Well...the Artisan issue turned out to be mighty interesting! In the end the owner made some moves that were less than consistent. Firstly the woman who used to do their booking and was in contact with local musicians regarding the stage policy change was FIRED after attempting to bring some other options for musician payment to the owner's attention. Well, that put the last nail in the Artisan coffin in some people's opinion, but then it went further.
In an article published by the Columbia Tribune, for which I was interviewed, as well as the owner and some other local musicians, the owner stated that once people have seen a band once or twice they won't pay to see them again. That directly contradicts everything that local music is about. Most bands in this town who have been around a while and have a good following would say precisely the opposite is true: we have people who come to EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR SHOWS and PAY EVERY SINGLE TIME for which we are extremely appreciative!! Thank you loyal fans!!!
Furthermore, the owner essentially said he had NEVER changed the stage policy and it was crazy that people were discussing a non-issue. In response to that, the woman who was fired for relaying the policy change to musicians posted the owners' original e-mail to her, complete with language that definitely suggested a stage-policy change. Hmmm.. how did us "crazy" musicians get the idea that things had changed since HE SAID THEY HAD???
Well...business is business, but it's too bad people feel the need to talk out of both sides of their face, especially about issues they clearly don't understand fully. It's completely his perogative to do everything he can to make money and stay afloat, and I guess he doesn't have any obligations to us musicians, but I'd rather he'd just been honest about his intentions from the start.
I don't really want this weblog to turn into a politics page, so I'm going to stop writing about this topic, but I feel it's important to bring some of the issues musicians face to people's attention. Sometimes it's a struggle to do what you love, but you do it anyway, thankful to all of those wonderful people out there who make it possible by supporting music with actions, not just words.