Dear Ricardo Guerrero: Ten Reasons Why Miami Venues Don't Suck Dick

RicardoGuerrero.jpg
​Recently, Crossfade covered local musician and promoter Ricardo Guerrero's declaration that "Miami Venues Suck Dick."

The scintillating article managed to pile up a total of 117 comments. Some people agreed with Guerrero's statement. Others tried to offer suggestions to grow this little scene.

It's a classic underground music fight, and it's funny to see that the argument never evolves. Either way, here are ten reasons why Miami venues don't suck dick.

10. Options, Options, Options
Grand Central, The Vagabond, Eve, Bardot, Transit Lounge, Churchill's Pub, Tina Hills Pavilion, Electric Pickle, Tobacco Road, Polish American Club, The Stage, PAX, Purdy Lounge, 71 Lounge, Jazid, Buck 15, and the list goes on.

If anyone thinks there aren't good venue options in Miami, they lack imagination. Not to mention, for every club that closes down (RIP Soho Lounge, The District, Pawn Shop), five more open (hello Vagabond, Bardot, White Room/Eve, Circa 28/Electric Pickle, Grand Central, etc.). And considering the size of this city's music scene, there's more than enough to go around.

9. The Party Never Has To Stop
Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and a lot of other major metropolitan cities have mandated last call. Could anyone imagine Miami nights always ending at 2 a.m.? The best part of any Friday or Saturday happens way after 4 a.m., right? Is the night really complete if you can't walk out of a venue and watch the sun come up?

8. This Could Be Your Life
Many of Miami's biggest names in local music started in the bowels of the city's nightlife. Whether it was the door guy at Cheers, a house party DJ, the booking agent at Hard Rock Cafe, or a small time promoter at Club 5922, the opportunity to do something great in this city is there for the taking. All anyone has to do is work for it and it can be accomplished. Ask a New York City door guy if he feels the same way.

7. One of Us
​A byproduct of owners and promoters building their careers from the bottom up is that they still act like they're one of the crowd. In other cities, these people sit behind velvet ropes, looking down on the regular people they make their money from. But stand at the bar of an underground venue in downtown Miami and there's a good chance you'll see the venue's owner partying alongside the patrons.

6. We'll Try Anything
Miami fans support the things they love. Whether it's the house parties thrown by bands like Bulletproof Tiger or a newbie promoter putting together his first show, people will show up. Sure, they may lose interest fast. But "willing to try anything once" doesn't just apply to hard drugs.

5. When You're In, You're In
One would think the cutthroat nightclub industry would be lacking loyalty. But it's totally the opposite. Working in a venue is like working with group of friends.

Don't think this holds true for only the crew who keep cups filled and trash off the floor. Bands who play in venues get asked to play over and over again. Believe it or not, venues actually give a shit about supporting local music, even if it isn't the most profitable or popular thing to do.

As Grand Central co-owner Mario Arango says: "We have done nothing but support the local scene and have had growing numbers in attendance for our free local showcases which is a very positive thing for Miami. We'll keep supporting the locals."

4. Everybody Knows Your Name
There may not be a guy named Norm, but there's definitely a six-foot tranny whose nipples have been X-ed out with black tape. Spending time in a Miami venue means getting to know most of the people involved in the Miami art scene. Is it because of the size of the "community"? Possibly. But even so, the beauty of this scene is that it's full of artists and creative minds. And going out is more than just an excuse to get trashed, it also means meeting a parade of interesting people.

3. Like Getting Blood From a Stone
Sad reality moment: To a venue, booking local bands is tantamount to a pity fuck with an ex-girlfriend who put on 20 pounds. The dark and dirty secret of live music promotion is that there really isn't that much money to be made from it.

Bands complain constantly about the money they don't make because they look at the audience and think the entrance fee should go directly into the bass player's pockets. Of course, they rarely stop to think of all the other expenses that go into putting on a live show: sound engineers, flyer costs, door person, security, stage equipment, and other band's guarantees. Trust me, no one is swimming in a giant vault of gold coins after putting together a live music show.

Nonetheless, venues still keep putting up bands. Not to mention...

2. C'mon, Do You Really Pay?
Every single person on the scene knows a bartender, a door guy, a DJ, a security guard, a band, a promoter, an owner, whatever. People who pay covers are people who don't spend much time around the bars and clubs of Miami. True scenesters get into wherever they want because everyone knows everyone.

1. Necessity Is the Mother of All Invention
No musician in their right mind thinks they're going to get discovered in Miami. There's no Knitting Factory here, no Mercury Room, no Bowery Ballroom, no Whiskey A Go-Go. Thankfully Charles Darwin taught that in an environment devoid of resources, survival of the fittest dictates that only the best will survive. So while small, Miami is incredibly talented. Whether bands know it or not, venues try their best to put that talent out there, not because they have to, but because they want to.

