Not quite a scam

This has happened before. Last year some time I was contacted by a person claiming to be a representative of a booking agency called Afton, on Soundcloud. I directed him to Richie, our guy in Na Rosai who generally fields our booking, and it went nowhere. Some claims were made, and we got no sort of positive outcome from this Afton man.   Continued below the SPAM...

 I don't know if I've ever eaten Spam, but I've certainly responded to it

I don't know if I've ever eaten Spam, but I've certainly responded to it

Last week, I was contacted again by Afton man. He apparently isn't aware that he has tried this before, so this time, I'm biting. I messaged him back. Here's the correspondence so far. I've changed his name, just in case he's a real person and doesn't want to be defamed too badly.

I’m [Afton Man] and I wanted to reach out about booking. I put on shows at Alberta Rose, Analog, Tonic Lounge and The Rose Bar and wanted to see if you are interested in talking further?

Sent 22 days ago

Me:
Hey [Afton Man],
What did you have in mind?
-Conor

Sent 9 days ago

Email me and remind me we talked on SC. If you want more info check out www.myafton.com (signing up there would get the ball rolling too). Or, if you prefer, you can send me your booking email address and I can contact you directly. Once we’re on regular email, it will be a lot easier to get you all of the booking details and get things going. Cool?

Cool. As a flute player, specializing in Irish traditional music(I can play the Mario Brothers tune as well), I don't think Analog, or Tonic Lounge make any sense for me to play at. They don't have the audience which would even know what it was I would be doing, and I don't think I could draw an audience to them. Alberta Rose is a different story. I've seen Irish music there several times. But it's huge. I can't fill it, not alone at least. My band can't fill it either. I believe it's obvious he never listened to any of the weird shit I put on my Soundcloud page. He's just throwing a blanket message to all Portland area people.

So, I emailed him. Here's what I said:

As you already know, I play Irish flute. I play with a band regularly, but I can play solo, or with a guitar player. As a performer, I’ve played many venues, from large festivals, to intimate small audiences. If this sounds like something you can book and get people to show up to, let me know.

I'll update this as the correspondence continues. Maybe I can get him to do something ridiculous, but I doubt it.

** Update **

Ok, after a lot of back, and forth emails between myself and Afton Man, I don't think there's any substance to this. I asked him some very direct questions about my marketability through his booking agency, and he would not give an answer. Most of his responses didn't even seem to be typed to me, rather, they were auto-responses.

I still tried to sign up though. I followed his directions. The site didn't work. I'm trying again right now, and it is working. Weird.
I'm currently going through this weird sign up process. Here's how this company works:

They organize gigs for artists to play. I assume they try to match artists appropriately. They give you several options to sell tickets. This is the problem. They just put you in a room to play music. You do all the work. To make the show profitable, not only for yourself, but for Afton, you have to sell as many tickets as possible, or you get nothing. Per ticket sale you get $2-3.50 per person between 20-50 people. That doesn't seem bad, but how do I get 20+ people to come see solo Irish flute? And are these $15 tickets? Fuck. There's no way. This is just a silly way for the company to do next to nothing, then pressure you into making them money. I wish I had come up with this business model, then go sit on a beach or something.

My verdict is, if you want to do more work promoting yourself than you currently do, sign up for Afton! The only benefit to using this company is that they may be able to get a room for you to play music in, which I've had problems with in the past, but not so bad that I want to pressure a bunch of people into buying tickets.
 

 

conor