Welcome to 2009!
With 2008 finally behind us, 2009 is looking up for the music scene. Please note that I am careful to single out “for the music scene.” The whole rest of our society might be crumbling but music is going to get even better this year.
As mortgages continue to fail (and I’ve seen a report that a whole ’nother round of different mortgages are going to tank too), as the stock market is in turmoil, as even our great American car companies are looking for help to avoid bankruptcy, we’re sitting pretty as music fans.
When everyone hears these stories of bailouts, it’s really hard to not think, “Well, what about me? Don’t I get a bailout?” And I’m happy to report that as a music fan, you actually do get one. It may not be financially, it may not keep your bills paid and your heat turned on, but our musical bailout package is here, nonetheless.
First and foremost, as times get tough, it’s a well known fact that people turn more and more toward art and music to help boost their outlooks. So in the short run, we can expect more shows of greater magnitude to at least give us reprieve from reality in three- and four-hour chunks.
Additionally, as long as gas prices stay low (which might not be much longer), it’s easier and more cost effective for bands to tour for longer periods of time, unlike what we saw in the summer of 2008 when bands couldn’t afford to tour to the end of their block.
But, what I’m really hoping for, is a change that all music fans will feel in their wallets. As markets continue to tank, and people seek out music and art, it’s not unheard of, or even a ridiculous notion, that ticket prices and maybe even retail prices (see CDs and merchandise) might come down too.
Now, I have an economics degree, but I don’t really use it, so to me this idea seems plausible, but I take no actual responsibility if I’m wrong … If I’m right I will take full credit, though. If a club that holds 700 people is only seeing 400 to 500 people on average, promoters and bands may begin to ponder dropping their prices by a few bucks to get more folks in the door. Stranger things have happened.
I just hope that the small independent promoters, who add so much color to the scene, can afford to keep their heads above water during these times. I’d hate to see, when all is said and done, that we’ve lost such a crucial element to the scene.
I wish you all a great 2009!
See you at the shows.