Before I begin this, I want to say, I am in no way "above" performing for small crowds. I've played many-sized concerts, large crowds and small. However, playing for small crowds is kind of the norm for a starving artist like myself. That being said...
My band and I performed a show yesterday at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in Cookeville, TN called the Upper Cumberland Music Festival. Now, before I continue, I must say 1. the music festival apologized to us, and 2. it's a pretty small town. They were very nice about the whole thing.
THAT being said...
We pulled up in our packed-out Suburban to the fairgrounds around 1:30 PM. We would go on at 3:30 PM. The festival had food vendors, games, little animal rides, a small stage, and a really big main stage (where we were to perform). The only problem was...
There were ZERO people in the parking lot. And when I say ZERO, I mean ZERO attenders. There were lots of workers buzzing around, trying to find something to do. Keep in mind, this was the 3rd day of the festival, and it had begun earlier that morning. And it was now the afternoon.
Imagine going to your local county fair. Now imagine not a SOUL is there but you. Funnel cakes, corn, and fried beef sticks, and only you, walking awkwardly around them, not knowing quite what to do with yourself. That was us.
"This sounds kind of weird, Jessie, but not THAT weird," you say. "Oh really?" I ask.
"Take a look at the stage..."
Or this angle...
(Note the sound booth there in the middle).
Like I said, not a soul. Plus, the grandness of stage size (and fairgrounds size) created a slightly eerie, never-come-here-by-yourself-at-night kind of feel.
Lucky for me, I have a built-in travel fan-base.
Everyone, meet my in-laws!
They parked their travelin' chairs right down in front of the stage, the perfect place for doing "The Wave." They helped triple our fan base that day.
embarrassing humbling experience, however, did not get our spirits down! (Ok, it got my drummer's spirits down a little, but he's almost through the anger stage of the grief process, so he'll be fine...eventually.) We put our stompin' boots on and performed the crap outta that empty ghost town fairground! And that's kind of what it's all about right? Besides, you know, actually making money.