Jul 152012

You might be interested to know that we live in a county that holds approximately 1.7 million people of which, according to our last census, 63% or approximately 1 million of us are between the ages of 18 and 64.  Starting with this number and trying to estimate how many people will go out to see local bands can be one “heck” of a challenge.  Judging from what I see, around 80% of the people who hang out in the venues with the mainly rock cover bands are Caucasian and 20% other races or ethnicities.  Knowing the makeup of Broward County, this immediately brings the total potential number of fans down to around 480,000.  I also know that the two biggest age segments for the types of music promoted by Weekend Broward are 35-44 and 45-54 according to some Facebook stats I pulled up.  Let’s estimate that these two segments make up around half the population between 18 and 64, which brings me now to a total potential market of 240,000 who might be interested in seeing a live local band.  Unfortunately, there are so many other factors to consider which are difficult to calculate.


I would guess that the number one most popular activity is……… staying home!   Let’s face it, television or reading a book in the privacy of your own home is probably the least expensive form of entertainment, and in this economy, that may win out in the hearts and minds of many.  Published statistics also show us that there are around 375,000 kids under the age of 18, which means that the adults watching the kids would have to either leave them home alone or hire a babysitter to have a night out on the town – another deterrent to getting some people out to see live bands, especially at late hours.

Other popular evening activities include going to one of the thousands of great restaurants in and around Fort Lauderdale, seeing a movie, browsing some great shops, or even going out dancing in one of the many clubs that feature heart thumping music thanks for our wonderful area Disc Jockeys.

So, how many people are left to visit the many great live, local bands which we have in our local bars and restaurants?  On any given Friday or Saturday night, I will see many bars half empty while a few lucky ones get overflowing crowds to see a popular band.  Knowing how many venues feature the bands promoted by Weekend Broward, we’re not talking more than a few thousand patrons spread out throughout the County, even if you consider that some of the population will venture North or South of the County lines.

My next question is, “Are you one of us?”  Are you part of crowd of less than 1% of our population who goes out and supports the local music scene?  As you can see, we are quite a select group of people – perhaps just lucky enough to have overcome all the deterring factors to be able to get out every Friday and/or Saturday night to experience the fun that comes with supporting local bands by our mere presence.  If you are one of us – thank you friend! If you are not one of us, we need you to consider joining our small group.  We need more members.  I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 July 15, 2012  Posted by  Weekend Blog 2 Responses »
May 312012

Amazing things happen when you have the right friends.  Not only can friends bring you up when you’re down but they can really motivate you to pursue your dreams and encourage you to go further than you ever thought possible.  I was thinking this week that bars and bands also benefit from having loyal friends and customers.  Facebook and other social media sites have proven that if you take a handful of people and entrust them with the power to easily spread good words to their friends, a simply seed can grow into a tree within days instead of years.

FriendsDo you have a business that needs help growing?  Have you built an infrastructure that supports a loyal fan base?  In other words… Are you making friends?  I’m not talking about sharing all your personal secrets with people you never met before.  I’m talking about finding out what people like to see and hear so that they will come back to see you over and over again.  If you don’t do anything that people really like, how are you going to build up a fan base that will make you successful?


Dancing FansIf you are in a band and you play songs that you like but nobody gets up to dance and all you get is polite applause, should you keep playing those songs?  I find that many businesses operate like a band that plays songs that they like even though nobody is getting off their butt and onto the dance floor.  You know those businesses that keep running but are usually half empty on a night when similar businesses are booming.  When you do things that make people want to put down their drink and cheer for you as loud as possible, you know you are doing something right.


Wozniak and JobsSome people are in a hurry to get as many fans (ie: customers) as quickly as possible.  They may print flyers, place ads, hand out the glossiest business cards, but did they take time to find out what people liked and disliked?  Steve Jobs felt that people didn’t know what they liked because they had never seen his products before he invented them. That’s not really true.  You see, people did like the original Apple computer that Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak built in their garage.  He just kept building upon his successes to come up with the Apple Macintosh followed by the Ipods, Iphones and Ipads.  Are you building upon your successes?

