All Event and "Bar Night" Organizers Only!!

YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
edited August 2013 in Rock Band Events
I thought I would create a thread where dedicated Event and "Bar Night" organizers from all over can discuss and bounce ideas off of eachother. I figured it would help current organizers as well as new comers who pop up and ask questions once and a while.

I run a company in Denver, CO called Death of the Arcade Entertainment. We specialize in hosting "Rock Band Nights" as a trendy and new karaoke alternative. I started in 6/08 and business has been pretty steady. We have one of the most unique stage set ups I've seen so far and have helped to create a dedicated community of video game rockers here in Colorado. I have bounced around from "Hole in the Wall" bars to reputable places like Old Chicago's and C & B and Potts (unfortunately Hard Rock Cafe could not afford a Rock Band Night after months of talks and negotiations but they are still very interest ;)). I am currently booked at 2 weekly locations and I handle a private party or Video Game Contest (I handle the Rock Band set up and judging for the Colorado Cutthroat Conection) about once a month. For more info on my company and what we do visit: www.myspace.com/deathofthearcade

Anyways, as I said, I thought we could bounce ideas of eachother regarding things like:

Set Up Ideas
Venue Ideas
Compensation (Pay)
Maybe even National Organization and Contests
Anything else that might be on our minds...

So if your an event organizer, chime in and mention a little something about yourself. Maybe ask a question or 2 or give some advice to someone who is thinking about starting a Rock Band Night.

Later! :D

Comments

  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    This is a great idea.

    I am working on putting something together along the lines of what you are doing.

    My biggest issue right now is the compensation. I don't really know how to make a profit from this. Since this type of entertainment can be compared directly to Karaoke, and that Karaoke is free in bars that offer it... how does one make money?

    How are you doing it right now? I was thinking of charging a very low fee to participate. Something along the lines of 2$ and the person can play a 4 song setlist with 3 other players. Would give an acceptable revenue I believe, set list would take about 15-20 mins to play so that's 24-32$ per hour.

    In terms of equipment, I have a strong preference for the PS3, but would the X-box be a better choice? How about instuments, just the basic RB2 stuff or go with the fancier guitars like the Starpex or Warbeast and Ion Drums?

    From an other tread on the forum, it seems that people prefer non-competitive events. More of a Karaokelike evening where people sign up for songs they wanna play. I bet the major issue is to get enough drummers and singers to have 4 people for all songs.

    I hope people will participate in this tread, good ideas could emerge and it will certainly help everyone with things they might not have thought about.
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    You may run into trouble by charging the participants to play due to licensing. Karaoke in bars is "free" for the patrons because the bars are paying the hosts or are running it themselves and the fee is for the equipment and host rental, etc. You would want to be charging the bar the fee for the services, not the guests.

    As far as not having a full band, I wouldn't worry too much about it. If someone wants to go solo - cool. If there are only 2 out of 4... oh well. I think once there is a small following, people will be jumping in to fill the empty spots.

    I like the Xbox right now as you can also hook up the Stage Kit. :)
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    I was curious about using the Stage Kit and/or modded kit (http://docsrockbandmods.netforums.us/dual-stage-kit-mod-vt449.html). I use it in my home, and although it's very cool, it only seems perfect in a home setting. Even with ALL the lights off, the kit isn't all that bright. I haven't tried modding it yet to have 2 LED units, but would love to soon. I just worry that in a bar that 1) it will be completely pointless since it's too dim and 2) the damn thing works as the mic controller so I wouldn't be able to mount it somewhere above the band anyway.

    Obviously, if things get busy and people are indeed interested, I would hire a board operator who could do some awesome lighting shows on the fly to each song. Until then, I wonder what some other alternatives anyone else has come up with....?
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Calendyr;2142058 said:
    This is a great idea.

    I am working on putting something together along the lines of what you are doing.

    My biggest issue right now is the compensation. I don't really know how to make a profit from this. Since this type of entertainment can be compared directly to Karaoke, and that Karaoke is free in bars that offer it... how does one make money?

    How are you doing it right now? I was thinking of charging a very low fee to participate. Something along the lines of 2$ and the person can play a 4 song setlist with 3 other players. Would give an acceptable revenue I believe, set list would take about 15-20 mins to play so that's 24-32$ per hour.

