Good things are worth waiting for and finally I’m starting my series of interviews, beginning with Desirae Beaumont, owner of Surfside Hideaway – one of the oldest live music venues in Second Life. Being at a lot of concerts there before I thought it would be a good idea to see this side of the community first. You all know it: no venues, no live music.
Glad to have you here for the interview Desirae. As you are the owner of Surfside Hideaway, would you like to tell us something about the club first?
I founded Surfside Hideaway with the help of my friends Kantbe Thursday and Pixie Plasma back in January 2009 and began organizing shows about a year before, but had to move from a Homestead when LindenLabs changed the policies. Surfside has become known for promoting excellence in live performing artists, most currently The Vinnie Show, Winston Ackland, Bright Oh, Winter, Dee Timeless, Bat Masters, Aubryn and so many more. I wish I could add all, because I appreciate them performing here. All in all I had more than 160 musicians playing at Surfside over the last 11 years.
Wow… 160 is an impressive number and you’re running the club for about 11 years now, that’s a very long time. I mean, clubs come and go what makes Surfside Hideaway so special that it is still there?
Surfside has always been a “tips only” venue. But we found new talent and could convince established artists to perform here. Surfside has never been anything but a music venue. No attached malls or shops. I did run it with one friend for the first years and never had a big staff or managers. Special thanks to Tina and Emm and now my partner Gia for helping and supporting me for a long time. I always say I am too stubborn to give up and close. *laughs*
Make the musicians and guests feel at home…
Too stubborn. *smiles* But as you mentioned it, is that what it takes to run a club? What do you think are the most important talents you need when running a live music venue?
You shouldn’t believe you are the most important part of the venue, don’t believe you are a celebrity. Don’t believe you will make money with a venue. Make the musicians and guests feel at home and they want to come back and enjoy listening and performing. Just be relaxed, but 100% reliable.
I think you said an important point here, “Don’t believe you will make money with a venue.” Venue owners put a lot of effort and – of course – money in it. Surfside is a tip only venue, lots of other places are paying the artists fees. Is this a development of recent years or has it always been that way?
It has been normal to pay musicians, only a few venues existed who were tips only. On top of all Guthries which has been closed a few years ago. When having 20 or more shows per week, it’s impossible to pay fees. We have no mall or shops that pay for the traffic.
Yes… the income is a great challenge, even without paying fees there is still the rent to be paid. Apropos rent, I’ve seen you let houses here?
I do, I sell the land, so people have all land rights there. I have two parcels for sale currently for 1.500 and 1.600 L$/week with 4.096 sqm and 1.350 prims.
I guess that helps a bit to cover the costs. How is your experience with tips? I guess people tend to tip the artist not the venues, right? I have to admit I did the same on my first concerts.
There are times tips are pretty bad, but then are other days I can’t complain. The tips cover a part of the costs, but I surely encourage people to tip the artist, because they perform for tips. I appreciate everyone who tips, even the smallest amount. Every little bit helps. But it is Second Life, everything goes up and down – if one can’t tip it shows support to be here for shows too.
Of course, every bit helps. But the question was meant more general, also for venues that are not ‘tips only’. For me it sounds not really fair when people don’t tip the venue at all as the venue owner get stuck with the costs.
That’s always an issue when you run a venue, but I don’t see how to change it. On top Linden Labs now charges 50 L$ (for basic accounts) and 10 L$ (for Premium accounts) for posting in events.
…the whole dancefloor was his studio picture.
Yes, they changed that recently and it sums up though it is not much. – Talking so much about fees and tips, lets get back to your 11 years with Surfside Hideaway. In such a long time I bet you have seen it all… what was the funniest thing you ever had? Or lets say one of the funniest.
It’s always funny when you have suddenly an absolutely hilarious chat going on and the musician loses it completely on stage and cracks up laughing. But one day I won’t forget, when a musician sent me a picture of his studio, missed me and dropped it on the dancefloor which I changed and forgot to lock it again…..the whole dancefloor was his studio picture. *laughs*
So… literally you were all dancing in his studio? Thats what I call an intimate concert! *laughs* And yes… such laugh fits make live concerts so loveable. Same when musicians got the wrong text or forgetting a paragraph. Thats live music and what we love.
All these things like dropping the pick or searching the capo as well.
Oh yes! *smiles* Coming to an end… is there anything you want to add or a final note? Your chance now.
The live music community in Second Life is united in an effort to help our live music venues stay in business. Tip only venues usually break even – some still come out of pocket – by recycling their venue tips into that weeks tier payment. Paid venue owners dip into their own pockets to pay musicians in order to bring you entertainment. Either way, regardless of what kind of music venue you visit – there is never a profit made by the venue owner. They do this for the pure love of music. I encourage you to always show your appreciation by tipping the venue you visit. Even if you can only afford 5 L$, every little bit helps. And if you do not have any Linden’s to give, throw a tp and introduce a friend to the live music scene. Let’s unite and help our venues survive.
Wise words, I couldn’t have ended better. Thank you so much Desirae for your time and effort, it was a pleasure to have you here.
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about live music in Second Live and for your support of the live music scene.