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#455342 - 07/17/06 09:08 PM Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Indianapolis, IN USA
Hi Folks,

Well.. once again Murphy's Law rules. We had everything set for our 2006 Music Awards venue in Hollywood. We had the check ready for down payment. We had negotiated the contract points. We had done a lot of work figuring out how to do it financially. All was set.

We were supposed to have the final contract before the July 4th weekend. The venue didn't get it to us, so things drug out longer. Finally we got a copy faxed over to us. In the contract there was a line of text that said (I may be slightly paraphrasing):

"No Rap or Metal Music Allowed."

I was surprised to see this in the contract. But to me, an awards show with 150 categories, 2 of which are Rap and Metal, really shouldn't be affected by this. I spoke with the venue owner who told me on the phone that perhaps Metal would be okay, but that Rap music was a problem because of serious gang violence in LA. I explained that our nominees would be from around the world (Our last Rap winners were from Lithuania). I also explained that at most, we'd be talking 1 4 minute rap performance out of a 6 hour event. Hardly something that would likely interest gang's in the first place. After all, we also had Children's music, Opera, Classical, Country, Pop, Spoken Word, Celtic, etc.. and those generally aren't that interesting to gang members. He explained that if we were going to have anything involved Rap, we would have to hire extra security. I still disagreed but that is where it was left. The truth is we don't even know yet who the nominees will be, let alone who will be at the show to perform. (We book performers from those who buy tickets, so it's dependent on who shows up). So it might be that we wouldn't have a Rap or Metal performance anyway, simply based on who shows up.

So when we got ready to sign and fax back the contract, the final contract they sent, STILL said "No Rap or Metal Music Allowed." I called to explain we had discussed it and that he said metal was okay and if we had a rap performance we'd have to hire extra security (something I disagreed with, but that was his terms). I was then informed that if any Rap or Metal was going to be involved in our show in any way, they were cancelling our date. No discussion. No negotiation. No understanding. Nothing. The owner of the venue even refused to talk to me on the phone directly. I had to talk through his assistant who was just as flabbergasted as I was.

So.. our options are to start from scratch and look for a venue. Or.. we could try to work with the Galaxy Theater, who were wonderful last year, but the downside is that the venue is small (seats a max of 550) which means it will sell out and people will not be able to get in that want to. Or we can consider moving to a new city like New Orleans, something I wouldn't be against, but the question is would 600+ JPF members and nominees be willing to travel there?

This is the kind of stuff that we have to deal with behind the scenes that most of you never hear about. We were willing to risk our necks financially to move up to this far larger and famous venue to make it a wonderful night for everyone. But for us to Censor Rap music and Metal music out of the awards to me is offensive. I would be willing to take reasonable measures to make sure everyone was safe (though the idea that our member who do Rap would be more dangerous than anyone else is frankly offensive to me as well.. have they ever heard Hard Rock? Industrial? Alternative? Punk? Techno? Electronica? Will all those be banned next?) but I think normal venue security should suffice. If "We're all in this together," how to we leave out the 2nd largest awards genre (Rap) as well as Metal, which is probably in the top half in size?

So.. if any of you have suggestions or contacts or ideas, I am all ears. As damaging as it is for us to start all over, I think censoring our own members music is both stupid and wrong. Since other types of music can have equally aggressive sounds or lyrics, it's very questionable to draw the line at 2 genre names without reasoning. Ever been to an Electronic Rave? Ever been to a Punk Rock Mosh Pit? Apparently that is okay. But not Metal or Rap.

Ack.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#455343 - 07/17/06 10:27 PM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Emily Sanders Offline
Top 100 Poster
Emily Sanders  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Santa Monica, CA
Hi, Brian,

I am really, really sorry to hear about all this!
What a shame....after all of your time and your hard work [Linked Image]

I totally agree that it doesn't seem right at all to censor Rap and Metal....or ANY other genre.

Unfortunately, all over Los Angeles, there have been a very high number of gang shootings
(some in broad daylight and with young children being killed) and gang violence has escalated considerably in the last few months....I am sure that the management for this venue had this in mind...However....when we think about ALL the famous people that have performed there....you could easily name MANY who are controversial and have political views that aren't always popular...but, they were not banned from being there, to the best of my knowledge!!

As impossible as it sounds, I would encourage you to try to work it out, but I will totally support whatever you decide to do. It would be great if a comprimise could be made; you are bringing a lot of good business to this place and, in my opinion, they should do what they can to work it out.
I mean, you are bringing a HUGE group of well behaved, wonderful people to their place. Tell them to call the folks at the Galaxy for a positive recommendation!!
I know this isn't easy and it has gotten pretty complicated.