    In terms of equipment, I have a strong preference for the PS3, but would the X-box be a better choice? How about instuments, just the basic RB2 stuff or go with the fancier guitars like the Starpex or Warbeast and Ion Drums?

    From an other tread on the forum, it seems that people prefer non-competitive events. More of a Karaokelike evening where people sign up for songs they wanna play. I bet the major issue is to get enough drummers and singers to have 4 people for all songs.

    I hope people will participate in this tread, good ideas could emerge and it will certainly help everyone with things they might not have thought about.
    Warning!! Do not charge people to play! That is illegal. Your compensation should be arranged through the business that contracts you for your time and equipment. The business recoups the cost from the patrons that are there for the entertainment. The karaoke that you have seen "free" in bars has this same arrangement, you just don't see it as a patron. My number 1 advice for people who want to do this though is, make it a good show! Give the people a reason to leave their house and come out to play. Wheather it is the sound, presentation, or prizes, you have to have some sort of value to offer the business or else they wouldn't need you.

    I personally use an Xbox 360. Everything seems to be much easier in terms of DLC and extras (like the stage kit Klubby mentioned). Xbox and Harmonix seem to have a good relationship. I always make sure I have the latest DLC (YES! EVERYTHING!) and latest equipment. This is another reason to get people out of the house. They will know that they can preview the latest equipment & DLC at your Rock Band Night before they spend the money.

    Non-competitve is definitely the way to go, at least to start out. Once a strong community has been developed, it is much easier to progress into the competition. I completely agree with Klubby, I have never had a problem putting together a full band even when it has been a dead night... but I do have some pretty dedicated and awesome "Roadies" :D
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    I've been around the block with bar entertainment. I started my business 5 years ago, strictly karaoke and mobile DJ services. When Guitar Hero first started becoming popular, I took a risk and started providing it at all my karaoke shows as a non-singing alternative. When Rock Band first came out, I scrapped Guitar Hero and have offered what I call "Rockstar Karaoke", which is a combination of karaoke and Rock Band performances, and I've been doing that for about a year and a half now.

    As far as what to charge for your services, there is a lot to take into consideration. Your location is probably #1. Big metropolitan areas expect to and are usually willing to pay more for entertainment than less urban areas, so don't expect to make what someone in NYC is making if you run shows in Sheybogan. Night of week is also an important factor; the conflict here is that you're usually able to charge more for premium nights (Thursday, Friday,Saturday) than on non-premium nights, but you may only find venues that are interested in non-premium nights so that they can accomodate other forms of entertainment for weekends.

    One other major consideration is what you bring to the table. If you walk into a venue with an XBox and a few plastic instruments, you have much less of a negotiating position than someone who brings in a full PA system, their own screens, and high-quality instruments (i.e. IONs, mic mods, etc.)

    That all being said, a fair ballpark would be in the $100-$250 range for a standard night (approx. 4 hours).

    Seeing as this thread is intended for everyone who currently (or is considering) hosts regular Rock Band nights, I propose we form some sort of "organization" dedicated to the advancement of Rock Band as a venue entertainment medium. This way, we can steer the course of the industry, adopt similar standards, avoid unnecessary market competition, and collaborate on large-scale efforts. I would be willing to spearhead the formation of such an organization, and I would love to get some feedback from some of the other hosts nationwide.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    LiquidKourage;2142625 said:


