Space Coast Live Music Calendar News|
|New SCL Feature: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) - last updated 1/2/11|
Posted By: Bob -
Last Edited: Nov 6, 2011
Space Coast Live FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
I've tried to address some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis, to help folks understand what SCL is, and isn't. To begin with, SCL is a work in progress, and we reserve the right to change it as we see fit to better meet the needs of our community. These FAQs use 'musician' and 'band', he/she, etc., interchangeably. SCL supports solo performers, duos, groups, orchestras, male and female musicians, etc.
In no particular order:
Q: Why did you start SCL?
A: SCL was created specifically to help promote live music entertainment that was not otherwise being publicized in local media, etc. Many bands and venues do not have the resources to buy advertising, host websites, etc., and as a result, the public was not aware of opportunities to hear the music being performed. I saw a need, Warren agreed to help me, and the rest is history. SCL went online in September, 2001.
Q: Who 'is' SCL, and how was SCL started?
A: I'm Bob Rish. I'm not a musician, but I am a live music fan. It's been an important part of my life for years. When I saw a need to better publicize the live music in our area, I tried using existing resources, but found it was necessary to create something new to accomplish what I wanted. I met Warren Dodd at a business group meeting in 2001. Warren is owner of AllBrevard.com, a company that provides website building and hosting services as well as serving as a Portal to many valuable and interesting sites in our area. Warren, also a music fan, agreed to support my vision.
I originally started out hand-editing a listing of events in HTML and uploading the revised copy daily to the web-server. Warren saw that process would not be sustainable as the site grew, and he wrote a suite of programs that created a data-base hosted, web-form managed website. Thanks to the programming Warren has created, the data you see on the site is almost entirely input by the users, and I can concentrate on dealing with user questions and problems. I can assure you that given the amount of information that SCL is updated with daily, I would not have been able to keep up the site without Warren's innovative and comprehensive work.
Q: What makes SCL different from other websites and information resources?
A: SCL is set up to allow the bands and venues to update their own public-viewable information, and add their own event information directly to the SCL Calendar at will. It allows an immediacy to event posting that in-print media with production-schedules cannot provide. Because it is a free service, it allows any musician, band, or venue to make use of it without first obtaining funds, a budget, approval for spending from management, etc. Most public media (magazines, newspapers, ad-financed websites) have limitations on the number of listings they can list, cut-off dates for information submission, requirement for revenue-generation, etc. SCL does not. A rough analogy might be a team project, where everyone contributes to the effort necessary to keep the site up-to-date, and the result is greater than the sum of the individual efforts.
I've looked for similar sites when I've traveled out of state, and found none. Other people from large, even famously music-friendly cities, have said they have never seen anything like SCL. I don't think it's the programming behind the website that makes SCL unique- rather it's the intentional trust in, and involvement of, the musical and user community to help maintain a community resource, that is really the special feature of SCL.
Q: Is SCL really free, to everyone?
A: SCL has always been free for use by the musicians who use it, the venues that use it, and the community who uses it. There are no 'user accounts' one can buy that give additional rights or privileges. We work very hard to treat everyone the same. Sometimes that means we can't do something special for one group, because we know we can't offer the same to everyone. And we don't promote our personal favorite bands or venues ahead of anyone / anywhere else.
Q: How does SCL make money for its owners /operators?
A: It doesn't. SCL is a labor of love by Warren and myself. There is some positive benefit in terms of additional traffic to Warren's primary website, AllBrevard.com, but not enough (in my opinion) to cover the time and effort Warren contributes to keeping SCL up and running. We don't sell ads, or placement on the site. We don't charge any band or venue for its listing on SCL, or for any publicity value resulting from appearing on the site. Nada, zip, zero $. On the up side, because SCL does not take payment for its services, we have no obligation to list material that is contrary to the intent or purpose of the site. We don't have to give anyone special consideration or preferential treatment, and we don't.
Q: Can I host a copy of SCL elsewhere (another town, another state)?
A: Sorry, but no. Warren has written all the current coding as an 'experiment', and he isn't ready to devote the time necessary to making it a commercial product. Please remember that he has a full-time business managing AllBrevard.com. I also have a full-time job, and what we do with SCL, we do on our 'own' time, in competition with our involvement with our families, friends, employment, and other interests.
Q: I sent you three notes in one morning, and you didn't respond to any of them- what kind of service is that?
A: See the two articles above. SCL is free, and it is a labor of love maintained in addition to our professional, family and personal interests. I spend an average of an hour a day going through the SCL email, activating new listings, responding to new user's questions, resolving incorrect or improper listings, etc., etc., etc. At the very soonest, I'm not going to read your note before I get off work, and some days other stuff just comes first. We will get to your note - hang in there.
Q: Can I exchange links with SCL?