As for having the awards show in another city, I would highly recommend Nashville if Los Angeles doesn't work out. It's such a big center for music and film these days...There are many venues there that would be honored to host a huge JPF event, I am sure [Linked Image]

I just want to say that I appreciate all you do for JPF...and hope this gets resolved soon.

Hang in there...

Emily

------------------
http://emilysanders.net

#455344 - 07/17/06 10:41 PM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 589
Shandy Offline
Serious Contributor
Shandy  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 589
New York City
My favorite awards show was the one at The Highlands... a nice, historic, huge hall would be great, but to me it's about the show, not the room. If I have the ticket money I'll be there, no matter what city it's in.


Shandy Lawson
ShandyLawson.com
#455345 - 07/18/06 12:35 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,499
Al Alvarez Offline
Al Alvarez  Offline

Top 100 Poster

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,499
Tampa Florida
I'm with Shandy on this one. If you host it we will come. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, New York or Hmmm...Tampa Florida. Naw, too many beaches and hotels and sunshine and beaches and Indies and,...Venues and...did I mention beaches? Keep in mind that our main industry is TOURISM.
All genres all the time.
Remember the Taxi seminar we helped to host?
We were shooting for 80 and hosted two hundred and fifty.
Al

#455346 - 07/18/06 01:50 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,403
Joe Wrabek (D) Offline
Top 40 Poster
Joe Wrabek (D)  Offline
Top 40 Poster

Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 6,403
Garibaldi, OR USA
Easy for me to say, since I've never been to one of y'all's gatherings, but I would hope JPF would not allow anybody to dictate what kind of music you can or can't have at y'all's thing. I guess my response would be "Dude, *creativity* isn't safe. 'Safe' is what's wrong with the music industry in general." And go somewhere else (and preferably go very loudly).

Joe
www.soundclick.com/bands/7/joewrabek_music.htm

#455347 - 07/18/06 02:33 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Indianapolis, IN USA
Shandy, Al and Emily,

All 3 of you were at the Galaxy theater last time. What are your thoughts on simply returning there? We lost money last time and without being able to sell extra tickets, the only option there would be to either charge 75-80 dollars a head with food or 60 dollars a head without food and let people order whatever they want off the menu on their own schedule. If we did it that way, we could just return there and move forward. I am sure the draw to Orange County would be less than Hollywood, so it may mean less people would want tickets and so perhaps we wouldn't have to turn as many away.

The danger to moving out of Southern California (which has beaches as well Al) is that a new city may lead to very few people coming from out of town and if there isn't already a large number of nominess (nearly 6000 of the 25,500 albums entered came from California compared to 850 from Florida for example) NY and NJ combined are about 3500. All of Tennessee is only 750. So California is hard to match with the sheer number of entrants meaning outside of NYC, we're likely to have nearly 10x's more local nominees available than any place else. Even throwing in Eastern PA, and CT we're still not anywhere near California anywhere else. (Louisiana only has 200 entrants and that was BEFORE the storm...).

So I would be particularly curious to hear from Shandy and Emily and Al and anyone else who was in OC last time what you'd think of returing to the Galaxy. I spoke with Jenny and Kristin of the Future of Music Coalition, (who I have a lot of respect for obviously)and both thought I shouldn't reward the offending venue with our business and event with their short sighted policy. I can't decide whether to run this in the newsletter or keep it low key until we find the right replacement. Our only problems with the Galaxy is size and location. They seemed to treat folks very nice there, we had zero complaints from anyone (at least no one said anything) and they did a mostly nice job with the sound and lights for such a long and complicated show.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#455348 - 07/18/06 03:19 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Emily Sanders Offline
Top 100 Poster
Emily Sanders  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Santa Monica, CA
Hi, Brian,

Thanks for asking...Here are my thoughts:

The more I think about it..the more I am infuriated with the whole idea of a music venue -- that you are paying to use---telling you what kind of music you and and can't play...Certainly doesn't make me want to support that place.

If it's not possible to really work out a fair solution..with the Palladium backing down on their censoring, then I am fine with having the awards at the Galaxy.

Your points about
people being nice there and things running smoothly is HUGE...Unfortunately, you don't always get that kind of excellent service at some venues in Los Angeles [Linked Image]

What I liked about the Galaxy:
-- There was plenty of free parking...!! MANY venues in Los Angeles charge A LOT just for parking...so this is a definate plus [Linked Image]

-- I liked the food [Linked Image] I would be fine with paying separately for my food...although, I do have a preference for food being included in the price of the ticket.

