Brannon launches entertainment website
It's hard to make a living from music, when your audience can't even find where you're playing.
So this month, Big Chill band leader Tony Brannon released www.bermuda-entertainment.com.
The website contains a schedule of performances of entertainers across the island.
“I am asked all the time, what is on, and who is playing where,” Mr Brannon said.
He said there are several event websites available, but if you're specifically looking for music you have to wade through all the parties, plays, dinners and other events.
“While everyone is talking about jumping off cliffs, and doing some sort of tour, one of the big things people want to know is where can I see a band,” Mr Brannon said. “Where is there a good DJ for dancing? They are looking for those kind of experiences.”
He got the idea for the website after creating a website for The Big Chill. After putting up information on their schedule and venues, he thought he could expand the concept to help other entertainers in Bermuda.
He was in an ideal position to start www.bermuda-entertainment.com, because as a veteran musician he knew all the players and all the venues.
Content from the website comes from either the entertainers themselves or the venues.
“Most people have been pretty helpful,” he said. “All the standard suspects have contributed including the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, the Fairmont Southampton, and The Reefs.”
But he wondered why he still hadn't heard from some of the hotels.
“This is a free service,” he said. “I urge everyone to get in touch with us. The more complete it is the better. I don't want anyone saying I was left out.”
He said it's not meant to be an advertising portal, but they will have a couple of banner ads so they can pay their expenses.
“It's a new website, so it will get its legs over time,” he said. “I'm doing a lot of social media push.”
He thought the website might be a particular boost for local performers in the off season, when things get very quiet.
“It's always tough being in the entertainment world,” he said. “You can make a living six months out of the year, but to pull it off the rest of the year is a struggle.”
He was pleased that the Progressive Labour Party had included concessions for musicians in this year's budget.
Venues that hire Bermudian artists now get tax breaks.
The website is only meant to be an information site, you won't be able to make reservations through it, but contact details will be included.
“If people want to go to Elbow Beach for dinner, they can call the Elbow Beach number,” he said.
Mr Brannon said collecting information for the website has been an interesting journey, so far.
“There are people who are proactive and really realise that entertainment is important,” he said. “Philip Barnett from the Island Restaurant Group was one of the first people on it with me. He has been sending me what was happening at Hog Penny, Pickled Onion, and the Frog & Onion.
“Wedco has sent me stuff about what is going on in Dockyard. There are still holes in it, though. Don't come crying to me later that you weren't in it. The biggest problem I find is I have had some people who say they will get back to me with a couple of banner ads or images.
“They say, it's with our graphic designers right now. I say why are your graphic designers moving at the speed of tortoises?”
• For more information see Bermuda-Entertainment.com