Skipper's Showcase Nite is a monthly opportunity for acts new to the Skipperdome stage to show us what they've got and be evaluated regarding suitability for future gigs at Skipper's and elsewhere. Performers will be evaluated in terms of material/presentation, ability to draw and hold a crowd as well as compatibility with Skipper's long-established and easily-researched musical history. There's certainly nothing wrong with crowd-pleasing bar bands playing familiar by-the-book rock/blues/country covers but there's plenty of other places in town for that. What we're looking for are bands that do something different and unique.

Being a Tuesday and all, we don't expect you to pack the place out to its 700+ capacity but we DO expect you to promote the gig to the best of your ability and then blow us away when you hit the stage.

Attendance to shows in the Skipperdome is limited to those 21 and up OR accompanied by a parent and the same applies to performers.

Here's some FAQs.

1. Start times
Set times are 8 - 8:45, 9 - 9:45, 10 - 10:45. Three slots, 45 minutes each with 15 minute turn-around between acts. Skipper's may be unique amongst Tampa live music venues in that we actually run shows on time, crazy as that may sound. 7:30 actually means…wait for it…7:30. Whoa! And a 45-minute set means just that. Don't be the jerk that plays over their allotted time and bogarts the next band's start time. That's pretty much a guarantee not to be asked back and to have your name cursed for all eternity.

2. PA/backline
Full PA is provided, just need to bring your backline. We STRONGLY encourage the showcasing bands to talk/email amongst themselves and work out sharing of gear like guitar amps, keyboards, drumkits and bass rigs as the sound tech will surely appreciate it and it'll speed up the changeover. Here's a link to the production specs for Skipper's:

3. Load-in
You can load in your gear starting at 5PM. When you arrive, identify yourself to the Manager-On-Duty who will go over your set times and issue you your food/drink tickets (see below.) Then introduce yourself to the soundman (who arrives at 5PM) and let him know what you've got and what you need. The soundman will arrive at 6PM to mic up the first band; everybody else will line check on-the-fly but fear not, we've had the same sound company here for, like,14 years so they've got it dialed in. ASAP, please send an email with your instrumentation/vocals/stageplot and any special input needs (DIs, mics for horns, etc.) so we can give the soundman a heads-up.

4. Guest list/merch/etc.
Our standard guest list policy is one per band member, excluding credentialed members of the media - if you've got them coming, just let us know prior to day-of-show. If you've got merch to sell, we have a nice area for that and you keep all the money but you'll need to provide your own selling person. Skipper's (the music venue part) is 21 and up so all patrons must be 21 or older with ID or accompanied by a parent; same for performers. We have a zero-tolerance policy with regards to controlled substances on our property. Violation of this is grounds for immediate ejection from the premises.

5. Band hospitality
Each performing band member gets $16 in Skipper's food/drink tickets, good for food or adult beverages. After exhausting you food/drink tickets, you get the 25% employee discount on furhter purchases. Soda, tea and water are free to performers. PLEASE IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS A PERFORMER WHO'LL BE PAYING WITH BAND TICKETS BEFORE YOU PLACE YOUR ORDER. Otherwise, the closing manager has to void the ticket at close and that's a needless PITA. Honestly, the food here kicks ass. Generally, the kitchen is open until about 9PM on Tuesdays so if you're playing one of the later slots, either eat early or tell the hostess to write "last ticket, to go" and they'll make your food last (duh) and pack it up to-go.

6. Stage volume
Maintaining a reasonable stage is essential as Skipper's is an open-air venue surrounded in an increasingly residential area. The soundman cannot exceed 90 dB the FOH position so a humane stage volume allows the soundman to build a killer mix of your band out front, which in turn allows the audience to hear your performance at its best. If you're too loud on stage, we'll tell you to turn down…once. It is STRONGLY recommended that any guitar amps be placed be placed at the side of the stage and pointed sideways. We have a monitor system with four mixes, EQ'd very nicely so we can give you a great monitor mix.

7. Money
The admission prices is $5 to encourage the casually curious. Children under 10 accompanied by a paying adult are free. Admission to the Skipperdome is 21 and with ID or accompanied by parent, meaning under 21 can come provided they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Cousins by marriage thrice removed does not count, fr'instance.
The sound company graciously gives us "low dough pricing" for Showcase Nites.
If attendance totals 100 or less, $100 comes off the top and then the take is split 70/30 with performers/venue.
If attendance totals 101 or more, $200 comes off the top and then the take is split 70/30 with performers/venue.
Simply put, the more peeps everybody brings, the more everybody makes. Go team!
FYI, 90% of the shows here at Skipper's - locals, regionals and nationals - are door deals.

8. Promoting the gig
Email, call, go door-to-door and tell your peeps you've got a show at Skipper's. Woohoo! We'll create a Facebook Event via Skipper's Facebook Page and send you the link. Blast it out to your Friends then go make new Friends and invite those new Friends. (We're big fans of Facebook.) We can arm you with 4-up flyers and 11x17 color posters for the show free-of-charge - just let us know how many you need.