By Peta Kiellor Dec.1.2008
In: Commentary, Concerts, Opinion, Other
1 comment

Where has all the music gone?

Now live music, to me in Sydney has always been great, and there has always been lots of it. But even in the past year I’ve noticed a steady downturn in not only the amount of live music that’s been going on (everyone shout – hooray economic downturn!) but also the amount of people who just don’t even seem to be keen for it anymore.

As someone who used to have a lot to do with all ages live music around the Sutherland show, I saw hundreds of kids pack themselves into a venue to watch local bands do what they do best, for a reasonable amount of money at least once a month minimum. Now, these shows have been canned for reasons beyond the promoters control and the kids just seem to have… lost it? Almost all the kids who used to come to Engadine to see bands they love would have turned 18 by now, but do I ever see any of them out at venues watching the same bands the used to love struggle to hit it in the city scene? No.

And this frustrates me.

Yeah the economy has hit the music industry hard, blah blah blah. I get that, and don’t worry it totally freaks me out too considering my dream is band management and probably promotion on the side, so I understand how hard the live scene is being hit. And then the other night I was thinking. “HOLD ON there is all these CHEAP open mic nights where bands can rock up, do their thing and you get to watch FREE” so why is the amount of people turning up slowly starting to become nothing, why are the people who show up mostly others in bands who KNOW how tough it is for everyone else?

Where are all the kids who used to shout “music is my life man!” at these days? They’re all out of school, they’re probably all working either full time or at least casually so have money. They all go out to JB-HiFi to get the latest awesome CD that everyone is raving about, they all download their favourite song for the week off lime-wire, but they’re not in the live music anymore. Why?

Because they don’t understand, that’s why.

I remember now, that the gigs around the shire weren’t just for the live music, it was a weekend out for all of us, we didn’t know about the inside of the music industry. We didn’t know that local bands make most, if not ALL their money out of live shows and that’s the only way they could keep on going on. We just went to see our friends once a week, and band we sort of liked and could feel like we were awesome wearing their shirts and claiming to have seen ‘every live show they’ve ever done’. We didn’t understand, and this is the problem now.

The way life is going, the way the economy is going, the way the music industry is going, everyone is going to do it tough and no one can rely on anyone anymore. Having a fan base of screaming 16 year olds isn’t going to help you unless you’re the latest Kid Courageous of Panic At The Disco. Bands these days need to hit it up for people who already know how shit the music industry is going. People who understand what it’s like to be in a band relying solely on how many people come to your show.

How on earth is anyone meant to make it?