7/26: THE CONCERT BIZ TODAY
Concerts out there are hurting. Sure no artist is ever going to tell you this, but it is the truth. I get the calls everyday from promoters and agents looking for help selling shows big, medium and small. It’s a real issue out there right now. You may even go to a show and think it’s full, but in reality it’s not. That’s called “papering the house”, meaning giving tickets away in mass amounts just to have people in the room to make it look good, sell a T shirt or a beer. Now many have said sales are rough because “rock is dead”. However I do not believe that to be the case. In my view two words sums up the live music industry right now; OVER SATURATION. Simply put, bands are over touring to make up for the fact that almost nobody is making money on album sales. Used to be you toured to sell the album, which is where the money was made. Now it’s reverse. The album is almost the giveaway to promote a tour. But WAY too many bands are out there WAY too long, some hitting major markets three times in a year. I get they need to make money and don’t fault them, but it makes it less special when you can see a favorite band twice a year VS once every two. People simply can’t afford to pay to see all these shows and see a band so many times. As a result everyone is being more selective, and you are seeing more and more bands downsize venues, but still staying on the road. I also think peoples attention is in way too many places to make all these shows a priority. You can see in a second set lists online, audio, video, the mystique is gone. Of course the mega bands will always do okay, but don’t be fooled, the business is not what you think it is or what they project even for them. The days of a 50 city non stop US tour are rare. Bands find special events or festivals or co-headline because they can’t draw enough as a headline in arenas on their own, and those that can are charging way too much. Not sure where the solution lies but it’s something I see and hear about often. I truly do not think rock is dead, but I do think the touring world and peoples attention are so overwhelmed right now with too many options its hard to know what’s going on? Hope it works itself out because the live stage is where this music is best served, but it is an issue I hear about all the time behind the scenes. Look forward to reading your thoughts.