What is the deal with apathy lately? I am so tired of people being too lazy, busy or just plain complacent over things. You may be asking yourself what strikes this editorial rant? Well, It's the fact that in 2005 concert ticket sales have gone down. Yeah, maybe it seems shallow - I could be talking about world peace or gas prices - but this is our industry and in essence, our bread and butter.
This morning the Associated Press claimed that North American concert attendance declined nearly 12 percent in the first half of 2005, despite the first drop in ticket prices in a decade. In addition to that, the article claimed that fans purchased 14.5 million tickets to the top 100 concert tours from January to June (according to Pollstar), and the tours generated $730.9 million in gross receipts. This is a decline of 17.2 percent from last year. Granted, most of this pertains to big name acts, but the point is still there. For example, the average ticket price for the top 100 tours in North America between January and June was $50.27, down 6.1 percent from $53.55 last year. However, fans of bands like U2 and The Rolling Stones have no problem forking over hundreds of dollars to see them live. So the questions is, are the artists out there who are having problems just bad, or are we just too lazy to do something?
I remember when I was younger I found out more about new bands by going to shows and checking stuff out live. Yes, this was before the file-sharing days, but I think that this is still how a lot of people can find out about cool new acts. Sometimes the opening band is better than the main billing act (and sometimes not) but you don’t know that unless you go. It is important to support art, support what you believe in, and support our industry. Go to shows. If the reason that sales are failing is because there is nothing that is good then go and find a local band you love and make something happen with them. If it is because you would rather sit on your couch and eat Cheetos, then change your attitude and try to remember why you got in this industry in the first place. We are lucky enough to work in an industry where we have the power to so something about it. Change can happen. Are you willing to try?