A: We don't exchange links, because that would imply some specific approval of the other site, and we don't have the time to check out the other sites, deal with complaints we might get about the other site from people who used it after seeing it listed on SCL, etc. I'm sure many of the requests come from legitimate, valuable and worthy sources - we just don't have the spare time to commit to the additional responsibility it would entail.
Q: Can I promote my business, services, etc. on SCL?
A: We do provide the Message Boards, where people can list a variety of music-related announcements. This is an opportunity on SCL to promote your services, skills, etc., with the understanding there has to be a live-music 'hook' or connection in your posting. Without that music-hook requirement, the Message Boards would turn into another CraigsList, with postings having nothing to do with music, and not relating to the purpose of the SCL site.
Q: I perform/host karaoke/DJ/house music. Can I list that on SCL?
A: For the most part, no. SCL was created specifically to promote live music in the area. To keep the focus on live music, we don't list any performances that do not include a component of live music or singing. We have a sister-site, Space Coast Karaoke (spacecoastkaraoke.com) created specifically to promote karaoke.
However, if you are listed on SCL because you do perform SCL-type entertainment, and you also host karaoke or other entertainment, you can list that in your Description text so folks know about your other services. In any case, only live-music entertainment events go into the SCL Calendar.
Q: What's with the 'Space Coast area' limitation on bands and venues listed?
A: Any service-providing organization has to define a target customer base. It's up to the organization how large or limited that base is, and it has a lot to do with the total number of prospective users are in the base and the corresponding effort it would require to support those users properly. For various practical and logistical reasons, we have established SCL's target as Florida's Space Coast, specifically Brevard County and Indian River County as far south as the city of Sebastian. It could have been larger, including Daytona, Orlando, Vero, or smaller, focusing only on Brevard. This is the compromise we settled on, so we could keep some manageable number on the bands and venues using the site.
Q: Why can't my band list its tour dates outside Florida?
A: Along with the goal to promote live music on the Space Coast, is a corresponding goal to keep people informed of where they can go to hear live music. Some local bands develop fans and followings. Someone from our area might be willing to drive up to Daytona or down to Vero to hear them play. It's not likely a local fan would make a trip out of state. Like our definition of a 'service area', we chose to draw a line that is easily understood. SCL bands can list gigs in our area, or anywhere in the state of Florida, in the SCL Calendar. Gigs out of state cannot be added to the Calendar. The bands can use the Info box on their own SCL band page to tell the public about out-of-state gigs if they want.
Q: Why was my band's listing for a Private Party engagement removed from the Calendar?
A: See above. The Calendar is intended to tell people where they can go to hear music. Private parties do not qualify and do not go in the Calendar. For example, don't list a wedding reception unless your clients are willing to have strangers walk up and join in. Bands can list their 'closed audience' bookings in their band page info box if they like.
Q: Why was my band's event record in the Calendar saying 'On Tour' or 'On Vacation' removed from the Calendar?
A: See the two preceding articles. If you are not telling folks when and where they can come hear you play (within the state of Florida), it doesn't belong in the Calendar. Again, you can list such status in your band Info area if you want.
Q: I don't see my favorite band/genre listed on SCL. Do you only list the music you like?
A: Any genre of music, and any band, is welcome to use SCL to promote itself and its playdates, with a few restrictions:
(1) The musician/band has to be based on the Space Coast, which is defined in another FAQ.
(2) The band has to be performing for the public, or attempting to gain bookings. If the band only performs for private parties, there's no point in listing it on SCL.
(3) The band has to be willing to list itself appropriately on SCL. That means no curse-words in the name or band description, stuff like that. If you think in terms of what would be allowed in the newspaper or local media, that's a good gauge of what SCL will allow.
If a band wants to list on SCL, click on the 'Bands' link on the left side of the SCL home page, then 'Suggest a New Band', complete the web-form that is displayed, and 'Submit' it for review
Q: Why is SCL such a wuss about how I list my band? I have a right to express myself any way I want to! (from requirement #3, preceding article)
A: Perhaps you do, but not on SCL. SCL is a community resource, and we intend that it can be used by anyone in our community, young and old. You can call your band anything you like, describe your music in any curse-word laden manner you like, tell folks about any anti-social or illegal activities you indulge in, whatever. But not on SCL. You can tone it down for your SCL listing, or just not list yourself on the site: your call.
Q: I don't see my favorite bar/club/restaurant listed on SCL. Why not?
A: Any venue can be listed on SCL, with a few restrictions:
(1) The venue has to be in the SCL service area, described above.
(2) The venue has to book, at least on occasion, live music
(3) The live music bookings have to be open to the public (in other words, not just wedding receptions, private parties, etc.)
