Lach's New Deal at Webster Hall
Wow. Lach just sent out a dealio saying he's booking two nights a week at Webster Hall. Tuesday nights starting March 16 will feature The Antihoot (!) and Wednesdays (starting March 23) will feature a bill of 4 acts. Tuesdays will be free (no minimum) with sign-up at 7. There will be a five-dollar cover on Wednesdays, again with no minimum.
This is an interesting development on many levels. What jumps right out are questions of how this will affect the shape of things in our little community of performers. Lach founded the Sidewalk Open Mic and then after fifteen years left it in the capable hands of Ben Krieger who has kept it going as the City's preeminent open stage. Now Lach comes back to establish a new open mic on a different night. Will this shake things up at Sidewalk? Will the scenes at the two separate clubs have different feels/characters? Who will have claim as the home of Antifolk? Will it be like Ray's and Original Ray's?!
Well, I'm sure that the scene or at least the City can support two strong Open Mics on different nights. There certainly are no lack of artists looking for places to play. Above all, I'll bet it will be great for us performers who will have more options now. I know I'll be glad to have another place in Manhattan where I might be able to get a gig. Lach sent a link that has photos of the Webster Hall venue and it's a nicely restored space that can hold an audience of up to 500. Marlin Room.
By the way, I like the idea of a small cover charge for Lach's Wednesday night gigs as opposed to the tip jar method. While I don't mind pitching in a little for acts at Sidewalk, frankly I find the tip jar an annoyance. It interrupts the shows, it puts guilty pressure on people, and the artists don't even get all the money. Really I'd just rather pay at the door and be done with it, at least if the door charge is reasonable. Yeesh--had to get that off my chest--sorry Ben!