I don’t know about all of you, or the music scene in your home town, but growing up, the music scene on Long Island, my hood, was booming. We were churning out hit artists like butter. I was fortunate enough to immerse myself in the scene while I was in middle school and high school, which is when some people say it was at its height.
When you frequent concerts as much as I did, you become friends with the artists. The one resounding issue that every artist preached to me dealt with the abundance of illegitimate promoters. If this sounds like the case in your hometown, check out what I did in order to rectify it.
When I heard enough whining to make my head spin, I decided to take the bull by the horns. I began booking concerts.
Go out on a limb people. Try something new.
Five years later I am still in the game. But it has become clear that the scene is far from what it once was. Through 2005 – 2007, I produced concerts that drew excess of 700 people. In 2008 it was clear that the scene as we knew it was dying. I produced 3 concerts. The first drew 500 people. The next two barely broke 300. It was miserable. With all of the overhead necessary to produce a concert, I was finding myself consistently losing money. I debated whether or not it was worth it to do the events at all.
You must be wondering, why the hell I’m saying Long Island isn’t dead. In February I was convinced to produce another concert on L.I. This time I decided to do things differently. I reached out to artists I that could make a great event. Instead of emailing them individually, I started a Facebook thread. We discussed what needed to be done to make the concert a success for everyone. Through creative social networking, grass roots flyering and a lineup of artists from all genres, we pulled off something extraordinary in a scene that had most definitely been lacking.
On February 28th over 500 people came out to Temple Beth-Am to check out Long Island’s best up and coming artists. I was blown away by Gabriel The Marine, whose live show seriously rocked the house down.
At the end of the day ladies and gentleman, Long Island ain’t dead. We’re still making music and we’re still coming out to shows It just takes a little more work then it used to to make it a success. So please, all of you up and coming artists and promoters, regardless of your locale, do not be afraid. Get out there, put your time and effort in and you will be greatly rewarded.
– Mike George, contributing writer