Most people when a show sells out try to scalp em, give up, or whine to the local radio host. Not DC music bloggers. In a demonstration of the growing power of bloggers to build buzz – and led by Brightest Young Things, they banded together this week to go from sold out show to a repeat performance at a bigger venue than the first.
Yeasayer and MGMT, two bands recently featured in MTV’s Brooklyn Rocks, were originally booked for Wed. Jan. 17th on the Black Cat’s Backstage. I’m a big fan of both and was really excited to go – Sunrise and 2080 by Yeasayer and Time To Pretend and Electric Feel by MGMT have been HEAVY on my iTunes rotation. But I digress… The room fits about 200 and you can normally get by buying tickets at the door for most – most – shows. Both bands and Black Cat did not anticipate that this would be inadequate. Needless to say there was a fair amount of surprise from myself and many others online when the show sold out through online ticket sales about a week before Wed. Even Megan McArdle (who is awesome btw) at the Atlantic was shocked at the sell out. You see, the Black Cat also boasts its Mainstage – its 7,000 square-foot room for headliners and bigger acts which was listed as dark that night that they could shift the show to in order to allow more people to come and allow them to sell more tickets. Seemed like a good idea to me, and apparently I wasn’t alone.
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Fans emailed bloggers, bloggers echoed the fans, and the bloggers got noticed. My friends and I first noticed the show was sold out last week; we looked in the normal places like Craigslist and emailed a few places but still no luck (Joe over at Instrumental Analysis was really great through out all of this – listening to me in my desperation, but they too alas also seemed to get screwed by the sell out also not getting their planned upon tickets).
A Facebook event page was created to help rally support – I myself tried to keep updating it by posting pages to it – thanks to everyone who joined. But the best support of course was the bloggers covering who I want to point out:
Brightest Young Things – taking the lead (and Svetlana rocks btw)
And even Washington City Paper’s City Desk
Also covering now:
(If I’m missing anyone please email me IMMEDIATELY)
Also, I need to say in the Black Cat’s defense, they did encourage the bands to move upstairs during the ensuing support from fans for the shift, but the bands could not move because by the time the buzz built they were already locked into their set up for financial reasons. But the blog buzz was not in vain. In the span just one day, emailing fans and over a dozen bloggers were heard loud and clear by Yeasayer – and they are coming back to DC, and this time on the Mainstage. Given a little more time who knows, maybe we could have gotten it moved for yesterday, but then I wouldn’t have been able to see what could be done in such a short period of time.
I drove down 14th street past the Black Cat last night at 9pm – I still didn’t have a ticket, but I wanted to stop by anyway. It was a pretty cold night in DC, a night before a snowstorm – but not too cold to go out. I thought about stopping, asking to see if anyone was looking to unload a ticket for one reason or another. I thought I could still get it maybe and see the show I had slowly built up in my mind. But I didn’t. The car slowed but didn’t stop. I knew in a few weeks I would be back, won’t have to pull another yeasayer* – and returning to the Mainstage this next time. And this next time – I’ll be sure as hell to buy that ticket online.
Hopefully they won’t mind, but I’d like to finish by sharing Yeasayer’s official response posted by Cale over on Brightest Young Things.
“Here is the official response from the band that they wanted us to share with everyone. Cools.
Dear Music Lovers.
I can’t explain the flattery and warmth felt by everyone’s compassion and pleas to move the show to the bigger room in the Black Cat. It’s honestly a wonderful feeling and a pleasant surprise.
I do wish we would of gotten wind of this a lot earlier because it might of been possible at a time other than a couple days prior to the show. The reason we can’t move the show has to do with the movement of numbers and the reds and blacks, and honestly, once you get into this discussion, it can really drain the life force out of the music. So I’ll spare you this; just keep the passion.
In response, we feel we need to accommodate the requests made by everyone so we are currently booking another Black Cat show, this time on the MAIN STAGE in the first week of April. We would also like to offer a special treat to those who couldn’t get in and those in the know. Prior to the show being advertised to the public, we are going to offer an early presale of tickets so we can make sure that all of you can take part. To be included in this program simply send an email to email@example.com and in the subject put “YEASAYER + BLACK CAT” and in the body put your email address. When we are ready to presell the tickets to our secret society, I will send you an email and a link to purchase your tickets.
I know this doesn’t settle the score, but we are doing our best. You have brought us warmth this winter, so we must return the favor the best we can.
Sir James Winnie
You heard the man, email away.
Thanks again everyone,
* yup – I just coined a new term. A yeasayer is now an online movement to encourage quick action through the use of blogging, social networking, email and any other deliberate internet based activity.