Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Last Month's Poll Results & This Month's Poll!!

Now on the site, we're shutting down last month's poll and launching our newest poll at the SMS! As you may remember, last month's poll from May 18th posed this question: Which of these recently closed local concert venues do you miss seeing metal/hard rock shows at the most? Only 16 votes, which is smaller than I'd have hoped, but the results are interesting and fairly straightforward, so thanks to the voters, and here are your final results!

The original Coch's Corner (5 votes, 31%)
The Eastgate Hotel (4 votes, 25%)
Foggy Notions (3 votes, 19%)
Other (2 votes, 13%)
The Outback (1 vote, 6%)
The Roosevelt Hotel (1 vote, 6%)
GLOW/The Other Place (0 votes)
Smack Daddy's/Bossy's (0 votes)
The Vibe Lounge (0 votes)

What do you guys think? In ascending order, while I'm not too surprised with the venues that received no votes (though somewhat aside from GLOW), The Roosevelt Hotel only receiving a single vote of the 16 cast was particularly shocking, especially given the venue's early-2010s prevalence of metal and punk shows! I know it had other issues, but again, it's all in who votes. The Outback's fifth place tie didn't surprise me too much, while "Other"'s two vote/fourth place finish is also fairly expected, albeit without real knowledge of the voters' intended concert spot that they miss. The Eastgate Hotel's second place run was nice to see, especially considering how fondly remembered it was for many metalheads in the pre-SMS days, but the third and first place finishers (Foggy Notions and, in first with 31% of the votes, the original Coch's Corner) are forever linked from their 2012 closure and merger. It's a small sample size, but both of these downtown bars and concert venues had noticeable success and memorable events during their runs, and when Coch's Corner moved into 708 Queen and went all-acoustic, we did lose two venues as we knew them.

Coch's Corner's old Bay Street location was inviting, hosted many hit concerts, and was in a great location, while Foggy Notions was successful in both homes and gave a cozy reliability to many shows in the 2000s! Both are missed, and if the poll is to be believed, the old Coch's Corner is especially, but be sure to support current venues and bars to keep them going! Thanks to everyone who voted! As for this month's poll, I'm revisiting similar subject matter from last month (relating to local concert venues), as while we still have a number of locations that can and do host metal & hard rock shows, we have lost many in recent years, as noted above. Sure, we recently added Dana's Bar & Grill to the local bar scene, and Reggie's West didn't slam the door on out of town bands, but both are still unproven commodities for some of the big shows we've been used to seeing in Sault Ontario. We have a number of great bars and halls here, but most have their own schedules, preferences, and challenges that can complicate show availability, which has been a concern for some bands and promoters in recent months.

With that said, I'm posing this question to you guys this month: What is the best case scenario for getting a new reliable concert venue for metal shows? Basically, I'm curious to see what people think in terms of local concert venue availability, as to what would be the ideal situation where Sault Ontario would (or wouldn't?) get a new location to host more metal shows in the area. Without any further adieu, here are this month's choices!

Open a new bar/concert venue (or re-open one): Whether it's dreams of owning one's own concert venue, a personal desire to help the local scene, or just missing a venue like Club Princess, buying/leasing property to make a new concert venue is an attractive option, if costly in most cases. Would the solution to any concert availability woes be to open a brand new concert spot, or would the idea not be worth the risk?

Get an existing venue to host more shows: Many local bars and concert halls have hosted metal or hard rock shows in the past, be they original bands or weekend cover acts, but each has their own clientele, schedules, and theme nights that could theoretically pose problems for metal bookings. As we saw at The Rosie in the early 2010s, a working relationship with metal promoters is more than possible, but should a similar idea be done more often to get more reliable venues?

Get more live bands going to increase demand: Sault Ste. Marie is only so big, and there's only so many bands here, but it stands to reason that if there were more live acts, more venues would book more shows to accommodate them. Whether you see this option as an avenue towards the booking levels desired, or an immediate idea to increase show amounts now, should more live bands form to encourage extra bookings?

Renovate or remodel a venue to attract more events: Granted, it's rare where a local bar's theme and design changes in a way that actually helps metal bands (Foggy Notions' brief run as Feedback being a notable exception), but certain concert venues in town may be seen by some as not fitting metal shows, or just in need of a makeover. If an existing bar or concert venue had a new look, theme, or layout, would you see that as a spark for more shows?

Just improve attendance to the shows we do get: This is often cited from promoters and bands in town as an answer to questions relating to why the Soo doesn't get "better" bands. Promoting shows can be very expensive, and if fans don't support what does come through, how can promoters upgrade to bigger and better things? Therefore, is the simplest fix just to get more fans to actually buy tickets and see what does come, therefore increasing funds and demand for bigger things?

We have enough concert venues as it is: Basically, if you find that our current state of concert spots is just fine (or too big?), and you don't think we really need new venues to host shows for whatever reason (financial concerns, dislike of certain shows, etc.), vote for this choice! Given our readership, I imagine this won't do well in the poll, but if this speaks closest to your own preferences, vote here!

VOTE TODAY!! You guys have until July 18th to cast your votes, so let's see what people think on the matter of new or more frequent concert venues in the Sault for metal bands! That's all for today, but stay tuned for weekend concert previews tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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