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  #31  
Old 01-26-2020, 05:21 PM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Ah, I've played Cameron's but never been to the Open Mic. It is a decent setup aside from all the TVs, if I recall.

HMB is actually incredibly hard to get to from "silicon valley" these days, the "short" drive across 92 can take forever, especially on a weeknight when you have to fight rush hour traffic. It's a major issue for everything like this in the Bay Area these days. I went to the grand reopening of the South Bay open mic - a bay area institution that's also having a bit of a hard time lately - a few weeks ago. 13 miles away, took me 15 minutes to get home later at night, 2 hours to get there... I suspect this is one reason you're not getting a younger crowd. Only retired people can manage to leave 2 hours ahead of time, when most people are still working, to get there and play a couple of songs. Moving it to earlier won't help, and starting later makes it too late for working people (and it'd have to be a lot later for traffic to have died down). A Sunday night slot might be better, but even weekends backups on 92 can be a problem. So I think you're limited to the population of those along Highway 1 there.
Two hours to drive 15 miles? Wow! Getting stuck behind a tractor or Amish buggy on my country roads has nothing on that. You have too many people out there. Haha
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  #32  
Old 01-26-2020, 06:02 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post
The venue is Cameron's Pub & Inn located in Half Moon Bay, CA. O/M is held every Thursday night starting at 7:00PM. 3 songs or 15 minutes, whichever comes first.
I live in Pacific Grove, down Highway 1 on the Monterey Peninsula. At Friday night’s open mic at PG Juice n’ Java we had, I think in order:

- A high school girl playing guitar and covering a couple of modern singer-songwriter songs, tentative but true, with her dad filming her up on a chair. She got a huge ovation for getting up there.
- A standup comic who did 10 minutes and got a couple of laughs.
- I got up and played Take me to the River, Roll Over Beethoven and Brand New Cadillac
- A regular got up and sang Broadway tunes over an iPhone instrumental track. Always gets great reception.
- An older singer songwriter sang three of his songs.
- Two young HS girls sang - one played guitar, the other clearly was a Broadway kid.
- A guy got up with a electric keyboard and programmed rhythm tracks and sang originals.
- Stand up
- Poet
- Excellent young woman singer - covers Smiths, and does an amazing solo cover of Toadies’ Possum Kingdom.

I know of a few open mics elsewhere on the Peninsula, but during the week so I can’t make it because I can’t do school nights.

They are out there.
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  #33  
Old 01-26-2020, 08:51 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Two hours to drive 15 miles? Wow! Getting stuck behind a tractor or Amish buggy on my country roads has nothing on that. You have too many people out there. Haha
Nope. Too many cars.
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  #34  
Old 01-27-2020, 07:41 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Originally Posted by DenverSteve View Post
I "quote" this for two reasons. One, to repeat the venue and two, to emphasize what other's have said. A mid-week open mic that starts at 7pm and goes to...10 or 11 is not conducive for young working people who have to get to work at 7 or 8 a.m. I would start the event at 5-5:30 and close it down by 9. I know that doesn't satisfy the wants of the host location who wants free entertainment until midnight or later, but that's what it is. Maybe have the venue offer a mid-week paid gig for the winner of the OM to entice players who are actually looking to play for a living or avocation. Have a monthly "shoot-out" of the top 12 players for the month - top 3 from each week. The winner, or winners of the battle get paid gigs at the venue for every Wednesday for a month.

The issue I see with open mics is that many/most are tolerated by the venue for the purpose of players bringing in their 3-12 friends, filling up the place and getting patrons and free entertainment out of it while the players get very little in return. I think open mics mostly get two types of players. The up and coming local players looking for exposure and moving in to full-time playing (or at least profitable playing), and those you have already listed - the retired or retiring who don't need/want full-time gigs. Somewhere the event/venue needs to bridge the gap.
Wrong on the times - young people don't NEED to get to bed at 10 or 11, many may work retail jobs and don't even get out of their day job until 6 or 7.

let's not get into the 'providing entertainment for free' venue thing again.

I get younger players at my open mic - but not every time, and not the same ones consistently. But they do come back - and that's the key, what is the host doing to make them feel they should go back? Open mics, as mentioned already, can fail or be successful dependent on the host, not just the venue and its location. There are tons of open mics around here, so people have choices. Go to others to see which ones are successful, and why they are successful.
Besides Facebook - and you need to post it in EVERY local FB music group you can find, do a few every night for several days prior to the open mic - advertise on craigslist, openmics.org, Meet-up, etc. I take photos of every player and post them on FB within a couple of days of the event - I try to get everyone who comes to friend me on FB so they can be 'tagged' - this gets the word out to the players' friends. I share the photo album on the venue's Facebook page. At the open mic itself, I try to talk to all the players, and if they come by themselves, try to make them feel included. I let people know when they are 'on deck' to play so they can get ready, make sure I announce them before they play, and try to say their names when they finish too.
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Last edited by MikeBmusic; 01-28-2020 at 07:30 AM.
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  #35  
Old 01-27-2020, 08:47 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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Thanks for the above comments. Some additional info I should have put in my original post:

* We have advertised on FB every week for years.

