Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
Spring Crawl is set for Saturday, April 28, this year. That's three and a half months from now, but I started getting calls from bands asking how they can get on the bill back in October. So, while I truly admire your forethought and tenacity, for the millionth time, don't send me or anyone at the Alibi your demo. Here's Crawl coordinator Joe Anderson on what really works:
Every year I receive e-mails from bands asking to be part of the Crawls, and every year I have to explain what happens when the Crawl is put together. Here are some basic points:
1) For every Crawl event, the Alibi invites Downtown venues to participate. If a venue accepts, the Alibi then asks for a list of about 20 acts they'd like to have in their particular room. If you are not on one of these lists, it may be quite difficult to be part of the official event.
2) When the lists are collected, we find all the bands that have been requested by more than one venue. I then ask these bands to give me a list of venue preferences. Since they have been requested by more than one room, I try my best to give them the choice of where they'd like to play.
3) From there, many other calculations must be made to generate a full schedule for this event. Some bands share members with other bands performing in the Crawl. The bands obviously cannot perform the same time slots. Some bands have other gigs elsewhere, and can only play certain time slots. Some band members work at participating venues, so their bands can only perform during certain hours. We typically program this event to include approximately 100 acts/performers. It's a massive puzzle.
4) The most effective way to be a part of the Crawls is to develop in the Downtown scene. Most acts chosen by the venues have made their mark months or years before.
They are most likely:
A. a great band
B. a band that draws well
C. a band that has a great relationship with the venue booker/buyer, or
D. a combination of any of these.
That’s not so complicated, is it? Get gigging Downtown and you’ll have a fighting chance at being asked to participate in a Crawl this spring or fall. If you’re still lost, Joe and Alibi folks like yours truly will be on www.rocksquawk.com to answer questions and post developments on the event as it comes together. Sign up for a band forum and plant a few of your cherished demo mp3s while you’re at it.
Sky Smeed and Joe Mack • Americana, folk at Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro
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