Below is an excerpt from my first article for the University of Miami’s student newspaper, The Miami Hurricane.
The article previewed a concert event called “The Next Big Thing”, which appeals to local musicians with the promise of providing a platform for them to get exposure performing in front of a large crowd at Fort Lauderdale’s Revolution Live. I asked some of the participating musicians whether or not they thought it was worth it to “pay to play”:
However, there is some controversy surrounding a band’s eligibility for the show. The event utilizes a “pay-to-play” system, which means bands need to sell a minimum of 30 tickets to play. The number of tickets sold also determines a band’s slot in the line-up. More tickets means a later slot, which typically means a larger crowd.
“It may not seem like a lot for bands that have been around for three-plus years, but for new, upcoming bands it’s difficult,” said drummer Stephanie Delgado, who will be performing with Miami artist Quietus. “It seems some of the better venues are turning to the ‘pay- to-play’ mentality, and it’s almost like they’re trying to weed out the new bands.”
Melanie Dewey, a sophmore in the Frost School of Music, said that she would enter her band in a pay-to-play event.
“The prizes are worth it but even if you don’t win it’s a great way for a new band to start up,” Dewey said. “If you want it, you’re gonna make it happen.”
These kinds of situations come up often in the industry and it’s important to recognize the role of the promoter, Frost School of Music professor Christopher Palmer said.
“Promoters and bands need to be closest friends,” Palmer said. “Don’t discount the fact that these promoters are gambling with thousands of dollars hoping that somebody shows.”
Read the whole article, along with my other Miami Hurricane articles,here: http://www.themiamihurricane.com/2012/01/29/the-next-big-thing-tour-comes-to-florida/