If a venue wants to be listed on SCL, click on the 'Venues' link on the left side of the SCL home page, then 'Suggest a New Venue', complete the web-form that is displayed, and 'Submit' it for review.
Q: My favorite band/venue used to be listed on SCL, but isn't anymore. Why not?
A: SCL has been adding bands and venues since 2001. Many bands break up, venues close, etc. On occasion, we get a note from a band member saying the band is not playing together any more. Or we see or get word that a venue has closed. When that happens, we remove the listing from SCL.
In addition, we periodically look through the SCL listings for bands and venues that have not either updated their own information or performed/hosted live music in a while- a year or more, typically. This can add up to dozens or more listings, and we don't have time to contact all of them, hoping that our last contact information is still valid, etc. If the account is unused for a long time, we may remove it. If the band or venue is in fact still active and wants to be listed, they can resubmit their info. If we don't hear from them, then we made a good guess.
Q: My band wants to get more gigs. What can SCL do to get us booked?
A: SCL is a Calendar service. We do not book bands. You can look through the Calendar for venues that are hosting music like your own, and contact those venues directly. You can also look for niches that aren't being filled, and offer to cover the gap. If you are flexible about day-of-the-week and/or pay, at least for your initial 'trial' booking, you will likely increase your chances. Having a demo CD of your band that the manager can listen to if he/she isn't in when you stop by, will help. Lastly, you can contact local charities and similar organizations and offer to help their next fund-raiser by playing. That gets you some good public-exposure.
Q: Why can't I list a message on the Message Boards that my band is looking for work?
A: SCL assumes everyone who lists as a solo musician, act or band, is looking for opportunities to play. To have folks additionally post messages saying 'We want to play - hire us!' would be redundant and interfere with the purposes of the boards.
Q: Why isn't my band listed in the 'upcoming gigs' box to the left of the calendars on the SCL home page?
A: A full explanation of which bands, and which gigs, are displayed in that 'upcoming gigs' box is available by clicking on 'Details and Current Rotation' below the picture displayed.
Q: What does it take to get listed in a News Story on the SCL home page?
A: The News Stories section was added to help publicize special 'community support' events that included live music and might otherwise be missed in the Calendar or other public media. It is limited to stories that have a public-service 'hook', and a live music 'hook'. That's how we limit the messages to a manageable number and fair selection.
Q: My buddy / band member is sick / out of work / going through a bad time, and I want to list a News Story asking people to help. Can I?
A: There is lots of bad news and sad stuff going on, with too many people sick, and too many people broke or getting there. And self-employed musicians are particularly vulnerable to both hazards. It would overwhelm the SCL site to cover everyone who could use a hand, and it would not be fair to list only some and not all, so we can't do it. If someone is in trouble (doesn't have to be a musician) and his/her friends host a concert as part of a fund-raiser, that would likely qualify. Hosting a garage sale without any live music, would not.
Musicians as a group are probably the most giving, caring, sharing people you might ever find, and I am more than willing to work with any musician who is trying to support the community, and anyone trying to support a musician. But there has to be a live-music-entertainment 'hook' to keep the SCL support fair and equal.
Q: Why do some bands get to list twice for the same gig in the Calendar?
A: Okay, this is a long explanation, in part paraphrased from a real exchange of email on that topic:
''If an individual plays solo and with a band, I let that person list both ways. That way, if someone wants to hear the individual, specifically, they don't have to already know he or she is with the larger band to find him in the Calendar.
I could tell folks they can't list themselves if they are also part of a band that is already listed as booked. That would require my constantly checking the Calendar for violations. A related scenario would be a solo musician who is 'sitting in' with a band, but not a full-time member. Should that musician be allowed to list using his 'solo' identity? If so, how many 'sit-in' events qualify a musician as really a member of the band?
We also have the situation where the same event (band-venue-date) is listed by the band and also by the venue- creating a seemingly unnecessary duplication. In that case, do I tell the two parties to first check whether the other has listed the event and not to add a second event in that case? What if the second party feels the first one did not do an adequate job of 'promoting' the event? Again, I don't want to spend even more time on the site as a 'policeman'.
I don't knowing allow someone to post more than one of the same band-venue-date-time event records. Sometimes that happens (I'll assume by accident), and I'll simply remove one of them.
The bottom line is, the current system with its flaws, is less troublesome to me than any obvious solution. If I see an obvious abuse, I'll deal with it''
Q: Is SCL worth the effort?
A: Yes it is. Warren and I take much satisfaction in what we've helped put in place. We get compliments on the site and the service it provides, regularly. It's one of the best projects I've ever been involved with, and I'm proud of it. But it is also a collaborative effort, and would not work without the support of its musicians, venues and music fans, so thank you, too.
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For more information about the Brevard County music scene, please visit All Brevard Magazine