Hope you are all well. A wee text update this week for a change although might still have to do a video dependant on what happens on this Thursdays lockdown review.
This one is a wee bit different so apologies if you either fall asleep half way thro but time for a wee reality check on things.
In the last few video's and blogs I've mentioned that we need continued support more so than ever before, even in pub mode to see us into the hopeful phased return to Live Music and beyond into 2021.
Many have answered that call and can't thank you enough for all for nipping in for a pint or four in the last 8 weeks. Many new faces also have emerged which is encouraging to see for the future when the nightclub and live music gets back to normal along with the seasoned pro's that make it THE FIRST and only place to be every weekend. Actually in many of the past 16 nights if it wasn't for the new faces we would have already reconsidered continuing on in pub mode as many of the familiar faces have been absent or very thin on the ground which would have made operating extremely difficult.
We have gone above and beyond in making for as safe an environment to still go out and socialise in - for all age groups with many commenting on how well set up the club is especially those who have been unsure what to expect or having been elsewhere. The fresh faces are behaving just as well if not better than some of the maturer customers we have, but seem to be getting picked on a wee bit in the press recently for not behaving. I don't see it myself and I'm at the sharp end every week. Yes they need a wee bit guidance from time to time but we've all been there in our younger days but appreciate the well organised approach we offer.
PUB MODE is still working for now assisting with valuable and much needed income at this time to cover all the club expenses thus far as we continue to work in the very restricted manner we have been forced to. I have seen more and more small Scottish venues having to also take this approach using their venues as pubs in the short term as funds and reserves start to dry up. Even some of the larger nightclubs in Glasgow now have the green light to operate as a pub as all fight for survival.
Unbelievably some people are still moaning about how things have to be operated when they are out.
Hard to believe so many don't watch the news, know what's going on, what's expected of them or take in any mention of covid, pandemic etc and the effect it's having on the local and GLOBAL economy.
Believe me the very last thing we want to do right now is have all the restrictions in place we have been asked and ordered to do - no background music (although I've heard some places don't seem to be too bothered by that STATUTORY guidance - bravo on that - it's statutory or LAW not to have any playing not just open for deciding its ok as it's just guidance), mandatory track and trace, Limited or altered bar service, everyone seated etc etc etc. We are purely making the most of a situation no one can control at this time and can't wait to get back to what we do best just the same as you. So give it a rest moaning about having no background music, or not being able to dance, sing along to bands etc etc.
A few folk have asked me about this in the past couple of months so happy to explain that we couldn't have sat closed thro all and tried to see this thro on the one off grant we have had or the furlough scheme that's for sure until something like a vaccine came along or restrictions eased off completely. If you think because we have always been there for so long that we are immune to all the catastrophic effect all the restricts and lockdowns have had on our business in the last 6 months then its time to sit down and possibly have a wee rethink on that.
One major bit of news from last week - We have applied for further stabilisation government funding made available to the live sector that was announced late July that you might have seen and thought was all taken care of but didn't open til recently and won't come thro til the end of September which was quite daunting if I'm honest - All going well and if the funding comes thro as planned it will help a very viable and important landmark in West Lothian to continue on. That is now out of our hands but confident our application will be successful.
Many bands that we have helped in the past get a start/first gig or a regular gig are all volunteering their talents to help us get going again. I have no words to describe the generous offers coming in and hope that we can take you up on it but I think Pub mode will have to continue on into October after seeing and reading Scot Gov are very concerned with spikes happening also that easing of things further may not be possible which will ultimately lead to more postponements coming I'm afraid.
We'll all know that this Thursday 10 September so no point guessing til then.
FINALLY ....... are you still with me ?
Live Event plans - Yes we have a plan to layout the venue as safe as possible and adhere to the guidance just as we continue to do but to be upfront - it will be different. No point thinking it'll all be how it was at the last gigs in March.....if you were at them.
Just of few of the dilemma's we face for example :
Having an all seated and socially distanced gig then how to ticket things that will work for everyone.
Buying a single ticket won't work for us taking up a full table if having 4-6 seats at a table then having seats unsold - that would be madness also saying to two folk to share with two others they don't know. So will most likely be similar to what many of our English counterparts have had to do as they are a good few weeks into this is to sell tickets by the table so will be down to those coming to organise who sits with them at the table rather than us trying to work all those variables - which will be impossible btw.
We will have to juggle the limited seating availability and a reworked schedule to fit financial budgets are just the tip of the iceberg.
I know of few folk saying use upstairs to get more folk in to a gig but I honestly can't see that working week in and week out and may leave the area unusable if not enough come forward to by a ticket which in turn will also confuse those happy to continue using upstairs in Pub Mode Level until the Nightclub action can return. To be honest I'll be glad to get the planned 50-60 in downstairs at every gig we put on every Friday and Saturday without the headache of laying out upstairs too and the constant juggling needed to use it then explain things weekly. Christ it's hard enough when we were operating before all this to get that thro to some people so I've no chance now.
On the subject of ticket sales or lack of in the last few months...I appreciate everyone is holding off to see what the future brings. I get it but without having a crystal ball you have to still take a wee leap of faith and get a ticket for future events you are wanting to go for.
NOT getting a ticket will seal a shows fate more than the uncertainty thrown up by covid. A few events already that have fallen into that and know a few more will too as we can't afford to hold off forever hoping enough sales will come in. No support will mean things are postponed or cancelled completely. So if you want to do your bit and support things right on your doorstep I'm afraid it's also time to step up and put your money where your mouth is. No point beating about the bush any longer or hoping sales will come in on the night as we always have been forced to do or take the loss like a man. We need advance sales for all future gigs to go ahead that you plan to go to just the same as any larger venue or band you drop a fair amount of money on a ticket for and don't ponder over.
You might not know this either but by getting a ticket before January 12 2021 (hopefully WAY before) you help us greatly. The VAT reduction applied to certain parts of the hospitality sector in July such as restaurant food also benefits TICKET SALES for events meaning we don't have to pay as much vat back on your ticket to the vat man. So instead of the normal 20% we get shafted on we get to keep 15% of that upto January 2021. So even more reason to help your local venue out and not sit too long on the fence. (fyi the vat reduction disney apply to alcohol sales. Thanks Vat man)
Don't panic about tickets for future shows in this uncertainty. As I've mentioned numerous times in the past Skiddle hold ALL ticket monies safe until the event actually takes place. We don't get a penny of your ticket money until the event is done and dusted so again if you think we are about to run off with your ticket money then please don't as the odd keyboard warrior have mentioned in the past wearing their tin foil helmets no doubt.
Your support on keeping and buying your tickets is just as valued as nipping in while we are in pub mode.
Oh and if anyone knows of anyone who can see into the future, can juggle cats, have eyes in the back of their head, can read minds or a perfect understanding of how the human mind works, have a crystal ball or two, or full use of the the Jedi Force please let me know as there could be an opening for someone like that in our team.