    That all being said, a fair ballpark would be in the $100-$250 range for a standard night (approx. 4 hours)..
    This is about right :D
    LiquidKourage;2142625 said:
    Seeing as this thread is intended for everyone who currently (or is considering) hosts regular Rock Band nights, I propose we form some sort of "organization" dedicated to the advancement of Rock Band as a venue entertainment medium. This way, we can steer the course of the industry, adopt similar standards, avoid unnecessary market competition, and collaborate on large-scale efforts. I would be willing to spearhead the formation of such an organization, and I would love to get some feedback from some of the other hosts nationwide.
    This is exactly what I was hoping for! I myself, have not been in the "bar entertainment" industry as long as you. Hell, I don't even drink, and I never even attempted Karaoke until this damn game came out :p. I simply saw an opportunity and jumped on it. I am hoping for a little organization as well. One of my clients, The Colorado Cutthroat Connection is a co-founder of the National Video Game Association which helps qualify local gamers for national competitions. We were brought in to attract more casual players but slowly there has been some competitions incorporated into the "free play". I was hoping that our local competitions could eventually help qualify a "band" to take on the best players in the nation as well. Providing a quality set up and consistant judging is big part of attracting people to these competitions and, well it's a lot easier if dedicated organizers like ourselves handle it. Here is the link to Death of the Arcades judging criterea: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=382065742&blogId=464276783 It is designed to allow even the not so expert players a chance to actually compete and win by making up for their lack of skill level with stage performance. So far it has worked well and created some very close decisions. :D
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Klubby;2142247 said:
    I was curious about using the Stage Kit and/or modded kit (http://docsrockbandmods.netforums.us/dual-stage-kit-mod-vt449.html). I use it in my home, and although it's very cool, it only seems perfect in a home setting. Even with ALL the lights off, the kit isn't all that bright. I haven't tried modding it yet to have 2 LED units, but would love to soon. I just worry that in a bar that 1) it will be completely pointless since it's too dim and 2) the damn thing works as the mic controller so I wouldn't be able to mount it somewhere above the band anyway.

    Obviously, if things get busy and people are indeed interested, I would hire a board operator who could do some awesome lighting shows on the fly to each song. Until then, I wonder what some other alternatives anyone else has come up with....?
    Honestly, I just bought the stage kit during the closeout at Circuit City. I had already purchased a few sound activated lights of the web. The coolest part about the stage kit is the music synced fog machine. The lights don't really ad much to the show that I didn't already have and the navigation with that controller is horrible (no Right Button to navigate the menue)! Try shopping around on Amazon and Musicians Friend for DJ Lighting. They are really not that expensive. Although, if you don't already have it, I would recommend the pro audio / video set up 1st! This makes you 100% mobile and you don't have to rely on the venue for sound or TV's. Visit my myspace link for tons of pictures and video's that show of my set up for ideas.
  • ssijayssijay Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    Hey all,

    Well we just had our first RB2 night. All went well.

    What we did was:

    200 flyers were handed out, word of mouth, and posting here on the forums.

    15 copies of all songs were spread throughout the bar.

    Forms were also spread out.
    On the form it asked:

    Name/Band SEVEN7

    X Singer X Guitar Bass Drums

    SONG 1 Indestructible

    SONG 2 Inside the Fire

    SONG 3 Down with the Sickness

    Note: (each one of these were checked off accordingly to who was playing) Ex: Singer and Guitar come up to play they would check off Singer and Guitar(the X's above represent checkmarks). This made it easier to set up ahead of time.


    We had a full DJ system. While I was setting up for the next band to play we had music playing while I was setting for the next band. When the band was ready to play we announced them and they played.

    2 projectors, 1 flat screen TV for the video.
    4 led lights on stage, set those to blue.
    1 robo light behind the drummer.
    Xbox 360 for the console.
    2 les pauls
    2 RB2 guitar
    1 guitar tree (holds 6 guitars only had 3 on it)
    1 guitar stand (held 1 les paul)
    1 wireless microphone.

    It was free to play. It was our first time trying RB2 out in public and just wanted to see what kind of reaction we would get.
    They're we people there who tried it out for the first time and speaking with me after the played they said it was entertaining, fun, and that they felt like a ROCKSTAR.
    So all in all everyone there that night had a good time.

