-term gain. Although I have no way of knowing how many concert promoters in New York follow the same practice as Bill, I do have one recourse: I won't be giving Studio B my money ever again.


Walter said...

hey, its Walter from ER. Just for the record, Bill isn't associated with Studio B, he's an outside promoter that does shows at several venues, mainly in Staten Island. While the lighting issues Destruction faced had to do with the club itself, the entire rest of the fiasco was on Bill. Studio B itself shouldn't be boycotted, "Darkcity Productions" will certainly never have my business again.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darkcity said...

it funny that I stumbled across this blog about one of our events. Most of you can take what you want. we are not going to go back & forth with "he said she said bullshit" Be we will defend ourselves!

First I will say this! "This blog comment is not directed at the entire band of EVERYTHING RUINED at all. Mainly at Walter" I do think the band is very talented

As for the situation talked about above. Its Funny that Walter tells you that. He was not told about paying out the amount of tickets that was required. Well in fact, he was told well prior to the event! We have email , and myspace message records. That we hold on to as part of records. Which in every email between Walter and Darkcity productions. He was told our ticket policy. I also remember the day of the event. How Walter's entire band was upset with him. Over the fact that, He did not tell them our Ticket Policy. Even another band member stated to us "That! if they knew the tickets had to be sold. They would have made sure the tickets were sold"

On another note, despite the fact that only 24 tickets were sold. When they had well over a month or more to pre sell 70 tickets. They still were able to play their time slot. And we DID NOT force them to pay out the remaining amount ticket money. "Which Walter decided to leave out"

As for the term "Pay to Play" which was used by some bands , and some band members. In this case "Walter".
We have a couple of points to make regarding the term "pay to play"

1st- Not all of our events require upfront ticket sales by Local artists.

2nd- Refering to the event above Walter's band performed that night. When we pay for advertisement in 3 - 4 different newspapers, Run 2 weeks of radio advertisement. Pay the National touring artist Guarantee's, Food , drinks , Venue cost , Ticketing service Fee's & more for these tour artist. Where our cost are well over 7K and more. Its not wrong for us. To ask local acts to sell tickets for the event. Also its not wrong for us to expect them to sell them. Meaning actually expecting a band ,or band member in this case. To promote he's own show as well.

I find it funny!! To complain about selling tickets. When in fact these Local artist. Are paid a percentage of money from these tickets sold. Also that fact we pay Local artist very well. Alot better then most promotion companys. That do not pay local artist at all.

This blog is noting more then a band members not talking to his own band. And feeling argry , over the other members being pissed at him. As for the person that orginally wrote the blog. We do not control the weather. So to complain it was cold outside is stupid. Not to mention "That night was rated the coldest night of the year by newstations" Please do not kid yourself about waiting in the cold. The doors open up on time!! If you showed up earlier, thats on you!!

Eric said...


Thank you for your comment. As a third party observer, I'm not going to get involved with what went on with Everything's Ruined, but I can category state that a.) I got there when the doors were supposed to open, and waited 45 minutes to get in. That means either you printed the wrong opening time on your tickets, or you opened the doors late; either way you had pissed off customers out in the cold.