The folks at Gorilla Music have spent a lot of effort trying to get musicians to understand that they have no intention of promoting the shows they've signed bands up to play. They try to get around that pesky term by calling themselves a production company. On their propaganda website, they really spell it out. They don't consider themselves promoters, they expect any success to be the work of the bands, and then they collect the ticket money. This lets them off the hook when shows aren't exactly as successful as their website advertises.

From the Gorilla Music website


Now the reality of the situation is that most local bands are completely unknown by anyone outside of their own circle of friends and family. The majority of local bands do not have any music getting played on the radio, do not have their music for sale at any sort of major retailer, and don’t have their music available to the masses in general.

Since the general public is rarely familiar with any music within their local music scene, it not possible to promote local bands to the masses. It’s been tried before over and over and it never works. It is simply not possible to successfully promote a local show unless the bands on that show have name recognition in the marketplace.

In truth, the only real way to get people out to a local show is to network. As we mentioned already, that is why clubs and promoters have turned to pre-sale tickets.

Here Gorilla Music actually admits that they cannot promote the shows they are booking. They know that it is impossible to promote the local, unknown bands that are the target of their hired agents' spam show "opportunities". See Promoters to find out how this actually works on a local level.

From the Gorilla Music website


By now, you probably have a pretty good idea of what we believe are the keys to success for bands at a local level, and we should know: we’re the owners of Gorilla Music, the largest concert production company in the United States primarily supporting local bands. Our company has great shows because we are fantastic local band event coordinators – probably the best in the world.

We often run into the misconception that we are local band promoters; in truth, we are not. Ironically, if we were strictly local band promoters, we would have been out of business years ago. We do promote national bands from time to time, including bands and artists (like The Black Keys, MGK, Nine Inch Nails, and Kid Cudi, just to name a few), but these bands have national name recognition and therefore are able to effectively utilize traditional promotions.

They are "the largest concert production company in the United States primarily supporting local bands." Supporting local bands? How? By renting venues and then letting the bands do all the work while bringing them their collected ticket money? The big acts they refer to only played the club they once owned. They did not sell tickets to play Gorilla Music Battles.


There isn't a better way to illustrate how supportive Gorilla really is than to discuss the latest battle of the bands that took place at Studio Seven in Seattle. Let's go through these screen shots to see how lame the promotion for this show really turned out to be. Studio Seven is the same club where I saw a Gorilla Battle in 2009. Gorilla has been hosting shows at this 800 capacity club mostly on Sundays. Studio Seven hosts national acts on weekends.

The Studio Seven calendar listed a Gorilla Battle of the Bands for months before it was to take place on Sunday, March 22, 2015. These shows are normally listed a couple of months before the date of the show. There were no bands listed. The least promotion should have the bands listed on the club website. This takes no effort.

When you click on the calendar listing, the full information comes up. This is where all the bands playing the show are listed, along with links to buy tickets. When the bands are the ones selling the tickets, there's really no need to give any of that information on the Studio Seven page. Hell, there's really no reason to list who's playing. Nobody cares.

Two and a half weeks before the March 22nd show, the Gorilla Music reps are still searching for bands to play. They admit the date is coming up fast (which would put anybody who participates at even more of a disadvantage since they'll have much less time to hock these expensive tickets) but the local rep assures people that she'll be there to keep things things running...

The Seattle rep (basically the person that collects the ticket money and helps pick the winner) mentions the show. FYI: There is no place on the Gorilla Music website where the shows and bands are listed! This is unacceptable. If they can sign a band up to play, the very least they could do is list the shows and the bands who are playing on their own website!

The show is listed as starting at 4 PM, and at 4:30 the Seattle rep finally lists the bands who are playing on her facebook page. Unbelievable. This is the only time that the band names are listed. FYI: I am withholding the names of the bands.

In this series of battles, Gorilla Music is listing these as "Tascam Presents" the Seattle Battle of the Bands. It appears that Gorilla wants to run the shows but give Tascam the credit. Why Tascam wants to be involved in pay-to-play battles is unclear. Notice how the official poster lists no bands. Even the normal generic Gorilla Battle of the Bands posters used to list the bands!

Gorilla is running the show. They booked the bands, they are collecting the money, yet their logo is listed faintly at the bottom of the "Tascam Presents" flyer.

However, on the tickets themselves, there's no denying who's hosting the show. Tascam might present the battle on the flyer but Gorilla presents it on the ticket. Also notice the band above is requesting that their supporters buy tickets for this "amazing opportunity" by sending them $10 to their address in Pasco, WA! Pasco is 215 miles (3 hours, 33 minutes) from Seattle and involves crossing the Cascade Mountains. Besides the band from Pasco, this battle also featured bands from Bellingham (88 miles) and Cle Elum (82 miles), which would put these acts at a huge disadvantage from their competitors who live in Seattle.

The bands try to sell the tickets and promote, even if Gorilla doesn't seem to feel any resposibility to do so.

There will be another round (where Gorilla will not promote) which will probably also be kept a secret. This band can't believe they went on to the next round without their guitarist and bassist. Wow!


In a big slap in the face to anybody who signed up to play a Gorilla event, the Gorilla Music facebook page asks "Anyone performing this weekend?" This was posted on March 20th. Wouldn't this be a good time to announce the shows or (Heaven forbid!) the bands (even if it's just on their facebook page) they had scheduled that weekend? Guess not.

Gorilla Music had at least five shows running that weekend, all with no effort in any promotion. And on top of that, they ask if anyone is performing that weekend? When Gorilla Music says they are not promoters, they aren't kidding!

We often run into the misconception that we are local band promoters; in truth, we are not. - Gorilla Music

See also their take on local promoters. They claim there aren't any! Read about it here.