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Friday, July 12, 2013

Bibbi Resident, owner of Rainbow Amphitheatre – Stareyes Galaxy Reporting...

There are many venues in Second Life © catering to audiences who appreciate live music. One such is Rainbow Amphitheatre, operated by Bibbi. Having been to a few live shows there, I had the opportunity to interview Bibbi on Rainbow Amphitheatre and the live music scene.

SLE: How did you come about with the idea of building a concert venue?

Bibbi: I used to host at The Colour Factory, and we had the sim go out from underneath us. After rebuilding, the venue manager had conflicts with RL so we dropped back to just doing spontaneous gigs. I wanted someplace to go and thought a long time about it before finally decided to do my own. I opened at the end of March.

SLE: What is your goal as a venue owner in SL?
Bibbi: My goal was to have a small venue with select performers. I try to concentrate on instrumentalists but also the spoken word. I try to keep singers to one morning a week.
SLE: Who designed the place for you?

Bibbi:  Me. I designed and built it.

SLE: Do you have a weekly schedule of performers?

Bibbi: Not a rigid schedule. If I don't have someone for a specific day, I don't fret about it.

SLE: But the audience finds you?
Bibbi: I publish each one in events, and many musicians have their own fan groups. There are also a number of groups that deal with live music. I do notices there. I pretty much only am open on Tuesday through Thursday and only at 3am.

SLE: Whom would you consider the best acts on SL at the moment? Can you attract these?

Bibbi: I think I have some of them already. Some are not so much in line with my concept.

SLE: What type of acts fit your concept? If you have some favorites I would like you to name these.

Bibbi: I have a few singers. I prefer ones who are self-accompanied like Phoenix J, but I have a couple of great track singers. That is, they have background instrumentals or even backup vocals. Bono Fouroux is an awesome guitarist. Michi Renoir composes and plays electronica. Mark Seery plays here too. Russell Eponym opened for me in March. He's strictly acoustical. He does poetry readings when he performs here. There are some I've taked to who would like to play here, it's just a matter of available times.

Others who have played at Rainbow include Mar Biddle, Thera D, Eth Tedeshi, and Paris Obscur . Bibbi says she is very pleased with all of the performers, so far. She brings the acts simply by talking to them, and the word seems to spread. “Also, I go to a lot of performances and get to hear people and learn who I like. I also have some friends whose judgment I trust. They will give me ideas.”

SLE: Do they work on tips or do you have to pay? Or, does it work the other way around (you getting a cut)?

Bibbi: They play for tips, but I also share the venue tips with them. Some musicians have a set minimum. Because I'm small, I can't really pay those minimums.

SLE: How about the audience. What kind of people come to shows?

Bibbi: Great people, almost all of them. Of course each musician has fans, so there are some differences from performance to performance, but there are also a lot of people who check what's playing any given time and pick the one they like best. I have some people I consider friends who come often. There are regulars. And some of them are ones who used to come to The Colour Factory. That warms my heart. To be honest, there are many people I see at a variety of venues. It's always amazing to see them here.

SLE : Comparing to other similar venues, how do you think you're doing? Honest assessment?

Bibbi: You should understand that very few venues make much money, so that isn't a measure. I feel that with the kind of performers I have here, that's my measure of success.Compared to other venues: There are some with radically different concepts, so no real comparisons. But compared to smaller places, I think some are doing better, and better from a standpoint of the number of acts they book. But I also see many venues go away after shorter or longer periods of time. So honestly, I'd put Rainbow Amphitheatre in the middle. Anyone who starts a venue with the idea of getting rich will be disappointed. If you do it for the love of it, you can honestly say it's successful as long as you run it. One other measure of success for me, and this is the most important, the performers tell me they enjoy playing here.

SLE: What would you like Linden Lab to do to help the music scene in SL?

Bibbi: As to LL helping? I'm not sure what they can do. The concept behind SL is the residents create the content. So I think it's up to the performers and the venue owners. That being said, we all know that there are things that don't go right. LL could do a better job of testing, I think. But there is one thing that's not specific to the music scene. There are a lot of griefers. They could do a better job of dealing with them.
SLE: Do you face limitations with regard to capacity and stream listening abilities? Lag?

Bibbi: I've had it pretty good here. Not much lag and the streams usually work very well.
SLE: Are you able to implement security measures?
Bibbi: I have only had to eject and ban one person in 4 months. That's been sufficient for me so far. Other venues haven't been so lucky.

SLE: What further plans do you have for Rainbow Amphitheatre?

Bibbi: I want to do more readings. I've been talking with a poet. Also I've discussed a specific topic for  a reading with someone. Too soon to reveal but that's what I'm working on in addition to keeping my eye out for other performers who would fit.

SLE: Anything else you might want to add?

Bibbi: A couple things. One is my gratitude to Whisper Ampan. I learned a lot from her at The Colour Factory. The other is that I'm also grateful to the land owners here. They wanted me to locate here because of the setting and it just works so well

After a concert at Rainbow Amphitheatre, I asked guitarist Bono Foureux about how he likes playing at Rainbow Amphitheatre. He said he liked the audience interaction and being able to bring joy to the people by his music there, and that Bibbi is a great venue owner. “That lady is great… and I love to play there. I told her when I feel good I can play better and it works for me there like that.” Singer Phoenix J echoed similar sentiments:  “Bibbi is hardworking and warm and passionate about music. Her venue is a lovely intimate place to hang for listeners and musicians alike. I love being here and cannot thank her enough for inviting me to be a part of this.
I really have become to appreciate the SL live music scene lately, and to a great part thanks to Bibbi and Rainbow Amphitheatre. I encourage everyone to pay a visit!


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