attendence by blues fans at events
It's Rock Week, lots of attention and thoughts about the Cleveland Music Scene. We have so much going on this week, as in most other weeks, it is hard for me to get to all of the places I want to go. There are so many places for people to share their opinions and comments about a variety of topics. FB, TWitter, sitting a t the bar. Today, one specifically came to my attention on the CBS FB Group page. One of our Members who is alos a strong blues society supporter expressed disappointment at a recent local venue's turnout for a stellar performer. Although all of us love sharing our enthusiasm for our fave blues artists, it is important to clarify some points about the role of the Cleveland Blues Society in the local blues scene.
Many may and do debate on the things CBS should do, but the purpose of this post is to clarify and challenge the local blues fans to act. As blues fans, you want to see blues, locally, more national acts; you want to see a festival. Well. Let's talk about that.
As president of the Cleveland Blues Society, I am charged with the responsibility and leadership of this wonderful grassroots nonprofit organization. We have a mission, by laws, and organizational structure and are fiscally responsible for the membership dues and fundraising we collect. We are charged to execute our Mission!
The comment I noted is in regards to CBS's Focus “I realize that the CBS focus is mainly geared towards local talent and that is commendable. In the interest of preserving the Blues genres that we all love so much, it is equally important to support national talent as well.
I have heard this sentiment before and it is important to clarify where as this may be true to many local fans that are part of the Cleveland Blues Society as members, it is not applicable to the organization as such. It is important to note that the Cleveland Blues Society is an evolving organization run by volunteers without paid staff who are working toward programs that meet our mission.
Contrary to an idea held by some, CBS as an organization's focus is not "geared toward mainly local talent over touring bands." This assumption could develop based on the visibility of some of our board members activities locally. Some of our board Members are on a first name basis with many national and touring acts. Some couldn't tell you who they were let along their significance. The variety of experience, interests and expertise of our board is what makes us effective.
CBS's focus is our mission: The Cleveland Blues Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote awareness and appreciation for the blues. Through our alliance, we endeavor to provide more opportunities for fans to see quality local and national blues artists. Additionally, we will provide educational workshops and preserve the history of the blues in our area.
CBS focus is to promote awareness and appreciation. We are not advertising or booking agency, it is not our responsibility to fill seats at an event or to choose specific bands to feature. It is always disappointing to see a small turn out at a specific event. It is so heartwarming to share our love for the music with new people and watch how excited they get when they experience the music. We are working hard to develop programs that will assist in that effort. We offer a corporate membership that helps venues list their logo on our site. We have a calendar they can use to list their events and shows. We encourage our local venues to provide a CBS membership benefit to our members to help encourage our members to support their venues.
CBS is working hard to through our programs and website, to introduce the blues to a wider group of people. It is however the responsibilitiy of the clubs and bands to manage, market, and create a reason for people to come to their show!
If you look at our calendar you can see the plethora of events that are posted. Those are done by a volunteer who has interest in our local venues and identifies national and touring acts. We do not have a volunteer that lists our local events. We need one.
If you consider the costs involved in going to one show let alone multiples in a week; (I.e. travel, tickets, time off of other things, dinner and drinks, parking, cd's t-shirts) and any other kind of thing;. Then consider the audience you are asking to come to this event and the demographic. (age, economic status, interests) We are talking CLEVELAND, one of the cities listed as one of the poorest cities in the country! It may seem like a nominal amount but 15 bucks can be a lot to some, 25 dollars to park can make some people not go anywhere. We are very lucky to have the people in our midst who can support the arts financially.
Then think about the level of awareness any touring band might have in a geographic area. If they have none, people will not risk their music night on an unknown especially when we are so gifted here to have so many wonderful players. If you have a solution to getting people out of their houses and into the venues to see a band on a week night, I am sure venues will be willing to pay to implement it!
If you have a source of funding to assure that CBS can pay a touring band to come to play in our area, please share. We have many bands that want to play for us, they need gas money to get here, food and lodging and a paycheck! Please help us with our mission!
As I write this post, I am thinking of the twenty other programs and events that need attention and the amount of time needed to make that happen. The newsletter, the Fair all day of programming, the videos for the next class of the hall of fame, the website content, the Memphis challenge, educational programs and the scheduling and management of the monthly jams, and maybe we can add a few more events in the mix that we require bodies. Our Elections for new board positions will be held this fall. I hope to see many of your names on the ballot! We need your enthusiasm and passion. I will be scheduling a volunteer meeting in early May! I hope you can attend and help CBS in our mission! Thank you all for your Support