Live Music & Events
How long has the venue been presenting live music for and what is the capacity of the venue?
We just turned three years old and we’re 250 capacity.
Hours of operation, nights you have live music?
Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 7pm – late. Friday and Saturday, 5pm – late.
Do you have all ages gigs?
No we don’t sadly – our licence would make that very difficult.
How do you choose the types of live music you program?
I work as the Booker. So it’s a process of seeing what will work in terms of the viability of the venue and also what styles of music we think will work in the space and align with our ethos and brand.
How does a muso get a gig at your venue?
Our website has a good run down of what should be included in the application (see www.blackbearlodge.com.au/live-music-bookings). It’s a mix of clear, honest information, links, options and a demonstrated understanding of what is involved in putting on a show in venue of our size.
What challenges do you face as a venue that presents live music?
I guess attendance is the main battle. Brisbane has a vibrant music scene but with a smaller population than a city like Melbourne, weekday gigs can be hard to make work. It’s heartbreaking to see bands work really hard on putting on a show and then have 20 – 30 people come along. That said, all bands have been there and that part of the scene is the place from which the future Australian icons will emerge.
Most memorable show at your venue?
We did a Friday/Saturday combo with The Preatures a while back – both sold out to the max. Izzy stalking around the stage and the band playing hard and tight. That was a good one. The show we had with Courtney Barnett when she was just starting to get a name on the national stage with about 50 payers, that was also a good one. So many good ones to choose from!
What makes a great gig?
Well for me it’s a great band with great songs. That’s all it is. A great band will mean a great gig, whether there are 1 or 1000 people in the audience.
How to you use digital and social media in conjunction with traditional advertising?
We’re a pretty grassroots organisation. We have a Facebook and Twitter account which we use to spread the word about bands coming through the space. It’s a challenge to keep up with the moving landscape of social media but first and foremost it’s an incredible asset and a valuable way of communicating directly to our regulars.
Ticketing for live shows is changing. How do you mange access and ticketing to your venue?
We mostly partner with Oztix. They are reliable and easy to work with and their service it bullet proof. More and more options are arising now. We are open to acts using their own systems if it allows them to reduce booking fees and so on. Music Glue, Ticket Booth, Trybooking all offer a good service too.