Chicago, Illinois’s Goose Island Wrigleyville celebrates music with the Goose Island Showcase. Swizzle Steve and Vicarious Venues have put on several concerts for the Goose Island patrons, and on November 29, 2012, the musical performer booked one of Chicago’s upcoming talents.
Taylor Kravitt of Vicarious Venues stated that Vicarious Venues started in 2011.
“Vicarious Venues was started last year when I moved back from New York City, where I was working at a Music Talent Agency called Podell Talent,” said Kravitt. “I started Vicarious Venues to fill a void that I saw in the Chicago music scene.”
“What Vicarious Venues does is function as one stop shop for all things live performance related. Instead of bands having to spend countless hours working with different promoters at different venues we take care of all that for them!” he continued. “Once we start working with a band or performer we book a show for them at one of the smaller venues we work with. If a band does well at that venue we move them to a larger venue, and then a larger venue and keep going up and up until they’ve either played the largest venues in Chicago or get signed and start touring nationally. In addition to simply booking the bands we also help with promotion and branding. If a band doesn’t think they can get enough fans out to play a large show, we reach out to the people of Chicago and help create new fans for them.”
Kravitt described some of what Vicarious Venues does to help their talent gain fans. “Whether we use online promotions or one of our street teams, Vicarious Venues does whatever it takes to increase the bands we work with over all fan base,” he said. “Of course some bands we work with are already quite popular, so we help them with branding and marketing. One of our favorite things to do is introduce musicians to T-shirt makers or graphic artists, because who doesn’t like seeing their band name on a T-shirt? So to summarize, if it has to do with a local concert in Chicago….we do it!”
The November 29 event at Goose Island was one that highlighted an upcoming musician.
“The event we had on November 29th was one of our Goose Island Wrigleyville showcases. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday Vicarious Venues and our sister company Swizzle Steve Presents book 4-5 bands to play at Goose Island in Wrigleyville,” he said. “We book shows all over Chicago, but the show we put on at Goose Island Wrigleyville are by far my favorite! Goose Island is a large venue (capacity of 325), but it has that small venue feel to it. Every show we book there has a very personal and intimate feel to it. That particular show featured a new Chicago Artist names Julian Bell, whom I expect to see on the cover of magazines sooner rather than later.”
Kravitt said Vicarious Venues used many different types of ways to promote the event.
“As I mentioned above, Vicarious Venues uses several different promotion methods. We use the industry standards of Facebook events and Twitter posts, but we also like to use printed advertisements and in person promotions as well,” he said. “If making sure a show is a success means that one or a few of the staff have to spend their days off going from club to club handing out flyers or going from bar to bar talking to people in the correct demographic we’ll do it happily. Making sure each of our shows is a success and the bands we work with are not simply satisfied, but excited by the results is our number one goal.”
Kravitt also said that the tickets they used helped them increase their turnout. “[The tickets]…seriously increased the amount of people and thus income for all of our shows at Goose Island Wrigleyville,” he said. “Currently we’re printing about 3,000 tickets a month…and we sell online tickets…for over 12 events a month.”
Kravitt said Vicarious Venues focused on giving fans first dibs on Goose Island tickets.
“For our Goose Island Wrigleyville events we give all of the bands playing a certain number of tickets to sell to their fans weeks in advance,” he said. “We’ve found that having a printed ticket in your hand is a great motivation to go to a concert that you’re only 50 percent sure you want to attend. Although we happily sell tickets at the door to all of our events we’ve found that having hard print tickets and online ticket sales have improved the overall attendance of our events substantially.”
Kravitt said it’s difficult to figure out which part of the event was his favorite.
“It’s hard to say what the best part of a particular concert is. However, if I had to pick a moment it would be after an artist has performed and I see the excitement on their face and on the faces or their fans,” he said. “The best part of the music business for me is not making money or hanging out with rock stars, but seeing how excited and happy people get when they see their favorite band, and knowing that I helped make that happen. I believe everyone really enjoyed the show on the 29th, so my goals were met!”
The event also didn’t have any problems, said Kravitt.
“Live music never goes exactly as planned, I really wish it did, but as far as concerts go the show on the 29th went off without a hitch,” he said. “My sister company Swizzle Steve Presents runs all of the shows at Goose Island Wrigleyville as does an impeccable job of making sure things run smoothly. Steve Krok, whom the company is named after, is an industry veteran and is the man you want in charge whenever you’re putting on anything that involves both musicians and expensive sound and lighting equipment!”
Kravitt said that if you want to put on an event like the Goose Island Wrigleyville, contact Vicarious Venues “and let us do it for [you]!”