I'm sad today.
I don't enjoy going around and putting up posters and flyers for gigs. I doubt if anyone does. I'd much rather be home creating new music, or practicing, or, for that matter, watching a movie or reading a book. But until you're big enough to hire your own publicity department or have a street team, you have to hit the streets yourself. Every band and singer-songwriter just starting out has to do it. So I'm not complaining. It's like cleaning the house, you don't like it but you have to do it.
This weekend is the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase. 200 bands playing various venues on S. Broadway in Denver. I have a gig the following weekend. So I figured that was the perfect place to advertise my show. Thousands of lovers of original independent music will be there.
A few months ago I paid a graphics artist to design to generic posters with a blank space where I can just fill in the specifics for each gig. So Wednesday night I got out my sharpies and made up several posters for my gig, then headed down to South Broadway and spent a couple hours putting them up in the showcase area.
Then Thursday night I went to down to the festival. However, I found that every single one of my posters had been torn down. Not a single one was up. They didn't even last 24 hours.
Who tore them down?
The event organizers? Were they paranoid that I was competing with them? If so, they didn't read the date on the poster. My gig is a week after the Showcase ends. And it seems laughable that they would feel threatened by little ol' me. Afterall, I'm not big enough for them to invite me to perform at the Showcase (and probably justifiably so)--at least this year. So surely they wouldn't they waste their time tearing down my posters. Would they?
Was it other bands or singer-songwriters? I hope not. Most of the folks I have met in the music community here have a cooperative and supportive attitude.
Was it the police? Perhaps there's an ordinance against putting posters on light poles? If so, boy, they sure acted quick. When I've called the police to complain about the lack of enforcement of dangerous drivers running red lights, I'm told they don't have the "resources" to enforce those laws. Perhaps posters on light poles is a higher law-enforcement priority than running red lights and other illegal activity that threatens public safety? I hope not.
Perhaps it was a random citizen who didn't like my poster? Perhaps they thought my ugly face was defacing the beautiful dark green metal light pole? Art, of course, is subjective.
Or perhaps it was just someone has a lot of rage inside them, for whatever reasons--justified or not--who took out their anger by ripping down my posters?
I paid Kinko's $1.50 each to print the posters that nobody will see. And I spent two hours of my life putting them up. So all that money and time is down the drain. But that's not what bothers me the most.
The day before, I noticed that a flower was missing from my flower bed along the front sidewalk. Someone had ripped it right out the ground, roots and all. It was the only one of its type. I planted it last summer. At the beginning of this summer, it didn't show much signs of life. I worried that it didn't survive the winter. But then it produced one beautiful, yellow flower. It survived! Now it's gone. What kind of person rips flowers up? Perhaps the same type of person who rips music posters down?
So I'm a little depressed today. I guess I'm overly sensitive. But it saddens me to know that there are people in the world who would rip a flower out of someone's flower bed. And it saddens me to know that there are people who would rip down a poster for a struggling independent musician just trying to reach a few people with his music.