Madman Productions seems to have folded. Now see the connection to In-Demand Record Showcases, etc with this link.
On first glance, Madman Productions appears to be a brand new promotion company practicing the typical business model as all the other pay-to-play promoters currently operating. It has its own website, company owner/reps and facebook page. However, with a little closer examination it is clear to see that Madman Productions is just another new branch (like Eagle One and Earth Entertainment which specializes in hip-hop shows) of Gorilla Music.
The Madman Productions website:
Madman Productions has been specializing in showcases for the metal/hard rock genre of musicians. They are hosting their pay-to-play shows under many random titles. This seems extremely confusing and possibly that’s the point. Some of the show titles that Madman works under are:
Battle of the Brutal
Rock and Metal Festival
Night of Mayhem
Independence Day Eve Masacre
This Scene Will Rise
Brutality on the Bayou (Louisiana only)
Labor Day Weekend Mash-UP
Cleans Vs. Screams
or view the list of idiotic titles here...
Currently Madman Productions is operating in these 31 cities and clubs (also used by Gorilla Music):
Fort Worth, TX - The Ardvark Club
Austin, TX - Red Eyed Fly
Little Rock, AR - Downtown Music Hall
Portland, OR - The Hawthorne Theater
Cincinnati, OH - Mad Frog
Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theater
Greenville, SC - The Handlebar
Jacksonville, FL - Brewsters MegaPlex
Oakland, CA - Oakland Metro Operahouse
Metairie, LA - The Cypress
Columbus, OH - A & R Music Bar
Denver, CO - Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
San Francisco, CA - DNA Lounge
Tempe, AZ - The Red Owl/Club Red
Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
Merriam, KS - Aftershock Live Music Venue
Newport, KY - Thompson House
Pittsburgh, PA - The Rex Theater
Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room Lounge
Seattle, WA - Studio Seven
Corpus Christi, TX - House of Rock
Milwaukee, WI - The Miramar Theater
Dallas, TX - The Curtain Club
Charlotte, NC - Tremont Music Hall
Sandusky, OH - The Underground
Garwood, NJ - Crossroads
Kent, OH - Outpost
Tampa, FL - The Orpheum
Indianapolis, IN - Emerson Theater
Hartford, CT - The Webster Underground
|MADMAN SHOW MODEL
The model for the Madman Productions events are exactly the same as with Gorilla Music. They seem to target musicians who have already worked with Gorilla Music but it doesn’t appear that they mention that fact. Here in March Gorilla Rep Ashley Grey asks a band if they’d like to perform at the 2013 Battle of the Bands (which they did) and in May Madman Rep Nina Grace asks them to play one of their all-metal showcases.
They are all over Craigslist with their show offers.
Here Madman “Talent Scouts” contacts random bands to play their shows.
MADMAN PRODUCTIONS & GORILLA MUSIC
|THE SHOWCASES |
Madman doesn’t seem to promise anything other than a show and these shows are the classic pay-to-play variety: Too many unknown bands (sometimes as many as 13!), higher than normal ticket prices, many times held on dead nights, and a marathon show that the audience could not possibly stay for. Bands are given 100 tickets to sell, when they turn in all the collected money the bulk of the profit goes to the promoter. Set times are determined by ticket sales, so bands can't tell the ticket purchaser what time they'll play until a day or two before the show.
Unlike the Battle of the Bands shows (where at least the audience would need to support their band by staying until the end for the final voting process) there is really no reason for an audience to stick around after “their” band has performed. Madman Productions seems to realize this. On the event page for an Madman showcase in Tampa, Florida, they try to urge the bands to get people to stay for the entire show.
The Big One or...? Below are two posts from a band playing a Madman Show at Studio Seven in Seattle on a Sunday night. At first they describe the show as “a big one”. They’ll even personally deliver your ticket! After the show they aren’t quite as enthused, as they issue an apology to the fans who didn’t see them due to the schedule being changed. They explain that they were “forced to play an hour eariler”. After selling the tickets, they are now offering refunds and promising that their next show will be “so much better”.
And of course, the tickets. There are always plenty of tickets to sell!
THE HUGE CROWDS!
Like Gorilla Music, Madman Productions claims that a huge crowd will be there to see you play. If you are ready to work hard, Madman will give you the opportunity to play to between 200-300 people on regular showcases and 500+ for the festivals!
Here are a few real images of some random Madman shows. It would be lucky if 20 -30 people were in these estimated 200-300 person “crowds”! And 500? Not even close! (These images are screenshots from open social media pages and are only posted as examples of attendence numbers.)
Things seem to already be heating up for this startup company. Even though this company is new, the bands are already starting to complain!
LET'S LOOK AT SOME EXAMPLES
1. YOUR MISSION: PACK THE HOUSE
On Saturday, August 3, 2013 Madman Productions hosted the “Your Mission: Pack The House” show at Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT.
But “packing the house” was not to be. Apparently there are two rooms to this club and the event was held at a lesser room called Lily’s Pad. A major complaint appeared on the Madman Productions facebook page (with a response from Mike at Madman). Notice how Madman never takes responsibility for anything. Mike worked 6 weeks on this show, their show manager was there to take care of the bands (aka collect ticket money), and then blames the venue for the problems. I love this non-apology: “Again, I apologize that the venue disappointed you last night”. Also notice Mike’s comment about trying to “hit an attendance of 250” (like that was a tough goal) even though their literature makes the claim that they normally draw between 200-300 people. This complaint and response has since been removed.
To be fair there were two bands who enjoyed themselves. One comments that “good times were had by most” and the other had an “awesome” show (FYI for new bands “awesome show” means they played well) and sold the most tickets out of 13 bands.
When in doubt about a show I always look for photos. A picture is worth a thousand words...here are a few random photos from the “Your Mission: Pack The House” Madman Productions showcase. These are taken from public facebook pages and posted to show the event and attendance only.
One of the bands pulls up in a mighty nice band van to load into the show.
One of the other problems with pay-to-play shows is having to refund the money if something goes wrong.
"Every now and then..."
And so it goes, when Madman has a bad show they blame it on the club. "Every now and then" happens quite a lot! Two bands here have finally figured it out.
|BLACKLIST THE BANDS?
And finally here, Madman “talent scout” Scott publicly lists bands who they felt did not act professionally. He lists these bands, posts links to their facebook pages and then urges others not to work with them! Great way to start a company. Blacklist the bands!
Don’t be fooled by the new name.
Madman Productions and Gorilla Music is operating in exactly the same way. Don’t believe it? Check out this video link to a show in Seattle where the last band of the night played to about 6 of the other musicians who played the show. Good for the musicians who stayed but this dramatically illustrates the exposure pay-to-play shows can bring you!
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