Artists and venues need to communicate more, Venues Day panel agrees

Venues Day 2016

Artists, their managers and grassroots venues need to communicate more to improve touring culture, a panel of artists and experts have said.

Talking on the Music Industry Issues: Artists/Managers & Venues panel at the third annual Venues Day, artists Sam Duckworth, Tom Clarke (The Enemy), Catherine Anne Davies (The Anchoress) and Mark Morris agreed unanimously that improved relations could help manage expectations on both sides.

Nathan Clark, from the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, also on the panel, added: ‘There’s definitely a lack of education for young musicians and artists, and also their tour managers who are just getting into it. There’s a whole inbred culture dictating how you live when you go on tour that’s backwards.’

He continued: ‘For example, with the riders, we can order them in fresh from Asda on the morning. We can communicate with the tour manager the day before to find out what the band needs on the day and amend the order as we need to. The technology is there. We should embrace it.’

Clark, who has owned and managed the esteemed Leeds venue for 15 years explained that ‘it’s an intelligence and education on both sides, who are talking together’.

He added that, as an industry, there should be more panels and event opportunities allowing venues and emerging artists to meet.

Duckworth, who creates under the Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly. moniker, added: ‘The first few years of touring you realise booze is free and get pissed every night. Then after a while people either drop out when they have to sober up or they fall apart. We need to structure in nice, healthy opportunities for routine in grassroots venues when bands are touring.’

Elsewhere, Dom Frazer, director of the Boiler Room in Guildford, said: ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re an artist, venue, director, sound engineer or a manager, ego is something that’s difficult to manage. It’s the hardest thing to manage and communicate with.’

She added: ‘We need to promote collaboration and communication with artists, their managers and venues.’

Venues Day, organised by Music Venue Trust, gathers representatives from grassroots venues around the UK to discuss sector challenges and promote collaboration with the wider music industry.