It’s been too long since you’ve heard from us. Many of you—artists, event organizers, and ticket buyers—have emailed us seeking refunds, payments, and answers, and we haven’t replied. We’re sorry. You deserve better, and we are committed to doing better. We are committed to being more open and timely in communicating what we know. Here’s
How Marina Albero
Uses Brown Paper Tickets
to Keep Music Alive
Who is Marina?
Marina Albero is a freelance jazz musician originally from Barcelona, now based in Seattle. She teaches music and performs in various local and national groups, including her own band. She now runs The Quarantine Sessions, a live streaming music experiment. Prior to starting The Quarantine Sessions, Marina used Brown Paper Tickets to sell admission to intimate house shows.
COVID-19, Gathering Bans, and Social Distancing
In early March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to escalate in Europe and then in Seattle, Marina watched as her upcoming shows were canceled and postponed one by one. March shows became July shows, and her immediate income dried up. Not only did these cancellations represent a loss of livelihood, but also a loss of community. She knew that the longer this went on, the harder it would be for artists everywhere to bounce back.
The Quarantine Sessions
The Quarantine Sessions were born from what Marina calls a “survival instinct.” The premise was simple: bring live music experiences to quarantined viewers, while supporting local artists and their communities.
Marina’s first task was to find a venue. While she could live stream from her living room and had done so before, she wanted this experience to be special. She connected with a local studio, The House of Breaking Glass, who agreed to host the performance, allowing Marina to produce a show with top quality audio. “[You can host] a live stream in a house with technology that you have, versus a live online concert with a higher production value,” she says. “For me that is a beautiful difference.”
Her second task was to figure out how to host the event online. Marina wanted the show to be open to everyone, so she decided on a free Facebook live stream with pre-sales and a virtual “tip jar” through Brown Paper Tickets. It was important to her that the performance feel like a concert, not a fundraiser. Listing her event with Brown Paper Tickets provided her with a main landing page for the event that she could use to promote, generate sales, and preserve a familiar event experience for attendees.
I thought that Brown Paper Tickets was my best option. Anybody else who is doing a live stream has the same idea… you have your PayPal, you have your Venmo. But I like the idea of selling tickets to an actual concert.
On the evening of the show, Marina and her band played an enthusiastic jazz set at the studio and streamed it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter Live. Throughout the event, viewers were able to contribute to a virtual tip jar through the Brown Paper Tickets event page.
The first Quarantine Session proved that if you make it, people will come. Fans watched, commented, and made contributions from homes across the world.
- 1,600 viewers
- 1,200 interactions
- 135 contributors
- 50% of contributions happened during the event
Hosting an event on Brown Paper Tickets? Congrats. Creating a visually compelling and informative event page is a key factor to selling out your event.
Before you create your event page, the first thing to do is brainstorm various aspects that are important to highlight. To do this, consider events that have attracted you in the past.
Were they visually appealing? Did the description spark interest and intrigue? Take what inspires you and translate that into your event creation. Along with a clear and compelling event name, you will want to create a compelling event description and short description.
- The short description will display in search results, in our weekly event mailing list and third-party event calendars. It is a summary of your full description with intriguing aspects of your full description.
- Give potential attendees all the information they need, so they have no lingering questions that could delay ticket purchase.
- Highlight what attendees should expect, and the unique aspects that set your event apart from similar events.
- Use bullet points to display key information so the information is easy for readers to scan.
Add a visual component next. Do you have high-quality images of the artist or event flyer? If so, upload it onto the event itself; this will further polish the professional look of your page. Feature the artist you’re promoting by uploading recent live performances, artist interviews, or anything relative to the performers and the event. Think about the possible attendees that have never heard of the artist and display any work that you think highlights the artist best. To make a bigger impact, upload the material into the event description to appear full frame so that everyone can gain a feel for the genre, style, and sound. Unsure how to post a YouTube video full frame? This simple tutorial has you covered.