* The venue is 20 minutes over the hill from the heart of Silicon Valley. Plenty of players around and many of those show up at the Monday night O/M I attend every week.

* The venue in question hosts Karaoke every Friday night and it's a sellout. Our O/M is the night before.

* The venue is well advertised on the San Francisco Bay Area Open Mic list.
FB is considered by young adults as an "old person's thing" so you may not be reaching that demographic. Twitter and Instagram are the preferred social media apps for them. I wouldn't recommend looking into Tik Tok or Snapchat though.

On a related note, has the venue considered livestreaming for additional exposure? Many younger artists I have discovered will stream via Instagram Stories, Twitter's Periscope app - and yes, even Facebook Live.

Based on the discussion of traffic and working schedules, I can see why there's a bigger turnout on weekends. Mondays and Tuesdays are not generally known for the night life. "Free entertainment" arguments notwithstanding, but I wonder why Saturday afternoons aren't explored?
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  #36  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:17 AM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Nope. Too many cars.
Yep, especially 4-8PM when every engineer is leaving google, facebook, etc around here, and especially going certain directions where there's a single 1-lane path to get there - the issue with getting to HBM from the peninsula.

BTW, you (6L6) mention you post this event to facebook - just a heads up that I've never seen it, so you may not be getting the word out to the greater bay area as much as you think. Facebook's a bit of a black hole as far as who you reach with your posts, of course.
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Last edited by Doug Young; 01-27-2020 at 09:24 AM.
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  #37  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:38 AM
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KevWind KevWind is offline
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Interesting.

I think there have been a number of post that may be addressing some issues.
And I am guessing as Doug mentioned the traffic and logistics could well be an issue . And one thing I have noticed is the Gen X and Millennials do not seem as willing to commute long distances. Likely because of the time and traffic involved now days.

And to add to his comment about retired having the time to handle an hour or two travel time. I am not familiar with the Bay area but if HMB is an expensive place to live it may well be that the older types maybe the majority of local residence .

Living where I do in the proverbial "middle of nowhere"
My "local" open mic's are 45 to 65 miles away BUT the good news is for me (being retired and no traffic to speak of) that is a 45 min. to an hour 15 minutes travel time.

Interestingly enough even though the Jackson Hole area is very expensive to live in. Because of the Skiing and all the other summer and winter mountain recreation available, and virtually within minutes of downtown. It does attract hosts of young adventurous types. And the Open Mic's reflect that with always a good mix of younger and older.
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  #38  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:46 AM
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lodi_55 lodi_55 is offline
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First off, my hats off to Cameron's as the open mic is better than most and really was my "proving ground" for doing gigs. Which is one of the reasons I haven't been back in a while.

Some thoughts:

1. Traffic - early start time would not work as most of us are commuting from San Francisco (45 min to 1 hour) or Palo Alto are (same) or worse, the south bay (1.5 hours)

2. Promotion - I see some random FB posts about Open Mic, but I don't see Cameron's actively promoting on their site (which probably has a much bigger audience)

3. I will post this morning about the open mic. How great it is and how we'd like to see more people there. I would suggest that 6L6 you do the same, as well as asking Ken and others as well. Also, at the open mic maybe we can do a PSA at the beginning asking people to "like" the Open Mic FB page and to please tell their friends to come out.

It's still a great place, going through probably the same ebbs and flows as it always has.
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  #39  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:04 AM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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Thanks Mike!

No doubt that the traffic situation is severe and has a negative effect on the turnout at Cameron's.

There is also another O/M at Princeton's Old Landing that competes and, from what I hear, grabs more of the younger crowd. Maybe we should switch to another night?

For those who brought up the venue owner's financial incentives for having an Open Mic, it's not a factor.

The O/M is named after the original host who was beloved by all who knew him, including the venue owner. He had a special stage built in the room we play in and named it after this original host when he passed away from cancer. The O/M is an ongoing tribute to the original host's memory.

Thanks for the input above!
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  #40  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:11 AM
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here is another listing page you might try , it is by state and is what I used when traveling

https://openmikes.org/
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  #41  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:28 AM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Originally Posted by 6L6 View Post

There is also another O/M at Princeton's Old Landing that competes and, from what I hear, grabs more of the younger crowd. Maybe we should switch to another night?
!
Probably not big competition for you, but in the south bay, the long-running South Bay Folk OM is also on thursdays as is the Los Gatos Coffee OM. Neither draws a particularly young crowd, tho. I think there may be yet another thursday OM in the area that I'm forgetting - popular night :-)
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