    Any questions, comments, please post.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    That sounds like an incredible set up especially for a 1st time event. Very well thought out and planed. Any pics? I get the "feel like a real rock star" comment often from new people. It's amazing to find out how many people still don't know about this game, but after a couple of Rock Band Nights they run out to buy their own for their house. My favorite people are the (usually) drunk, older patrons who think I invented this technology! I've found it easier to let them think that sometimes than try to explain what is really going on :p.
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Can anyone discuss the practical considerations of doing this and going with a PS3 or a 360 setup?
    Wii would be a deal breaker for obvious reasons.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Zoologico;2147451 said:
    Can anyone discuss the practical considerations of doing this and going with a PS3 or a 360 setup?
    Wii would be a deal breaker for obvious reasons.
    As I mentioned before, I use a 360 (the reason I listed before also). As for the "practicality"... I'm not sure what you mean. It can be as easy as you want it to be (xbox, game, & controllers) which as I mentioned before, I don't recommend. Or as complicated as you want it (PA, mutiple TV's, lights, stage props...etc...). It does take dedication though. So once you decide that this is something you want to do, stick with it. Is this what you where hinting at?
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    YRDaddy;2148186 said:
    As I mentioned before, I use a 360 (the reason I listed before also). As for the "practicality"... I'm not sure what you mean. It can be as easy as you want it to be (xbox, game, & controllers) which as I mentioned before, I don't recommend. Or as complicated as you want it (PA, mutiple TV's, lights, stage props...etc...). It does take dedication though. So once you decide that this is something you want to do, stick with it. Is this what you where hinting at?
    Thanks for the response.
    I was actually just wondering which console is more practical from a functionality and complexity level. Just the console, not all the other necessary gear.

    I would take your advice as far as the 360 is concerned, but are you not concerned about the RROD happening in the middle of an event?
    You could have a back up, but then that would require all songs to be downloaded and paid for all over again.

    Secondly, you would have to send your 360 in for weeks at a time to get it repaired.
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    That's certainly possible Zoo, but unfortunately, a risk I'm willing to take.

    If you are going to buy an Xbox new, the risk of the RROD is much less now than it was before due to the new hardware being installed... but still a risk.

    I prefer the Xbox but that's only because I'm already used to RB on that console. We went ahead and purchased 2 Elites with one having all of the songs downloaded (for now). Obviously with one gamertag being the license holder, if we were to have a RROD situation, we'd be screwed and only able to play the songs off the disc - but at least there's a back-up "plan" for now.

    Once we have the funds, we will have another gamertag set-up on the other console as the "owner" of the licenses to the DLC.

    This is all in the hopes that we expand and have several teams out in the field at once - in which case, we would need several more consoles. lol

    I honestly don't know what would happen if a PS3 were to brick. I guess it would be the same sort of deal - you would have to re-download all of the songs lost.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Zoologico;2148267 said:

    I would take your advice as far as the 360 is concerned, but are you not concerned about the RROD happening in the middle of an event?
    You could have a back up, but then that would require all songs to be downloaded and paid for all over again.

    Secondly, you would have to send your 360 in for weeks at a time to get it repaired.
    All very valid concerns and all have happened. Had a RRoD right at the start of a Rock Band Night. We played "acoustic" for a while to keep us entertained until a friend came in with his Xbox to get us through the night with just the on disk songs. Your best bet is to find a local Xbox repair guy (I call mine the xbox doctor). You can find them in computer repair shops and Craigslist. I have a launch day Elite so my warranty was up when I had problems. He fixed it in about 30 minutes and it cost me $30. Since then he has also replaced my disk drive motor and a second case of RRoD. The most recent RRoD, the "Doc" actualy made a "house call" and repaired my 360 on the pool table of Old Chicago during the Rock Band Night for $20!! I recently purchased the Red Sexy edition (Resident Evil 5) of the Xbox 360. I plan to transfer my Harddrive license over to it so I can start using the new Xbox and retire the old Elite. License transfers are pretty easy to do, but Microsoft will only let you do them once a year. Just keep a friend, or spare 360 handy to limp by for a night or 2 and you will be back to rockin in no time.
  • ssijayssijay Unsigned
    edited March 2009
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    FWIW on the 360 vs. PS3 discussion, I opted to go the PS3 route. The reason is, I sometimes run multiple events on the same day. If I were to run with 360s, I would have to pay for DLC on each system separately. On PS3, each DLC purchase can be downloaded 5 times, across multiple systems.

    Now, I am aware that you can access DLC on a different 360 if you are signed onto Live with your Gamertag, but in a bar environment, you can't guarantee an internet connection to accomplish that. It's more reliable to have DLC onsite, so to speak.

    Consequently, I'm still curious if any of the other hosts here are interested in some sort of organization. If anyone wants to reach me offsite to discuss the idea, I can be reached here: LiquidKourageKaraoke (at) Gmail (dot) com.
  • ZoologicoZoologico Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    I'd be interested in this "trade group" idea.
    I don't have anything to contribute directly right now since I am basically in the research stage right now.

