Hi I Am In This Amazing Band, We Are From South Jersey and Haven’t Really Played Any Shows Besides My Dog’s Birthday Party. How Do We Play One Of Your Shows ?
Wow ! You guys are amazing ? ..ya don’t say….. To be honest we get about 20 emails a day with local bands asking for shows. Sadly we cannot set up a show for every band in the Philadelphia area. We do not own or operate any of the venues we host concerts in. Our goal is not to fill a bar or basement 7 days week. That’s the venues job! In theory we are supposed to be presenting a handful of shows every week for the bands that we enjoy!
With that in mind, if you are a local or touring band looking to play out please send links to any recorded material to : bands at r5productions.com (please do not send MP3s – only send the links to the music, not the actual files. Sending us links is the easiest!)
We check it every few days and listen to the submissions. Because we get 140 requests or links to check out each week, it sort of becomes a “don’t contact us, we’ll contact you” situation. We know that sounds super shitty, but we have a very small staff and we can not e-mail every single person back (at least until we get a real intern, or better yet a real office!)
We are no longer accepting mailed submissions because it’s 2010 and we don’t need to waste anymore trees, plastic or postage in something that can be sent for free! Save the planet! Or something?
Why Do You Guys Hate Local Bands? I Heard You Never Book Any Bands From The Philadelphia Area And You Are The Meanest, Rudest Jerks In The Town!
If we could, we would love to help out every band that sends us something, even if it’s just an opening slot for 15 minutes. But the reality is we only have 6 to 10 open spaces for a band to play a month. You see, most of the shows we do these days are known as “packages”. That means the headlining bands brings all of their own openers – AKA we cannot add a band to the show. Obviously this makes it very hard to help everyone out. You should see our “Bands To Hook Up” list, it’s like 100+ strong. Please be patient and we will do our best to help you out!
Also please remember the whole idea of R5 is to only do a few shows (as mentioned above) a month. We only do a few select shows. So while we know that Johnny Brendas, Kungfu Necktie, M-Room, The Fire, etc are all more “supportive” – that’s because they have a calendar to fill. We do not…
I Heard That You Don’t Pay Bands At All, That Your Venue Is Super Cheap To Rent Out, And That R5 Is Worth Like Millions Of Dollars! Why Do You Charge $8-$14. Shows Should Never Be More Than $5.00 !!!!!!! Everyone In A Band Should Live In Poverty So I Dont Have To Pay An Extra $3
Well okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But there has been countless hours and e-mails wasted on arguing with people as to why shows are $8 to $12 (or more!) . Believe it or not, a lot of these bands get offers to play bigger clubs. To bring these bands to the various venues that we use, we have to stay competitive with these clubs (like taking percentages of merchandise, adding fees on to your tickets, paying to skip the line etc.) This means we have to pay bands just as much or even more than the corporate owned/booked venues. To do this we need to bring in more money at the door. We don’t know how many major cities have The Arcade Fire or Vampire Weekend playing a church basement or a warehouse in West Philly! Paying the band really well is what we are all about. That’s why they continue to work with us! Check out what it costs to see these bands in New York, Boston or DC. Betcha 9 times out of 10 we have a cheaper ticket!
“For The Kids, By The Kids” – Yeah Right. You Guys Used To Be Cool, But Now Most Of Your Shows Are 21+. Why Do You Hate Us Underagers. I Promise I Wont Drink (or even better …) That Venue Sucks , They Won’t Let Anyone Under 21 In – What’s Their Problem ?
We never realized how many people do not understand or grasp the concepts of our state’s liquor laws. So let’s lay it all out for you right now : It’s against the law in the state of Pennsylvania to be open to patrons of “All Ages” (under 21) while serving alcohol in a venue – UNLESS there is a separate, sectioned off area with it’s own entrance and exit for people to consume their alcoholic beverages. Those sections are generally in the balcony of larger clubs like Union Transfer, The Trocadero, TLA, Electric Factory etc. Unfortunately there is no real way to do this for smaller rooms. Which is why venues like Kungfu Necktie, Johnny Brendas, Boot & Saddle etc. are 21+. It’s because they are not allowed to serve drinks if anyone under 21 is in the room. Which brings us to the next point…
If we could somehow get a cheap all ages venue – we promise that every single show would be all ages. But the reality is the real money in this business is made at the bar and because of that, bar’s charge a lot less overhead, (cause they make their money selling alcohol!) Due to our wonderful Quaker inspired liquor laws (as mentioned above) there is no way for a place to legally sell alcohol in the same “room” as a minor. So that means we have to rent out a room that doesn’t have a bar in it aka an “alternative venue”. With these rooms we need to bring in a sound system, staff, insurance, catering etc etc It’s obviously a lot more expensive to make a room into a venue vs just using a room that is already established.
A perfect example would be a recent show we did for Monotonix at The First Unitarian Church. We had a little more than 100 people at the show. Not too shabby, especially on a Sunday night with the Phillies playing. After paying the room rental fee, renting the PA, hiring staff to set everything up, work the door and clean up PLUS paying the bands – we lost over a $1,000.
That’s totally crazy, and it drives us nuts. Especially when we think of things like “Well we could have flown to Miami and had the biggest party ever tonight (with the $1,000 that we lost) , but instead we did a show for Monotonix.” Now some of that is our fault because we guaranteed them way too much, but if that show was at Kung Fu Necktie, a 21+ room that is literally 8 times cheaper to rent out, we would have broken even on the night!
That’s obviously HUGE! $1,000 is a shit -ton of money! So sometimes we essentially HAVE to book a 21+ show because we can not be sustainable show promoters booking smaller bands at The Church etc.
So in a nutshell that’s why we do 21+ shows. The plan usually is to do the first show or two in a smaller 21+ venue so when the artists are bigger and more popular we can finally host them in an all ages room. I know it sucks, especially because underage kids are usually the ones who are most excited and interested in new music. But sadly, with our state’s laws. That’s the way it has to be (unless someone finds us that cheap All Ages room!)
“I write for so-and-so and I would like to write about tonight’s show. Can I get on the guest list?”
“The guest list for the show should be reserved for guests of the bands. Of course, anyone who works on the show is welcome to attend, but we would like to avoid any industry, press, friend-of-the-club, used-to-be-in-a-band, weed connection or VIP lists. These people are welcome to attend, but they need to buy a ticket like everybody else” – Shellac Of North America’s Guest List Policy.