-- Sound and lighting was good for the most part...although... some of the folks that I sat with thought it was way too loud at times.

-- I liked the layout of the venue...very easy to see the stage.

If it's not meant to happen at the Palladium, don't fight it. The Galaxy doesn't have the "Hollywood" fame and fancy feel to it...BUT...it is a very well known and well respected venue in CA [Linked Image] And the fact that you were generally happy with the service should tell you a lot.

I had forgotten that there was a lack of ticket sales; maybe the Galaxy's size IS actually appropriate for the realistic (actual) number of attendees.

I also think that a raise in ticket prices is ok. I am willing to pay more for my ticket.


Hope this helps...

Emily


------------------
http://emilysanders.net

[This message has been edited by Emily Sanders (edited 07-18-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Emily Sanders (edited 07-18-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Emily Sanders (edited 07-18-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Emily Sanders (edited 07-18-2006).]

[This message has been edited by Emily Sanders (edited 07-18-2006).]

#455349 - 07/18/06 04:12 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Indianapolis, IN USA
Emily,

Part of what happened last year was that about 60 people who promised to pay for tickets at the door never showed up. We had to pay for their seats out of our own pocket. It was a double whammy because we had to pay for the food, plus we needed that money to cover the actual awards costs on top of it. Because so many screwed us, we won't be able to exted that trust this year. Some bad apples ruining it forthe whole bunch I guess. I did the math. If we charge 60 dollars a head and sell out at 550 seats without food, we'll actually make a little money (probably enough to cover our travel costs out there and back). If we don't sell out, we're also in better shape because we don't have to pay for food upfront so it's not as painful. If we sell out at 550.. they can fit another 100 or so in Standing Room Only and we could sell reduced tickets for that and actually all of that would be profit at the 550 number. So for the first time ever, we'd stand to make a little money from 2 years of free work. I'd kind of like that actually. Everyone else in the music industry makes money, it might be nice for us to make a few bucks once.

If we include food, we have to charge 80 dollars a ticket and we make less than we do at 60. (Food is in the 24-25 dollar a head range if I remember right.. plus there's more costs for table cloths etc.. if we want them). With the extra money from forgoing the food included, we might even be able to pay for a video screen AND a film crew to do a pro version recording of the event which we could then sell. We got a quote for 20K to do it at the Palladium and that was more than we could come up with. But the Galaxy is a smaller venue and might be cheaper to do a full blown video. I will be asking them if that's the case. If we could sell some of the DVD's in advance, we migth be able to pull it off. It's something we're considering. Might be nice for those who were there to have a copy and especially for those who won but couldn't make the show.

We'll also have pro photographers again (only this time we'll make sure we have a third.. we had 3 other photogs cancel on us last year and had to scramble to get the 2 nice folks we had). We would ALSO hire some real humans to help us set up. Last year only 1 of our 17 volunteers showed up on time and in the end 12 of the 17 never showed up at all. That forced us to beg folks like you and Patrick Bryant and others to help us at the last second. (At least I think we roped you in.. I was near passing out from exhaustion last year so it's mostly a blur).

Ah well.. any other feedback from those who were at the 2004 show?

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#455350 - 07/18/06 05:13 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Emily Sanders Offline
Top 100 Poster
Emily Sanders  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,654
Santa Monica, CA
Hi, Brian,

Sounds like it makes a lot more sense not to include food!

I also think that having ALL tickets paid up front works MUCH better. Now I remember hearing about the people that never showed up to pay for tickets last year [Linked Image]

If the awards show is on a Saturday, I can probably get there early to help in some way [Linked Image]

Emily

#455351 - 07/18/06 11:40 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 589
Shandy Offline
Serious Contributor
Shandy  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 589
New York City
It's a reall bummer about the Palladium. My wife & I like to stay in Hollywood, and having a venue nearby that we can walk to would be great. But if they're telling us what kind of music we can & can't play, to hell with 'em.

I liked the Galaxy, but getting there from the hotel was a pain (we booked our hotel in Hollywood before the venue change). Luckily Ozone came out too, and he rented a car. Otherwise it would have been a pretty pricey taxi ride.

I would really prefer to order off the menu rather than do the buffet thing. I missed a lot of music waiting in line last time.

Ticket price for me is almost irrelevant, considering what I'll pay to fly out there in the first place. But given the number of local folks you're hoping to attract, I'd assume that anything you can do to keep the door cost down would help.

The design of the Galaxy was great for seeing a show... but not so great for getting around and finding folks, which was a big reason for me going out there. There were a bunch of people I didn't get to meet or talk to last time because it would have felt really weird to just wander around the place. The Highlands was a very open space where you could mill around and introduce yourself.

