concert with (almost) no audience

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Jan H, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Have you ever played a "serious" concert (I mean a promoted concert, were the audience has to pay an entrance fee), with less people in the audience than on stage?

    Together with two friends from my band, I went to a concert yesterday by fanfare band "Onafhankelijkheid" from Wiekevorst, conducted by Bert Van Thienen. Besides circa 10 people who came along with the band, and two representatives from the Flemish Amateur Band Organisation (organizing the concert), we were the only three people in the audience!

    The band didn't mind, and played a very fine concert, including two solo pieces with a professional alto sax player.

    Has anything like this happened to your band? What was the reason? Did you still play?

    About why there was no audience: The concert was part of a series of concerts by some of the better wind, fanfare and brass bands in Flanders, organised by the Flemish Amateur Band Organisation (and subsidized by the Flemish government) to promote amateur band music. Something must have gone wrong with the "promoting" part... It's actually very sad that government money is wasted on something like this. My own band is playing the finel concert of this series next week, in Kortrijk. I hope there will be more people in the audience then yesterday...
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  2. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    I think it is possible we may all have suffered this at one time or another, it has certainly happened to me and the band I was with on a field day, the general public who were about, seemed more interested in the other attractions. That I suppose is one of the things about open air concerts on field days, although the band were paid for attending, the general public didn't pay to get in.
  3. ploughboy

    ploughboy Active Member

    I once went to see a Euphonium World Premiere by Michael Howley (B&R) withe Yorkshire co-op band, in Ossett town hall. there was 31 people in the audience, I knew about 20 of them!! lol.
  4. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    It certainly has happened to us and on more than one occassion. We did one job at our sponsor's place where the audience was just 2 women and a child in a push chair.

    I was talking to a brass band aquaintence the other day and he told me his band did this council job at a bandstand where it was heavily pouring with rain. Just 2 women sat watching them sheltered under an umbrella. The band were cursing them as they were contracted to play for two and a half hours and could not stop whilst they still had an audience.
    At the end of the two and a half hours the conductor went over and admired their perseverance in spite of the weather and said they must really enjoy brass band music. "No", came the reply, "We were just sitting here waiting for you to stop. We work for the council and have to put the chairs away"
  5. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    :D:D:D:clap::clap: BigHorn, that is one of the funniest band stories I now have in my collection. Thanks for that. It must have been a real whatsit for the band concerned though.
  6. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    One of the factors in me finishing with one of my bands was having spent over seven hours - including travelling - for a concert with more band than audience. It was a self-promoted concert, and it was probably down to us to have encouraged more people to come along - glad to hear things were much better at their latest in the same venue!


    In 1997 I was with Carlton Main, we travelled over the Pennines to do a concert, it was a well advertised concert and was one of a series at the same venue featuring top bands, when the curtains went back there were 6 in the whole theatre(3 of these were our own supporters) after the concert there was the usual drink and chips,after the long drag home and unloading the bus and the 45 minute drive home,I finally got to bed at 2.30 am,I had to be up at 5.30 am for work ! god knows how Faireys went on the following week at the same venue........never again.
  8. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Wasn't that famous christmas concert with Becontree with only 5 people in the audience, was it?! LOL

    Oh, (not quite)happy days! ;)
  9. dickyg

    dickyg Member

    Yes, and if was the premier of my 'Euphoria' then I was one of the 31!!!
    I once played a gig many years ago with Yorkshire Imps at Leeds University where we had Ian Bousfield playing the Elgar Howarth Trombone Concerto and a world premier................ with only 8 in the audience!!!!

    Happy Days,

    Richard Grantham
  10. brianatb

    brianatb Member

    That happened to our band in 1974 Princess St Gardens Edinburgh (kings Own Scottish Borders) Scary or what ?
  11. Beesa

    Beesa Member

    Not quite the same thing although sort of but opposite :-

    Over 30 years ago, when folk still went to the seaside in their droves there used to be band concerts most nights of the week at a nearby resort and all the local bands were given certain dates to be there throughout the summer season. The council did all th e advertising.

    One evening the hall filled up and there was said to be well over a thousand people there (we would normally have an audience of perhaps a couple of hundred if lucky). Anyway, due to a mix up in dates our band didn't turn up.

    I still squirm when I think about it.
  12. TenorhornHolder

    TenorhornHolder New Member

    Again, not quite the same thing... Our band were performing on temporary staging as part of local holiday celebrations a few weeks ago and the crew started packing chairs and staging away while we were playing! We have since received an apology. (And yes, there was an audience!)
  13. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I has happened to me a couple of times. One really sticks in the mind from many years ago when we had a gig at a local music festival in one of the villages in Leicestershire. We were to play in the very impressive village church - a great venue and it seemed like it was going to be quite a prestigious concert beforehand, so we worked up a really good programme for it. When the concert started there were about 15 people in the audience including the local counciller, his wife (who'd both been invited anyway) and the music festival organising committee which was 7 people. We took along 4 of our own "WAGs" so the grand total of people who CBA to turn out without having some sort of commitment to it was about 2!!

    There was also one last year - which I missed, but we spent ages working up music from around the World, only to find on the night that no-one apart from our own supporters turned up for it!

    We get all the good jobs :biggrin:
  14. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Not quite a lower than Band number audience, but we did a concert at St Martin in the Fields with Peter Bassano (or Peter Goodwin as he was then) conducting with John Wallace as guest had a stonking programme including Blitz (my first time playing it rather than listening) and some unusual stuff that Mr Wallace had brought along....all the way from Whitefield to London and back after a couple of weeks farily intensive rehearsal for the sake of around 50....

    Good concert though :D
  15. catherine_S

    catherine_S Member

    Our band gave up doing proper Christmas concerts after a never-to-be forgotten concert we did jointly with a well-known (in their own country!) Albanian string quartet. We were their audience for their half of the concert (plus about 10 friends and relatives!) and they were for our half!!

    I have to say that they were fantastic and deserved a really great audience! They did say the same about us, but I can't comment!
  16. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    I was conducting my band in Greenwich Park. It was pouring with rain when we turned up. With all London Parks you don't get paid unless you start your programme and if you have an audience you have to continue. By the time we were due to start it was still pouring with rain. We went on to the bandstand and played our first piece. During which the the park authorities approached the only two in the audience and asked them politely to leave. They did. And the band escaped the driving wind and rain.
  17. flugelman

    flugelman Member

    I once played in a concert in a new school auditiorium. The concert had been extremely well promoted by quite an overly enthusisatic promoter. The Band were well paid and the audience had to pay a fee to attend. He had also organised local press photos etc.

    There were seven people in the audience- 3 band supporters, the promoter and the school caretaker waiting to lock up. To be honest the three band supporters normally came to each rehearsal so it was just like having a posh practice. The press photographer could barely keep a straight face!!!
  18. BIG Paul

    BIG Paul Member

    I remember years ago when Morecombe frontier land was still going, the band always had one engagement a year, for three years that I remember going the only people listening were the mums and dads that arrived with the band, if I remember correctly frontier land paid for the coach and gave free all day ride tickets to the band, so it was basically a free day out for the band.
  19. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    Oh i remember that!!! It was bizzare
  20. Masterblaster jnr

    Masterblaster jnr Active Member

    Thurlstone band a couple of years ago at dobcross band club. i think we had 15 in the audience, which was quite good, seen as apparently Carlton did it the week before and had 9. anyone know what's happened to dobx, it is still going isn't it?

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