Let me just start by saying AAAAARRRGGGGGHHHH!!!
So, the Download show has been cancelled, after having been on our calendar for less than three days.
The band's representative had signed the contracts and webcast agreement, so we thought we were done: we went ahead and announced the show and started selling tickets. Two days later, they came back to us and said, "by the way, no webcast."
Apparently the first time cEvin actually read the contract was two days after we'd already gotten a signed copy back, and it wasn't one he would have signed. It's still unclear to me whether this was because of his personal beliefs, or because his record label doesn't allow it, or because he just thinks his record label doesn't allow it. But, we've had dozens of other signed bands perform here, and none of them have had a problem with it.
Had we known ahead of time that they wouldn't agree to the webcast, we wouldn't have booked the show. But we thought that was all settled already. I'm very sorry that we found out about this so late in the game. We didn't mean to get everyones' hopes up unnecessarily; we really had every reason to believe that the deal was done, and the show was on.
In fact, Download is the very first band who has ever turned us down because of the webcast.
People keep asking me, "well can't you just black out the webcast for that night?" I could, but I won't. These webcasts we do are completely integral to the mission of this club: doing the webcasts is a major part of why I opened the club in the first place. I see them as one of the major benefits we have over other venues.
And if there's one thing that the last year of operating this club has taught me, it's that there's a world of difference between the words "never" and "sometimes." The difference is that "sometimes" means "always." The first time we booked a show and turned off the webcast, that would become the norm and not the exception. Because just about every time someone hears about the webcasts, their gut reaction is, "ooh, scary, we can't do that." But when we push back, they go and talk to whoever they need to talk to, and realize that it's not actually a problem after all. And then after it goes off, they think it was really cool.
But it would be easier not to webcast, in that it would mean less conversations about it. And then we'd end up being just like every other club: doing webcasts only once in a blue moon, if at all.
How can anyone possibly think that a live webcast is anything but a benefit to the band? Even if someone does manage to save an MP3 of the show (something that's not very easy to do), in what alternate universe can that possibly hurt record sales rather than helping them? It's nothing but free exposure for the artist ("free" in the sense of "DNA is paying a lot of money to do it for them.")
God dammit, I really wanted to see this show.