Thursday, April 30, 2015

This month, in Live From Orlando...

            Being a event coordinator by trade, you lose some basic appreciation for things that the general populace notice in terms of the experience of attending a live event. Or is it the other way around? Since asking myself that question, I’ve attended a number of nightlife events in and around Orlando, to the furthest reaches of genre. Each showed the character of the people responsible for their production. From the customer service implementations to compliance with city fire code (YEAH, THAT’S A THING), every aspect of a live event’s structure and discipline mirror that of its coordinator(s).
            I recently had occasion to visit the Timucua White House with my wife, to see Jeff Rupert, Richard Drexler and Marty Morell. After initially assessing the situation once inside the venue, I noticed that there was a light control system in place. This is a standard indicator of a composite venue, or a venue that can accommodate more than one type of performance. The sound system was well maintained, judging by the quality of the acoustics. The background for the band was appropriate for the show, however it may prove difficult to adapt for a different type of event, should that situation arise.
            I also attended The Scene at Venue 578, which was comprised of a vast range of hip-hop acts from around Orlando. Given that it was a showcase, the vibe was perfectly on par. There were large areas in the main hall and on the patio set up for merchandise sales. There were drink specials for the majority of the event, much to the delight of the patrons. The staffs, from the bartenders, to the floor attendants, to the production team were in sync. This further enhanced the experiences, as there were a number of events going on throughout the venue. Cyphers in the upstairs section led to acoustic sets and live poetry in what was referred to as “The Chamber”, just below the overlook of the main stage. One who has never been exposed to hip-hop culture would’ve gained a true sense of the genre, as an art form and means of communication between an artist and their crowd.
            In Timucua’s case, my assessment is conditional to an extent. If their primary track for content is the traditional Nuveau Jazz setting and ambience, then they are doing an excellent job. However, if they are looking to expand the repertoire of their accommodations for event producers, I would suggest they revisit whether or not that particular backdrop is an integral part of the stage. To The Scene, I would offer simply: fill the negative space with incentives. I made numerous rounds to the merchandise tables and I didn’t see a ton of activity. Perhaps working merchandise into the ticket price would be a viable solution, if the only purpose of the merchandise were promotion. I’d also reserve the more expensive and/or premium items for sale at retail inside the venue.