The Zoo Bar 41st Anniversary street festival went off in fine form with great talents onstage and excellent attendance for the outdoor shows. If you went, don’t wait another year to come back. Whether it is Lincoln’s Zoo Bar or other local venues of your choice, get out and support live music venues and musicians.
The Zoo Bar has lasted for 41 years not because booking roots music is a moneymaker. It’s not. Successful venues and staff remain dedicated to the music through the long haul.
If you looked at the profit-loss columns for any local roots music venue you would probably see more nights when the bar takes a loss on bringing in music.
And if you are a musician you are likely struggling even more. A good band has probably gotten regional gigs by having a booking agent, maybe a manager and probably a publicist. All those professionals add to the band’s potential success, but they also get cost money. If the band is on a recognizable label, the label provides support and distribution, but the label also takes a cut.
Music Needs You
So, if you are a fan of live music make a commitment to up your game a little, go to a couple more shows than you might originally have planned. One local fan I know will stop at a venue and give them cover charge money even when he can’t attend.
The Zoo has had some pretty thin weeknight attendance lately, even though many shows start at 6 p.m. In Omaha, McKenna’s has tried hard to add more regional touring bands and struggled to get any audience support.
Venue 51 has closed its doors after trying to operate as a music venue and bar.
Your support matters, more than you may realize.
Venue 51 reopens for one last show Friday, July 18, featuring Nashville’s self-proclaimed folk-crooner Melissa Greener plus Michael Campbell, Pat Gehrman, Logan Krug and Scott Severin. Cover is $5. See melissagreener.com.
Eric Taylor is a stellar songwriter, storyteller and musician who was part of the Houston scene with artists like Townes Van Zandt. Taylor continues to collaborate with longtime friends like Lyle Lovett. Taylor plays Jerome Brich’s FolkHouse series Saturday, July 19. See bluerubymusic.com. RSVP at folkhouseconcerts.com.
Samantha Fish’s powerful, guitar-driven blues is at The Hive Saturday, July 19, 9 p.m.
Blues-rocker Scott Ellison is scheduled at McKenna’s Saturday, July 19, 8 p.m.
K.C.’s Nace Brothers hit The 21st Saloon Thursday, July 17, 6 p.m.