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Stand In Line

I will NOT "Stand In Line"

I think what some people tend to forget is that a venue and a musician have a mutual relationship.

As a Country Music Artist I write and perform Country Music. I strive to connect with my audience through my music. As I connect with people, they come out to live shows to support me.

A venue owner brings in Artists to provide entertainment for their customers. Bringing in different performers helps introduce the venue to people that come to see that particular Artist.

See the business model is set for both parties to mutually benefit. Compensation is usually involved in some form as well but isn't always the driving factor. Now you won't normally see a National Act performing at your local honkytonk because just like any form of business there are different tiers. In the same respect you won't see a guy singing karaoke in a packed out stadium. (With some exceptions haha).

Now, I'm not saying that I won't stand in line to perform at a venue. There are venues that I've been begging for years for a slot. What it actually means is that I will not be disrespected as an Artist.

I've been performing, songwriting and building my skills over quite a few years. I've recorded music in studios. I've designed merchandise and fronted the bill for it out of my pocket. I've spent unbelievable amounts of money making sure I have the best sound gear so that my fans can enjoy my performance with the best quality possible. I have crafted a stage show that people love and WILL come out to see over and over again. I've also positioned myself so that when those same people come to multiple shows, whether in the same weekend or over a few months, they will never see the same exact show. It's part of what keeps them coming out!

Now, when you first start as an Artist, you're kind of at the mercy of small venue owners. Most of them will not want to pay you, most of them will not want to have a door charge, most of them don't even want you to put out a tip jar. They feel as though they're giving you a "big break" by letting you perform for their 4 patrons who are watching the ballgame on TV and will not let the volume be turned down. Of course, the in-house sound system is absolutely terrible anyhow so it's probably best they can't hear you anyhow. Did that seem a little specific?? But once you gain a little popularity among friends, relatives and that one random guy that saw you Facebook you'll find it a little easier to book a paying gig. When you can guarantee 25 people show up a small venue owner is a lot more likely to get you in the door because that's 25 people that don't regularly show up.

However, I'm not just starting out. I've been performing for years in multiple states in different levels. I've opened for National Acts more than a couple of times. I will not be walked on any longer. We can show mutual respect as two adults with a business proposition OR we will not do business together. Regardless, I won't be told to "Stand In Line" in a rude manner. Especially from a venue that is not established and does not have a following.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not above helping anyone. I love participating in community events and I'd love to help a business establish itself. However, when someone sends me a message that says, "get your stuff together and get in line" because they have a lot of local Acts wanting to perform there, they shouldn't be surprised when I no longer want to business with them. Not only is it rude and distasteful, it's unprofessional. It shows me that they make decisions irrationally and don't think ahead. I guarantee it will not harm my career to not perform at that bar.

So, No, I won't be standing in line. Also, I'd like to encourage others to stand up for themselves as well. I know my worth and, although I'd give a stranger the shirt off my back, I will not be disrespected.

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