100 Club recently posted on social media to say that as of now, they will no longer post the set times of any bands playing any gigs at their venue. Why would they do that? In the name of ‘supporting new artists’ of course. Nothing to do with selling overpriced drinks to disgruntled punter who have paid for a ticket no less.
The idea of not post stage times is fucking ridiculous for lack of a better term. As an agreement between the ticket holder and the artists/venue/promoter, there should be complete transparency with information regarding the event a ticket holder pay hard earned money for. By deliberately withholding information all you’re doing is proving that you have zero respect for gig-goers time or money.
The woes of people who live outside the city are known all too well. No one wants to have to take a half day just to get the train into town early enough to catch some experimental electro-funk two piece band that knew the main act back in high school. Sometimes it’s as easy as knowing you can get the bus home or if you’ll have to bring the car but for the most part, knowing set times can stop travel expenses rising far higher than the price of the ticket in the first place.
The idea that people can just turn up at doors and stay at the venue all night is an able bodied person’s idea. Unfortunately there are a multitude of people that are unable to stand anywhere never mind in crowded venues for periods of 3 or 4 hours so turning up for only the bands they’re interested in is an unfortunate necessity for people in this position.
Equally, for me growing up and getting my first taste of freedom was my parents letting me go to gigs without them around the age of 14. Mine and my friends’ parents let us do so because they could check curfew for the gig online, and accordingly be outside the venue, ready to walk us back to the car as the gig was finishing. Without that, a lot of young teens are either not allowed that freedom or left in unsafe spaces late at night.
From the perspective of the supporting artists it isn’t a helping hand necessarily either. If venues like 100 Club just spoke to them, they’d discover a majority support band are far happier to play to a crowd of 50 people that want to see them/are open to new music than to have to play to 150 people that are all either trying to chat over them, on their phones or worse still, heckling them.
If you genuinely care about giving an *willing* audience to the support band then do the work yourselves rather than forcing it upon punters. Post their links on your social media, make a playlist for each week of gigs upcoming. By the way that 100 Club have responded on social media it’s pretty clear that they’re not concerned for their punters. They’ve been pretty active all day yet have failed to respond to criticisms to do with ableism, accessibility and safety.
So if it isn’t helping the ticket holders and it isn’t helping the support acts then who is it helping? Oh yeah, 100 Club. There’s always doubt as to where the intentions lie in policies like this, when Slaves adopted it for their Winter 2018 UK tour it was clear that they have a misplaced love. They wanted people to open their heart to Ladybird like they’d done to Slaves when they were a support act many years ago. For venues, the intention shall always be, at least to an extent, sales.
In conclusion, fuck the 100 Club and it’s lukewarm pints, you’re alienating whole groups of gig goers just to try and get a few more feet through the door early. The whole culture of ‘turn up and get what you’re given’ is, if nothing else, a kick in the teeth to consumers. Yes, promoters that may read this, I understand that you may work hard but consumers work equally as hard to afford tickets in the first place so give them the common decency of some respect.
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