The Queen City Loves to Procrastinate. That’s not so loveable.
BUY THE DAMN TICKET, ALREADY!
Charlotte, we’re a city of procrastinators.
We may be a “can-do city.” We may be a city in demand. We might even be a “world-class city” (although the use of that appellation alone is worth 10 more editorials).
But, we’re also a last-minute, “when I get to it,” “we’ll see when the time comes,” “let me think about it,” “let me check my calendar,” procrastinating city, especially when it comes to buying tickets for events.
“This is why we can’t have nice things.”
Recently over a couple of beers with artist and community organizer Dammit Wesley (co-founder of BLKMRKTCLT, DuRag Fest, “It Takes a Village” and so much more), the subject of Charlotteans not buying tickets until the day before or day of an event came up. What he had to say on the subject just had to be shared:
“I have floated in the sphere of nightlife and entertainment for over a decade in CLT and the one consistent behavior I have seen is the city’s lack of urgency when it comes to announcing its presence.
Charlotte hates RSVPs and despises buying tickets in advance. And the result of those behaviors has led to a lackluster market for music and entertainment. Kanye West in his prime barely sold out Spectrum. It was great for me being a broke 20-year-old since I could upgrade my seat from nosebleed to lower bowl. But this environment has made Charlotte a toxic city for entertainers. Why go to Charlotte when you can go to Greensboro and secure a sold-out show?”
That’s one chaotic dinner party
In the grand scheme of societal problems, last-minute decision-making may not seem like a biggie. But, it is a reason we often can’t have nice things … and the trickle-down effect is devastating to cultural events (large or small), in particular.
Last-minute ticket sales impact how events staff up, allocate resources, market themselves, forecast expenses, generate word of mouth and more. It informs how large a venue you need, how much catering you need, how much parking you need, how many seats you need and how many days you can reasonably run your event without losing your shirt.
Think about it this way. You want to throw a dinner party at your house. You hope 20 people will come, so you prepare food for 20. When five show up, you’re having leftovers for weeks. Or, you plan for 20, only five say they’re coming until the day of when 25 more let you know they’re on the way. That’s a recipe for a wacky episode of The Brady Bunch. [Hijinks ensue.]
Buy tickets for the show now … it’s an investment in the next show
So, let’s bottom line it here: If you love cool events in Charlotte, let’s all commit to reversing the curse. (And, yeah, I’m included here, too.) When you see something that excites you, buy your ticket immediately. Don’t wait. Vote on the things you love with your dollars so producers, artists and event managers know how to prepare. Grab those tickets early, and let some event producers sleep better at night.
Put another way, here’s Dammit again: “CLT needs to grow up. Act like a real city, and TELL PEOPLE YOU ARE COMING TO EVENTS (BY GETTING A TICKET) LONG BEFORE THE DAY OF THE EVENT. Thank you. Dammit Wesley out.”
Charlotte Is Creative
“I find my mind and body are most fulfilled when creating and making. I enjoy researching and creating the work in my mind, then being able to physically create the design with my hands.” – Javier Collado
Artist/activist Javier Collado is a current artist-in-residence at the McColl Center whose four-month residency is sponsored by Charlotte Is Creative.
He took time out from painting to answer a few questions about his background in the arts, his ongoing work and the Charlotte creatives he admires.
Drinking Coffee, Drawing People and Building a Career
“This series has given me so much, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me from here!” – Lauren Barger
Charlotte artist Lauren Barger has dreamt of being an illustrator as long as she can remember. But, she wasn’t convinced she could make a living pursuing her creative dream. So, she let her dreams of being a full-time artist go … until she moved to Charlotte in 2018 and re-engaged her passion.
After creating a successful print series called “Animal Butts” with watercolor and colored pencil (which earned her the moniker of “Butt Lady of Charlotte”), Barger embraced digital art and new opportunities.
Barger’s next idea, the“Coffeedraws” series, has already earned her the attention and admiration of a famous Disney animator and 25,000 new followers on Instagram and Tik-Tok. We caught up with her to learn more about it.
South End is BLOOMing Again
Beginning this weekend, Charlotte Is Creative, with support from Lowe’s Home Improvement and South End, is organizing pop-up art experiences (a.k.a. “BLOOMS”) for the public in front of Lowe’s new tech center. Each Saturday through September, at the corner of Camden Road and W. Worthington Ave., you can enjoy free hands-on art encounters with individual creatives and artist groups ranging from painters to photographers to fiber artists and performance artists.
This Saturday, July 23 from noon to 2 p.m. artists from Namaste Artists CLT will showcase their work and invite passersby to jump in and create a piece of mandala art with them. Upcycle Arts will be on site on Saturday, July 30 with hands-on art projects made with recycled items.
Spanish-Language Play Running on West Side This Weekend
Ora pro nobis by Luis Miguel Campos
WHERE: Arts Factory at 1545 W. Trade St.
WHEN: July 21-24
TICKETS: Available Online
Billed as Charlotte’s first-ever play presented completely in Spanish, Ora pro nobis (“Pray for us”) was written during the COVID 19 pandemic. The hour-long production is a comedy about three nuns, one of whom believes she is pregnant … with the Holy Spirit. According to producers, Ora pro nobis was created “to provoke laughter to counteract the uncertainty and panic that the pandemic produced.”
WE NEED YOUR IDEAS: Help Us Find Cool New Venues
We’re putting together a list of the coolest places to host events in Charlotte (like Project 658 above) … and we want your opinions. We particularly want to identify brand new, out of the way and non-conventional spaces for installations, discussions, meet-ups, planning sessions, pop-up music shows and more.
▶️ Where do you love to plan events?
▶️ What are some out-of-the-way places that deserve more love?
▶️ What are some places that are new on the scene?
▶️ Who has an incredibly helpful ownership/staff?
▶️ Which spaces are underutilized and truly unique?
If you have a venue that fits the bill above, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, if you are a venue that wants to be included on the list, please fill out a profile here.
Creative Challenge: Let’s Paint Traffic Barriers!
Okay, creatives. We have a challenge for you the next time you’re stuck in Charlotte construction traffic … which is likely to be later today.
We spotted these painted traffic barriers in Breckenridge, Colorado, earlier this summer. With all the road construction underway in Charlotte, we’d love to see this here – turning an eyesore into outdoor galleries that may just make gridlock a little more tolerable.
We’re game to get going on this, but we need your help telling us where to start. Please send specific locations and photos of traffic barriers that could use a little “art facelift” to email@example.com
P.S. We KNOW you want to do this, but please don’t volunteer to paint, yet. Right now, we need ideas of specific locations that need love. We’ll take this information to CDOT and see what can be done.
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