Everyone says that you should do something you enjoy to be happy.  I say, make people happy and before you know it, you will enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

Rob aka The Weekend Concierge

 May 31, 2012  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
May 052012

Have you ever asked yourself “I wonder what day is the MOST popular night to go out for a drink?”  or “Where does Cinco de Mayo rank among the most popular drinking nights?”  I have put together an unscientific survey and here are the results:

1. St. Patricks Day

St Patricks Day

2. Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

3. Halloween

Halloween Party




4. Night before Thanksgiving

Thankgiving at Chit Chats


5. New Year’s Eve

Cagney's Saloon

New Years Eve

Some things to think about: A lot depends on what night of the week each of these days falls on.  For example, if the day falls on a Monday, you can expect a lot less people to go out for a drink.  On the other hand, it if falls on a Friday or Saturday night, beware of large crowds and expect some very BIG parties.  This is why Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May is a big one this year.

On the other hand, weather can play a big factor in the success of the party.  For example, last October, Halloween was a rainy night.  Even if it falls on a weekend, rain can definitely ruin your party, especially if it’s outdoors!

Lastly, a big warning: Just because the beer is cheap, it doesn’t mean that you need to get drunk!  I’m not sure why, but it seems that the greatest number of people who don’t drink much during the rest of the year decide that they are going to start on New Year’s Eve.  That’s not the kind of New Year’s resolution most people make on January 1st but if you aren’t the type who drinks much the rest of the year, don’t start on December 31st!

I had fun putting together this little blog and hope you enjoyed reading it.  You can leave comments below.  Have a great weekend!

The Weekend Concierge

Find all the best bands in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Delray on the Music Events Calendar at www.weekendbroward.com 

 May 5, 2012  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
May 012012

As anyone who has ever tried to take pictures of a band knows, the hardest shot can be the drummer.  First, he (or she) is usually blocked by two or three other band members.  Sometimes, I need permission to either go on stage or climb on top of a speaker or stool to get high enough to get a good angle on the drummer.  Often, they are on risers which makes them stand a little higher than the rest of the stage, making me even more creative with my attempts to get a glimpse of their faces.

Then, there’s that cymbal that is positioned at exactly the same level as the drummer’s face!  On top of that, drummers are not always looking up so their heads are often burried in a sea of snares.   Often, the camera’s light is either blocked by the drum-set or bouncing off the shiny cymbals, resulting in a dark shot.  So you have to either take that shot at just the right time or take as many as you can get until it comes out right  – which is my strategy!

Here are a few of the many shots I took this past month that I shared recently in an online album called That Elusive Drummer.

Robert Darmanian of CRT

Robert Darmanian of CRT

CJ Wereski of Riverdown

CJ Wereski of Riverdown


Kent Blakenship of Soulicide

Kent Blankenship of Soulicide


Chuck Doty of The Double Standard

Chuck Doty of The Double Standard




















Find the complete album of both good and bad drummer shots I took in April, on the WeekendBroward Photos Page on Facebook.

I would not feel good about writing a blog about drummers this month without mentioning a local artist who was brutally murdered only 1 year ago while trying to calm a situation at a local bar in Fort Lauderdale.  I’m referring to a guy who was a friend to all musicians who live for the joy of playing to crowds large and small – Jimmy Pagano.  Here’s a picture I took of him only a few weeks before his untimely death.

Jimmy Pagano jamming with friends

Jimmy Pagano jamming with friends

Last year, thousands of his friends and friends of friends attended a memorial jam at America’s Backyard in Fort Lauderdale.  This year, a 2nd annual jam will be taking place at the same venue on Sunday, May 20th starting at 1pm and going on for 10 straight hours.  More information can be found on the Facebook event notice.

As with last year, I will be there snapping pictures of musicians, friends of Jimmy Pagano, fans of great live music, and of course, that elusive drummer!

‘see you there!

Rob, The Weekend Concierge

 May 1, 2012  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
Apr 092012

I asked my friend if he believes in tip rounding and he said “Yeah, I do it all the time!”.  I said, “I’m not talking about rounding the tip off to the nearest dollar by choice – I am talking about the server doing it for you when they only give you dollars back and assume that they should keep the coins portion of the change!”  My friend was appalled and so was I when this happened to me recently at a local restaurant.

