- What is your name and what do you do in the industry?
I’m Anthony Cavallaro and I run a company called ‘AC Presents’. We’ve only been around a short time but we’ve managed to get our foot in the door in quite a few areas of the music industry with each area growing steadily. The company’s broken down into five main areas:
– AC Presents The Underground –challenging the concept of traditional live music venues – we use a variety of quirky spaces such as backyards, parks, lounge rooms and warehouses as performance spaces all over Sydney
– AC Presents In The Spotlight – in organizing tours for a variety of artists we’re building a strong network throughout Australia’s bars, hotels, clubs and festivals
– AC Presents Shout It Out Loud – We promote a range of live music events, showcases and tours for domestic and international artists
– AC Presents The Long and Winding Road – Representing bands and artists at all stages of their development we work with them to guide and develop their careers
– AC Presents Taking Care of Business – we provide business solutions, accounting and financial advice for a range of music industry agents, managers, promoters, publishers, artists and bands
- How long have you been doing it?
Once I knew I wanted to go into the music industry I took around 6 months to study up, plan it all out and I got some great advice from some great people. Then a good friend Josh Wang called me up asking if I’d be interested in co-promoting an event with him and that was my first real hands-on taste of it. That was around a year ago.
- Why do you want to do it?
There’s no other buzz like it. Putting on a show and making people happy is the best part of it for me – whether it’s the audience having a great time, the band performing having a blast, the venue guys being happy that there’s a big crowd or the graphic designers excited to see all their posters up everywhere – it’s a great buzz all round.
- Do you find it hard to get people to attend the shows you put on?
Of course we always want more people coming to attend the shows we put on but I’m pleased to say attendance has been pretty solid for the majority of shows and for those that haven’t filled up as much as expected I’ve always sought to understand the reason behind it and learn from it.
- Do you have any solutions that you believe could encourage people to attend more shows in Sydney?
I think something that would help encourage Sydneysiders to attend more local gigs would be to improve the look and atmosphere of local live music venues. You can see from The Sando and to a lesser extent The Annandale that while they are highly respected as Sydney’s more heritage venues, one of the reasons they are having financial issues and finding it difficult to get people through the door is the fact that the place just isn’t up to scratch in terms of look and atmosphere. Sydney’s outgrown ‘dive bars’ – we’ve been there done that and the only people that you see in them during the week are usually a few aged 40+ old school rockers – that’s it. We’ve entered an age where for the majority of people everything must be aesthetically pleasing to both eye and ear (especially in the entertainment industry) and there’s no point trying to fight that. That’s why if we were going to start encouraging people to attend more local gigs in Sydney a good start would be to give these older venues a facelift so that people will actually want to visit them and swing by for a hangout, even if they don’t know the band playing. That’s part of the reason why local Sydney venues Upstairs Beresford, The Standard and Oxford Art Factory are booming and hardly ever empty no matter what day it is or who’s playing – they’ve kept up with the times.