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Hello to everyone in the blue-room.org.


I have posted here a few times but not for a few years so I thought I'd re-introduce myself.




My spelling isn't up to much but I am a trier.


I've been a musician for most of my life and somehow fell into the local live music scene about 8 years ago. I still have a lot to learn broadly speaking but have a lot to offer also so hope I can be of some use to some people in the future.


Right then, here goes with my thread.


Just before christmas I had a call from a man asking whether I could provide PA for a gig he was putting together. At the time I was busy reformatting my comp and wasn't really paying attention (not a good idea). Told him to call me tomorrow in a annoyed voice. To cut a long story short it turns out this man wants to put together a live music venue for around (exact figures to be announced) 2500/3000 people, as well as in house recording studio, gym, and god knows what else. It will be a profit based project but also very much geared toward the local community. Teaching of all A/V technologies and alike. He doesn't come from the industry, he's an accountant with a passion for music (a guitar player as it turns out). The venue is bought, a hugh old concrete ware-house, utterly un-developed apart from walls, ceiling and floors. The architect's drawings were shown to me the other day. It looks like a modern office building on a industrial estate! Anyway at the moment it would appear I'm his main point of contact, as regards a tech person. Which is fine.


Now my experience in the field of "venue management" is at best - visionary, so to a certain extent I'm personally a little anxious about it, but interested. At this present time I'm "the live sound guy" in this scenario. Nothings written in stone as yet so we are at a very early stage. I was wondering whether we could formulate, implement and maintain (run) the whole project between us folks on blue room? How's that sound? Free beer & chips for all and a day at the sea-side, yippee. Of course I'm kidding! Thing is I know he's a man looking for someone to manage the whole project. This put's me in a dilemma. I'm torn as to whether to put myself forward for this role or not! As the conversation so far has been conceptual so to speak I find myself in what you might call a holding pattern. Time is of the essence. I have stressed my own personal talents as a sound technician and we are working with that, but suffice to say he's in two minds about me in the management material role. Maybe for good reason. I'm a confident chap but when I'm out of my depth I don't tend to bullshit people and he picked up on that, just. Dam-naggit.


I understand there maybe certain protocols involved here at this stage! Dealing with the money people for one! This isn't so much a technical thread at the moment, more of a good business know-how thread for you to mull over with me if you would. Basically he wants to know what I can offer him from a business point of view, which is fine, He hasn't all the answers, he wants me (I think)!! to impress him with mine. You get the idea.


The way his other projects work is to get his "team" all sat round a very swanky office with a big fecking plasma on the wall using powerpoint presentations and such. I have no problem with that, I look good in a suit. It's the dumb things blurting out of my gob that worry me. (joke).


On a more serious level. I have to date stated that I would be of use to him liaising with the various sound/light companies and others installing gear etc. I personally would take full advantage of a situation like this to listen and squint to all the sound/light industry has to offer i.e.; Meyer, Clair (always loved her) Vertec, D&B Q or C, Function (mmm), L'Acoustic, Midas, Digidesign etc, offering him a real world subjective view-point, budgetary and otherwise. I'm obviously going to do my best!


At this stage I know nothing about what is happening regarding anything. I'm having a meeting with him next week. I will be asking him various questions to find out more. A man like him has tried and tested ways of doing things with regard business etiquette. He expects people around him to know what they are doing, of course! I have many great ideas but what is important at the moment is knowing what my next move might be. Obviously I am human and can function very well for myself thank you but this has landed in my lap from slightly above and I'd be foolish to not rise to the challenge. I do have vision and I do feel I could excel in an environment just like this one. Getting things started on the right footing though is critical at this point. If this scenario doesn't work out as I wish - fine, I'll be installing the sound/lighting system and will still have many a question for you guys.


Oh - I have good experience in running a business just not in this particular sector.


Your thought and feelings appreciated, especially if you have been in a similar situation.




ham & mustard

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I don't wish to be negative, but in planning a venue for that number of people (and dealing with the associated budget) then if you have any doubts at all about your ability, then you shouldn't do it. The situation is considerably more complex than "putting a PA together". I would certainly recommend against proceeding with the advice given by an internet forum, for free. This kind of expertise does (and should!) cost money. (I would certainly charge for specific advice...)


I think the Blue Room can be an interesting place to bounce ideas around and "brainstorm", but without someone to "lead" the performance technology aspect of the project with confidence then the result will be, at best, sub-optimal.


If I were you, I would consider your role to be to help him employ a good, dedicated consultant* to manage these issues. Shop around - quality does vary, and it's worth considering how "important" a client you will be to a consultancy - the danger is not just getting someone underqualified, but getting someone overqualified who won't treat your project as their priority.


Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole project falls through - if the guy bankrolling it is a "business" guy, then the economics of live entertainment might frighten the hell out of him!** That's not to say that projects of this nature never work (Tanzhaus in Dusseldorf is based on this kind of model, for example, and does great), but that it will require a certain flexibility of business thinking that your guy may or may not have.



