Last night my band played in Oshkosh at this sweet-as-hell bar called the Reptile Palace. The bartender was awesome, the sound guy was great, our local support was lovely—but the male patrons were the creepiest I have ever encountered. Holy fuck. A guy literally sat down across from me and just leaned on the table and smiled at me without saying anything. Then asked me if I had a job, then asked if my banjo player was my boyfriend. Then there was a dude who was talking to Katie all night that would not leave her alone, despite intervention from Josh who can be pretty intimidating.
If we were in Milwaukee (and not an out of town guest of this bar and the local band), I’d have no problem telling these guys to fuck off. My problem, and I’m sad that this is a problem, is that I feel like I can’t. I feel like I have to avoid conflict because I want to leave a good impression on the people who booked us. If I’d get in a screaming match with some creepy ass regular, the bartender will remember that and it could reflect negatively on us.
Being a musician is a job without HR reps. I can’t go and complain about harassment and I can’t even deal with it the way I’d like to. I have to be courteous to people who are shitheads because I don’t want to jeopardize future gigs.