The 11 O’Clock Show (or why gigs need to cater for all punters)

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Time gentlemen, please.


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Tunes.
Train/bus (delete as applicable).
Pre-gig drinks.
Gig.
Post-gig scran (mandatory stop off at the Lobster Pot).
Train/bus home (delete as applicable).
This was, is and ever should be how it’s supposed to go down.
Thing is, summat’s gone terribly wrong over the last couple of years in the city.
It’s become increasingly impossible to judge whether to bother going to midweek gigs as they get pushed further back into the wee hours of the night meaning you’re lucky to catch half a set of the headline band you’ve shelled out your hard earned pennies for, let alone a full set wihout missing that last ride home.
Yet this is the dilemma facing music and gig goers regularly. It’s been a common topic of conversation over the last 18 months with the usual conclusion: ‘Can’t be arsed going – it’ll finish too late and we’ll miss the headliners. There’s no way I’m shelling out for a taxi again and I’ve got work/college/life in the morning.’
Last year Deerhoof, HEALTH, Phantom Band, White Denim and numerous others took to the stage way past their scheduling (in the case of HEALTH nearly 1am) resulting in numerous unhappy punters as they trod into the night having only caught fleeting glimpses.
This isn’t some snarky message to promoters saying I know better. It’s also not a boring old hack wanting to be wrapped up in bed to catch the dregs of newsnight.
I used to put gigs on, and know how times change and numerous factors are out of everyone’s hands. But there should be a clear message to punters – if headline bands are due to play after 11pm let it be known.
Preferably wrap everything up by 11pm so everyone’s happy. Put it another way, I’ve yet to hear anyone moan about a gig finishing the right side of 11pm.
I discussed the matter with Darren Roper (promoter of Meshuggy gigs in Liverpool) at Dubai Sound City, and he was sympathetic to concerns, saying he intended to put this late night type of gig on more often, but only on Friday or Saturday’s coupling the performances with clubnights.
I hope these concerns are at least taken into consideration because if the trend continues gig attendances will continue to be affected.

Herman’s Hermits: Last Bus Home

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