I guess what I'm saying is that in your current situation you have to, very honestly, sit down and think hard about the extents and limits of your ability in this case. In particular, the interface between the "production" needs and the construction process shopuld be considered. I don't know your background (at all!) but the fact that you're proposing that this could all be managed via an internet forum suggests that you might not be the right guy for this specific job.


This doesn't mean that you should get rid of all involvement. Projects like this need "vision" people as much as they need "detail" people - and having a "vision" person who understands the terminology is a very great asset to a project like this.


Good luck Break a leg!




*=ie: Not someone from the installation company. Too many vested interests, and ideally, this person should be involved in selecting the installation contractor.


**=There's a great quote in "Maskerade" that makes this point:

Bucket: "But... what do you get out of it?"

Salzella:"You get opera. You put money in, you see, and opera comes out."

Bucket:"There's no profit?"

Salzella: "Profit... profit. No, I don't believe I've come across the word."



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I'd fully echo what Bryson has said. You need to get consultants, and that's proper consultants, not guys that run installation companies that provide consultation services.


Generating a good reputation would be one of the key things. Establish it well with a reputation for a good atmosphere, team and kit would help enormously. And that will depend on the installation, and the people that incoming bands and punters will interface with.


Otherwise it sounds like it could be a wonderful project to be involved with.

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Again I'll echo what's been said - Bryson's just about hit the nail on the head.


From my point of view, I manage - as an unpaid volunteer - a far smaller theatre venue (250 cap) and quite frankly that can and often is a huge task. I suspect it's nowhere near as daunting however of floating a venture where the staff must be paid and the place HAS to make a profit or die.

Working with volunteers has it's own problems and pitfalls, but at least here we don't have to worry about staff wages.

We still need to make money to cover the overheads, but it's easier in many ways.


To sum up, by all means get involved - it sounds an exciting project. BUT make sure your friend has qualified and experienced advice from the right people - and not just the first ones that happen along.

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Hi all


Thanks Bryson for your input and others at this stage. Things like feasibility studies, accurate budgetary assessments of the whole scheme being properly implemented are of course just a few of the many many things I have talked about with him. I wouldn't consider getting involved unless I had the whole picture in front of me and I was convinced that the project might even work on a serious level with me in it! With respect though, I never indicated that I was going to manage an install myself. My part would be just as you said, finding the right people for the job. A skill in itself you agree! budget, budget etc. Thank you though Bryson I totally understand your concerns. Thanks for the Tanzhaus link. It might be worth paying them a visit if I were to ask politely enough! Getting into it a bit more (as you asked) I would want to be involved in the creative aesthetic side of things to a large extent. An overview of what this guy wants to do and supplying him with unbiased tools to do it based on a budget. That's where the right people for the job come in. Ok I want to design live music venues (joke, or is it)! Where I'm based at the moment there have been a lot of installs going on over the last few years. Some very nice some not so (regardless of budget), I'm not being "precious" here but I do have a very good idea of what works and what doesn't. The paying customer has the last word is the main one! I pay to go to gigs all the time.


Perhaps my post was a tad misleading. I tried very hard for it not to be. Because though of the situation at the moment and taking into consideration nothing is yet clear I thought I'd bounce the idea of it and see what came back. Thankfully all I have heard so far is how careful one should be. A comforting thought indeed. No worries. Thank you.


Your so right Pete, confirming that what has been said before is understood, establishing a reputation for a good atmosphere, team and kit etc, is something I can do without prejudice. The people that work in these situations are vital to a well functioning, happy, fair environment. This is good common sense which isn't understood by many! Is also the future wouldn't you agree? As regards the millionaire with to much time/money on his hands issue. I know and so does he. Only time will tell!


Once again apologies for not being clear enough. My desired involvement would be tech orientated once the install is in place, at my satisfaction. Improving upon and developing the hardware situation. I would also want a substantial involvement in the interior design process, the whole aesthetic thing from the ground up. Room treatment is another subject. Involvement in artist selection to a certain extent as well (contentious) and other things. quality control is probably the wrong word but something along those lines.


The volunteer idea is an appealing one but from recent experience for instance, a guy who wants to be "a sound-man" in this day and age can be an abused human-being indeed. There's a guy I know (among many) who is working shifts at a local venue at the moment for absolutely nothing. He does it because he has illusions of being a super-duper cool guy mixing his favourite band one day and the head-tech there hasn't even trained him up properly on purpose to get back at the management for this reason or that. Terrible and sense-less abuse of power. I'm not saying I wouldn't consider volunteers but it has to be done right of course.


I understand about biased install contractors


Anyway thanks for listening to me waffle on and I look forward to hearing your ideas thoughts and comments about stuff. It's been fun regardless.


cheese & pickle sarnie

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