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#3090683 03/29/21 08:11 PM
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Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

We're just getting back into touring now - have 35 dates or thereabouts booked this year and while we've been resurfacing after a year off it's been interesting talking to different techs, crew, production and backline hire companies, etc. Very fortunate here (Australia) that many people were able to keep afloat thanks to government financial support and have not disappeared to other jobs. Which means they're here now when we need them.

Nonetheless, the entertainment industry sure has taken a hit - this article shows a layer that's probably rarely considered by lay people.

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I´ve seen it coming since month !

Not touring anymore because of age and health issues,- I´ve still in contact w/ technicians (or "roadies") formerly touring world.
Not only is there a loss of personell because of there´s no solution to exist from music biz anymore ...
In fact,- even it would become "better",- it might need month, possibly years, until an established show biz we all know, might come back to life,- if at all.

Imagine a worldwide stop of "lockdown" and ALL want to go out and perform ...

LOL !

Most clubs, halls, stadiums,- even bars, will be "overbocked" quickly.
You won´t even find a location when you´ re willing to play for free,- or maybe,- you only get one WHEN performing for free.
This pandemia will continue for several years,- possibly never stops,- and all is about to adapt to that s##t.

For the old aged,- me included,- that means,- all the live work is history and we´ll have luck when surviving w/ home work.

A.C...

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"“We’ve always been the first ones to step up and do the charity concerts when disaster strikes,” Mr. Bruce said. “When the tables turned, we were just forgotten about.”

Yup.

When this whole thing started, I said my concern was that live sound people would find they made more money doing GrubHub, and would stick with gig economy jobs even after the pandemic ended.

However, consider what happens when demand exceeds supply. Maybe people with serious concert skills will be able to ask for, and get, much better wages. Also, the veterans in the industry might be able to pick up some cushy consulting gigs. Heck, there probably won't be enough guitar techs around...maybe I should get the word out in Nashville that I can make sure your pedalboard is up to spec...for a healthy fee, of course smile

Another possibility is that the guy who created the cinnamon bakery with his wife is probably having more fun, less stress, and getting to enjoy being with his wife more. He might never want to go back to the life he had before, and more power to him if he can make a go of his bakery.

And there may also be a transitional phase where streaming concerts don't go away. I saw one the other night and although the act was sketchy, the concept was not. Although I missed the social piece of a crowd, it was a far more intimate experience, where you felt much closer to the performer. They sure as hell needed a real mixer, though, and I suspect any streaming concert will.

So we'll see what happens. Ultimately, the result might be that all the people doing the behind-the-scenes work for concerts will be paid a lot more, and the performers will have to settle for buying $6 million dollar mansions instead of $14 million dollar ones.

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Originally Posted by Anderton
.... Maybe people with serious concert skills will be able to ask for, and get, much better wages....

I'm hoping this is the end result. After being full time for a while and living on the edge I have never regretted getting a day job with benefits. I enjoy being able to buy my musical toys and could never be satisfied with one instrument. A few people have looked down on me as a quitter because I went back to school, got a degree and moved on. According to some "real musicians" don't get day jobs. Maybe I am not a real musician, but I sure do enjoy my keyboards and drums and guitars and horns and basses and other instruments that my day job allowed me to buy. I play music because I enjoy it. But, I also enjoy seeing good musicians get good pay.


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So many mixed feelings and perspectives on this subject. I think Craig is right that specialized techs with good track records will be able to command much greater compensation. But it's not some sort of boon that undeserved roadies will be enjoying. I see it more as a correction of the respect and compensation that these gig-economy workers deserve for their ability/tolerance to working in a seasonal or inconsistent industry that has wildly varying cycles of feast and famine. It's also very difficult, considerably skilled, and thankless job most of the time.

I've been looking into Songbird (a friend of mine works for them) who are trying to put structure and process around delivering and archiving live concerts. This type of thing may open up some new opportunities.


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Originally Posted by zeronyne
I think Craig is right that specialized techs with good track records will be able to command much greater compensation.

I hope so. I also think that what goes up doesn't necessarily have to come down. That higher level of compensation might be the new normal and not come down any time soon...sort of the opposite of how a lower level of compensation is the new normal for magazine authors, and I don't think it's going up in the future.

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Informative article.

The Pandemic's domino effect on entertainment is varied. A few of Philly's best club date musicians are advertising themselves as music teachers to grade school kids. Anything to stay in music and earn income.

