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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Booking Anxiety – Running The Show
Wednesday, September 03, 2008

This past Saturday I threw a fairly large show at Cousin Larry’s in Danbury, CT. I booked the entire event; getting the date, the artists and the DJ, and I did all the promo for the show, as well. Let me tell you, if you ever plan on throwing an event of your own, think twice, the anxiety it causes is unreal.

Even though my show, which featured Louis Logic, Homeboy Sandman, Lauren Ianuzzi and Sketch Tha Cataclysm, was considered a success by all parties involved, including a very impressed doorman named Josh who said the club didn’t expect nearly as big a crowd as I brought in being that it was Labor Day weekend, I spent the majority of it worrying about how it was going. I guess that’s part of a booker’s job. I was making sure everyone was having a good time and that things were running smoothly.

My first coronary came when the doors were opened at 9pm and my DJ (a close friend of mine who I expected to be on time and thrilled to do this show) was nowhere to be found. Despite the (insane) idea that nobody shows up at the posted time quite a few people had already arrived for the show and they were subjected to bad modern rock music played out of a jukebox. I was pissed. Forty five minutes later my DJ arrived, at which point I had already told another DJ who was in the house that he could get on the turntables and start spinning.

Homeboy Sandman led off the night and had a tremendous set which included a freestyle session with Dyalekt done to Guns N Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine." By the end of Sandman's time on stage the place was packed, so everyone got a taste of his music. After he performed Lauren Ianuzzi hit the stage with her band and wowed the crowd. I was thrilled with my decision to put a female singer in the middle of a set of rappers as the entire audience loved her and loved the switching up of the vibe. I had a number of people, including the employees at Cousin Larry’s, tell me how much they loved her, and a few of the other artists on the bill even approached her to tell her how great she was. Lauren later told me it was a thrill for her to perform in a front of a crowd that’s not her normal audience.

My second coronary came after Dyalekt and I (we were co-hosting the show) announced that Sketch Tha Cataclysm was up next and then there was a twenty minute lull before he actually hit the stage. Apparently he needed an extra microphone for a part of his set that involved multiple beatboxers creating a beat for him (which was pretty damned cool) and it took forever to get that extra mic. Louis Logic was a HUGE help with this as he was extremely cool about having his set pushed back because of the situation. I’m not sure how many other artists would have been so accommodating.

Louis’ set was fantastic (as was everyone else’s, for that matter). Afterwards I was given the money from the door to divide up. It was a nice chunk of change, but it wasn’t so nice that I felt it would be worth my while to take my small part of it as it would lessen the pot for each artist and not really do anything for me other than make me look like the kind of guy that would sell his friends out for a dollar. So I decided to split the door five ways rather than six (and yes, every booker reading this just had a stroke because I chose to pay the artists over myself. Hey, I may have set everything up, but if the artists hadn’t been on stage it wouldn’t have been a show.).

As I was dividing up the money a random drunk / high person came backstage and just would not leave. I refused to leave him there with the equipment because I had no idea if he’d steal, or break, anything, so I couldn’t just get someone to kick him out, and he wasn’t responding to my multiple nice ways of saying “get out, you don’t belong here.” After about five minutes of attempting to deal with him my DJ came backstage. I implied I wanted him to stay there for a minute and I went to get someone to boot the drunkard.

In the end I think everyone left really happy. Then there was me, who left happy, but totally frazzled and stressed. Booking is just not for me. I’m far too concerned with how everyone feels. I want to make sure the artists, the fans and the club all feel fulfilled. I think that should be the most important aspect of booking a show. Personally, that’s just a little too much for me to handle. That being said, I’m glad I made this happen, because it proved even though booking isn’t a career I would ever pursue, at least I know I can do it well. Heck, I packed Cousin Larry’s on a holiday weekend without printing a single flyer!

For pics from the event (and props to Miss Karen D for taking the majority of these) check out: Cousin Larry’s Show Picture Gallery.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:42 AM  
  • At 10:05 AM, Blogger Thirtyseven said…

    IT REALLY DOES GET EASIER. You get a psychic sense of what details will never matter and what disasters will take care of themselves. (You also learn to sniff out the serious disasters before you commit to them.)

    In a field so full of parasites and inept rich kids, I would beseech you to at least keep your feet wet.

  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger Lee said…

    I DOES get easier. You get use to the chaos and just find your place to get things done. It also doesn't feel as overwhelming.

    Glad it went well man. Now we can add Adam Bernard: Promoter. Could the new Def Jam be coming? Is this the new Rush Management? Did we see Crush Groove JUST happen?


  • At 8:29 AM, Blogger Adam Bernard said…

    As always, the props are appreciated.

    I'll see if my heart and my mind can handle doing another one of these.

  • At 10:38 AM, Blogger DJ said…

    That DJ sounds like a real jerkoff, you should ditch him and find someone else. He's just wack, I bet he "Said" he had "stomach issues" or something...Freaking pu**y.

  • At 5:41 PM, Blogger kats said…

    I don'tknow...I heard that particular DJ actually doesn't suck.

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