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Anyone heard of them? Or their showcases?
As a rule of thumb, avoid anyone who promotes 'showcases'.
these are not worth doing. money making exercises with as many bands as possible and done in the worst possible way. asking for a deposit "to ensure bands turn up"... fuck off!
my band played a couple of really good gigs with them back in Sept/Oct at Islington Academy 1 & 2. Plugged as big industry showcases they were very well organised and run. We weighed up the pros and cons and paid the £50 refundable deposit (to ensure you bring a crowd). I am still battling to get this money back along with a live audio recording which was done. I rarely get a reply from emails or phone messages that I leave. I think I'm going to go and knock in their door if I can locate them.
A lesson learnt the hard way. Should have had more of an opinion like Stephen above! It's a shame because you just start to lose faith in all promoters...they just book loads of bands, insist on a minimum crowd and charge a huge entry cost doing very little to help band themselves out...
...after 3 months of bambarding Jar with emails and phone messages I got home the other day to the surprise of a cheque and CD sitting on my doorstep.
I would still recommend avoiding them like the plague though.
you don't have the status to be playing "Monto Rats"
From their site:
"The band will be issued with a determined amount of serialized tickets for their fans, at a reduced price. All bands must be able to sell a minimum of 40-50 tickets (according to venue's and showcase booking conditions). "
A band should only worry about playing. Selling tickets is for promoters. Any promoter who expects a band to sell tickets is just full of SHIT!
Besides, the "winners" of their showcases that end up going to the maldives are always, inevitably, the cheesiest shit bands ever!!!
So, unless you're an idiot in a shit band who thinks sounding like a mix of The Twang with Timbaland sounds like a good idea, avoid JAR!
You're getting to play a large venue to a ton of people and all you have to do is sell 50 tickets? If you as a band can't draw 50 tickets on your own, you've got a lot of work ahead of you anyhow. It's not unreasonable to expect a band to sell tickets. Yes, it is the promoters job to sell tickets but one of the ways in which that's done is by getting the band to draw from their pool of friends, family, acquaintances whom are more likely to buy tickets from the band. Jar might not be for everyone but for those that have enough people into them that they know, sounds like a really good opportunity that just requires a little work like anything else.
Bands should never have to worry about selling tickets. That's a promoters job. Any promoter who asks band to sell tickets is a lazy arse and a crook.
Band's should worry about being in a band - writing songs, being good live etc - instead of worrying about being promoters. Sure enough, most bands will promote themselves however they can anyway, via their site, email, facebook, friends etc, but that's not the same as having to actually sell tickets and end up losing money!
And finally, having "friends, family, acquaintances" at your gig doesn't mean the band has a "fanbase", just that it has lots of friends family etc - quite often people who don't even give a shit about music and just go to a gig to show support to the person they know.
What good bands need are good promoters who'll put them in front of new audiences who might like them, not in front of your bezzie mates and family!!!
There are few more embarrassing sights than shitty local bands happy enough to just play their hometown & surrounding areas to their same pool of friends family etc...giving them an illusion of being a "proper" band with a crowd but really, it's just an illusion, and quite pathetic. These bands who always play just to their mates etc are never the good bands who one day get big, or become something special. They're always, inevitably, the shit pub rock bands, people who like Brian Adams and the Twang, people with shit haircuts and shit guitar tones...they are the minions of the toilet circuit, the ones that help making up the numbers in the audience at shit venues so the promoters can get enough money for themselves and maybe the headlining band.
They are the little shits people like JAR pray on.
To be honest...they deserve each other!
Sums it up pretty well!
PS: I was replying to Brainsocialscene before