We love what we do and who we work with. That’s why we want to celebrate the people we serve by highlighting what they do and what makes their venue so great. We spoke to Mike Abrams, Production Manager at World Café Live, for this “Coffee and Conversation” feature.
Q. What does a day in the life look like as Production Manager at World Cafe Live?
A. Most days I spend emailing followed by some emailing. Then Excel, email, and a little more email. Once the band loads in early afternoon, I email, assist with backstage setup and sound-check. By the time doors roll around, I’ve done quite a bit of emailing, a little bit of listening to the music, and finish the night off with some last minute emails.
Q. What is your favorite part of that position?
A. While I’m an audio engineer and production tech by birth, I like to stay organized and know all details about the show. From basic info to minute details, if someone has a question about the show I should know the answer if I’m doing my job well. EventBooking helps me keep track of those details if they’re not in the front of my mind. I have access to all information—past and future.
Q. How did you get involved in the industry?
A. As most audio guys did, at some point you decide to trade in your Marshall half-stack and guitars for some microphones and studio monitors. Behind the scenes is where I belong. I worked for a live event production company for 6 years specializing in corporate audio, video, lighting, and staging. I was moonlighting at Word Café Live as a part-time engineer before being offered the Production Manager position.
Q. What do you love about your venue?
A. We do the full spectrum of music genres. Folk and Americana to R&B and soul, indie rock, jazz, country…you name it. However, we don’t do the extremes…no death metal or gangsta rap. Our crowd is a “listening” crowd and usually comes for dinner and a show, as a lot of our events are partially seated.
Q. What makes World Cafe Live unique?
A. Hmmm…better to ask what makes us similar to other venues. Because there isn’t a lot. Not only do we have two rooms at each location (Philadelphia, PA & Wilmington, DE) we do concerts, private events, corporate functions, kid’s shows—too many to list. We book (for the most part) seven days a week, year round. In Philly alone, we have between 800-900 events per year if you were to add up every listing in EventBooking. We also have a great partnership with WXPN radio station. While they are a non-profit radio station that shares a building with us—a for-profit concert venue, we do a lot of collaboration with them. Live broadcasts, including online video streaming, take place on our stage at least 1-2 times per week.
Q. How does EventBooking affect your work day?
A. Without it, I go home. All production information (stage plots, input lists, band riders, contracts, etc.) is stored with the event listing. Production schedules, hospitality orders, and day sheets are all pulled from the database to be printed day of show.
Mike, thanks for letting us get to know you and World Cafe Live a little better. It’s an honor to serve you!