You can also use basic HTML coding to hyperlink artist’s websites, social media pages, or relevant interviews or articles. This can also help boost your presence and improve page ranking on search engines such as Google. You can see exactly how things will look on your page with our tutorial here.
Now, let’s talk about sales incentives. Buyers often wait until the last minute to purchase tickets. Offering an incentive to those who secure their spots early on can jumpstart your sales and give you an idea on “where you are” in promoting your event.
How to incentivize attendees to buy early:
- Create a higher day-of or door price
- Have early bird pricing or tiered pricing that rises closer to the event
- Offer priority seating or entry to the first ( x ) people that secure tickets
To tie up all loose ends on your event page, you will want to link your Facebook Event and Twitter account to your Brown Paper Tickets event page. Linking everything will allow for a smooth transition for possible attendees to further get a feel for your event and performers.
You can further boost your search engine ranking by implementing basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. That way, when people search certain key terms, they’ll easily find your event. Avoid copying and pasting. Vary your event description from one site to the next—search engines don’t like duplicate content, so use different descriptions wherever you list your event. Make sure you add keywords—if you’re hosting a theater or music event, add “music” or “musical” or “”theater” to help your event appear in search results. But don’t jam your descriptions full of these terms; use them naturally. Read this post for more event-related SEO tips and techniques.
Once you have everything up and running, keep that momentum going. Think about how you are going to announce and present your event on social media. Check out these 10 Crucial Steps to Announcing Your Events on Social Media.Event Tips >
We interviewed Vivienne Fuego, founder of Sacramento’s newest revue, The Golden Poppy Revue to find out how she got involved in burlesque, the challenges with her new endeavor and what audiences can expect to see at the Golden Poppy’s upcoming debut production. See “L’Amour—An Evening of Valentease,” Saturday, February 28 at the Colonial Theater in Sacramento. Tickets available here.
Before The Golden Poppy Revue, Vivienne (then called Raven LaRoux) founded the Bodacious Bombshells, a burlesque troupe with a “rock and roll edge” in 2012. The Bombshells dissolved in 2014 and Vivienne vowed to retire from producing and performing. After only a month into her retirement, she founded The Golden Poppy Revue, a bi-monthly production at Sacramento’s historic Colonial Theatre, featuring six former Bombshells as her core cast: Jenna Jezebel, Sugar Cheeks, Violet Ruthless, Dahlia D’Vine, Bella Blue-Eyes and Lady Grey.
Tell me about your burlesque history. How did you initially get involved and who were some of your early inspirations?
I replied to a notification in November of 2012 to a Meetup event that the founder of the Darling Clementines set up. I went to the Meetup and met with a great group of gals. ChaCha Burnadette led a discussion of all things burlesque to gauge our interest levels. She then organized Meetups that had us venturing out to a few of the shows of the Sizzling Sirens (Sacramento’s longest running troupe). I was mesmerized. Absolutely hooked. I knew right then that this was what I had to do with the rest of my life. Being that I have a background in dance and theater, it seemed like a natural fit. I auditioned for the troupe in early December and was happy to have been accepted as a member.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced starting this new endeavor, “The Golden Poppy Revue?”
Some of the challenges I’ve faced in starting up the new endeavor were securing a venue (a big one for any producer), setting dates for the 2015 season (there always seems to be conflicting events on the weekends where we risk splitting the fan base numbers), and helping my core cast get up to speed on expectations and production style. Even though there have been a few growing pains, this has been the most easy and natural fit for us all. We gel so well and are very loving and supportive of one another.
What can audiences expect at your upcoming show “L’Amour – An Evening of Valentease?”
Our audiences can expect, simply to be wowed. This is the revue’s debut show and all of our cast members and special guests are abuzz with anticipation. We have both a VIP Experience and The Main Event as ticketing options. Main Event ticket holders arrive for the main show at 9:00. However, those that purchase the VIP Experience tickets will be privy to an exclusive pre-show earlier in the evening from 8:00 – 8:30. They also get to sit in the best seats in the house: the first three center and front rows. And they get to take home a keepsake from the event.
