September 23, 1997. The House of Blues in Kissimmee/Lake Buena Vista was just opening. I was so excited to see Widespread Panic open the place. The ticket said 9 PM. Given work and home stuff, I made it right at 9. Only to discover that the show had started at 8 with an opening set by Col. Bruce Hampton (Ret.) and the Fiji Mariners.
I was crushed.
I had also learned valuable lessons in 1993 at my first Phish and Panic shows at the Ritz Theater in Ybor City (Tampa). The tickets said: Doors at 9. So I arrived near 9, to a near-empty house, only to find out that the shows would not begin until about 10:30.
Of course, that was back in the relative infancy of the inter webs and our ability to gather information, so I just shrugged.
But there is no excuse any more for information about show times.
I know this has happened to you recently. It happens to me all too often. You get to a venue at the time announced, only to discover that you were an hour late — or an hour early. In this day and time, with Facebook and other social media, this is a disservice to patrons who should expect some sort of professional courtesy when it comes to start times.
Contrast that to the excellent efficiency with which most festivals now run in terms of set times; you could set your watch to them.
Some places are great about posting what time music will actually start. There are variables, of course, that can confound, such as late band arrival, equipment problems and the like, but it is possible to let adoring fans and casual patrons alike know when to expect music. And fans shouldn’t have to be archaeologists to find that information. It shouldn’t be necessary to write to a band member for a local show asking, “What time do you play tonight?”
There was a recent event that was variously reported “officially” on the web as 7-10 PM, 8 PM, and 9 PM. Music actually ran from 8-midnight. PLEASE. We’re still going to come. We’re still going to pay the cover or ticket price. We’re still going to patronize the bar and the kitchen. Our time is valuable, too. Please respect that.
Just give us the correct information. NO FAKE NEWS.