Since June 2003, Holocene has hosted a range of acts and events, from folk, indie rock and left-field electronic bands, to sweaty rap dance parties and minigolf-art invitationals. Generally we host live music Wednesdays and Thursdays (some Sundays through Tuesdays), and DJ dance parties on Fridays and Saturdays. We may not be the best venue for your grind-core or death metal band or your Green Day cover band, but short of that, we’re extremely excited about keeping the space fresh with new musical talent from near and far. We’d love to hear from you — just have a peek at the FAQs below before you write to us!
If you are interested in booking a private event, such as a company party or wedding, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
DATES: Give us a specific date, or range of dates, in which you are looking to set up a show. We generally do live music shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and DJ-centric dance parties on Friday and Saturday nights. Keep in mind that we are usually completely booked up at least 2-3 months out
LINE-UP: Do you have an idea of who you would like to play with? Great. We love that. In fact, it couldn’t hurt to check on all of the proposed bands’ availability/interest, and present us with a fully proposed bill for a particular set of dates.
LINKS: Please provide us with an easy way to stream your music, be it Facebook, Myspace, Bandcamp, Soundcloud or your website. DO NOT SEND MP3s via email. Do you have a video of you playing live? Even better. Send a link.
HISTORY: If you are a band that has never played Holocene, tell us a little something about what your band has been up to – Where have you played in town? Who have you played with? Whenever possible, please include attendance numbers for your local shows.
PRESS: Do you have any glimmering sound-bites from the local weeklies or the blog-o-sphere? Those would be a great addition to your email.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY BAND IS READY TO PLAY HOLOCENE?
Holocene is a 325 capacity club, and we look to bring in AT LEAST 100 people for a weekday night rock show. This is in order to cover production costs, make it worth the while of our bartending staff, and get you some money. If you have never played a show of that size, you should probably be building your reputation at smaller venues first. Keep in mind that being able to pack a basement full of people at a house show, as completely awesome as that is, does not always translate to being able to pack a club show with a $5 or $6 cover. If you are unsure of your draw, we recommend getting in touch with some larger local bands and asking them to open one of their shows here. Getting your foot in the door as a 1st of 3 at a 100+ person show is a much smarter plan than attempting to headline a show with you and your friends before you’ve reached that level of recognition in the local community.
HOW DO I KNOW MY SHOW IS CONFIRMED?
The “c” word – confirm – is an important one when shooting emails back and forth with one our bookers. As a rule, the booker should be saying it to you, ie, “Can we confirm for this show?”, and should be waiting until you respond “yes!” to announce you on the bill. The reverse is also true – you should wait to announce the show until you have heard from the booker that your place in the line-up is confirmed (sometimes a booker will write just to check in about possible availability before a show is even cemented to take place). If you have any doubts as to the status of your booking, PLEASE check back in with the booker you’re working with and say “hey, are we confirmed for this?” It will save all parties a headache down the line.
HOW DOES HOLOCENE PROMOTE ITS SHOWS?
We have freelance graphic designers who will create a poster design for each show. We print and distribute these posters all over town, and bill the cost of the design/print/distribution into the overhead expenses for a given show. For local shows, bands are welcome to take care of any element of that process themselves to achieve lower expenses. We contact the local weeklies and papers to get coverage on our events. We include all shows in our ads with the weeklies, our website calendar, and our weekly newsletter. For social media, we generally create a Facebook event for each show, to which we invite all of our Facebook friends, we blog interesting tidbits on bands playing the venue, actively post on Facebook, and tweet ticket giveways and micro show info, for local and touring bands alike. Other promotional techniques can include buying web ads at local weeklies and partnering with local businesses to help spread the word. If you are promoting or playing a show at Holocene, please talk to us about these options!
HOW CAN I HELP PROMOTE MY SHOW?
Confirming a great line-up at Holocene is just the first step for a local band in terms of having a successful show. We ask bands to take a proactive role in promotion. We will send you a link to the Facebook event, as well as a high-res version of the poster image. We ask that you post both of these things often and much on your myspace/facebook/band blog/website. Don’t forget to invite all of your friends onto our Facebook event. If you have any inventive ideas for promoting a show, please let us know! We are always brainstorming unconventional ways to get people hyped on our local shows, and if the band is actively involved in that process, everyone wins. Oftentimes, all a show needs to really go off is some sincere enthusiasm on the part of the bands in getting all of their friends and fans out.
