October 10- Fear and Knowledge
“Fear works best when it comes from knowledge, not terror.” Jon Markman
The MSN financial page posted a Five Minute Guide to Bankruptcy last week. Instead of investing advice, financial pages and columns are focused on extreme savings, how to cut grocery costs and prepare for what many are calling a financial meltdown. The New Age of Frugality and It’s a Great Time to be Afraid, are headlines in the news. The words global financial disaster, volatility and turmoil are shouted from nearly every news broadcast.
As Americans and indeed those around the globe, face a financial crisis of epic proportions, extra funds to have a night on the town decrease. Dinner out, parking fees, tickets to a live music performance, and dollars spent on tee shirts and cds are instead earmarked for paying rising energy costs to heat homes and fuel cars. Instead of going out, supporting live music, fans are staying home, hunkering down with music DVDs and a bottle of wine instead of attending a bar or venue.
While this scenario strikes fear in the hearts of musicians and those who work with them, knowledge of this new entertainment dynamic may encourage us to think of other ways to reach audiences and fans. Rising gas prices have resulted in rising hotel room costs, exorbitant food costs and generally raised the overall cost of doing business for touring bands. Many simply cannot afford to tour in this economic climate.
Maybe it’s time to hunker down ourselves and craft a new way of touring as we wait for better financial times. House concerts are a wonderful way to connect with fans on an intimate level and generate income. Combining day shows at colleges, restaurants and museums with night shows at bars and venues doubles your ability to make money. Teaching lessons adds to your bottom line and is a gratifying experience. Play for kids at the local elementary school and send home a sampler cd for them to enjoy with their parents. Combine your performances with a charity and create a fund raising experience for them and a profile raising experience for your music. Play for a morning church service or a youth night for tips or cds sales. Recognize there are audiences and fans OUTSIDE of bars and traditional venues.
Knowledge is power and it pays to understand the current climate as a creative challenge.