    For example, this weekend I plan on taking stock of the viable venues for this and visiting some more local ones in the Atlanta area. Also, I am going to visit one place 100% dedicated to this on Friday nights and seeing how they do it, in case I am missing any major considerations in my planned setup.

    I have actually already designed a set up a few weeks ago while I was bored. I was trying to figure out what the best set up is for band/audience placement as well as screen placement for the band.

    Right now, PS3 is looking like the best option. I am estimating that it will take about $2000 to get just the video game gear (peripherals, PS3, all Rock Band games, and all DLC). Then comes the projector (I have one that can be used exclusively for this) and screen which seems like the most practical solution for video display.

    My design actually incorporates at least two projectors and two screens. Tying into a video distribution system already in place would be ideal for additional screens beyond the two projectors.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    ssijay;2150713 said:
    Hey all,

    Here is the link to the pics.

    http://www.rockband.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129962
    Looks like an awesome set up! Like I said, very well planned out for your 1st gig!
    LiquidKourage;2151012 said:
    FWIW on the 360 vs. PS3 discussion, I opted to go the PS3 route. The reason is, I sometimes run multiple events on the same day. If I were to run with 360s, I would have to pay for DLC on each system separately. On PS3, each DLC purchase can be downloaded 5 times, across multiple systems.

    Now, I am aware that you can access DLC on a different 360 if you are signed onto Live with your Gamertag, but in a bar environment, you can't guarantee an internet connection to accomplish that. It's more reliable to have DLC onsite, so to speak.

    Consequently, I'm still curious if any of the other hosts here are interested in some sort of organization. If anyone wants to reach me offsite to discuss the idea, I can be reached here: LiquidKourageKaraoke (at) Gmail (dot) com.
    Excellent point! I don't know much about the PS3 but I have heard about bieng able to "share" the DLC. For mutiple locations or fears of equipment repair, this sounds like an excellent choice. As I mentioned before I am very interested in the "organization", I'll be contacting you when I have some more free time.
    Zoologico;2151286 said:


    For example, this weekend I plan on taking stock of the viable venues for this and visiting some more local ones in the Atlanta area. Also, I am going to visit one place 100% dedicated to this on Friday nights and seeing how they do it, in case I am missing any major considerations in my planned setup.

    You know what? Venues seems like a good topic to discuss today. Some ideas for the new guys might be:

    Bars, Resturaunts, Private Parties, Corporate Events, County Fairs, Rec Center "Teen" Nights, Business "Grand Openings", Bowling Allys, Mini Golf Courses or Arcades / Go Cart Tracks, Independant Movie Theaters, A Gimiky Opening Act for a Real Local Band.

    Jump in any time experienced guys... :p

    I have found it particularly easy to aquire bars but getting that "family friendly" venue has eluded me for some reason! Has any of the experienced Rock Band hosts experienced this problem?
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    We have many street fairs here in Chicago as well as parades. We are planning renting out booths with our gear set-up for people to stop by and play as well as have a float in a parade or two. Great marketing!

    I am also interested in the "trade" group if someone wants to organize this.

    klubby (at) comcast (dot) net

    We haven't officially started as we are still waiting on some of the equipment as well as our state license, our name filing, etc. so I cannot comment on the family-friendly type gigs just yet...but will let you know if, when and how those arise.
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    As far as venues are concerned, I've basically been exclusive to the bar/restaurant style venue. But, that mostly comes from my background as a karaoke DJ. I've hosted Rock Band nights at sports bars, Irish pubs, pizzerias, and even a bar designed exclusive around video games. I've also gotten into hosting competitions for charity nights and things of that nature.

    Basically, a "good" venue is one where your presence there will equate to a profit increase for the venue. Typically, bars are the ideal choice since your purpose is to encourage patrons to come and presumably spend their money. Of course, since a large part of the Rock Band demographic is under 21, finding an all-ages venue is something serious to consider; maybe bowling alleys, teen clubs ("juice bars"), pizza places, and restaurants. I'd stay away from national chains, since usually they have a policy about outside entertainment that comes from the corporate level (though franchisees sometimes have more latitude in that regard).