With a lineup consisting of local favorites Sugar Cheeks and Jenna Jezebel, our resident belly dancer Tisha Leigh, our boylesque dynamo Darren Kiss, a sideshow performance by Ryan Dile, comedienne extraordinaire Steph Garcia, and Isis Starr, a Legend of burlesque … well, they’re in for one amazing night.
Thank you for opting to take part in Brown Paper Tickets’ Burlesque Hall of Fame donation program. Why do you think it’s important for burlesque producers to support BHoF?
It’s important to honor our founding mothers and fathers. Without those ladies and gents who blazed trails for us, we wouldn’t have this beautiful, titillating, inspiring art form. It’s also such an easy way to help raise funds to support the museum in Vegas–$0.35 gets added to each Brown Paper Tickets order. I’d say it’s a small price to pay to support something so critical.
Have you been to the BHoF Weekender? Any good stories?
I attended the Weekender back in 2013 and am happy to say that I will be going back this year. I served as an Escort to one of the Legends in ’13 and it was the most wonderful way to volunteer and network … I’m hoping to serve in that same role this year as well.
Do you have advice for burlesque artists thinking of producing their own revue?
I never produced until I was in my early 40s; I only performed. However, I grew up in the dance and theater worlds, so being immersed in those throughout my younger years has been a huge plus. Producing was a very natural next step for me. I would tell anyone thinking of producing their own revue to go to shows. See what’s out there and make an assessment of the types of productions. Brainstorm and figure out how you can create a show that is uniquely yours and different from all other local productions. Take as many burlesque business classes as you can at BurlyCon, The Great Burlesque Expo, etc. Get yourself a few producer mentors (mine are Bunny Pistol and Fever Blister). And as always, network, network, network.Arts >
This week as all the kids went door to door in search of confections and mischief, many adults made use of the evening for for treats of a more intoxicating nature. Imbibing alcohol can make for a wonderful and fun evening in many cases. However, when overdone, it will definitely lead to very unpleasant side effects. There is a laundry list of physiological and psychological symptoms associated with the over consumption of alcohol but all you really need to know is it’s no fun.
Hangovers are like snowflakes in that everyone has a slightly different experience and preferences surrounding recovery. Although many people say they have a a “cure” it may not do diddly-squat for you, so you might as well start coming up with your own or slow down on the hooch. While the latter seems like the best option when hungover, many of us lose sight of the idea when a party is going on.
The “hair of the dog” as it’s called refers to drinking more in order to temporarily relieve the symptoms of your hangover. This is a particularly popular remedy since it seems to work, and a bloody Mary also happens to go great with steak and eggs. mimosas, bellinis, greyhounds, and micheladas all weigh in as popular hangover cocktails as they also go well with food and are relatively light in alcohol content which helps (you want to ease into your hangover buzz). For some “the hair of the dog” is a shot of whatever they were drinking (and usually a beer) after a light breakfast.
Some prefer coconut water, Gatorade, RC cola, various juices, or even plain old water but recent studies from the New York Post and others are saying that Sprite has a chemical content that’s the most effective. Another commonly used method particularly popular amongst restaurant workers is soda water and bitters. This beverage is sworn upon by many bartenders, servers and others in the industry as a go-to cure. What ever you choose to sip on just know that you are definitely dehydrated and may be fairly nauseous so you might want to stick with water and a low fiber BRAT diet until your symptoms have eased.
Any way you stack it, hangovers are no fun, but may be a necessary evil in the fight for your right to party. So drink reasonably and be safe when you are out raising cane on Saturday and it may make for a gentler Sunday morning. Remember to have a glass of water between drinks and start out the evening with a good meal. The war may rage on between the drinkers and their bodies but once in a while we may win a battle. Be safe!
This week on the Tuesday Tease, we divert a little from pure burlesque in order to feature a show at Brooklyn’s House of Yes that features burlesque mixed with circus arts. Our East Coast Representative Victor Chovil gives us a glimpse into their recent interpretation of “Peter Pan.”
