How to Open a Music Venue – Part 1


Running a live music venue can be a dream for many musicians or people that love live music, but the reality is it is just like running any business, preparation and planning is the key to taking the acorn of an idea into a successful oak tree of a business. The real truth of running a live music venue is that while it can be a really rewarding venture, it takes a great deal of effort and hard work to make it successful. Sometimes it literally is a 24-hour job, which blurs the lines between social life and work.

Many people, despite the tough lifestyle, decide to have a career in the entertainment business because the rewards can be excellent. Not just in monetary terms but also in the enjoyment of pursuing a dream that you have always wanted to fulfil.

Preparation and Planning

You may love music and happen to be a great musician, but opening up a place just to let your mates jam will be doomed to failure if you do not have proper planning and preparation. Firstly, choose your location carefully, consider the businesses that already operate in the locality.

The Venue

It is no use opening a venue serving alcohol and playing loud music if it next to a school or a church. Also look at property values and the tax rates of the neighborhood, your cash flow will be directly affected by such things. But the biggest overall factor to your choice of location should be driven by the potential of a customer base.

Many live music venues thrive in student areas, and university campuses will offer a great number of potential customers. Many towns and cities have a student area and they are a lot cheaper in terms of rentals and leases than swish city center venues. It is also a good idea to contact local government offices and city councils to see if the area you have selected has any restrictions on the type of business that you wish to run, and indeed if there are any support programs that can assist you opening up a new business.

The Financial Aspect

The financial part of your planning is key to the whole operation. It is your cash flow that will determine if your business succeeds or fails, and unfortunately it is an area commonly neglected by potential entrepreneurs in favor of other more superfluous things. The bottom line is that you may have the best live music venue in town but if it is not financially operated correctly you will fail.

It is a good idea to take professional financial advice to set you out on the right track. They will help with things like getting a fair deal for your mortgage or rent, and negotiate on consistent interest rates so that your payments do not start to rocket. They will also introduce other insurance professionals so that the business investment is protected. In part two we continue to look at other aspects of starting and running a live music venue.