"The interesting thing to note about the Miami music scene is its untapped potential that has not been fully exploited yet," explains Illia Tulloch, drummer for Astari Nite, Fevers, Keeper, etc. "Even though we may have had some notable and sporadic periods of growth, I think it's exciting to catch something in its infancy. It allows the people to guide and mold it into something which will reflect them directly. And for that, I am proud to be a part of its culture."

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

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36 comments
666
666

and what the fuck is wrong with sucking dick you homophobic idiots.

Dontthinkso
Dontthinkso

How is it implying homophobia? Idiot.

666
666

wow everyone is still bitching about this? how about you all shut the fuck up and play some music.

RichDominguez
RichDominguez

Agreed, Uatu. The security's gonna be there whether a band plays or not (what security?!), all the costs mentioned are amortized into the cost of the club, and they're gonna flier anyway (thanks for the right spelling). If a venue puts on a band, that band brings people, then band should get a cut. Fucking simple. What an asinine and crass example to compare artists trying to play their fucking hearts out as a 'pity fuck.' Even if you did pay them, you think they make a fucking cent? How much does ONE decent guitar go for these days? Or practice space? Or more importantly, TIME? Save your pity for yourself, and if you can't treat bands with respect, don't have 'em. Don't act like you're doing 'em a favor.

You have bands to bring in people who otherwise might not be there, and who hopefully will buy your way fucking overpriced drinks, parking, and assorted bullshit. I go outta my way to see bands, not some douchebag with a macbook pro getting his email 'dj'ing.' You pay him plenty, don't you? Damn straight you do. So why not the band?

Daniel Mugruza-Ocampo
Daniel Mugruza-Ocampo

I play music because I want to and I love it, not for money. If I want to make money, I'd play shitty hip-hop with lyrics about demeaning women and making money ironically enough. Some of us don't give a shit about money in music. Hard to believe isn't it? How about fun, good tunes, and friendships? What a concept?!?!

RichDominguez
RichDominguez

Daniel, you're missing the point- It's not about making money- it's about respect. It's about being exploited. When a venue is making money off of you, and you know it, why shouldn't you be entitled to a fair share of that? It's just arguing the points made in this article as to why a band shouldn't expect any money- they don't hold up to reason. But then again, you have a closed mind, as evidenced by your comments about other kinds of music- music you don't like, so therefore it's bad, right?

Daniel Mugruza-Ocampo
Daniel Mugruza-Ocampo

I'm not missing the point. I like hip-hop but I know real hip-hop is now just as underground as most good rock and roll or any other genre is nowadays. You seem too uptight to know about playing from your heart, or if you play, you're doing it for the wrong reason man. Go to college, earn that degree, and work in a cubicle for that bread papo. Have a good one. 

Daniel Mugruza-Ocampo
Daniel Mugruza-Ocampo

Que Mierda. Fuck profit-seeking vampires like Eve that charge 8 bucks for a decent brew. Goes  for the rest of these Shitty Miami Beach wannabe bars with  Rhine-stone t-shirt wearing, faux-hawk having crowds. I'm poor, I want rock and fucking roll, and I want to get fucked up. What?!? 

Yo Mama
Yo Mama

Boycott Gran Central fo life!

Grant Stern
Grant Stern

Grand Central is becoming that "Whiskey A Go-Go" for local acts, but it takes time...

Shutupanddosomething
Shutupanddosomething

Dude that place is WAY to expensive and they add gratuity to EVERYTHING , when they lighten up on their drink prices and actually a good show I wanna see , ill go there.. So far fish bone has been the only show that was worth going to and no offense to whoever booked it but they had horrible bands that opened up for them...

UATU
UATU

Wait, bands get guarantees?! There's sound engineers (or even decent PA's) at local venues? A couple of places. Oh and the sound engineers that do get any work don't make much, if at all. 90% are just another band member, a DJ, or the bartender.

 So if the band brings in the patrons they shouldn't get a cut of the door? But if everyone should get in free, why have a door at all? For suckers?

Face it, bands get treated like shit here, most don't give a crap about getting paid, they just want to be treated with humanity and it so rarely happens. You bust your ass for weeks practicing, lug all your gear to the gig only to be scorned by the management and at many places beg just for a bottle of water. Then you get told you're playing for 20 minutes with no hope of a sound check and the stage is wired to make sure you'll be electrocuted the second you touch the mic, not the mic matters since there's no monitors and you can't hear yourself anyway.

