|By Mike Voorheis, Star-News, Wilmington, N.C.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Soon after, artists like
If only it were that simple.
In reality, the venues represent potential. It takes a handful of promoters working diligently for months to turn that potential into real energy.
They evaluate the talent, contact their agents, synchronize the dates, stake their investment, market the show, sell the tickets, organize security, secure food and drink vendors, host the performers and ensure a smooth experience. Afterward, they analyze how things went and brainstorm ways to make the next concert better.
Sometimes, the shows go off without a hitch. Sometimes, there are glitches. And one poorly organized event, regardless of the responsible party, can have implications for everyone who promotes music in
The Penguin effect
On the morning after a concert at
The thing is, not every show at
Gunn has to try to clarify. He doesn't take credit for the shows he didn't produce, but he won't take the blame for others' mistakes, either.
"I tell them, 'We're sorry you had a bad time, but we had nothing to do with it.'"
Gunn said the Penguin expects to turn a profit on its concerts, but it tries to make them accessible. That means affordable ticket prices, free parking (which has become the standard) and no reserved seats.
"I'm a firm believer that live music is best enjoyed in that atmosphere where you can be with the people you love and your best friends," Gunn said. "I might not be able to afford a front-row seat. But if I love the band and really want to be in the front, I know that everybody pays the same amount. All I have to do is get in line first."
Behind the scenes
From the audience at a
Foremost, though, he saw an opportunity. Shortly thereafter, Pipeline Event Management was born.
"If (concerts in
That meant organizing the gates, putting up barriers, hiring more security and planning to have everything in place in advance of the concert, all things that