For many of us, live music is the heartbeat to our second lives, and our favourite gig venues rapidly become regular haunts inworld. They are places to relax and escape the humdrum of real life; to chat with friends whilst listening to performers from across the world. For musicians too, a well-run venue provides the opportunity to showcase their talents, a chance for them to gain new fans and for them to earn useful income, which in turn, helps to boost the overall SL economy. Live music venues come and go, but the ones that stand the test of time are those with a welcoming atmosphere, an almost palpable sense of excitement and a unique setting. If these are the benchmarks of a truly successful venue, then Coffee’s – run by brother and sister team, Coffee Jaworower and Machka Resident – is destined to be around for many years to come.
Coffee’s opened in late 2014 and since then has managed to attract and maintain a loyal customer and performer fan base. One of the secrets to its success is the convivial atmosphere that Coffee and Machka have magically created, because whether you are a first timer or seasoned visitor, you are always made to feel part of the Coffee’s community. “I think the inspiration behind Coffee's comes from being a live musician myself and playing at poorly constructed venues that are usually way too big for most artists to fill,” explains Coffee, “they tend to lose that warm, welcoming atmosphere that hopefully we provide for both our audience and artists. I wanted to make Coffee's a cosy - but not in your face place - where you could either boogie up by the stage or sit back in comfortable surroundings and listen to great music.”
Great music - that other vital ingredient for any live venue – is another strong point at Coffee’s. Instead of a daily schedule with many musicians of varying abilities, the venue instead hosts music from Friday to Monday only from 12 to 3pm SLT. This reduced schedule allows the team to provide quality over quantity and consequently, Coffee’s plays host to some of the finest musicians on the grid - but what’s it been like working with performers inworld? “Well for me, and I'm sure my sister would agree, it's been a great experience,” says Coffee, as we sit at the bar. “I’ve learnt so much from them and find on the whole they are a very friendly bunch of people only too willing to give advice and help out when they can.”
For the musicians themselves, Coffee’s is a firm favourite on the SL music venue circuit, as pianoman1968, one of the venues regular performers explains: “If you want to have a fun time in a friendly, slightly crazy atmosphere, then Coffee's is the place for you. There are some amazing artists there and you often see something which is a cut above the norm in Second Life. Coffee and Machka always encourage originality and like to provide something a little bit different.” Sourcing top notch performers to play at Coffee’s can’t be easy, but this responsibility falls to Machka, who manages secure some of the best names in SL live music thanks to her persistence and sunny nature. “I do run around and find performers, and when they say yes, that does make me feel good,” she says smiling. “So yes… I’m pleased when I get a booking and the most pleasing moment is when Coffee sees my calendar and realizes I have booked up the schedule again!”
But what makes Coffee’s really stand out from other venues is its constantly changing look and setting, because unlike most clubs that create a build and stick with it for years after, Coffee’s switches up its look every two weeks, with all pieces made by Coffee Jaworower himself. From one visit to the next, you could find yourself listening to live music sat in an intergalactic spaceship, a LA movie set, an Amazon rainforest or even a gigantic fruit bowl with apples for chairs and bananas as the stage backdrop. The different designs are always executed perfectly, with an element of humour that betrays Coffee’s real life sense of fun – so where does he get his inspiration from? “It can be anything from a film I've watched, a book I've read or something somebody has said, for instance the bed stage I did recently resulted from a conversation between Machka and myself about how tired we were. So far, something has always entered in to my head - but it does worry me that I'll run out of ideas one day!” admits Coffee.
Creativity is something that Coffee excels at, which is fortuitous, as he and Machka now plan on expanding the venue to help cater for the ever growing audiences that visit the current location. “Recently we've acquired the little island next door and we've already held a couple of larger events on it, and are planning to do some more in the future,” he explains. “As for the main stage at Coffee's I'd like it to continue as it has been for many years to come.” With such a loyal following, great music and fun atmosphere, Coffee’s is destined to be an SL music venue that stands the test of time, but why should people visit? The last word must go to Machka: “We don't put labels on people, all are welcome... noobs, furries, children - our venue is open to everyone. We would like to show Second Life that there is a venue that does not judge on looks, religion, politics. Coffees is for everybody to have a fun time.”
Coffee’s SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Tharu/98/144/22
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