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Try a little 'binge listening' in the Boro


November 06, 2017

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Where is the support for live music? Local venues are feeling the pinch.

 

With the semester at Georgia Southern University nearly half over, local establishments were figuring the new class would begin to find their “spot” in the local music scene. Each year, owners and managers of local live music venues expect to see a slight drop in sales when summer rolls around and the students head home. Then they see the fall bring back students and sales, and bands count on higher attendance at shows. This year, though, the music scene hasn’t seemed to bounce back like it usually does. It’s a bit like the bees dying off. We know the sales are dropping, we just don’t know why. There’s been some theories put out there, but none can be verified and some were just crazy.

Musicians are feeling it, too. Where there used to be packed bars and restaurants and great tips at the end of the night, four-piece bands are closing out the night splitting a 20 in tips and wondering where everyone went. Even Statesboro’s biggest bands aren’t seeing the numbers they once did. As discussed in a previous article, the venues near the college have suffered a massive blow because of the new alcohol ordinances, but how is it that live music venues that are established restaurants are seeing losses in recent months? “Where is the drive to see live music,” asks Millhouse manager Dale Fagan. It’s a good question. One I’ve been asking myself lately, as well.

Thursdays seem to be especially hard hit in the service industry, and with so many options for entertainment these days, “Netflix and chill” seems to be winning out. Friday nights still seem to be attracting crowds of folks who want to unwind and hang out with their friends. Venues tend to feature bigger bands on the weekend because the higher sales help offset the cost of more musicians. That just makes good sense. Weekend crowds can be a little rowdier, too. They want the thumping bass and driving drums. If, like David Lee Murphy sang in the old country song, you’re “looking for a party crowd,” get out there and explore what Statesboro has to offer on the weekends. There is always great music happening around the Boro on the weekend.

I’m a fan of Thursdays, though. Statesboro’s local music venues have the right formula. Thursday is a great night for date night in the Boro. Live acoustic acts keep the tone mellow. The ambiance in our venues is more intimate and the crowds aren’t quite as crazy. With the difference in atmosphere and numbers, local musicians are able to interact with the audience more, which is a lot of fun for musicians and patrons, alike. There’s sure to be a romantic ballad or two that make a slow dance with your sweetheart a given. Thursday night is definitely a great night for lovers, young professionals, parents of young children, and the folks hoping to avoid some of the crowds of the weekend.

Whatever you’re looking for, Statesboro’s music scene is ready and able to provide, whether it’s low-key mellow jazz, cranking blues, classic rock, or good ol’ country. Social media is blasted weekly with images and videos of the venues and the musicians you can see. Of course, with the digital age, folks are a bit less likely to just get out and explore. But there’s something spontaneous and electric about finding a new place, new music, and new friends, so maybe we can take this weekend and turn off Netflix, put down the phones, and get out into the scene to see what Statesboro has to offer. You won’t be disappointed. 


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