    Local fests might be a great way to promote your own brand, but you have to consider how "everyone" wins. You'll probably have to pay to secure a booth, and from there, what exactly are you promoting that will result in you making money? Being sponsored by a local business is a good way to get started there, even if it's not a venue (consider an electronics store or something similar).

    If you're just starting out (assuming you have all your equipment resolved), the first step is to get your foot in the door somewhere, anywhere, that will let you start building a fan base. You may have to make concessions to secure that first "gig", but once you're established, finding gigs is a lot easier. Remember that you are in charge of your own destiny here, so be willing to negotiate and work on your salesmanship skills.

    As far as a trade group, I'm willing to jump on the initial organization, though at some point I'd like a few other businesses to help manage things. I'm envisioning a group that agrees to certain standards of practice, is available to each other for advice and tips, and is willing to collaborate across markets to promote the good of the group. I'd LOVE to get approval from Harmonix once this organization gets started; that way, we could market ourselves as members of the "Official Organization for blah blah blah Rock Band". You'd be surprised how much a little sense of legitimacy helps at the negotiating table.
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    LiquidKourage;2153708 said:
    Local fests might be a great way to promote your own brand, but you have to consider how "everyone" wins. You'll probably have to pay to secure a booth, and from there, what exactly are you promoting that will result in you making money?
    Basically, it's just another way to get the word out. Just because we'd be in a bar or two regularly doesn't mean we wouldn't be able to expand and take reservations for other events. I foresee our set-up(s) being completely mobile.

    We would be promoting the services we provide and that we are available for parties, bars, charity events, etc... much like a DJ or karaoke service. Nothing sells better than by showing the customers what you can do. If we are stuck in a couple of bars all the time, only those patrons would know who we are.

    I think just by having the buzz of a small crowd around a booth blaring some rock music with guests playing along would make people ask... "what are you guys doing exactly?" Heck, the Army even has GH in their recruiting booths. I know that's a bit of a strech since the product they are selling is completely different... but you should see the crowds they can gather - especially the younger crowd who aren't 21+.

    We would have branding surrounding the booth, obviously, along with business cards, flyers, and other giveaways with our branding on it.

    Maybe one day someone would be planning a birthday party and think, "who were those guys for hire at that street festival?"

    Yes, we'd have to pay for the booth. I just think to make money, you need to spend some too.
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    @Klubby:

    I'm certainly not knocking the idea of a fest/fair presence; I was just throwing out a few rhetorical questions that people looking to get involved might want to be able to answer to ensure they're not wasting time and/or money. I agree that most setups are going to be easily mobile, and that people who do this professionally aren't going to find themselves too limited by not having enough "rigs".

    I guess it really just boils down to what market you're looking to approach. Me, I'm happy in the bar scene. Others may go the more mobile route and market parties, weddings, etc. and if that's the case, expos and fests (anywhere you would set up a booth to promote) are a pretty good method of exposure.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Charity events are another great way to gain exposure. They will bring you a lot of exposure, they won't cost you anything other than time, and you will actually be doing a good deed. We handled the set up for Kotakus "Funde Razor" event for the Childs Play foundation in December which bring both clients and participants at our other locations.
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    The idea of a group is interesting. Could help us people starting out benefit from the experience of people who have been doing this for some time. Also we could have information regarding needed material (Console, Instruments, Amplifiers and speakers, PA system, auxilliairy audio sources like CD and DVD, Projectors, TVs, etc).

    Information about making contracts, suggestions on how to negotiate a financial compensation, publicity and all that would be very usefull too.
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    In my calculation, a full set of equipment would cost in between 5,000$ to 7,000$. One can certainly start with less than that and add material as they go.

    One question I have is this. Is it important for the public to see the screen? Or is it better to only have the people playing see it? This makes for a difference in terms of equipment needed.

    An other thing, is there a way to make an LCD TV (say 42 inches) be used on some sort of stand? Putting a table for the TV might be complicated I think and not very appealing in terms of looks. I guess you could probably build something using wood or PVC but if it was already available for purchase it would be a lot better.
  • YRDaddyYRDaddy Road Warrior
    edited March 2009
    Calendyr;2156823 said:
    In my calculation, a full set of equipment would cost in between 5,000$ to 7,000$. One can certainly start with less than that and add material as they go.

    One question I have is this. Is it important for the public to see the screen? Or is it better to only have the people playing see it? This makes for a difference in terms of equipment needed.

