|MY SUSPICIONS ABOUT THE GORILLA SXSW SHOWCASE
When Gorilla Music started to announce that they were hosting SXSW showcases a few years ago, I knew something was fishy. It just didn’t sound realistic that the SXSW Festival would actually partner with a controversial company like Gorilla. There are many bars around the SXSW Fest where bands play but those shows are not officially SXSW shows. In other words, it doesn’t mean you are playing SXSW just because you played at a bar in Austin during that time. Many bands don’t seem to understand that. They think that if it’s in Austin during those weeks, it must be SXSW. Gorilla was taking advantage of this misconception.
I knew this was a case again of Gorilla Music selling inexperienced bands on something that would not come close to meeting their slick sales-pitch. They are expert at pushing just the right buttons in order to get money out of star-struck musicians. Asking bands if they’d be interested in playing SXSW would certainly be a good way to do it.
Of course as I watched it through bands’ facebook pages and websites, I knew what was about to happen. I watched bands gleefully tell their family and friends that playing SXSW would be the opportunity of a lifetime. I saw Kickstarter pages start up in order to finance a trip to Austin. I read as all their well-wishers congratulated them and proclaimed “hope you remember us when you are famous!” I hated feeling so skeptical but I’ve seen this story many times. I knew the promises would not match the reality. But the problem is that typically bands will post a few photos but not give the real lowdown. They know they’ve been conned, so why bother to give any of the depressing details to their supporters? This was always how it played out, until now.
Finally, Gorilla Music’s Better Business Bureau page (and they still get an A+ rating?), somebody has dared to share what happened to them. They also discuss being on the Gorilla Music Management roster (as we have already posted from the band The Shots - and be sure to notice how this story is almost identical to what The Shots have to say). FYI: These photos are from various bands who played the "Gorilla SXSW Showcase."
|A story from the Better Business Bureau Review page (1-2-2015): (see the first negative review on this page)
APPROACHED BY GORILLA MUSIC
My band was approached by a gentleman and young lady that worked for Gorilla Music in at a Chicago promo party they were hosting in 2013. after our performance, we were told that they were extremely impressed with our music, professionalism, and merchandise display. We were given a business card by the gentleman and were told to get a hold of him. Not knowing much about the company we did a bit of research and found several negative reviews. Furthermore, we thought that could have been from disgruntled bands about set times, broken promises, etc.
ON THE GORILLA MUSIC MANAGEMENT ROSTER
WANNA PLAY SXSW?
We were immediately thrown for a loop and realized that Gorilla Music is not really a music company, they are a sales company. Obviously, we wanted to play SxSw and we agreed that we wanted to make it happen. After all, what did we have to lose?? The Gorilla guy said he would send us tickets that would equate to free admission and one free drink so it would make it easier to promote the show. What a selling point!! We immediately thought that we could make this opportunity a success because we had free drink tickets we could give away, couple that with a CD of ours, and this could be a home-run to get people in the door.
We had to get to work, we started a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for gas, lodging, Gorilla show fees, Gorilla adviser fees, etc. so we could make it to Austin, TX. We ended up meeting our goal of $3500 in 19 days.
FIRST SHOW @ SXSW
We immediately became angry, because we were lied to. We drove 23 hours to perform under false pretenses. However, we gathered ourselves and realized we could still make some fans by playing our music. Turns out, all the bands were told this same line of B.S. so Gorilla could make money off of them and they not deliver anything in return...just a venue full of bands and musicians to play for one another.
SECOND SHOW - SAME ROUTINE
We immediately tried to call the Gorilla Music employee and couldn’t get a hold of him. Go figure. Trying to figure out what to do, we struck a deal with the venue manager for us to use his little P.A. that was more of less used for karaoke and we performed anyway. I mean, we did drive 23 hours. We had to make it worth our time. What an experience.
LEARNING THE HARD WAY
My advice for any young band...STAY AWAY. Everything you read that is negative is true. Gorilla Music is a poison. Gorilla Music did absolutely nothing for us but take $900-$1200 of our money in three short months. Luckily for my band, we are still together and are now stronger than ever after dealing with clowns like these guys.
|BACK TO GORILLA MUSIC / BACK TO NEVERPAYTOPLAY.COM|