Colorado Music-Related Business|

Photo: Musicians Contact musician | By Sterling Howard, Musicians Contact | I constantly read articles stating that since most musicians are making less money from their recorded music these days, more and more of them play at festivals. This applies to older established acts as well as fresh upcoming ones. For decades, bands played live shows primarily to promote their recordings. Touring around to festivals today might include some hassles, but in the long run it will always benefit the artist AND the public wishing to see them in the flesh.

Facts show that attendance at music festivals from small to medium to large are on the rise, and this was happening even before Covid. The large ones are attracting more superstar names, along with huge corporation sponsorships never seen in the early days. Just compare the first roster at Coachella in 1999 to their current lineup! Over 32 million people attended at least one music festival in the U.S. in 2022, and half of those fans were millennials. But since the 90’s, attendance in clubs has dropped.

Could the smaller club scene eventually benefit from this increased festival success? It seems in the old days of giant rock extravaganzas, the same people who attended these concerts were also the same people who went out to clubs, but that may not be the case today.

I’m hoping that a general resurgence in club attendance will grow as a result of increased visibility at festivals, which will allow these bands to have continued success in smaller venue circuits where they can perform more consistently BETWEEN their festival dates, especially during cold weather seasons. And this will help all of the lesser known support acts as well.

Maybe now that more fans are seeing their favorite artists at a festival, they will want to see them again in a more intimate setting. Can the increase of festivals spark a gradual club attendance revival?

Your thoughts?

COMBO Newsletter Editor Barb replied to Mr. Sterling: I will be running your article in this week’s COMBO newsletter as I found it very thought provoking.

I just wanted to say that I “grew up” in a nightclub called Bangles in Denver in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The club was on the regular tour circuit for up & coming ’80s bands like Metallica, Motley Crue, Steelheart, and so many more. One thing that really, really, really helped their attendance was that it was THE PLACE for bands to go after their concerts at the big stadium venues. Everyone knew that, if you wanted to meet the band guys in person, you went to Bangles! I remember, in particular, one night when the bands Queensryche, Ozzy, and their openers went to Bangles (minus Ozzy). The venue firecorded for 650 but was packed with 800 fans — and the fire & police departments! 😉

Such FUN!

So the point of my story is — The big band boys no longer go to a local club after their show (well, maybe the local strip clubs like the Diamond Cabaret and Shotgun Willie’s). Of course, the sad part is, there are no “clubs” that hold more than a handful of people to go to. The only one that meets that standard is Herman’s Hideaway (500) and it is close to Ball Arena. Having the big boys stop by for a few minutes sure would help out the little guys a whole lot!

Photo: Musicians Contact Photo

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