We’re a mere day away from Halloween. All the build-up and fun are reaching their culmination. Indeed, I’ll be playing a fortieth birthday party tomorrow—a last-minute booking that will make it a very lucrative Halloween for yours portly.
Unfortunately, in The Age of The Virus many venues have stopped hosting live music. For example, the coffee shop that hosted last year’s Spooktacular is doing take-out orders only. That’s the case with a number of other coffee shops in my area, which has eliminated most live performances and open mic nights.
So I decided to stage the Spooktacular on my front porch!
There’s just enough room to cram four musicians and our instruments onto the “stage,” and attendees are bringing their own chairs and blankets to sit on the lawn. One of my high school seniors and his band will open the concert, and two talented musician friends of mine—a boyfriend/girlfriend duet—will take the second slot.
Then yours portly and three of his friends will crank out two solid sets of tunes, hopefully wrapping up by 9 PM so we don’t disturb the neighbors.
This year I’m also including a costume contest with prizes, and we’ll be selling hot dogs and some baked goods to attendees. I also made some awesome t-shirts:
That’s supposed to be me as a werewolf playing a keytar. Pretty rad, eh?
My approach has been to push a $10 “suggested donation,” which folks have been willing to pay. Those donations—plus any other tips—will go to pay the different musicians on the bill. I’m a big believer that musicians should be compensated for their time and talents (a self-serving belief, to be sure), and splitting up the tips seemed like the best way to ensure everyone gets a bite of the apple.
I’m also pushing the t-shirts and other merch pretty hard (I still have some physical CDs of my album I need to unload). One of the cruel ironies of independent music is that the real money is made from the merchandise, not the music itself. I’ve embraced that, and am a very happy t-shirt salesman.
Of course, I’m most excited for the fun and the music. A number of folks have thanked me for organizing such an event. Everyone is tired of sitting around at home all the time and missing out on good times. Hopefully spreading one out on my lawn and singing to them while they eat beef hot dogs will be a fun, safe way to give it to them.
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