Fortune favours the live entertainment bold
THERE'S plenty of competition in the Coffs Coast entertainment business, with just about every live venue trying to eke out an audience.
While some establishments are the flavour of the month for some time, the ebb and flow of attendance tends to cycle between all the pubs around the city.
The business of forking out the big-dollar figures associated with better-known touring acts can be a gamble for any venue or promoter.
Clashes with other events, overestimating the local interest in a group and even the weather can bring below- par audiences that struggle to even pay an artist's fee.
It's into this environment that James Evans' Fortune Productions is steering entertainment at the Coffs Hotel in a new direction with the focus on more live music and less DJs.
Having gigged around the coast for years, Evans headed south to be part of the music culture of Sydney.
With his band Beggars Orchestra, he played heaps of venues around trendy inner suburbs.
Now with a tonne of experience under his belt, Evans has come home to Coffs to try to contribute back to the local scene that originally gave him a leg-up.
He's proud to be supporting local bands like battle of the bands winners The Watched and young up-and-comers Smash Mystery.
"I have the local scene to thank for my love of live music, both booking it and playing it," Evans said.
"I was given opportunities by local promoters that I will be forever grateful for, including supporting some of my favourite bands.
"A lot of the music industry is who you know and I have been lucky enough to know the right people that helped me to get to where I am today.
"If I can be of any help to local bands I will have done my part."
Evans has been behind a raft of improvements to the Coffs Hotel's audio system in the back room.
"The Coffs Hotel is a great live-music venue run by locals who are keen to support the music scene and bring entertaining live bands back to Coffs Harbour.
"You'll find live music every Friday and Saturday night there - everything from great cover bands playing the songs you love, to local, national and international bands on the recently upgraded band room."
His fellow band members are still in Sydney, but Evans is bringing the band together for a show on Friday at the Coffs Hotel.
"Beggars Orchestra prides itself on its live show," Evans said.
"It's what we do best."
Shepherd kicks off at 9pm along with happy hour, and Beggars will follow.