1. Why do shows rarely start "on time?"
We are in the business of "arts-management." Arts management is an oxymoron! Art does not want to be managed. Art (or very often, live artists, musicians, poets, etc) is not so much a commodity that you can tell what to do and when to do it, but rather a fluid, free-thinking, free-feeling, entity that comes and goes as it pleases. Art, by it's very definition, is outside of the lines, and has a will and spirit of it's own. Therefore, in our business, anything goes. Out of respect for our attending audiences, we do the best we can to move things along. However, illness, missed flights, ardent personalities, tardy drum sets, and late moving production managers, all contribute to a common sense of powerlessness in this arena. That is why any prospective "door opening" time is always subject to artist final approval. In other words, "we ain't got much say."
2. How does C3 Events select its artists and musicians?
It is completely random. There is no science to finding and selecting talent. We literally travel around the world in search of great talent. Sometimes, though, we "bump into it" at a neighborhood pub in Portland, or by a chance encounter at a wedding, etc... We receive thousands of "requests for play" per year from talent agencies and independent artists, all eager for us to listen and respond. It is impossible for us to listen to all of these inquiries, let alone respond. Just ask Loni Rose, one of our favorite performers from Seattle: she sent us a really cool press kit that sat around our office for a couple of years before an intern popped it in for a listen. She never hounded us with repeated requests for feedback or dates. Five years later, Loni became our most prolifically used opener and a regular at our free festivals and outdoor concerts.
3. Is the business fun? Should one consider a career in the event production industry?
No. (unless you're into weight gain, baggy eyes, wrecked families, insane work hours, and a total, utter sense of powerlessness)
4. Do you have a favorite artist you have worked with over the years?
Yes! Keb Mo. He is the real thing. He is kind, gentle, and full of grace. He is also massively talented. Also, Bonnie Raitt was the real thing -- she lives just as she presents herself publicly -- and you would be surprised how often the public persona and the private persona of any artist or musician differ radically.
5. Do you have preferred talent agencies that you work with?
We go a couple different ways on this front. We will work directly with the artists' agents or contract with a "talent purchaser." Our three favorite talent purchasers are Donna Richards with Portland Night and Day Talent (a total star with whom Cameron has been working since 1984), Kell Houston with the Good Music Agency (with whom Cameron booked his High School prom band), and Mark Adler, who buys talent for the Seattle and Portland Zoos, and for the Aladdin Theatre.
Our favorite agencies are as follows:
William Morris Agency, Guy Richards
Monterey Peninsula Artists, Maria Matias, Paul Goldman
SRO Artists, Jeff Laramie
Skyline Music, Mark Lourie
Rosebud Agency, Chris Goldsmith
6. Are venues in Central Oregon a challenge?
We have become very philosophical about the imperfections in venue options throughout Central Oregon. We have produced events here for many years in spite of the lack of legitimate options, turning curb side parking lots, indoor tennis courts, gymnasiums, conference rooms, and other random patches of grass into concert and event sites. It is a common source of frustration for the event attendee, where the alternative has been having no events at all. We are blessed now to have established our summer tradition at the Athletic Club of Bend, and additionally we have a large indoor arena at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds, a smaller, charming theatre, in the Tower Theatre, and Monqui Presents, a concert promoting company out of Portland, is presenting world-class entertainment at the beautiful Les Schwab Amphitheatre. Central Oregon is becoming a virtual events mecca.
7. Can I receive a refund if I don't/can't/won't use my ticket for any reason?
No. We still have to pay the artists and vendors.
8. How are you able to present festivals that are free to the community?
Sponsors. Community business owners and decision makers in businesses that value gathering and building community. These people offer the financial resources necessary to help offset the expenses. The rest is up to the people of the community to come and support the event vendors (food, music, art and activity booths). With continued participation and support from the community, we will be able to show value to our sponsors and vendors that travel to Bend to offer unique products and services. The events sustaining themselves with active support from the community is the only way we will be able to continue to do what we love to do for the residents and visitors in Bend.
9. Could you please explain to us your policy on "standing vs. sitting" at shows?
This is a controversy which has no one solution that will make everyone happy. What to do when someone wants to stand up and dance from their chair, blocking someone's view who wishes to stay seated... Truly, this matter is as complicated as the human condition itself. There simply is no perfect solution. Whose liberty is more precious -- the person who wants to stand, or the person who wants to sit and still be able to see? As a company we have landed in many places on this issue, trying many remedies. We have created the obligatory "dancing only" space. We have tried a uniform policy of "stay seated" until at least 3/4 of the way through the show. We have tried an "anything goes" policy. We have taken surveys on the subject. Most recently, we have turned to the artist, who generally weighs in at the last minute anyway, requiring their own standing/dancing/sitting policy. Therefore, each event will be treated per the artists request. Our shows now include a message, deeming the artists own standing/sitting policy, awaiting attendees on the face of their chair. This may seem like a cop out, but we feel it affords us the greatest opportunity to "go with what the music demands" rather than what an artificial construct, doomed to fail anyway, would require. It makes sense when you consider that Jimmy Cliff would want everyone to be up and dancing, whereas a Shawn Colvin may be more interested in an attentive crowd, focused on listening and watching. Further more, it seems to be a decision that respects the art, inviting the musicians to respond by providing the audience with an appreciative set.