I recently read this post on Jeff Liles' Facebook page. For the newbies to the local music world, Jeff Liles has to be one of the most influential people within the music community. In addition to his musical contributions (most notably Decadent Dub Team and cottonmouth, tx), he currently books acts at The Kessler Theater. For those who haven't been to a show there yet, the venue itself is gorgeous. The building has been restored just enough to clean up the look of the place while doing nothing to overly modernize the look. As for booking, Liles' taste is first rate.
But I'm digressing here. Back to the real purpose of the article...
I'm reposting what his words, and I want you, my readers, to contribute your thoughts on the matter. While I know those reading the article are most likely going to be people who do support live music (and probably on a regular basis), it might be nice to get some insight into what factors play a part in deciding a show. Please email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll make sure your thoughts are passed on to Liles. And while he says to answer just one question, personally I recommend answering as many questions as you feel like.
(On a separate note, feel free to send your requests to this week's Lucky Thirteen playlist to that address as well)
Now, onto his post...
What would it take to get you back in the routine of supporting live music on a regular basis?
I read a recent research survey yesterday that reflected the average person goes to less than one live music performance a year.
As a young person I attended at least two shows a week, sometimes as many as three or four. I realize that ticket prices have gone up, that there are far more artists now flooding the marketplace, and there are many more cheaper diversions available as entertainment options.
On the other hand, a sports venue is an entertainment destination as well. The Dallas Cowboys are now 1-6 and it goes without saying that the next time they play a home game, over 75,000 people will pay over a hundred bucks each to watch them lose. That's loyalty to the point of ridiculousness.
When was the last time you paid over a hundred bucks for a concert ticket? When was the last time you went to a show and walked away feeling like a loser, like you just wasted your money? The Cowboys have won exactly one playoff game in the last 14 years.
Live music doesn't suck that bad. Where is your loyalty and commitment to it?
I have a few questions, and I'd like you to just pick one and answer it. I really want to get to the bottom of this.
What would it take to get you to fall back in love with live music?
When deciding whether or not to attend a show, do you take the venue into consideration, or will you go see your favorite band just about anywhere they happen to play? Have you ever not gone to a show just because it was at a venue that had inferior sound or production, expensive drinks and an unfriendly staff?
Would you rather see an artist in an intimate setting, or outdoors as part of a larger festival?
What motivates you to buy pre-sale tickets? is it the fact a show might sell out or is it to get a better seat? Do you often wait until the last minute to decide whether or not to attend a show? Does the weather ever affect your decision?
How much does parking factor into your decision making process? Is free parking an incentive or are you unbothered by having to pay five or ten bucks to park your car?
Did the ban on indoor smoking a few years back translate to either encouraging or discouraging you from going out to see live shows? Was that the last straw or did it make you want to go out more?
Are you afraid of getting a DUI or DWI? Would some sort of shuttle service encourage you to get back into a regular routine of supporting live music?
Are you at all interested in hearing an artist that you've never heard before or are you only motivated to see an act that you are totally familiar with? Are you open to different styles of music that you may not have ever been previously exposed to?
Have you ever decided to attend a show based purely on something you read in a newspaper or blog? Do the local music writers in Dallas have the same amount of credibility as, say, your friends who spread information via word of mouth?
I know this is all a lot to think about, so just pick one question and discuss your personal perspective.
It's important to me that our local music community exists as more than just a curious diversion. I think it's time we revisit the things that we love, but take often for granted.
Very few musicians these days can actually make a living doing what they do. I want to see us get back to a place where our local music community has a viable economic footprint within the context of our cultural landscape.
If you can help me out here, feel free to speak your piece.