Entertainment Exploiters, February 13 — 19, 2009

Entertainment Exploiters, February 13 — 19, 2009

NotionsCapital presents this week’s Roll of Shame, Washington, DC area music venues and events that advertise “Live Music” but do not include the names of bands in their ads. You may think this is a mere quibble. Think again.

It is not just a matter of disrespect. Bands earn reputations, and omitting their names from advertising fails to capitalize on this. Since venues rate bands on the number of customers they draw, failure to list band names in ads punishes bands for the venue’s own laziness.

As one commenter says: “It’s like a restaurant implying that they serve food and then only listing the word ‘Food’ on every line of their menu.”

Bad enough that club musicians haven’t had a raise in 40 years. Bad enough that most clubs leave it to the bands to send information to the free listings in the City Paper and Post.

It’s also bad business practice. Times are tough and people don’t go out much. Businesses must maximize every asset to survive. Musicians earn reputations and followings, so the simple act of putting their names in an ad can draw people to a venue, people who have never been there before.

Let NotionsCapital know if you see a venue with a “Live Music” sign in the window that doesn’t display the name of the band. Joe’s Bar says the band schedule is on the website? You cannot click the URL in a newspaper or a window. Joe’s Bar claims the band is named “The Joe’s Bar Band?” We don’t think so.

If nonprofits advertise anonymous “live entertainment” or “live music,” they’re on the list, even if they’re screwing artists for a worthy cause.

Here is this week’s Roll of Shame, based on advertising in the Washington City Paper and the Washington Post Weekend section:

Artomatic, Pink LineProject, Capital Riverfront BID, Valentine’s Weekend Art & Music Experience*

Beacon Bar & Grill

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe


Stars Bistro & Bar

*How disappointing that Arts nonprofits should short-change performers this way. These two are run by visual artists; perhaps their concern with print ad design blinded them to the consequences of their actions for performing artists, whose work does not hang on a wall but exists only in time.

No band names in your ads? No hyperlinks for you on this post. Get with the program.

Image by Mike Licht, who actually likes the outfits above. Get it together, people!

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