When It Comes to Gigs, Don’t Push Back Last Call. Start the Shows Earlier!

Extending last call to 3 or 4 turns an evening shift into a night shift. And who’s going to stick around for six hours after work so they can catch that 11:30 set? C’mon. In cities across Canada, local live music venues are struggling and in some cases closing. I was offering a free ticket, but I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Others live further out, some in the suburbs, others in neighbouring cities. “The other week I had a +1 on the guest list for a show featuring Dude York from Seattle and Paws from Glasgow. FYIMusicnews.ca had this story yesterday. If it’s too late for a 25-year-old working in music media, no wonder music venues are struggling in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.”
I can’t agree more. The solution is to schedule shows earlier so there’s a greater chance of more people showing up. Let me be clear. And I’m not alone. Do you think serving until 3 on a Wednesday morning is going to bring in any extra revenue? Our set is at 11:30 at [insert name of venue here]! Work with promoters and agents to start gigs earlier. I even asked a 25-year-old friend who works at VICE, and she politely declined. Toronto is considering a proposal to extend the hours of liquor licensing as a possible solution, but Mar Sellars argues moving concerts to earlier time slots might have a bigger impact. Can we put you on the guest list?”
Uh, no. The set times were listed as 11:30 pm and 12:30 am on a Wednesday night. Not all music fans live in condos and apartments close to downtown music venues.  
  And it’s not going to help revenues. “We’d love it if you could come see us this Tuesday! Same thing if you’re scheduled to play Sunday, Monday, Wednesday or even Thursday, for that matter. She said it was too late for her. Sure, they may work downtown, but once they go home from the office at 5 or whatever, what are the chances of them coming back into the city that night knowing that they have to wake up at six the following morning? And have pity on your servers, bar owners. The solution is not to push back last call. I am forever getting invitations to see bands. My job requires the alarm to go off at 6 am Wednesday, so I have no interest staying out until after 1 to see your band.
Start the Shows Earlier! When It Comes to Gigs, Don’t Push Back Last Call.