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is live music dead

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by Ric5, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Is live music dead or just damaged in the short run

    and if you make a CD it will be bootlegged and downloaded so we won't make much money selling recordings.

    So what is the future of live music?

    I have a professional job so for me music is a hobby and I find it entertaining to play good music with good musicians.
    Artman, Ellery and The Owl like this.
  2. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    SW WA, USA
    Couple of interesting threads on rehearsal technology already in this forum, but this is enough of a different question that it's worth entertaining separately. There's a lot of uncertainty about a lot of things right now, and a lot of questions, and a lot of emotions. It's fine to speculate about what things might be like in six months or a year, or offer ideas about alternatives to playing in a room full of people. This sort of thread has the possibility of taking off in another direction, so please let's take care not to violate existing forum rules on politics, demonizing or blaming others, etc.

    Looking forward to the discussion here.
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I am trying to avoid any political pitfalls and emotional outbursts ...

    but live music right now is dead …

    will it come back to life and what forms will it take
  4. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Will bands start youtube channels? and can they make money that way?
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    In the history of things, I expect this will be a short blip.
    I suspect it takes a while, maybe a couple of years, but things will spring back.

    The 1918 flu had a big impact on performance arts, but things recovered and live theater and music performances came back.

    To close was 9/11. NY shutdown for a while. Things came back.

    There is going to be some evolution.
    I think the online jamming is going to attract musicians who can adapt. I'm impressed by what I've seen so far.
    The streaming services will figure out a way to make money - streaming access to performances. Maybe each member of a band gets their own channel stream? Who's going to buy the bass player stream? :)
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The bar band scene (both originals and covers) was in the dumpster in most towns already. I think "live" music just went digital for the most part. There will be some bars that come back and have bands again. But the were already pretty sparse before C19. They will be moreso after.... especially if this goes through the Summer.

    I'm about half convinced that my band will be a garage band after this. There weren't but two venues in our area that paid enough for us to even bother with it. And at least one of those won't make it.
  7. This is certainly a downer for live music in the short term but I don't see a major shift in the making. Fewer venues 'cause some won't survive the economic downturn. Live music has survived since..... well, since live music began. It changes, it morphs. Who would have predicted the shift away from "getting signed" thirty years ago?

    It's us. We'll get past this and move on.
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    I hope you are correct
    JRA likes this.
  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    There are worse things. I finally threw in the towel a couple of years ago and bought into just playing every Friday night at a local house jam with a crew of people I really enjoy. Little ego or pretense, a chance to teach casually and enjoy seeing late bloomers progress, and the stoke of knowing that a few really strong players might show up in any given week. And if I take a week off occasionally there's no vibe or pressure at all, and a few other bassists who are happy to get more playing time.
  10. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    I'd like to think that, at the end of all of this, people are going to be so starved for experiences outside of home that there could be a resurgence in anything that gives people an excuse to gather together. So maybe there's hope, though maybe people will get so comfortable staying home that it won't matter. From a friend's Facebook feed today:


    But I worry that some of the venues will not survive this. Lots of bands already have YouTube channels and build their following that way. I don't know if you can directly make much money from YouTube, but if you're a touring band and you're getting followers all around the world, that can't hurt ticket sales. The world will certainly be changed moving forward but it's hard to say how.
  11. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    CDs died 20 years ago. Only people over 40 own them and nobody buys them but in niche markets.
    Records generate money if you make them a beautiful object for your fans. They're not a way to get known anymore.
    People now have difficulties to focus on audio alone anyway. Even the best music only works with video support.

    Social networks are where it's at. Throw something in the air globally, it may catch up. But most of all do it locally.
    Show your music, do stupid short videos and make sure people know you, then you can think about going out.

    The original music bar scene also is dead. It is a model from the past. People can't afford to take a bet on the band playing.
    Most can barely go out once a month if they're willing to. First become known through other means, then you can go out and play.

