Welcome to

the City of Angels

AN ARTIST’S CALL TO ACTION: END PAY-TO-PLAY

written by Kristine Nevrose, The Tissues, Post-Punk & featuring punk icon/L.A. native Alice Bag, Michael Stock of Part Time Punks & leading advocate for the arts, Peter Woods

Kristine Nevrose of  The Tissues, Post-Punk   Photo by Deb Frazin

Kristine Nevrose of The Tissues, Post-Punk

Photo by Deb Frazin

Any where you travel, the Los Angeles' music industry is known for their cut throat, fast speed involvement of up and coming artists, au courant musicians and the "who you know" disposition. Unfortunately, many artists who have not been accustomed to this starts seeing options such as PAY TO PLAY. This in turn, involves an artist to struggle selling pre sale tickets. This passage is to involve the youth and new artists that this is not their ONLY option. Many amazing curators in Los Angeles have exercised split door fees, and venues such as Cafe Nela, who give 100% door money and a split on bar sales. My band, The Tissues, have been throwing parties , where we give 100% to bands and collaborate with artists who get 100% of their sales.


Alice_bag_IMG.jpg

ALice Bag

a punkrock singer, musician, author, educator

and

feminist activist.

Alice Bag:

"I’ve never played a pay-to-play venue so I’m not sure that I would have much to add. Except that I’d much rather see a band play a backyard show than get exploited!"

 
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Part Time

Punks

A popular person to get in touch with the LA punk / post punk scene is one of our favorites, Michael Stock. Michael Stock runs PART TIME PUNKS, where it can go from dancing the night away with the Cure, or supporting bands at the Echoplex.

 

Part Time Punks at The Echo/plex is mainly for bands -- to a way lesser degree at Punky Reggae at LaCita.

Justus Proffit

Justus Proffit

IF you're looking for a cool, non gentrified venue to play at, you can find Justus Proffit. "I started Top Space because I was a broke musician and I knew 6 other broke musicians. When I started playing shows, I wasn't really asked to play nicer venues in LA so we just booked ourselves and built our own community. "

 

LOS ANGELES

CONTEMPORARY

UNDERGROUND 

Another person to contact for that DIY experience is Alex Gonzalez. Partnering up with Natalie Bonilla, they create a platform for the Los Angeles contemporary underground. He also throws shows for local and touring hardcore/punk bands.

 

As for arts, we have the

amazing Peter Woods…

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"As a publisher and events coordinator, I am centered in community. The predatory practice of Pay to Play is in direct conflict with building a community based in arts and culture. It allows those with $$$, access to exposure over those far more talented that suffer from lack of financial funding.

What you are able to pay should never be confused with talent. Also, pay to play encourages unhealthy competition among local acts instead of an “all in it together” attitude. Bands have 0 incentive to work with each other on the bill to make it a great night – encouraging fans to stay from beginning to end. Because of this, bands in LA tend not to get to know each other that well and typically show up right before their set and leave shortly after. As a promoter of the arts I am attempting to curate complete bills and promoting the entire evening of music or arts as compared to pitting artists against one another in order for me to make an unethical fiscal gain.

In 2000, I refocused my direction towards creating spaces that supported and fostered community and stood in direct opposition to venues that continued the pay to play practice. This lead to the formation of Quality Collective (a grass roots arts organization of 20+ members) and the production of the large-format “Redefined” exhibit, which hosted more than 20 visual artists and 15 bands. This new direction also spawned the weekly free live-music event Transmissions at Crane’s in Hollywood, with the promise of no pay to play, no cover charge, no velvet rope and no guest list.

Transmission ran weekly for 4 years and never did one dollar bill exchange hands. (In hind sight the venue made out like a bandit, but with the stipulation that they could never censor the music and regardless of our crowd size, they could never cancel an event or close early. Transmissions didn’t care if you had 3 people in the building listening to your new set, we treated you like you had 300).

“My intent still is to combat the community’s decreasing awareness and appreciation of the arts by making events and experiences accessible to both the audience and the artists. Access to these stages will ensure a new generation of creative, inspired individuals capable of lifting themselves and others through positive, creative avenues." - PETER WOODS

ALL IN ALL..

we want to share this with everyone who wants to succeed in the industry, without having to cough up money which should go to your next recording.

by Kristine Nevrose

photo usage permissions provided by featured artists directly