I just finished reading this article and wanted to share some thoughts.
When the iconic Sydney venue “The Basement” announced they would be closing earlier this year the conversation about the state of the industry was once again a hot topic. The Basement closing down, like many other venues before it is another big loss for musicians and music appreciators alike.
Like the article above (and the ensuing comment thread) there is a lot of blame going around, from fingers pointed at the state government and their lock out laws; over to un-supportive punters who are more willing to spend money at a nightclub with a DJ than to get out and support especially local bands; and further scorn goes to the “industry” that just doesn’t support live music like it used to.
One notable exception to the blame game I’ve noticed is to put some of this on us - the musicians themselves. Since starting my agency Brightside Music last year I have spoken to many well-intentioned, music-loving and supportive venue owners with absolutely terrible stories of musicians showing up to gigs drunk, poorly presented, abusive or others just not showing up at all. It’s a massive risk to their venue to put a musician in, it can ruin a night and I’ve had to talk up our musicians and assure them that should they try live music again that, this won’t happen - only some of them believe me.
I believe it’s a combination of all of the above and more - a big mess really, and even if you are an optimist and see some hope for live music you still have to agree it could definitely be better. I don’t think there is one solution for this, but I know as a musician that I can do my part as the professional to build trust back into our industry and if you are a musician I’d love for you to do the same.