Will Stantonova Ever Start Charging a Cover?
As Stantonova continues to maintain itself as a non-commercial, underground, somewhat reputable venue that provides weekly, local entertainment options for all of you Portlanders (and wandering music connoisseurs), one question continues to present itself; when will you start charging a cover?
The answer is simply never. No matter how many people show up or how big the crowds become on a regular basis, we will never require you to pay a cover charge or turn someone away at the door because they can’t or don’t want to spend money. Back in “the day,” every rock show cost five bucks; now you are lucky to see your favorite band for less than $45 (not including service fees, of course). The reasons for increasing ticket prices are many and the issue is too comprehensive to go into in any depth here. I can say that as the current industry built around music shifts (Musformation makes a much better case and do a much better job than I at explaining that change here), I think music creators, lovers, and supporters will see a drastic change in the way music is made and dispensed.
So, how does all of this tie into Stantonova? The method of DIY that we operate under here at Stantonova steps outside of that system and chooses to function beyond the necessity of profit. We are not a business. We do not need to bring people through our doors or sell X amount of booze every night to stay afloat. We open our doors to you because we love doing this, and we realize something;
You the audience, music lovers and supporters, love live music. The artists, Almost as much as they enjoy creating their music, love sharing it with people who want to listen and appreciate it. Bam. These two poles, when combined in a small, relaxed, intimate environment create a an exponentially positive feedback loop of unrequited love and admiration. The love, community, support and friendships that come from this welcoming environment is what really resonates with the fundamental essence of song and dance. It is what music should really be about, and it’s what we attempt to provide.
Alan Watts once said, “ever sensible person makes his living by doing something that he enjoys doing.” Stantonova is not a sustainable model. While we don’t request that you pay money at at the door, we do offer up a donation jar, the lovely Love Bucket, at every event. Ultimately, though, more money goes into each event out of Stantonova’s pocket than is recovered by the 10% taken from the Love Bucket. The remaining 90% of those donations go to the touring bands for gas money.
Again, “Guys, why don’t you just charge money at the door?” Charging people money to see a group they have never heard of before is not how you help expose a band to a wider audience, especially in an awesome-music saturated city such as Portland. If you like what you hear then put a dollar into the Love Bucket, buy some merch, and definitely look them up on facebook and get out to see them again. Our contentment, our “profit” if you will, comes from sharing this amazing music with you and helping these talented artists form the fan base they deserve. Perhaps someday Stantonova will outgrow itself, move into a commercial space, and continue on into the distant future. Maybe in a year Stantonova won’t exist in a physical form at all. The exposure bands have had here from your attendance and the experience we’ve all gained from organizing these events will be invaluable to everyone down the road. But for now Stantonova exists purely for the music, the community, the friendships, and everything else good in this world.
Be well everyone!
Stay connected, & we will see you all soon,