When Vasant Dhoble was wreaking havoc on the nightlife scene last year,a lot of clubs took precautionary measures. Some decided to shut earlier than usual,others limited the number of people that could enter the club. The directors at Blue Frog came up with an interesting concept to tackle the issue. They introduced a slab payment system,where bands were paid a minimum amount,and this would increase if they got more people to the club. What this essentially did is that in case the club got busted or people were too scared to step out,the club would not end up paying artiste fees,and also lose money off the door and the bar.
With the police officer out of the picture,Blue Frog,like most venues,went back to business as usual. But the slab payment experiment has had more benefits than just avoiding a bad night for the club. Jehan Johar,head of programming for the club,says,We have performances six days of the week. We realised that with the number of Facebook invites going out from the club,it was almost like we are spamming people. If bands promote their own gigs,people will actually take notice.
Other than a handful of big indie acts who will be paid their regular fees,this system will act as a levelling field for the music. The number of people at a gig are counted from when the club doors open,so people who come for the Early Set (a performance which acts as a warm-up act for the headliner) are also counted. The slab starts from 100 people and has various payment levels in between. Johar says,We keep trying to change things around at Blue Frog after analysing data that we have been collecting since the club started. We have data such as how much crowd turned up on a particular night,what music played that night,and what might have affected the turnout. After going through this,we have come up with the slab system of payment. We know that there might be a little opposition to what we are trying to do initially,but we hope that things will work out eventually.