Although it's not something most concert promoters think about, choosing whether or not you will have an all ages show can have a big impact on your night. Here's why...
I've found that dealing with out of control drunks can be a pretty big hassle.
In fact, some of my worst promotion experiences actually has to do with the bands themselves being the rowdy drunks, not the audience!
Having an All Ages show gives the concert promoters the benefit of being able to tell people they are not allowed to brink such substances into your venue. If you are lacking in bouncers (mentioned below), then you will find that this can really help to keep your show under control.
I found that any shows where there is trouble, there is always booze involved.
Some trouble that I had during one specific All Ages show, was that 1 of the bands had snuck in some booze and didn't start drinking it until on they were on stage (Or didn't reveal it).
Needless to say, they aren't welcome at any shows I put on now.
So the All ages show gives concert promoters the right to ask people to put it away. Keep in mind that if you don't have a liquor license and the inspector comes by, he will likely shut down the show if he spots anyone drinking at your venue.
And if the people drink outside in the parking lot, you can expect the cops to come and ask you to tell your audience not to drink outside of the venue.
They want you to keep the booze in the venue, while the liquor inspector wants it outside the venue (unless you have a license).
If your music is geared more towards people that are under the legal drinking age, then you can see how the younger audience reach is a massive benefit for concert promoters.
You wouldn't really expect to see a 19+ Jonas' Brothers concert bring put on, would you? (I'm hoping you wouldn't expect to be seeing any of their concerts, but that is besides the point.) Anyone trying to reach their target audience is putting on all ages shows.
Just keep in mind that the all ages shows will open you up to a different market. This can be a good thing (or a bad one).
As I mentioned above, you need a liquor license to sell liquor at your venue. So not having some sort of license to serve liquor (different than a license to sell liquor) could cause some trouble for your show.
Now if someone brings drinks into a concert promoters all ages show, that might now be as big of a problem. There's more to it than just "don't sell booze", you need to be able to keep the crowd under control as well.
You need to be the bad guy!
Keep your security decent, and keep the booze out of the hands of the youngsters and "of-age" people alike.
Any venue that has more than 50 people attending is going to need some sort of security. Unless the types of bands that are playing is totally sissy stuff (anything above surf-rock will need it!)
Unless you are already a really large guy, you want to find someone who looks a lot like this for your crowd control:
But seriously... I'm not a particularly large guy, and when I'm the biggest "Authority" at a venue, it simply isn't enough to say "I rented this place!" to stop the people making trouble.
Seeing as though they've decided to make trouble, it's likely they don't really care whether you have the legal obligation to the venue.
They just want to have their good time at someone else's expense.
So to counteract it, make sure you find the biggest guy you know, and stand him at the front of the crowd with a "Security" t-shirt on. You are sure to find that 90% of the trouble you previously would have encountered at the venue has now disappeared.
And perhaps you might want to arm him with some pepper spray for worst case scenarios...just in case...
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.