I am an optimist when it comes to Macon and entertainment in Macon. So, no matter how bleak things can get, I usually find something positive to say when I talk about whats happening around town.
However, recently I have noticed a problem in the Macon music scene and I think it needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand.
It has long been known that Macon folks do not want to pay cover charges to see bands. The most people are willing to pay to get into a place promoting a good time is $5, and most people pay that grudgingly.
There are exceptions. When there is a big name in town, we will pay to see them. But I am talking about an average night when youre deciding where you want to spend your evening.
A $5 cover is not a lot, however it makes a difference when it comes to paying the band. If the band draws 100 people, that means they are going to make $500. If the venue doesnt charge a cover, then they usually pay about $200.
The band is likely to promote the show harder if they are making $5 a head. The venue makes more money because there are more people there to buy drinks. The band makes more money because they promote the show. You get a better show because the band feeds off the energy of a big crowd.
Win win win.
However, since more people complain about the $5 cover, more places are dropping the charge. This means the quality of the bands declines.
Why pay $5 when the place down the street is free? So one band ends up playing in an empty room. The band playing the free show thinks, why promote this show if were only going to make the guarantee no matter how many people show up?
Eventually, they move on to venues that will pay them more. And then patrons stop caring whether the bands are good or bad because they didnt pay and are really only there to be with their friends.
It stops being about the music and it becomes about the drinks and socializing.
My honest question to you is, why is paying a cover in Macon such a problem? Are the acts we see not worth the money to see them? If so, who do you want to see? Lets let our voices be heard and make our nights on the town worth paying for.
Contact Roger Riddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.