Dreamworld Music Complex www.dreamworldmusiccomplex.com
Arlington, Texas United States of America
Dreamworld Music Complex music venue cheats bands Lewisville, Texas
Review of Dreamworld Music Complex in Arlington, Texas.
Communication - 4/10
The first time I played at this venue, the communication between venue and artist was horrendous. Most valuable information was discovered about 30 minutes before the show started.
I was told that we had a 30-40 minute set PLUS 15 minutes of overlapped setup/takedown. This was corrected just before the show to 35 minutes total. A 20 minute set with 15 minute setup. I was told that load-in was at 5pm, show started at 6pm. When I arrived, I was informed that I was supposed to load in at 6pm, and that the show started at 7pm. When I inquired about how many direct boxes the club had (something an electronic band needs to output any sound at all), I was told: "bring your equipment". When I explained why I needed an answer, my emailing counterpart (one of the club's managers) informed me (with little regard for spelling and grammar) that the "convesation" had become "confussing" and that he/she would forward the message to the sound engineer.
I called the engineer personally, and he gave me all of the information I needed in about 30 seconds, compared to the 5 day back-and-forth with the manager.
Fast forward to the second time I played for this venue.
The booking agent sends everyone a mass text message with show details. I personally know some bands who do not have text messaging. This message is soon deleted on my phone to make way for more messages. See how this doesn't work?
I hadn't received any word from the venue as to lineup or information. So I decide to call the venue phone number and am greeted with the most unprofessional answering machine message I've ever heard. Some advice: know what you want to say, say it clearly and fluently, re-record if you make a mistake. No, it's not funny when you begin to say something, laugh at your mistake, and say something else. It might be funny in real life, but it's not remotely amusing on your professional answering machine.
Payment scale is made known 30 minutes before the show begins. It is then that they explain that you must bring at least 20 people to get paid. This is simple quantum physics. If it cannot be done in the time allotted (in this case, 30 minutes), it cannot be done!
Promotion - 1/10
Promotion for the first show I played was non-existant. I found out later that this was because the venue had not yet had it's "grand opening". Why would you ever consider hosting a show BEFORE your grand opening?
On the venue's website, the FAQ section contains this little treasure. I'll make a few comments as I go.
Q: Should I promote if I get a show at Dreamworld? (A valid question! AAC, Palladium, HoB, and Granada all fully promote their upcoming concert schedules. The bands there have to do very little face-to-face promotion, and still get a packed house!)
A: Um, OK, Duh! Yes. (Ok, so you think the question is stupid, I get it.)
You should promote! Flyers, MySpace, E-mail lists, YouTube, posters, etc. Every band that has ever made it has spent endless hours promoting and talking to fans and potential fans. (That's true, but they also played venues that promoted their own business. A business that doesn't promote and advertise will fail, period.)
Do NOT think you don't have to. If you don't promote nobody will come. (Except for the people brought in by the venue's promotion. That is, if the venue management is smart/business-savvy enough to do so.)
Then you won't get booked any more. (That's a blanket statement.)
Then you will tell stories to your grandkids about how you were in a band for like 10 minutes... (Condescending, not impressive and very unprofessional.)
but thought you were too big of a rockstar to invest any real time into promoting your band. (A compound condescension! Twice in one sentence, bravo!)
And now you have spent the rest of your life cleaning toilets at a gas station. (Ok, so you've insulted the bands 3 times in 2 sentences. What were you trying to accomplish?)
Don't do that to yourself! I can not emphasize enough how important it is to promote! (The same can, and should, be said to any venue that doesn't see the importance of self-promotion.)
Now lets fast forward to show #2. The booking agent has informed me that they are advertising with 97.1 KEGL and 102.1 KDGE (both are mainstream rock/metal stations). I haven't heard or seen an ad from either.
Keep in mind, the show on July 26th is a Christian rock show. So I asked him if they were advertising on 89.7 KVRK (our Christian rock station). He informed me that he was in talks with the station manager. The show is now posted to the bulletin board because I, myself, took the initiative that the booking agent did not.
In the Dallas Observer, every show except this one has been published. Does the venue have no faith in the Christian music scene? Two shows were posted the week before, why not in this week's issue?
This show was posted on Craigslist, Backpage, the KVRK Bulletin Board, Eventful, Fort Worth Weekly, Pegasus news, Myspace Classifieds, and Myspace Events... Because I put them there, no one else.
Also, firstly, when posting ads on craigslist, do not copy verbatim the ad of another band. Second, if you're going to offer links to bands' music pages, give links. HTML is not rocket science. Lastly, if you ARE going to promote at all, don't just do it once or twice on craigslist. Do it every day on as many websites as you can find. Do it on every radio station and bulletin board you have access to. Do it to your friends, their friends, their families, and their friends' families' friends! Um, ok, duh!
Professionalism - 5/10
The professionalism of this venue is limited to the sound engineer. He knows what he's doing more than anyone else. He was very informative and did his best to make every band sound good. He was very understanding of our complex setup and was very able to follow my pre-written mixing instructions.
One of my close friends came to see our first show at Dream World (far from being our first show ever, mind you). After the show, the manager was speaking with him about the music business. I later found out that the manager remarked that my band was "weird".
Industry Rule #1: DO NOT INSULT YOUR CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYEES, OR SERVICE-PROVIDERS!
Especially to someone you don't know. I wonder if the manager knew that he was there to see me. I wonder if the manager knew that the man he was speaking with helped build (the building, out and in) and support that very venue around 10 years ago.
The second show didn't go much better. The "obvious" and overly flamboyant "booking agent" walked around half of the show with a swastika taped to his arm. Not only is this wildly inappropriate at a Christian show, it's offensive in almost every country in the world!
When I asked about payment, they pulled up the argument that The Door wouldn't pay me for only bringing 5 people (that was my draw, despite heavy one-sided promotion. And it was on a Sunday night). I'll tell you first hand, The Door pays not only for 5 people, but for even one person! This section of elementary business mechanics can be summed up in one word: Budget. If you don't have the budget to host a show and pay the artists per draw, you can't afford to host the show.
When groups of people came in for one band, only one person was tallied for that band's draw.
They decided to lie to my face about their website, I will present the truth here:
1) The website did NOT contain any information on the pay scale.
2) The myspace was updated less than 24 hours before the show (not a week before). Before then, it was a month obsolete.
3) The lineup schedule on the website was out of order
4) The lineup schedule that was text messaged to us was also out of order.
The lineup on the website contained links to the bands' myspace pages. These links were in this formula:
myspace.com/ + Band's name (no spaces) = link
Only 2 of the 4 were correct, thankfully my page actually followed that formula. No points for doing research.
And one more thing: Booking agents, do not wake the bands up with a text message at 2:30 in the morning to invite them to your pool party the next day.
Sound - 9/10
They could use a few more pieces to their equipment lineup, but the system and perception was otherwise flawless. Good thing it's been there since before the new managers stepped in.
In short, I will never play at this venue, with it's current management, ever again. They've treated me like trash and have no respect for what we, as musicians, actually do. We're not in this for fun, this is our career. Playing at a venue is a means to advance the career of an artist. Booking bands is a means to advance a venue's reputation.
Good bands + Bad venue = no career advancement = lower venue reputation
I advise that everyone forward this to any bands they may know: DO NOT PLAY DREAMWORLD! THEY WILL RAPE YOU!
After writing this review, I was informed through a 3rd party (who will remain nameless) that the managers are over a year behind on the mortgage on the building, and still owe the band several hundred thousand dollars. Here they are saying that they have no reason to cheat the artists, but that sounds like a viable reason to me.
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