Victoria’s’s music scene held back by lack of venues

Victoria has plenty of talent but few places to play, say bands

Those in the Victoria music scene see it as a place with talent, and a receptive audience, but a lack of venues is holding it back from becoming something even greater.

“For the past five or six years, Victoria has had a really robust music scene,” said Stephen Franke of Blue Heron Music. “Having a good fan base here, and a big enough city to have success … has really helped create a little buzz.”

Franke manages Current Swell, a local band gaining international popularity. Franke said they made a concerted effort to “grow the visibility of the band” outside of Victoria and tap into larger, more lucrative markets.

James Kasper, a local musician, manager and president of Blue Water Gun Records, said the main issue holding back the Victoria music scene is a lack of venues where bands can play live. Kasper said there is a hole to be filled and the demand to support it.

“There’s tons and tons of great talent that hasn’t even seen the light of day because if you don’t have the venues, those bands don’t get to showcase themselves,” Kasper said.

The landscape of the local music scene is also changing due to technology and trends. With most music sales going digital, bands and managers are finding new ways to record music, find fans and hopefully make some money in the process.

The Archers, a young Victoria band making a name for itself, is trying to raise $7,000 to record its first album.

The main avenue for funding is through Indiegogo, an online platform where fans can donate money for perks, ranging from a copy of the album (once it’s complete) to a personal house show.

“I don’t think any of us ever got into this with the mindset of we’re going to be millionaires. We just want to have fun and it’s nice to do it without losing any money,” drummer Liam Moes said.

With online music sales surpassing hardcopy sales,  promoters, managers and bands are turning to the Internet to get their name out there.

“Social media obviously has taken over the majority of how bands market themselves,” said Jocelyn Greenwood of Cordova Bay Entertainment Group.

“The key now is to market the band as a culture. You’re not marketing a product anymore, which is the old way of doing things.”

Greenwood manages Acres of Lions, another growing Victoria band. When they started, most of the band members had day jobs but in 2012 the band played more than 130 gigs and suddenly they were all full-time musicians.

Band members frequently Tweet, blog, post videos and use social media to connect with fans. The attention only starts to pay off when the fans support music the old-fashioned way.

“At the end of the day those people are our customers,” said Tyson Verex, keyboardist and singer for the band. “If we can reach out to them … that’s going to help get more people out to the shows and, in turn, generate us more income.”

 

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Kay Gallivan paints a mural on the east wall of North Park’s Tiny Home Village (Kiernan Green / Victoria News Staff)
North Park Tiny Home Village opens at Royal Athletic Park lot to 30 unhoused

Residents will settle into new private units and the North Park community over the weekend

Carey Newman resigned from the Greater Victoria School District’s Indigenous Ad Hoc Committee May 13, citing ‘a pattern of systemic racism.’ (Black Press Media file photo)
‘Pattern of systemic racism’: SD61 Indigenous committee member resigns, calls for change

More than 350 people had added their names in support by midday Friday

The woman also received distracted driving tickets in 2018 and 2019. (Black Press File Photo)
Oak Bay driver gets third distracted driving ticket in four years

Officer caught the woman using her phone while at the wheel

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read