Should restaurants assume that consumers don’t want the coins portion of their change when they are paying using green backs instead of plastic or should that choice continue to be left up to us, the consumers?  The manager of this particular restaurant explained to me that when the busboy cleans the tables and picks up the folder with the tip inside, very often, the change spills out all over the floor.    He continued to explain that most people these days are not carrying big wallets to hold change so they really don’t want it back.  His policy is to round up the change given to customers if the change is more than 50 cents and round down if it’s less than 50 cents.  In my opinion, if the server short-changes me, I blame it on the waiter, not the restaurant, and that does not sit well with me – when it’s management’s policy.  In fact, during my research, I learned that this may even be illegal in some cities throughout the United States.

Surveying my friends, nobody seemed to mind the “round up” part of the restaurant’s policy, however, being short-changed purposely lends suspicion to either the server or the restaurant and can leave a “bad taste” behind after what should have been a good meal.

This topic lends itself to other discussions such as “Should we be forced to leave a certain percentage as a tip even if the service sucked?”  Another comment on the topic of tip rounding was “Why not include the service charge, otherwise known as The Tip, in the cost of the meal, as they do in Europe?”  One friend commented that when he used to be a waiter years ago, he would always carry extra change with him so that he could quickly deal with any customer’s request to break a large bill to leave him a tip – it’s all part of the good service that people expect!

While some people did mind being short-changed to the nearest dollar, would they care so much if it was just to the nearest quarter?  If this restaurant does not want to chance pissing people off in an area where there are so many other places to eat, I would recommend only rounding up and asking the serve staff to carry a buck’s worth of change with them in case anyone complains.

And that’s MY TWO CENTS for today!


The Weekend Concierge

 April 9, 2012  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »
Mar 052012
Rob & Judy at Bostons

Weekend Concierge with Judy Blem

During a recent conversation on Facebook regarding restaurants and bars that pay lots of money to hire bands, yet spend very little money to let people know about them, we had the honor of local talent agent, Judy Blem, chiming in to the conversation and sharing her two cents with us!

 Q & A with Judy Blem

Judy – What’s even worse are the places that DON’T spend “a lot of money” booking bands yet STILL get upset when a band doesn’t “bring a following.” Funny how in college business courses they teach you how to order food & beverages, deal with payroll, permits, insurance, etc., but they teach you NOTHING about dealing with live entertainment. One of MY biggest pet peeves are the owners/managers who decide to have a band pack up after two hours ‘cuz “it’s not busy enough” and offer 1/2 the band’s agreed pay. WHAT!!?? Pro-rate at 50%? Umm, how about the fact that a gig is NOT 4 hours long if you count the hours it takes to set up and break down your gear, not including the travel time, and not to mention the fact the same band probably turned down a gig somewhere else on the same night that would have paid in full without a problem. My contracts do not allow for this to happen; there is no “pro-rating” allowed. If the band holds up their end of the deal, so should the venue. Bands who book themselves should just refrain from “promising” a crowd when even the most popular bands in town can’t always guarantee their friends and fans will show up as this leaves a gray area for negotiation- and usually ends up not favoring the band.

The fact is that the business has changed from the days when we had 12 killer rock places in town and you didn’t need to know WHO was playing. You just showed up and the band was great! With live music in every strip mall in every wing place & sports bar in town, this has driven down the prices bands get paid as well as exhausted and spread out the “following” of music lovers. But it IS a two-way street in the “business of cover gigs” – Bands should play SOME part in show promotion, but the venues DEFINITELY need not only advertise but to offer decent prices, good service and create a fun atmosphere that MAKES people want to come to their establishment.
Judy Blem Jimmi Robinette

Judy Blem with Jimi Robinette of Riverdown

Rob, your website www.weekendbroward.com and relentless promotion truly does help the bands AND the clubs. But I’m with you… the venues need to ADVERTISE more and NEVER rely SOLELY on any band for customers. For over 20 years as an agent, I have watched those kinds of places open and close in six months. I won’t even take on a client whose first sentence is “I need bands with a following.” Can you say “red flag?” There are some really well run places and there are some places run by folks who mean well but are often clueless. Maybe we can help them learn. Maybe not. But I’m not going to stop trying.  Alright, that’s my two cents for the day.
Note: Judy Blem is the owner of Main Event Talent Agency
 March 5, 2012  Posted by  Weekend Blog No Responses »