Anyone who is trying to make a living from the music and concert industries knows the struggle is real. Whether you are a band, a DJ, a singer, a producer, a manager, an agent, or anyone else involved in the production of music or concerts you have lived through the shortcomings of the industry post digital downloads. In the wake of digitalization the music business had to re-conceptualize itself and innovate ways to make a survive in an unstable and ephemeral time. As more time passes and the world becomes accustomed to digitalism it becomes more clear that concerts and tours are the “new world order” of the music industry. The real question becomes how can a band, DJ, or musician maximize its profits and minimize its costs while on the road.
Before the rise of the massive records labels and radio stations back in the 60s and 70s, touring was the best way for a performer to make money while also getting some exposure. Many smaller bands would travel to festivals like Woodstock to “get discovered”. Musicians were usually on shoestring budgets with little promotional material and would sell their tapes at those festivals to cover traveling expenses.
After the big labels established themselves, many bands no longer toured consistently throughout the year or even every year. Especially as you got more famous tours became fewer and further between. A band would only tour right before or right after releasing an album or for a special occasion like an anniversary tour. Those days are now behind us, drastic changes in the music industry alongside the emergence of high-end and affordable production equipment have drained the big labels of their omnipotent influence and dominance. The digital revolution led to the rise of platforms like Kazaa and the infamous Napster which can be considered the game-winning blow over the massive labels, obliterating their last traces of relevance. As is quite often noted, history constantly repeats itself. The backlash against digitalization has taken the form of the return to the perpetual tour as the main source of revenue and exposure for musicians worldwide.
In many ways and for many musicians the whole thing has been quite liberating, freeing them from the judgment of A&R people, ass kissing, and bureaucracy. As well as releasing them from the limitations of a label dominated market where massive amounts of cash upfront are needed to make a splash. But as mentioned earlier there are serious shortcomings, one of those being a lack of communication and centralization of information and knowledge. There is no reliable resource by and for musicians, bands, or DJs that can be used or learned from for self improvement. There is a ton of underground or unknown talent that could ascend to fame provided the right tools.
The music community has to join forces to ensure that current and future generations of musicians, DJs, and bands have the resources necessary to succeed and add to our cultural and musical history. The Tourbeat team is invested in creating the conditions necessary for that community to emerge and thrive. And so the purpose of this article surfaces; engaging real bands, DJs, musicians, agents, and managers with the end goal of compiling, archiving, and organizing stories, fun facts, pieces of advice, and strategies into a digital book, a music bible if you will, that could be used for self-improvement. Where real people can share real experiences with others while at the same time exposing themselves to larger audiences and opening themselves up for new opportunities. Contributors will be listed in the book’s overall directory with a link back to the page of choice, top contributors will be promoted and listed on Tourbeat blog, and the best of our contributors will be asked to join the Tourbeat team on the media tour promoting the digital book.
We are collecting data on the following areas mainly, but will be thrilled at any input contributors are willing to provide:
- creating “studio” quality music with little cost
- creating studio quality music outside the studio
- How Artists can now promote their music on a global scale via the internet on a small/limited budgets
- How artists Connect directly with fans through social media outlets
- Ticket sales (gigs, concerts)
- Advertising symbols (i.e. selling tweets, etc.)
- Licensing (TV, Video Games, Movies, etc.)
- Track Sales
In an age dominated by open sourcing and user generated content it seems only fitting to do a community generated guide for mastering the life of a musician and life on the road or as we like to call it, #tourbuseconomics.
Participation is not only welcomed but appreciated, please visit www.tourbeat.com/tourbus-economics to submit your content and get more information! For endless information on tours and concerts near you visit www.tourbeat.com.
Article via Lyly Villanueva