“If you play it, they will come…” / The Pub of Dreams Effect: Part III

Music of the 21st century is having a Field Of Dreams effect; pubs are no longer the stepping-stone outlet from zero-wannabe to stardom; physical promotional-platforms are being replaced with digital, immaterial arenas. Days of the pub concert are not entirely dead, though – the restrictions placed on venues are an unavoidable, necessary evil [*Shane Homan Cultural Industry or Social Problem].  Pokies and their vegetative-punters are just a coincidental disease. Instead, opportunists like The Corner Hotel, or deliberately re-fitted halls like The Palace, have amalgamated their bars with their stages to create hybrid, multipurpose venues. This specialisation offers both up-and-coming and fully-fledged artists a supplementary, physical promotional-platform where eager fans can see them live instead of onscreen.

Ray Kinsella’s (Kevin Costner) epiphanic revelation “If you build it, he will come” fittingly encapsulates this mindset. Bands are attracting a niche, alternative crowd to their live gigs, purposely drawn by a band’s online-cred, charisma and previous appearance. In turn, smaller, less recognised artists tail along as side-acts, vouched by their main-affiliates. Acts like The Middle East and The XX, touring at The Corner Hotel, sold-out within days of their announcement. In effect, the aforementioned phrase should be tweaked accordingly: “If you play it, they will come…”

But this is all co-independent with a band’s popularity online. Indie artists especially, have to think outside the box concerning their income. It’s not enough to simply have a home-page – though, this might still centre as a band’s base of operations. It’s interconnection through sites like Soundcloud and Last.fm – to name a few – are the bread-winning outlets. Sample-tracks and free-downloads frenzy into online cults. Accidentally/Purposely leaked albums only add fuel to the fire. These online cults then fastidiously hunt for band-related paraphernalia, and eventually stumble across their home-page, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook accounts. Subsequently, they launch their cults into a whole new realm of eager followers tracing a band’s every movement. All the while, sharing amongst themselves, converting as they go. These cheap, maintainable portals then allow a band to focus on their tours – their main source of income. Gigs are suddenly no longer reserved solely as promotional-platforms, but as makeshift businesses selling home-made CDs, T-Shirts (even Frisbees) for an already well-established fan-base. And the band has barely lifted a finger…

Continued Part IV

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~ by enantiomorphicgod on July 6, 2011.

One Response to ““If you play it, they will come…” / The Pub of Dreams Effect: Part III”

  1. […] Continued Part III […]

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