How nice to hear the capacity crowd at the recent JLS Open Air Theatre gig so happy. That we could hear them on Stepney Road is no problem, because it meant 8,000 happy people filling a venue that, just like last year, has under-performed spectacularly in terms of bums on seats, because, done properly, it means someone knows what they’re doing – almost unheard of with any local authority when it comes to entertainment (unless you live in Hebden Bridge).
I’m tempted to ask why Mike Lynskey, a thoroughly decent chap, was handling the early publicity for Open Air Theatre through his Facebook pages? Is Mike somehow connected with Scarborough Council?
Would that be a good choice, given his admirable efforts to promote Beached over the last few years? Admirable for his enthusiasm but certainly not best value, given the losses Beached made for the last three years.
We’ve just come back from seeing a fabulous gig in Spain by the incredible, gifted, legendary Nile Rodgers and his iconic R’n’B band, Chic; you can tell already how brilliant it was, can’t you? They were playing in the tennis court of a posh hotel partway between the swank Spanish coastal resorts of Marbella and Puerto Banus, where there’s more money than you could shake a rhythm stick at and so many whitened teeth you realise why the Spanish road markings are painted in using non-reflective emulsion paint – or so it seems; whatever, when they smile, you need sunglasses. Neither gig held more than 2,000 people and neither was completely sold out – this for two huge, world class stars with chart-topping record sales stretching back over several decades.
There’s the lesson, surely – that indisputable world class acts can play comfortably in medium sized venues, with the occasional empty seat, but not with 75 per cent unsold. That they can play in intimate surroundings to audiences that will pay the full fee, not to audiences artificially swelled by dropping the admission charge drastically and not just at the last minute, either.
Let’s ask the people who paid top dollar in good faith to see Olly Murs: Were you happy to see people paying a whole lot less than you for the same seats you shelled out your hard-earned for in good faith?