Sunday, 20 September 2015

Guitares en Cormatinois

Chazelle church - the concert venue
The concert season is well and truly over and now is the time to look back, reflect on the concerts we worked so hard to get up and running, try and learn from what happened this year to make next year’s series a success. To that end, we have just had our end of season meeting and dinner at the president of our association’s house.

During the series of concerts I rather despaired at the lack of audience numbers for the better concerts. Jérémy Jouve was absolutely magnificent, but he played to a house half full. Franceries Sound Connection (strange name) was the same story, excellent quality, but not many people to enjoy it. The two other concerts were not as inspiring to my taste, but still well worth the ticket price at only 15 Euros, again few takers.

Jérémy Jouve - a real talent
Then we had the last concert. It was a band called Irish Kind Of (where do the French get these names from?) and this one was more than a sell-out, it was a pack them in, squeeze them in, use Japanese rush-hour pushers, then leave the doors open so they can breath, kind of concert. The church is full when we have 120 people in it, but for this concert we managed to squeeze in 145. I have heard better Irish bands to be honest, but the audience was thrilled and to be fair that concert saved the whole series. The financial figures, presented at the meeting, showed that because of that one concert we had not made a loss, which is quite an achievement in this day and age of reduced subsidies and less money in the common man’s pocket.

Franceries Sound Connection - an excellent concert
So our association and concert series lives to see another year and after last year’s losses of 2.5 thousand Euros, I was not convinced that 2016 would see any concerts at all.

But here is the conundrum: We are an association that is dedicated to bringing a concert series of quality guitar music to the local public, but the really excellent guitar concerts had virtually no takers and the one concert that performed music that is currently in vogue, was a sell-out. For me that is disappointing to say the least. Should we go back to filling the series with more popular music and be just like anyone else, bend with the current trends or should be stick with quality and have it reach just a handful of people?

The public arrive - selling tickets
Last night we had a long discussion on just this subject and we have come up with a compromise. Thankfully we are going to stick with quality, but also have some obvious crowd-pullers to fill the coffers. Listening to the CDs of the potential performers for next year, I think the balance will be good. Now we will have to wait and see if any of them is willing to come to our small festival for a price we can afford.

Fingers crossed.

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