Are we in a recession, or is it more than that?
By Dean McNeal
Are we in an “entertainment recession?” Most would say yes. In the past decade we have seen the drinking laws get tougher, a smoking ban inside public places, and a general economic slow-down in the entertainment business.
If you look around, there is still live entertainment going on. Mostly bands playing for the door, or karaoke and DJ’s at $150 a night, but it does exist.
As entertainers, are we thinking about the consumer, or the art? The consumers of live entertainment are filling certain venues. These are the bands and locations that have established themselves in the market. Lately, I have seen new cover bands come on the scene, and through innovation, and the use of all the tools available to them, they’ve carved themselves a respectable piece of the market, despite the established venue’s success.
Most of these bands have members that have “been around the block” and understand that you must evolve or die as a band. Some musicians are not willing to evolve, and continue to chase their glory days. which has it’s place, but if you are really doing what you love, then why worry about the money, right? Why not just play for fun?
If you work in an office setting, you have no doubt gained certain skills, including the use of available “tools”, like the computer, a smartphone, even your new coffee machine. You’ve moved on from the old typewriter, and the snail-mail of letters and documents. If not, your business is about to close it’s doors and disappear for good, and go the way of those that have gone before, without the capability to adapt to a changing business climate. Furthermore, rapt attention must be paid to your consumer’s wants and needs, lest you shrivel up and wither away.
I pose this question: “Are we in an entertainment recession, or are we simply not ready to evolve as musicians?”
I talk to bands everyday that want a shot, but strictly by their own terms. You don’t go to work and tell your employer how you’re going to do the job! You do the job the way they want you to.
Entertainers need to view their work just as they would a regular job. It can be the best job ever, but it can also be the most frustrating.
Have you asked yourself, “Am I doing this for fun, or for the money?” There is no wrong answer here, it’s a choice that we need to make if we expect to make a living at it.
Are you playing for the enjoyment of others, or for yourself? Only those musicians willing to evolve and adapt to an ever-changing market driven by the consumer’s wants rather than our own, will survive and prosper.