7 Reasons Why You’re Seeing Less Touring Bands
Have you noticed there doesn't seem to be as many shows in your neck of the woods anymore? it's not your imagination.
Touring for bands seems to be almost a thing of the past. So why has it slowed drastically? Let's have a look.
Sorry kids, Lars was right. He was always right. Stealing music kills music. Bands used to tour to promote their latest album which would go on to fund further efforts. It's tough for a lot of people to reconcile that they themselves had a hand in this, but they did. Do you think McDonalds would stay open if everybody just took the hamburgers for free? Musicians and their supporters have to pay real money to a myriad of people to make an album. If no ones buying them, what's the point in touring to tell everyone about them?
Touring will beat the life out of you. Yeah, sometimes it can be a wonderful, bonding experience that creates great music, but there comes a time when your body just physically can't handle living in a van anymore. Bumpy rides, bad food, all that time chasing asphalt really adds up on your body. Heck, just think of yourself after a long car trip, now think of that ever dang day. If you don't move up, you just move out of the game.
It's not your imagination, due to a lack of cash to keep the creativity going, a lot just turn to something else. Musical tastes change too. Now is not the greatest time to be a rock hustla, on any level, so only the truly driven are still out there. It's crazy to think that the best artists out there may be the ones that never even go into the music business because there is little hope of them making a living.
Giant festivals have replaced a lot of your hometown shows. Why should an act go through the grind of touring if you'll come to them? Then there's the added bonus of playing to a sea of people instead of just a handful. Finally, a lot festivals have a lock-out clause that does not allow them to play surround areas for a certain amount of time, thus protecting thier draw at the festival.
There are a million great excuses to not go out to show, so many that I'd feel dumb naming any one of them. It takes a lot of people to make any show a profitable venture and if the crowds aren't there, the shows dry up. There's a lot of technology out there that people mistake for having a life and thus they miss the real joy in a killer night out at a show with friends.
I kind of combined these two bummers. Sadly a lot of older rockers are reaching an age where they die a natural death, or the things they did when they were younger are killing them. Tom Petty played a mere 44 shows on his last tour, but it's bigger than that. That's 44 chances for the opening acts to be exposed, 44 chances for someone in the audience to be inspired to make music, 44 chances for someone to say, "that was fun, let's go to another show" and so on.
I find folks complaints about venues and drink prices around here to be so completely laughable. It's insane. Act like you've been somewhere and you've done something. I saw an add for a rock show on my feed the other day and the club's "specials" for that night included $15 rum and Cokes. Yeah, just one rum and coke for $15. They are basically charging theater prices for booze. So, you want nicer venues/clubs? Quit bitching about drinks that are less than $5.
This leads us to the fact that if the venue isn't making money, they aren't going to book the bands. Of the bands they do book, you can bet that the club owners know whether their crowd is a "drinking crowd" or not. There are a lot of up and coming bands right now that can fill a club, but can't sell a drink, so the club owner will not rebook them.