As some of you know, I do not attend Convergence
philady posted a poll here that said
Are you getting stoked for CONvergence?
I'm not going. I'm lame.
Me being me, I said
"I'm not going, the people who run Convergence are lame"
433 took exception to this, and for good reason.
So, the reason for my problems with Convergence go back several years. When I was trying to do the 12 cons in 12 months I contacted them to see about playing.
I have one rule when it comes to cons, if I contact a con about playing, it is my responsibility to pay for my badge. If they comp me, that's a good thing, but that is up to them.
If they contact me, they are contacting me as a pro. I don't make much of my living playing music, but I certainly do at least a little. Unless you are a tiny tiny con, you comp the pros. Period.
The next year I was contacted, please come play at the con. Cool. I had a good time the year before. Oh, if you want to do anything else, you have to buy a badge.
I said that I can't do that, you're asking me to drive there and play a show for no recompense except hopefully selling some CDs, I can't. I was nice about it, I do try to treat any venue I play with a good degree of professionalism, then the guy got all defensive and weird and went off on a rant about how it is not "pay to play" since I would get into my own show free.
I live 200+ miles away from the Twin Cities. At that point driving there and back cost me around 60 bucks. This guy asked me to play a free show that is costing me money, and tells me that it is not "pay to play". If I was local I suppose that I might have had a different reaction. I'm not.
The way I see this is like ... well ... if I was playing at a club, and they said, "sure, you can be on the stage, but if you want to go anywhere else you have to pay the cover charge".
It's a terrible way to treat people who you invite in to perform for and entertain YOUR guests. We are part of the show. You should show us respect. I think I may have had a different reaction if not for the "it's not pay to play thing". It would have just been left there, and I wouldn't go to Convergence. But the guy was an ass.
I know a little about the history of TC cons, and I know that there was a point where too many people got comped, things got out of control. But there is a point at which it is just silly.
So there is why I made my little flippant comment 433. It wasn't the best way to handle it, but maybe this will do some good. I have talked to other folks involved with Convergence about this, but nothing has come of it. It's a big con. You can do what you want because of that. But it does not serve the con well to treat people badly.