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This is often the case in Boulder. As the booking agent for my own band, the clubs and theater usually have a tour package. Many times they are clamoring to get another national act on the same evening (because they are going for the sell-out, not promotion and support of a local music scene so if they can sell the rest of the tix instead of 50 to 100, that is what they will do). And finally, if there is a band looking for local support, the nationwide bookers pick one of their own bands to open. And there is a revolving door for the few bands who pay out for the contacts. Don't get me wrong, I am always looking to try and get a booker to help us out, but I do think a local venue should be there to support local music as well as bring in the best from around the world.


What is the big deal? This is nothing new. I remember back in the 70s & 80s it was tour packages with no local bands. You are writing this like it's a new thing that has never happened before.

While it's great for local bands to get a shot, headliners often like to have continuity between shows, without surprises (good or bad).

Fletcher Batts

well said, i agree completely. Same issues here in Macon Georgia.

Fletcher Batts

this is new to him, he said he grew up in the 90s and during that time, Nashville was a growing hub so he many not have experienced this.

Aaron Gibson

This is an ongoing thing. I grew up in the San Francisco bay area then lived in Colorado, now Oregon for 10 years. Though the music scenes are entirely distinct in all three places, your observation holds true throughout them. Many of us wish desperately that someone would give us that shot because "my music is the best" or "it's like nothing you've heard before", but alas, you've got to fight for your rite to party!

Nick Hardy

@iticus75 - Never said it was a new thing. Growing up in the punk community there's was always a sense of camaraderie and everyone was very supportive of others art. Everyone one from the band members to the venue owners. As I grew up out of teens and now in my late 20's, I wanted to take my core value that I got out of my youth and use that as I guideline on how I did business with others.

I fight for the independent musician. As income streams diminish, the touring aspect for the artists I have worked with has always been the one stream to keep the bands afloat. One in particular toured the U.S. for 4years and amassed an amazing and supported fan base. But trying to get them on a opening slot in their home town of Nashville was heinous, even with a track record of past shows with 300-500 walkins on a headline show.

I admire venues like the 9:30 club in D.C. that are creating opportunities for the local scene to flourish. I hope their model will be influential elsewhere in the U.S.

Nick Hardy

Oh sorrrry. @fletcher batts.....I hear ya man. Macon is a tough city.....I've booked many of shows in the area. The Hummingbird and I have used the Blue Indian talent buyers to get all age DIY shows. I've had some success at Mercer University as will as Bragg Jam. Even still - it's pulling teeth every time booking in Macon even with a good track record.


i think it's good to have a whole package tour, especially when you're asking fans to pay $15+ for a ticket. you want to make sure that the entire show, start to finish, is solid. but, i know the other side of it can be frustrating - makes it important for bands to build up their own following and make relationships with the local promoters, so when a promoter has an opportunity for a local band to open a show, they have your band in mind already.

Danny Dee

Most urban acts allow for 1-2 regional openers...actually the promoters prefer it bcuz they charge them up the ass for being able to get on the flyer/marquee

Ben Stauffer

Nick, sorry to hear that you and your acts are having such trouble. I'm in Nashville and have seen a couple of shows (Handsome Furs at 12 & P as an example) in the past year with local support acts. Honestly, I was surprised because I have gotten used to seeing a full package when I see nat'l acts. But there is hope!

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