How we survived the shedding of quarantine pyjamas one concert at a time
From Autumn 2020 to Winter and Spring Editions 2021
Let’s face it. This curfew and state of alarm went a long way to killing off the music scene. Not just here in Barcelona, but virtually everywhere on the planet. Whether or not it was a good idea and effective is not what we want to discuss, but rather, the way forward.
"Moving forward" is not theoretical, either, we're happy to share...because the last 6 months gave us a unique perspective from having been one of the few groups able to do small-ish concerts.
It's still tough, not easy street at all But hey, if it were easy, then everyone would be doing it...
We used to sell 120 to 160 tickets in order to pay the musicians well in every concert pre-covid. With restrictions we can only sell 25 to 30% of that number, by law. Thus the necessity of higher ticket prices... We'd like to take a moment and thank YOU, everyone who has ever bought a ticket to the last 7 concerts, yes they had to be a bit pricier, not because we were effectively "selling roses on valentines day". We faced a limited numbers challenge-- and we thank you for paying for the tickets that helped us help musicians get paid even during covid restrictions.
There are some bright lights on the horizon though, it’s not all doom and gloom. From our understanding, Austin Texas and Denver Colorado (Where we plan to bring Front Page News later this year), have fully opened up the doors to concert halls, albeit with some safety changes. (These are an event series with #WhereverSessions planned in Art Galleries and Craft Beer Venues, as well as concerts working together with other promoters who share our collaborative vision.
And here too, in Barcelona, with the softening of the restrictions there is more live music. We salute this, mainly because it’s more than just open mic sessions where the artists don’t get paid. To see that even the regular-looking bars are now charging entry for when there is live music warms our hearts immensely.
If you don't know us that well, or it's your first time on this page, a bit of history never hurt...
When Front Page News was just a little idea three years ago (yes it is our third birthday on May 15th, so come celebrate with us), the idea was to put on only quality acts who were already used to playing concerts attended by 60 to 200 people; and to be sure that not only were the artists well paid, we shared profits that the event made. We also brought in sponsors that ensured we could walk into an event knowing the artists were already paid before the concert started, from sponsor money and pre-sale tickets.
Our vision was that you or your friends could turn up at any FPN event and be assured that you would hear good music and enjoy a vibe that we nurtured over the last few years. Not just technically proficient artists, but ones who commanded the stage. Musicians that made you feel something with more than just the sound.
We got the best sound technician on board, searched for venues that felt both fun and comfortable and made sure that each and every musician that played at FPN was ready. Almost all of them we meet personally prior to a show. Because we wanted and still want people whose light inside is as bright as on the outside.
So yeah, 3 years old this month. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been fun. And throughout the curfew and restrictions we have continued to find a way to put on events. 10 o’clock curfew? No problem, we’ll try daytime. Limits on attendance? No problem, we’ll scale it back.
Seen the videos? We update this playlist every month
Pat yourself on the back, folks...through it all we have helped keep hardworking musicians employed, even when there was very often no events at all.
We didn’t compromise safety either. Hand gel at the door, temperature taken, email tracking collected and proper social distancing. If a ticket holder had even the slightest sniffles, they stayed home and we would honor their ticket at the next event.
Not a single case was passed at our events (Please help us keep them this way!)
We are thrilled that you have stood by us, and we thank you all. Rest assured that this year we have some really big surprises planned. You’ll see and hear some of the great artists that we have featured in the past, as well as a lot of new artists (some very well known) that we have made connections with over this trying time.
We hope to see your smiling eyes (can’t see your smile with the mask on) this Saturday, May the 15th for our 3rd birthday (Just as "dog years" are different to human years, 3 years of event shenanigans is actually 27 in "Humanity Years.")