I've had promoters flier for shows, then double the price at the door when they see people coming in. I've had them literally run away rather than pay me a measly $30 that we earned in the rare instance they even told us they'd pay us. But all I ever could hope for was 'thanks for playing,' but even that has been rare. But not from the fans. Which is why we still do it. We do it for them, and only them.

Shutupanddosomething
Shutupanddosomething

How about you stop complaining and actually do something? I agree you cant get discovered in miami BUT you can tour like a motherfucker until you do AND still represent miami... I think the real problem is most of you think you know what your doing but in reality you have but the slightest clue... Real musicians dont deal with promoters , they put on their own shows so were guaranteed actual money... Truth is alot of promoters.really DONT pay bands even if they just ask for gas money... I put on shows all the time and trust me there is always enough to go around but some people are greedy and then theres the case of a band just not doing their end to promote or they show up late or they cancel etc etc... Im kinda going all over the place here but! point is if you think it sucks? Well then do something to make it better you fuckin pansies!

Caryg82
Caryg82

You clearly don't know who Ric is and what he's done... maybe you should find out. :)

Uatu
Uatu

Well, maybe he should tell us :)

Bernz
Bernz

this list is the reason Miami venues suck...

Chuck Livid
Chuck Livid

Coño you nailed it. Bernz I hope you're the last word on this. 

RelaventGuy
RelaventGuy

The author needs to get his head back in 2011. No one gets "discovered" anymore. Labels and management come to those who successfully amass some sort of following via the web and/or touring.

Chuck Livid
Chuck Livid

Yo RelaventGuy labels and management barely exist anymore. Assholes like me throwing the few pennies we've got put records out. If you're interested in "making it" you missed the 1998 boat a long time ago pipo. Hip hop excluded.

Guest
Guest

When was the last time there was a show at the Polish American Club? What's 71 Lounge?

Jaime
Jaime

This list sucks dick

RICARDO GUERRERO :)
RICARDO GUERRERO :)

DEATH TO THE SUN III - Saturday September 24 at The Snooze Theater in Lake Park (WPB area) *NO COVER* Show begins at 6:00 P.M., bands include:90s Teen, The Band in Heaven, Bulletproof Tiger, Curious Hair, The Dewars, Dino Felipe (tour kick-off), Family Treasures (NY), Fourier, Guy Harvey, Holly Hunt, Kenny Millions, Kid Khameleon, Luma Junger, Manny and the Mangos, Matilda Lights, Meat, Möthersky, Ouija, Palmeto, The President, Rat Bastard, Relaxxx, Ritz Riot (NY), Skeleton Warrior (Tampa), Slashpine, This Heart Electric (tour kick-off), Toad Eyes, Universal Expansion, Unstoppable Death Machines (NY), The Viking Funeral

RICARDO GUERRERO :)
RICARDO GUERRERO :)

Did I mention there's NO COVER?! Free parking, food truck by Gypsy Kitchen 305, and the cheapest beer in town at the bar served to you by CJ and JP :)  - 18+ (bring ID)

Chuck Livid
Chuck Livid

Gypsy Kitchen gonna be there?!? Holy fuck!

Chuck Livid
Chuck Livid

Wow here we go again. Good points Ric, but you really should've put this in the comments for the original piece. 

RICARDO GUERRERO :)
RICARDO GUERRERO :)

I liked what Illia had to say.

Uatu
Uatu

Problem with what he has to say is that someone's been saying that for 20 years.

Chuck Livid
Chuck Livid

My biggest issue with all of this is why did it take Ric 25 days to write a rebuttal to the original piece? Ric I love you and all but damn dude 25 days?! Where the fuck is Folgar?!? At least he's consistent on being late ;)

Nope
Nope

Good points??? The only "point" approaching validity is #9, and it's a technicality. Seriously, a good majority of the words in this list -- which astonishingly tops out at a round number -- are rubbish. An "underground venue in downtown Miami"? Huh? None of the venues listed in #1 are underground. If they were, they wouldn't be listed in #1. And #8 -- WOW. it's one of the best instances I've encountered of a collection of words conveying absolutely nothing. Why am I being asked to ask an NYC "door guy" anything? What's NYC got to do with it? Then there's #3, which doesn't even try to uphold the mission of the list, and #2, which is at best a tangent and at worst an utter recapitulation. It's as if Ric's saying, "Well, the venues suck, but you don't pay to get in anyway." And he knows that, remember, because he's a "true scenester".

What we have here, as usual, is the NT pretending it's a community weekly that's in the know, when in fact it's a satellite beamed in from Phoenix. Yet another quasi-criminal waste of internet ink and readers' time.

Chuck Livid
Chuck Livid

I was being nice but yeah you're right it's mostly all crap.

Nope
Nope

Make that "capitulation" -- no "re".

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