Last thing, and I may be way out of line here: I'm thinking that the idea of a 6-hour show may deter some folks. I realize that we have a gazillion categories to get through, but If I attend it will be despite the fact that it's a 6-hour show. And when you toss jet lag into the mix, I can't guarantee that I'll be awake at the end.

Having said all that, and given the size of the program, I have absolutely no idea how I would even begin to organize a show of this size. I can barely plan breakfast. So whatever you come up with will be impressive and appreciated...


Shandy Lawson
ShandyLawson.com
#455352 - 07/18/06 01:26 PM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 941
Patrick Bryant Offline
Patrick Bryant  Offline

Top 500 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 941
Glendale, CA, USA
Yup, sounds like you didn't get to talk to anyone who had the authority to say yes.

The Galaxy's a good venue. Can more seating be brought in? I don't know.

I was happy to help out last time. I wish I could have done more but I was somewhat ill that day and just running on fumes myself.

I trust you to do what's best, Brian. Don't let the "churn" get you down.

------------------
Later,

Pat

#455353 - 07/18/06 04:19 PM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Bobbie Gallup (D) Offline
Top 10 Poster
Bobbie Gallup (D)  Offline
Top 10 Poster

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 11,806
Nashville, TN, USA
Oh my goodness, Brian...WHAT NEXT??? I can't believe the Palladium would censor the kind of music we could have! I agree with the others that we should not reward their administration for their position.

Having been able to attend the Awards show last time, I thought the Galaxy was a great venue. Given the circumstances, it makes sense to let folks order off the menu. I do realize, however, having put big shows like this together in the past, that it takes a LOT more time for them to prepare that many individual meals than it does a buffet...so folks would have to be prepared to wait a bit longer for their meals. What does concern me, however, is all the folks who promised to pick up tickets last time and ended up stiffing you for the cost. It really bothers me that there are folks out there who would do that...but then, I realize not everyone has the same conscience.

I did like the Galaxy just fine..and as Emily says, the free parking is a good deal. As Shandy said..the 6 hr show was a bit long for some of us old-timers with jet lag LOL but we managed to survive. I did meet and make some great new friends last time...and that was worth everything!!

Bless you, Brian, for all you do..

Bobbie


They'll tell you success in the music biz is all about who you know...but the truth is...it's about who knows you.

Gallup 'n Dawg Music
#455354 - 07/18/06 04:44 PM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,499
Al Alvarez Offline
Al Alvarez  Offline

Top 100 Poster

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,499
Tampa Florida
Brian,
I'm with you 100% and applaude your integrity. I actually stayed at the Anaheim Marriott so that I could visit with family closer to Orange County so it worked out very well for me. Im originally from Los Angeles and as any Angelino will tell you when you live in a city of that size commuting across town for a special event like this is a no brainer.
I personally liked the Galaxy. The parking, entry, concert area, stage setup and think it will do very well in deed for our next event. You have my vote.
Al

#455355 - 07/18/06 05:25 PM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,851
Indianapolis, IN USA
Patrick,

The owner obviously had the authority to say whatever he wanted and he's the one that refused to allow Rap or Metal. I considered intentionally booking the most offensive Industrial and Punk bands just out of civil disobediance, but the irony is that we always program the show to be family friendly (whether there are kids or not) so it would be against character to do that in the first place. The FOMC folks suggested we book a childrens artist to do a Rap about vegatables or something as civil disobediance as well.. but in the end, who wants to be at a venue that doesn't really want your business in the first place? I undersand they didn't want a 50 Cent concert there open to the public with a bunch of gang members converging. But they weren't willing to listen to common sense and understand who we are or what we were doing.

We're talking with the Galaxy and also looking at one other option right now.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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#455356 - 07/21/06 09:20 AM Re: Monday, July 17th, 2006  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,589
Linda Anthony Offline
Top 100 Poster
Linda Anthony  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,589
Maine
Hey Brian, first time at your blog!

Personally, and I'm certain others share this observation, I'm very impressed that you were not willing to "sell out" to this venue by minimizing the chances of certain genre categories. Eliminating song entries based on their genre is not okay. The venue must of known this is an award show and did they even consider that when they told you the news? Man, and to wait so long to tell you...they just don't seem to need our business or is it that they were waiting on advice from the local police force and those who govern the city?...regardless-you kept your cool and as always thought about your people here on JPF! I'm impressed that you're gathering feedback as well! Looking forward to reading more and getting to know you as a person and not just the guy who owns this site.

Best Wishes, Linda A.


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