So, you’d like to have your benefit event at the Red Bike?
The Red Bicycle Bistro & Sushi gets bombarded with requests from people wanting to do benefits for their particular cause, so we’ve had to come up with a policy of no more than one benefit per month, if that. Any more often than that, it just gets to be too much for the regular crowd that comes to dance or just relax and not have to dig into their pockets for donations.
We know that these types of shows are not easy to organize – we know this from lots of experience. The key is that it always works best if you are well organized before the event even takes place.
Working directly with the Red Bike owners and management, we’ve come up a basic outline of how benefits work at the venue:
1. APPROACH: First off, you need to approach us with your request. Then we will review it with Wilson, the Red Bike Manager, to make sure that it meets his approval. Once we’ve done that and it’s a good fit for the Bike, the next step is to settle on a date that will work for everyone. Rarely do we do shows on a Saturday night, almost all our shows are on Friday nights – so please keep that in mind when requesting a particular date. It helps to review the Red Bike calendar on the website to see what dates are already booked well in advance. The calendar can be accessed here: http://redbicyclebistro.com/
2. FEES: When the Red Bike has benefit shows, there is no charge for you to rent the room. However, you do need to either provide door people, or pay that expense if the venue needs to provide that service. If you don’t have your own door people, let us know well in advance and we’ll try to find staffing for that. It is also the responsibility of the event organizers to cover the cost of the sound engineer for the night. We are happy to discuss what that fee is. We expect that fee to be paid to the sound engineer on the night of the show. Band/musician compensation is the sole responsibility of the event organizers – the Red Bike does not compensate musicians for Benefit shows, nor do they provide any kind of food/drink compensation.
3. VOLUNTEER CREW: You’ll need a good crew to be there the night of the show to keep things flowing smoothly. You’ll need at least 2-3 door people. You’ll need an organized Set List for the emcee (who you will need to provide). Don’t forget a money bag, change for people that pay with large bills and a hand stamp if you have one. You might be able to borrow one from Wilson if you don’t have one.
4. POINT OF CONTACT WITH BAND: Vashon Events will need to be in direct contact with any bands or musicians performing at the benefit at least two weeks before the event. We will work with them on their sound needs and be the direct link between them and the sound engineer. We’ve had too many cooks in the kitchen on this before and have found that this system always works best for everyone. Our sound engineer supplements the Red Bike equipment with much of his own if he needs to, which he almost always does. We also have a checklist of information for the band that we go over with them. If there are multiple bands, we almost always require that they share drum kits, bass amps, etc. There’s just a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that we make sure is taken care of. Please have your bands/musicians contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us their direct contact info.
5. SET ORDER: Event organizers will need to provide us (Vashon Events) with a Set Order at least one week in advance of the event so that we can go over it with the sound engineer. This should be a detailed breakdown of how the night will be organized on the stage. We are happy to discuss examples of this if you need help with it.
6. ARRIVE EARLY: The best advice we can give event organizers is to get there plenty early with your volunteer staff and put together your plan of action. We’ve often seen benefit shows where the door staff arrives too late and it becomes incredibly chaotic trying to sweep the room for the cover charge when it’s full of people. Sweeping the room before the show requires a couple of people in addition to your door coverage. We recommend doing this an hour before the event starts.
7. FRONT OF HOUSE: It is important to keep things flowing at the front of the house so that customers can come and be seated as quickly as possible. Typically, you’ll have at least two people work the front door of the restaurant – one to take the money and give change and one to stamp hands. If you only have one person, it tends to get really bogged down, which makes the customers unhappy. In addition to that, you’ll need one person at the pass-thru to the bar, but only to check hand stamps on people coming into the restaurant from the bar, or visa versa. If people need to pay and they are in the bar, we ask them go outside and around to the front door of the restaurant so the person at the pass-thru doesn’t have to deal with the money aspect. It’s also a good idea to have more volunteers available so that you can break it down in shifts so that one person doesn’t have to work the door(s) all night long.
8.MINORS: Please remember that we welcome anyone under the age of 21 until 11pm, but we absolutely cannot have minors in the venue after 11pm. We really need all minors cleared out by 10:55pm, so it’s great if someone can announce that on the stage when you’re getting close. There is no room for error on this, it’s the law. We recommend starting your event at 8:00pm – then you have almost three hours where minors will be permitted in the venue. No event may start earlier than 8pm.
9. REGULAR CUSTOMERS: If people are there to just have dinner, but not necessarily for the show….we don’t charge them the cover charge-we try to seat them in back and if they are still there when the show starts, you just check back in with them to see if they decided to stay. Wilson doesn’t want to chase anyone away who just wants to eat before the show starts. It is very important that diners that are already there just to have dinner are not hassled into paying cover.
- AUDIO/VIDEO RECORDINGS: Please note that it is a Red Bicycle policy that there is no audio or video recordings of the performance allowed without pre-approval from Red Bike management well in advance of the show. We have found that it has been too much of a distraction in the past for the wait staff, sound engineer and the people that have come to see the performances. There are no exceptions to this – it has to be approved beforehand.
- SEAT RESERVATIONS: No seats may be reserved at any of the shows at the Red Bike. Parties will not be sat at a table until their whole party has arrived. There are no exceptions to this.
- POSTER FOR THE EVENT: Final version of the poster needs to be emailed to Vashon Events no later than one month prior to the event date. We like to get the word out to the general public one month before our events, which includes putting up posters at the Bike. It must be in JPEG format, high resolution and 11 x 17 Portrait (vertical). All posters need to have the Vashon Events and Red Bicycle Bistro logos, which we can email to you. The Red Bike will print posters for the venue only – the event organizers are welcome to print more for posting around town at their expense. Vashon Events can create posters for events for a fee – feel free to contact us about this if you are interested.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in having your Benefit Show at the Red Bike. We look forward to hearing from you.
Pete Welch & Allison Shirk