When Circe Broom owner and manager of The Sunset Jazz Club and Laurel Arts Isle mentioned in local chat that the club is five years old this week I couldn't resist the temptation of asking her if she would share with us, not only something about the history of the club, but also some of the secrets of her success.
Circe Broom at Sunset Jazz Club
I am very grateful indeed that Circe agreed to take time out from her busy schedule to give this interview.
GC Congratulations Circe !! Sunset jazz Club is five years old now !!
CB Thank you Gold :) Time flies. It doesn't seem that long, but here we are !
GC How did it all start Circe ?
CB I had a mainland sim or two and felt it would be better to get an island. I had a club on the mainland, but when I got Laurel Arts Isle I didn't bring it with me.
I built Luxor Stage first, then Memphis Pavilion.. I was manager of Sunset Jazz Club over at Sunset Arts Island.. and when Gina and William wanted out of live music, I took Sunset Jazz Club to Laurel, where it reopened and stands to this day. Cairo was a replacement for my Concert Hall on Ratepoint Island, when that island went down... and Sanctuary was just always there, then I started bringing poets and storytellers there. :)
Joaquin Gustav Playing Classical Guitar
GC Why did you start Laurel Arts Isle ? What gave you the idea ?
CB I got the idea because back then, crowds were HUGE and I couldnt get enough people on a mainland sim. I also have more control of my island than I would have of a mainland sim.
GC You have 5 venues now all on Laurel Arts Isle - Memphis Pavilion, Luxor Stage, Sunset Jazz Club, Sanctuary and the Cairo Theatre. Which is your favourite of the 5 venues and why ?
CB Oooh that is hard ! I suppose Sunset Jazz is my flagship venue, though.
Love In Her Eyes
GC What gave you the idea of the beautiful ancient egyptian theme ?
CB I'm a history buff.. I knew lots of people would want Roman and Greek, so I chose Egyptian. (Aside from the fact that my mother swore I was a reincarnation of Cleopatra's Cat. LOL)
GC squints at Circe .....
GC You must have many wonderful memories from the five years. is there one in particular you would like to share with us ?
CB There have been a couple of Circe Appreciation days, thrown without my instigation or assistance, that were wonderful days of great music and great friends.. Those are amongst my favorite memories ;)
Enjoying Joaquin's Relaxing Music
GC Circe's Circles of Sound has 2818 members. This is a tremendous achievement of which you should rightly be proud Circe !! Has it been difficult to achieve this level ?
CB It takes time and taking care of our members, seeing to it that they benefit from being in the group, and are not spammed all the time .. :)
GC You must put a huge amount of work into running Laurel Arts Isle and the five venues. Could you tell us how many hours a week you spend working to manage it ?
CB I try to keep it down to a 40 hour week. Seriously.
GC Vincent, Angelstar and Antonia also spend a lot of time in support. How important are they to the smooth running of Laurel Arts Isle ?
CB They are extremely important to me. Angelstar is the best hostess EVER, and Vincent is the perfect partner, who kept the venues running when I was in the hospital for an extended time last year ! Antonia is the most loyal of guests, and often helps out hosting.
Circe and Vincent
GC What's your goal or reward ?
CB To know that many people appreciate what I do for live music and enjoy visiting and listening to the music on Laurel Arts Isle, and to have fun !
GC What are your personal ambitions as a venue owner now ?
CB I want to keep providing the best music I can find for the citizens of Second Life.
GC And how important is tipping the venue ?
CB I need to keep the venues running, as it now stays up by donations... For me tipping the venue is extremely important: if they don't tip, I have to close down. Simple as that.
GC How do you choose artists you want to perform on Laurel Arts Isle ?
CB I have scouts, I scout myself, and I LISTEN; for my venues, I only choose what I consider the very best..
GC Are you constantly on the lookout for new ones ?
CB I suppose you could say that, but now, I wait for artists to come to me and ask to play my venues. If they meet my standards, and I have room for them, I stage them.
GC Over the five years you must have had some amusing experiences as venue owner. Is there one in particular you would like to share with us ?
CB The Coffee & Pajamas show with DJ Elfay Pinkdot is one of the most fun things we do, we come in pajamas, and there have even been times when my friend Pannie brought her strange bumper cars to the classy Sunset Jazz Club, and pajama'd guests rode around on pumpkin pies or swans, on the dance floor :)
Saturday Morning Pajama Party
GC Is there one particularly bad or difficult experience as a venue owner you would like to tell us about ?
CB Griefing. That has to be the worst, disrupting a good show, spoiling people's fun -- for what? I simply cannot understand the (lack of) mentality of a griefer. It has seldom happened to me in the past few years, but in the past few months, it has occurred twice. Last Monday night at Sunset, and once on Menorca, at Sunset Two.
GC What needs to be done about griefing ?
CB The Lindens should be on call to HELP us like in the old days, they can stop an attack when we might not be able to.
Serene Bechir Poet at The Sanctuary
GC What advice would you give to any prospective venue owner in SL ?
CB I'd tell them they will never make money at it, so if they are here to make money, forget it.
GC What are the main things they need to do and should be aware of to run a successful club / venue ?
CB They need to remember that people want to feel wanted, the guests are the most important part of a club -- and put on good music. I'd say be polite, but it seems some places just don't want to enforce that; I don't go to those places.
Enjoying Poetry Saturday Morning
GC What are the pitfalls ?
CB It costs too much to run a club. Everyone seems to think club owners are rich, so although they'll tip an artist, who might be getting thousands of lindens for a show, they forget to tip the venues -- and so venues disappear.
GC The rewards ?
CB Getting to hear great music! Helping people reach their dreams of playing for an audience ! Maybe even helping someone get RL discovered ! I love creative people; I get to associate with them daily.
GC What's the limiting factor on SL live music, is it the number of venues ?
CB There are SO MANY venues, some cheap club on every corner, it seems - but the great ones are few and far between, and the people ultimately find them :)
Dottie and I would like to say a big Thank You !! to Circe, to Vincent, to Angelstar and Antonia for all their hard work in making The Sunset Jazz Club such a beautiful and friendly place and for bringing all the wonderful artists and music for the public to enjoy !! We add our congratulations to the many which Circe rightly deserves on the Club's 5th Anniversary !!
Here's the SLURL to get to the Sunset Jazz Club