Now, we’ve all read the stories about how Australia’s clubs are closing down and amalgamating with bigger clubs, much to the distress of their patrons.
And we feel sorry for them. They used to hold all the great touring concerts and were, in many towns and cities, the hub of their communities.
So, what went wrong? Well, first of all, the government gave in to the powerful AHA lobbyists to allow poker machines in hotels. Once, these little money makers were only in clubs, allowing the venues to spend on big entertainment and foster the community.
But, if you look around, some clubs are still growing and prosperous while others are withering to a humiliating death. It can’t just be the pokies.
Recently, there was an article in the paper about the many dire clubs who suffered because their boards consisted of people with little to no specialist business experience who failed to see the new commercial, competitive digital world. And it seems, there are still clubs who have no fucking clue.
I know of one recent case where the Adamstown Club closed its doors and this is despite the fact that a previous CEO had received specialist marketing advice about surviving in the 21st century – and then promptly proceeded to ignore that advice and do exactly the opposite.
Such mediocrity will not be tolerated by the fiercely competitive markets of this new century.
From a newspaper this week, an advertisement (paid for by the club) announced that it hosts ‘Big Acts’, by which I think they mean the biggest and best musical artists. Imagine the reader’s surprise when they discover that these artists are, in fact, chucks of meat.
Seriously, no wonder clubs are in trouble.