House of Yes is an art space in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn that “supports performance, events and creative endeavors by providing the space and materials needed to make things happen.” House of Yes is also the home base of Sky Box, an aerial acrobatics group that holds workshops and classes every week. They’ve been a long time supporter of the burlesque and circus communities and we’re honored to feature them this week.
So, without further ado, I give you Victor and his review of “Peter Pan.”
Producer-Director Anya Sapozhnikova has been selling out shows at Brooklyn’s House of Yes for years. I was lucky enough to attend the opening night of her latest project, an ambitious and fun interpretation of Peter Pan. Its a mix of trapeze, burlesque, puppetry and side-show; full of great music and a little poi. Think ballerinas spinning from ropes while the “lost boys” of Never Ever Land dance to Massive Attack on the stage below them.
We’d like to introduce our Campaign Leader and Community Wrangler, Rachel Wong.
In case you couldn’t tell from what she’s holding in her hand, in addition to being the voice of Brown Paper Tickets on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Foursquare, as well as holding the keys to Brown Paper Tickets’ social media and digital marketing strategy, Rachel’s heart is also on display through her music. Take a listen to her latest single, “Center Stage,” here.
Rachel is a self-taught musician, with a natural ear for music, and a passionate drive for expression that resonates and connects her to her fans. Wong was selected from more than 3,000 artists across the US as a Top-12 finalist in Ford’s “Gimme the Gig II” contest in Los Angeles in August 2012. Influenced by Michael Jackson, John Mayer and Lauryn Hill, Wong’s acoustic, soulful pop sound has been compared to “Sara Bareilles, but on the guitar.”
Tracks from Rachel’s first album and single, Curtain Fall, can now be heard on radio stations in Canada and the Phillipines. Letters to You, her second album to be released on iTunes and Spotify May 28, is a 10-track musical journey from the pop anthem production of “Center Stage” to the island-flavored “Beach Bum Living.” Album tracks feature her soothing, powerful vocals and catchy songs, accentuated by the sincere warmth of her lyrics. A music video to for “Center Stage” will be released on You Tube shortly after the “Letters to You” album release show in Portland on June 29, and you are invited to attend!
Rachel wants to let you know that one of her good friends, Tess Henley, will be having her album release party just three days later, at Seattle’s Columbia City Theater. Pick up tickets for that show right over here.
As the world’s first home for independent musicians like Rachel and Tess, Brown Paper Tickets hosts album release parties and performances by some of the world’s best artists before they are “discovered” by the rest of the world, and sometimes after they are discovered, simply because they love the warmth, the 5% donations of profits from every ticket sold, and the down-to-earth, local vibe of Brown Paper Tickets. Why not take a look at the events in your city and see which local live events appeal to you?
We sat down with Rachel to ask her a couple of questions so that you could get to know her a little bit better. Enjoy!
Everything at Brown Paper Tickets starts with the Event Producers. Without them there would be no events to ticket so it shouldn’t be any surprise that new producers hold a special place in our hearts. This is why I’d like to take a few moments to recognize the new people who are with us today. These producer’s may not be new to burlesque but they are producing their first (or second) events through Brown Paper Tickets. And we hope to be seeing much more of all of them in the months and years to come.
Wednesday, January 23 | A Beautiful Spectacle 2 Hosted by The FC Beat magazine and The Factory Underground Studios, this annual winter event brings together a Spectacle of arts in a state-of-the-art, 7,000 square-foot,underground studio, sound stage, and exhibition space in Norwalk, Connecticut. UPDATE! This event is now sold out. There may be tickets available at the door.
Friday, January 25 | An Evening at Merlotte’s: Burlesque Inspired by True Blood You are cordially invited to a special night of music, burlesque and vampires with the citizens of Bon Temps! Come to one of two shows, either at 7 pm or 10 pm this Friday at the Highway 99 Blues Club for a celebration of all things “True Blood.”
Friday, January 25 | Twisted Knickers in “Calendar Girls” Be prepared for four seasons of sexiness with tributes to Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Groundhog Day, Dio de Los Muertos, Back to School, Football Season and much much more.