Clutch Eyeing Small Venue Tour After Pandemic


With all the uncertainty surrounding when and how touring will resume again, the only thing that’s for sure is that shows will be a whole lot different than we’ve ever known. Social distancing requirements, no moshing or crowdsurfing, temperature checks at the door, restroom occupancy maximums, bartenders wearing masks and gloves… it’s gonna be weird.

Some major concert promoters have said they think smaller venues will be the first to open, citing issues making larger shows profitable for both venue and performer, and Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster is totally fine with that, saying in a recent interview with Talk Toomey that he’d love to take it back to the small clubs of the band’s roots to get the machine going again:

Some of the smaller clubs are, they’re being talked about opening back up. If it does happen, could you hold up in a residency for a few shows or do a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday type deal? are you guys looking into stuff like that?

“Sure. I think that’s probably a good possibility. I was actually thinking about that myself the other day, maybe that’s one way to sort of get things going again. These little venues I think are going to be the first ones that open up. And we’re going to learn how to do shows again by going back to these smaller venues and working through this stuff. And I think it’ll be great too, because it’s as nice as it is to play a big venue. Every town has to have a small venue, you need those little places for those fans to get out there and cut their teeth. And so by getting back into those smaller rooms, hopefully it’ll inject a little bit of energy into them as well. And you know, hopefully we all come out of this thing a little better than when we went into it.”

It’s not clear exactly what size rooms Gaster means by “little venues” — 200 cap? 1,000 cap? — both would be smaller than the venues the band usually plays, but those are two vastly different sizes that would each necessitate a different show.

Assuming he means the truly small rooms, that would be pretty wild, and a cool experience for fans… but would Clutch even be able to make it profitable? A 200 cap room sold at 25% capacity, the percentage that’s often thrown around as necessary to enforce social distancing, let’s say at $30/ticket, would mean the band only gets paid $1,500. Can Clutch make that work? That’s where the idea of a residency starts to make more sense, bands performing a series of shows at the same venue in or near their home town so the expense of touring is not an issue.

Interesting times, people, interesting times. Listen to the full chat right here.

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