Will it ever be the way it was?

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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by zeronyne
I think Craig is right that specialized techs with good track records will be able to command much greater compensation.

I hope so. I also think that what goes up doesn't necessarily have to come down. That higher level of compensation might be the new normal and not come down any time soon...sort of the opposite of how a lower level of compensation is the new normal for magazine authors, and I don't think it's going up in the future.

The trouble with economics and laws of supply and demand is that when the supply is low and demand high, less of that "high demand" will be able to afford the higher wages that the limited supply hopes to be paid. Will concerts become more expensive? Probably. Will the guy with the van who hauls the band's gear to the bar and back get more than gas money? Probably not.

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What's a roadie?

smile

As a duo, we schlep our own gear, and we do one-nighters so I don't need a gym membership to stay fit.

Work for next season is starting to trickle in. As we get vaccinated, the seniors (our chosen market) are coming out of hibernation.

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The two gigs we've done this year so far have been blockbusters with great attendance, people were really having a great time!

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Originally Posted by Greg Mein
The two gigs we've done this year so far have been blockbusters with great attendance, people were really having a great time!

It's a start!

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My little town built a city block size park at one end of downtown. This year they added a bandstand in the corner and have booked a band a month starting in April. Going to be interesting to see how the free concert series goes and how people space out.


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Originally Posted by RABid
My little town built a city block size park at one end of downtown. This year they added a bandstand in the corner and have booked a band a month starting in April. Going to be interesting to see how the free concert series goes and how people space out.

Those kind of things usually go well. The bands are never so huge as to bring in throngs of people, but if the weather's nice, folks show up to hang out and enjoy the ambiance. The band sells some merch, and all is well.

Based on Kentucky's major cash crop, I was going to make a joke about whether people were going to be "spaced out"...but I'll refrain.

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Just some thoughts in the midst of this:

One wonders if somehow this could have a positive effect on the life of little clubs, and the bands who used to work that circuit?

Most of us will likely have read the ongoing stories about the pre-Covid "sinking markets" in the club world, all the abuse with "pay to play" and such...
What if the pent-up isolation of people would help get new music bars/open mics/coffee shops back on the map, but in good ways, with decent fees, and with both musicians and guests who are grateful to be out doing it again?

Some of you here may have played these circuits, if so, what do you think? Could the psychological impact of all of this have a benefit in this regard?

C.

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Originally Posted by Claus H
Just some thoughts in the midst of this:

One wonders if somehow this could have a positive effect on the life of little clubs, and the bands who used to work that circuit?

Two song titles come to mind:

"You Don't Miss Your Water (Til the Well Runs Dry)" by William Bell, and covered by many others
"You Don't know What You've Got (Until You Lose It)" by Ral Donner

I wish that would be the case, but there are still some issues that won't go away.

* City ordinances about entertainment can be quite restrictive in terms of parking, insurance, fire laws, etc.
* Also...money. There's a sports bar in town that used to have live music on Friday and Saturday night. It was popular, and people liked it. But the bar decided to stop, because when people came to hear music, they sat down and stayed, so there was less turnover of people coming in to eat. I would think that having people sit and drink all night would be pretty profitable, but apparently it's not as profitable as turning over tables for dinners.

What may happen is more possibilities for smaller acts in smaller places - like singer/songwriters, duos, DJs, etc. I guess we'll find out...

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We are getting bookings for next winter season already. So things are looking up.

We played a restaurant one day per week for 12 years before COVID, from 1 to 4 PM. It is outdoors on the Indian River Lagoon, with a state park across the water. Perfect location.

The people sat and drank, the tables didn't turn over, but they had business in the 'dead time' when there was usually none. I don't know if the new owners will continue that. If not I'll approach another spot. We made the place more than $3,000 in those 3 hours during peak season. That's not bad during the dead time.

It only works in the winter when the Retirement crowd is spending the summer in Florida.

We abandoned the clubs in the early 1990s to play private parties for the retirement set. Until COVID-19 came, they never let us down. We had to turn down work to take an annual vacation. One-nighters pay as much as a half-week in a club, but you do have to schlep equipment for every gig so including set-up time the hours are longer. But that's OK with us, 2-3 days average is better than 6.

Plus it's getting difficult to compete with sports bars, karaoke, comedy night and those *%#@ open mic nights. We have open mic nights 7 days a week around here in various clubs. But that's another rant smile

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