    Rather than play bars get openings at small festivals or for better known bands on medium stages. Do private concerts with minimal setups.
    Really there are things that work. Just don't live in the past and you're fine.
  12. TuneIn

    TuneIn Suspended

    Feb 15, 2010
    Northern California
    Yes, live music is dead at the moment Captain Obvious, however as time,viruses,and people pass there will be new opportunities to try and make money from the thing you love to do as a hobby on the weekends to play good music with good musicians :thumbsup:
    sing-modulator and Admiral Akbar like this.
  13. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Not a primary source of income for anyone in the band so we're prepared for the low-dough shows if they ever re-appear. My dear departed Father was convinced I was doing okay if I made enough to take Susan to Denny's the following night.

    Some of our best gigs were the local campgrounds (TravelPark, KOA) which normally host our Canadian guests...they too are closed.

  14. 4001

    4001 Inactive Suspended

    Sep 29, 2004
    Lake County, IL
    There won't be any big gatherings of people until there is a vaccine for this Coronavirus...
    Give it at least a year....

    I suspect that nothing will change with the bar scene when things get "back to normal".
    The same drunks will want to hear the same overplayed, rubbed into the dirt 50 times over, CRAP set lists that they've heard every weekend for most of their lives....

    "Allright..."Sweet Caroline", ...make some noise!!
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Unless the world descends into an endless series of pandemics requiring regular isolation like we are seeing today, live music will come back. Will it ever again be a profession that you can raise a family on? Maybe not.

    Previous music booms had to do with social trends. The big bands of the 30s and 40s were built on the phenomenon of dance halls. Before that, there was vaudeville and music halls. In the 1960s the British Invasion and rise of the counterculture led to festivals and touring large venues. Hip hop was made possible by inexpensive recording equipment and samplers removing the need for a performer to be competent at playing a musical instrument, just a good ear was required. The EDM scene worldwide was fueled by dance clubs and festivals.

    Whoever guesses the next large social trend correctly will make a lot of money. It won't be me, I'm a senior citizen and totally out of the loop of pop culture. I don't even know what the cool drugs are any more :roflmao:
    Dave3, RSey716, stratovani and 18 others like this.
  16. Biggbass


    Dec 14, 2011
    Planet Earth
    I don't see many of the local pubs surviving an extended shutdown. Most of them seem to get by on a shoestring budget to begin with and having to close for a month or more will put them out of business.
    Smaller venues might be in the same boat.
    As for the bands, local and touring, the local bands are going to suffer more due to the local gig opportunities drying up, some completely. The touring industry will survive since most of those venues are nightly rentals and the venues themselves should be able to hold out, at least for a while.
    But if this goes on for a year or more the future of live music doesn't look very good.
    It may be time to reinvent this wheel.
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.
  17. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    It isn't dead, it just evolved. I think you are talking specifically original music since there's plenty of cover gigs available (pandemics not withstanding).

    Original music in bars has been dead a long time.
    SpyderX and Ellery like this.
  18. Low profile

    Low profile

    Apr 16, 2019
    Lx, Portugal
  19. ThinCrappyTone

    ThinCrappyTone Mostly harmless Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I fear for local, live music. Even after the plague has passed, I think a portion of the population will permanently change their habits, and as a result will be a lot less willing to mix it up with a room full of strangers breathing all over them in close quarters for entertainment. For a lot of scenes that were barely hanging on by a thread anyway, that could be a critical hit.
    Thorny1, Afc70, Ellery and 3 others like this.
  20. lbbc


    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    My band plays/played 2 local venues for little money each month. We had 4 private gigs (weddings) scheduled...we'll see if they materialize. Anyway, live music is dead for now. It may evolve into something else after the pandemic.

    Many older musicians (including myself) will probably just play or host house parties where there's no pay...but plenty of food, BYOB, and friends to jam for and with. I did that 20 years ago and had more fun doing that than anything since.
    ObsessiveArcher likes this.

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