    An other thing, is there a way to make an LCD TV (say 42 inches) be used on some sort of stand? Putting a table for the TV might be complicated I think and not very appealing in terms of looks. I guess you could probably build something using wood or PVC but if it was already available for purchase it would be a lot better.
    Here is a decent pic of the set up I use: http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=382065742&albumID=926012&imageID=14865972 The projector is on the wall to the right. It is both important for the players to have a nice screen as well as the crowd to be able to see what is going on. You will have newbies that won't understand what the people are doing on stage until they actually watch the screen at the same time. I have a 42 inch mounted on a modified amp stand. It was really easy and only cost about $25 in parts. You can definetely start out cheaper then you expect (I think my total start up was about $2000)and then use the money made from Rock Band to purchase new equipment. Search craigslist and backpage for used PA systems and projectors. I highly recommend Vizio brand tv's because they are cheap and durable (definitely go flat screen!). The only 1 that has gone out on me is because I broke it. Don't worry about HD cables. Standard composite (RCA) work just fine and you can get them cheaper and longer. Beside's, the people are just looking at colored rectangles anyways and they are usually half drunk while they are doing it ;)
  • KlubbyKlubby Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    "Half drunk"... that brings up another question I was thinking - and it's a complete "what if" scenario. What sort of insurance do other owner's carry besides the obvious equipment insurance? Do you have liability insurance in case, for some crazy reason, someone got drunk and pissed and starting throwing sticks or smashing someone over the head with a guitar. I would assume this would be a very RARE thing... but what if? :)
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    As far as insurance, there are companies that provide business liability insurance, but honestly... I've gone years without any issue. It's your choice, but the odds of being sued because of an injury you might be liable for are really really slim. Now, insuring your equipment... that's another story, because strange things happen. TV's fall, consoles get knocked over, instruments break down, etc.

    You can get a full set up for a few thousand; I estimate my current rig is worth $3,000 including DLC.

    Using projectors and flat-screen TVs is something you should think about due to video lag. My preferred setup at the moment is a 25" CRT TV for the players, and a split signal into some sort of house TV for the audience. There's usually a lag on the audience screen, but that's basically irrelevent. Of course, if you can 100% dial in the video calibration for your player screen, more power to you.
  • CalendyrCalendyr Unsigned
    edited March 2009
    The bar or restaurant you set up at should have insurrance for that sort of things. For the equipment, I guess it would depend how much the insurrance cost, but I think I would prefer to put aside some money in case something breaks instead of paying 50-100$ per month to an insurance company.

    You are right, I did not think about the fact the audience might not understand how people can just walk to the stage and play unless they see the screen too.

    When you say a modified Amp stand. Can you give me a little bit more details? Your stand looks perfect on that picture. I was thinking of having the video signal split in 3. One for the projector (for the audience), one for a 40-42 inch screen for the Singer, guitarist and basist and a smaller screen (22 inch probably) for the drummer at the back. I wanted to go Component but S-Video or composite might be a fair bit cheaper. I think that lyrics would look really bad in composite though. I tried it on a friend's projector and we could not real the scrolling ones. We had to switch the lyric display to lines, and that is much harder to sing along to.

    Going used for some of the equipment definatelly would lower cost. Pawn shops might not be a bad place to look for some of the stuff like speakers and PA system. Although with a Mixer, you could simply use a pre-amp for the mic I think.

    I am meeting the owner of the bar I plan to set up at first tomorrow, will let you know how it went.

    In terms of advertising for the first events, what would you guy suggest? I was thinking flyers in the immediate area around the bar. Then activity section in the local newspaper and maybe a mention during a radio show. My guess is that once you have some people coming who likes it, word of mouth will do the rest. But it is important to get the ball rolling so that you don't have only 5 people show up ;) The bar I plan to do this at has no business during the evenings, so I won't be able to count on people already there.
  • LiquidKourageLiquidKourage Opening Act
    edited March 2009
    Hit the web hard for advertising if you're near a decent metro area. The forums here, of course, as well as Scorehero, Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter are the vast majority of my marketing. I also advertise in a few local entertainment magazines but they really don't bring a turnout. (Side note: Why do I spend $400 a month on useless ads?)
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