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

VicPD catches impaired driver near elementary school

Citizens alerted police to driver near James Bay Community School

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Car crash at Quadra and Finalyson Streets affects Saturday traffic

VicPD and the Victoria Fire Department responded

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Most Read