Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tip Jar Success Affected By Weather

A musician needs to be tight with a meteorologist, or at least have quick access to The Weather Channel or a local weather link on the computer. I carry a portable mobile scanner that will connect directly with the National Weather Service so I'll always know the latest forecast. Sudden weather forecast changes are sent to me automatically on my cell phone in the form of a text message. I'm taking a class Tuesday night at the Madison County Emergency Operations Center to become a certified weather spotter. Why such interest in the weather? Weather conditions and tip jar success have a direct correlation!

If it is cold outside, some people do not want to venture out to dine, dance and hear music. This can hurt the results of my jar. On the other hand, if the outdoor temperature is at a moderate level encouraging people to go to the restaurant to eat and hear me play, and the weather changes for the worst while they are there, they are in no hurry to leave the indoor comfort of my gig location. This is a plus for jar results. Same thing for rain...I don't want it raining when folks are coming to the restaurant, but once they get there, LET THE FLOODING BEGIN. People will hang around the restaurant (and my jar) for longer periods waiting for the rain to slack off.

Hot, steamy summer temperatures also cause a nice overstuffing of the jar. Folks will get comfortable in the air conditioned room where I am playing. They are certainly in no hurry to go outside where it feels like a sauna. It is great when a patron comes in from outside declaring "Whew, it's so hot out there that it feels like the Mohave Desert". Seated patrons hearing that will automatically decide, or even subconciously make the decision, to stay around for a longer period of time. Pertaining to jar ramifications, that is a good thing.

Last night was a jar success. I started playing at 6:00. It was starting to get cold, but not so cold that it would keep my fans and customers away. By 8:30, however, it was really getting frigid outside. Inside was the ultimate in comfort...that is, 72 degrees and the aroma of Italian entrees, steaks, and freshly baked bread. Many stayed around until I finished my last set at 10:00. The jar was filled to the top...a spectacle to behold. For a musician, the weather is a big, big deal!


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