IF YOU AGREE TO PLAY A SHOW AT HOLOCENE, YOU SHOULD NOT PLAY ANOTHER SHOW IN TOWN 2 WEEKS BEFORE AND 2 WEEKS AFTER YOUR HOLOCENE DATE. WHY?
This is just to maximize attendance at your show, for our benefit as well as your own. If your band has 3+ local shows in a given month, can you really expect your whole fan base to come out to every show? Not so likely. Limiting yourself to this one local show within that period will help to ensure that the maximum number of fans turn out, and also allow you to focus your promotional efforts in one place, as opposed to attempting to barrage your fan-base about multiple shows within the same couple of weeks. A packed show means happy bands, happy venue, and happy crowd – which can mean making yourself a bit scarce for the sake of getting people really excited about each upcoming show.
WHAT IS A DOOR DEAL?
Door deals are the type of financial agreement that we make with the performers for the vast majority of our local shows. Although the exact percentages vary depending on the event, a “door deal” basically means that each band is guaranteed a certain percentage of the money brought in at the door from the show. Generally, this amount is calculated AFTER basic show expenses are taken out of the door. A show’s expenses include staff costs (sound tech, stage manager), hospitality costs (drinks/food), and promotion costs (poster print/design/distro, online ads, etc). We feel that these deals are preferable to a flat guaranteed amount, because it allows the band to potentially make a good deal more money if the show does well, and encourages the bands to promote the show (what you make depends on how many people you can get out to your show). It is always important to discuss the financial arrangement with the booker prior to confirming a show.
WHAT WE’LL NEED FROM YOU WHEN ADVANCING A SHOW:
day of show contact phone number
an input list
a stage plot
a description of any video or extra tech requirements
the number of band members
how many people, if any, will be under 21 the day of the show (if any band members are 18-21, it’s not a problem, but we really need to know in advance to avoid setup headaches. IF ANYONE IS UNDER 18, THIS IS PROBABLY A PROBLEM)
Please provide us this information at least one week prior to your show.
WHAT TIME WILL LOAD-IN BE? WHERE CAN WE PARK? HOW MANY GUEST SPOTS DO WE GET? AND LOTS OF OTHER “ADVANCING” FACTS.
We will get in touch with you about advancing approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your show. At that time, we will get you the exact schedule for your show, as well as any other specific info you will need. However, in general, here is what to expect day-of-show:
LOAD-IN: Load-in for touring shows begins with Headliner: 5:30pm, Main Support at 6pm, 1st Support (opener) at 6:30pm. For local shows, Headliner: 6:30pm, Main Support 7pm, 1st Support 7:30pm. If the show has more than 3 acts, some extensive tech needs, or a large/difficult set-up for any of the bands, this will lead to an earlier load-in. Each band’s sound check happens immediately following its load-in. Doors usually open at 8:30pm. The exception is weekend dance nights, in which doors are at 9pm, and DJs don’t usually need to arrive until 7:30pm.
GUESTS: Each band receives 5 guest list spots, unless otherwise agreed upon prior.
HOSPITALITY: Drinks: Beers in the green room, unless otherwise noted with a contract or through advancing. Food: There is a discounted band menu which you are welcome to order from. Our kitchen opens when the club opens.
MESSY PROPS: We do not allow use of confetti, glitter, styrofoam peanuts, BBQ sauce, or anything else that that is a nightmare to clean up. If you do use any of the above, we will charge you at least $100 for an additional cleaning fee. And believe us, we’d much rather you keep your hundred bucks, so leave the glitter at home.
LEAVING THINGS BEHIND: Please do everything in your power to remember to take all of your belongings with you at the end of the evening. If you do leave something behind, understand that you may be unable to claim it for several days, depending on the club’s schedule. Also, DO NOT leave any large trash on the sidewalk to be picked up by our waste disposal service. It will not be picked up, and we will return it to you.
IF I CAN’T GET A SHOW AT HOLOCENE, WHERE ELSE SHOULD I TRY?
We recommend Valentine’s, Doug Fir, Mississippi Studios and The Liquor Store. These are all excellent smaller venues that might be a perfect fit if your band is not quite ready to play a mid-sized club in Portland like Holocene yet. Wonderful people running them, as well!