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Re: Juan Molina: Y2k8 festival booking possiblities?
Mark wrote, in my defence (and thanks),
"But Rainer all that would be assuming that Rick was interested in
being a Festival Promoter for quite some months of the year in order
to organize all this. As far as I know Ricks day job is as a musician
and as such.. aint rich... ha ha! (maybe he is? I did say as far as I
know, but I dont know many rich musicians... I know some, not many)."
The irony is that I DO spend months out of the year producing and
promoting this festival.............all on no money, except the draw
of attendance which has never exceeded $1,500 in the entire history of the
festival and the beneficence of a few donors to the festival and, last
a small grant from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz (all of which I used
to bring more artists here).
I really appreciate everyone's good intentions (and thanks for the advice,
but the fact of the matter is that I"m not thinking small with this thing.
Basically, because of the huge amount of energy that this thing takes
dips tremendously into my own energy for being an artist myself), I
have to make it sustainable, not only for the community, but also for me.
I came really close to stopping doing it this year because I had to
book an 8 week/9 country tour in Europe that took a good 6 months to
and just didn't think I"d have the 5-6 months that it has taken in the past
3 or 4 years to do this festival, so this year, I decided, I was just
do it to continue the tradition and not kill myself by trying to best the
of the last three years.
Santa Cruz is a funny place. It is probably the most creative place on
earth that I've been
to if you take the per capita amount of artists that live here and the
quality of their creative output
in all art forms. We were just listed (with three other major American
cities) as the place with the
most professional artists per capita in the US.
That's extraordinary for a sometimes sleepy tourist town of 50,000 by bay.
However, there is also probably more entertainment per capita than any
I've ever been as well.
We had two weekly entertainment magazines and a weekly insert for the
newspaper as well
and the entertainment section for music alone goes for several pages each
Trying to even book this festival between the good weather months of May
through October (that's California
weather for you Europeans who are interested, where it's hotter in
September than in July).
We have so many film festivals, music festivals, Shakespeare Santa Cruz,
the huge Cabrillo Music Festival,
the Monterey Jazz Festival, the San Jose Jazz Festival, the Greek
the Japanese Festival, et. al.
that I finally found one weekend where there was as little conflict as
We are also in a debilitating economic depression here. The average value
of a house her declined by $250,000-
$300,000 in the last year alone and the unemployment rate is 10% in this
Most people here are underpaid, paying rent that is way to high by normal
indexes of house rental versus income
statistics.............people are broke.
This is a festival that, for the amount of music and the quality of the
go for $20 a head AT LEAST, but it is impossible to get people to come if
you charge that.
Even the biggest names in our looping world do not have the draw to charge
prices like this for the festival.
Trust me, I know. I know all the promoters in this city for 30 years
I"ve done huge events myself.
The whole point is not that I'm being negative at all. Think about it:
Why would I dedicate so much of my life
for the last 8 years to something that loses me money if I was being
negative about this?
The point is sustainability.
No one in all the countries that I've visited have been able to muster
100 people to attend the festivals and concerts that we do.
Rainer, Munchen is a huge city and you saw how difficult it was to get
people to come out to see something brand new.
It is just what we are up against, and, honestly, I'm okay with it.
I sometimes tell people that these festivals are as much conventions as
Part of the beauty of them is to rally our community; to force people to
get out and try out new things and techniques;
for manufacturers to have a forum to show off their new gear; to get
excited , once again, to keep doing this
thing that we all love so much.
This festival is a blessing in my life whether it is on a grand scale or
So, please, trust me on this one: I don't think I can get Juana
to come play our festival.
I hear your strategy Rainer , for getting a bigger draw to be able to
sustain bringing such an incredible artist who has no
draw locally, but it's just not that easy. You have to have money and be
willing to lose it to bring it a really big
act because you have to guarantee them that they will be paid.
Santa Cruz is so mercurial when it comes to who draws well (the local
seat showcase club, the Catalyst sits empty most of the time these days
because NOBODY on a moderate level is making any money at all touring) that
it's a risk I can't possibly take myself.
If someone in this community who has a lot of money and wants to gift the
community with an investment wants
to come forward and give me the money to bring Juana I'm all for it,
So for everyone who disagrees with me and thinks I'm giving up to easily,
that you please put the energy into such a task yourself.
I'll be the first to say I was wrong if you can accomplish it (with no
funding as is my situation).
Okay, I"m outa here. This is my last post on the subject.
I hope you all come to the festival this year and make it a great success.
I will for the first time ever, accept donations from the artists who
to offset our
expenses and pay the staff. Don't dream of it if you don't have it but
if you do, it would
be a nice adjunct to the hard work we all do to make this a possibility
yours, respectfully, Rick Walker