On October 2, 2012, the Sound Hole hosted a venue for local musicians to discuss the future of music in Myrtle Beach. It was moderated by Paul McKinney, music promoter, Chris Mowder, editor of ListenUpMB, a publication dedicated to the Myrtle Beach music scene and Brian Roessler, musician and Professor at Coastal Carolina University.
Sound Hole owners, Shellie and Robert Rowell, opened the venue last October 29 as a place to give local musicians a place to play their original music. “Cover bands are making money,” said Shellie, ” but this is a place where the locals can come and play their music. This is a loud place; we may have a game on the TV but other places have problem with loud as well.”
The clear message from the audience was that the music scene is in a state of flux. “At one time there were four venues and now there is one,” stated one of the attendees.”There aren’t as many willing venues.”
Roessler stated that the people with money do not come out to hear locals.” There is a constant in and out: no one (performers) is from is from Myrtle Beach. I have played for 14 years and nothing has changed.”
“There aren’t enough willing venues and those that made shows ruined them,” stated Mowder, “this was always a fringe thing.”
The balance of the shows are underage few drinkers according to Sound Hole owner Rowell. She added that they will not buy anything, not even a soda. “There has to be give and take and spend some money and give tips. If everyone would buy a beer during week, it will sustain us. If we show that we can make it, then other venues will do it.”
Mowder questioned, where do we go from here? Bands think they get new exposure when coming here. They have to promote heavily and be on Facebook; whatever it takes to get the word out.
“How much you want to promote is the tipping point,” stated Chris one of the attendees who is taking a sabbatical from teaching 6th grade to pursue a music career.
One of the members of the local band, Group Miracle, stated that they play in Charleston but are also trying to get bigger acts by looking at bigger venues with bigger bands.
The attendees broke into groups to write ideas about how to integrate the music scene within the community. More to come.
For another perspective on the event, go to ListenUpMB.