Tom Hefter, a big dog at Ticketmaster, guested on our Music Biz 101 & More radio show last week and showed off his large brain. We talk a lot about data and tech and ticketing. If you didn’t listen, you were hopefully pinned down by those wild dogs in your neighborhood. Glad you got away to read this.
In politics this past week, there was a lot of press about the trade war going on between our current administration and China. We raised tariffs on them and they said they were going to do the same to us. The concept is punishment. We charge a tax on their goods entering the country, making them more expensive, therefore (hopefully) lowering demand for those goods and therefore (hopefully) harming the economy of the other country and forcing them to negotiate from a point of weakness.
When the other country does that to us, you hear about those who get hurt. It trickles down quickly to farmers and manufacturers, who have less money now. So it keeps trickling to banks who don’t want to lend (because it’ll be harder to get their money back) to distributors who sell to the farmers to the sandwich shop that sees less lunch traffic because the farmers don’t have as much cash to buy a sandwich at noon, to the suppliers of the sandwich shop, who now have excess inventory and lower sales, to their families and their churches and other places of worship who get lower donations, and on and on and on.
Do you understand that concept?
The Rolling Stones announced on Thursday rescheduled dates for a U.S. tour they had announced months ago. There were probably more than a few heart attacks after Mick Jagger had to have heart surgery back in April. The plan had been for the tour to open in Miami on April 20th and end on June 21st in Chicago. With the rescheduling, the tour now begins in Chicago on June 21st.
Rescheduling a tour is a gift to those who had signed on to work for it. There will still be work. But when a tour is cancelled, do you ever think about the long line of people affected? We can list them:
– The band
– The manager
– The agent & agency
– The promoter(s)
– Ticking company
– Record label
– Streaming services (less demand for the music; fewer streams)
– Supporting musicians
– Guitar/Drum techs
– Tour manager/Tour Accountant
– Production manager and crew
– Sound engineer and crew
– Lighting crew
– Runners (the almost-interns who “run” to do errands for the crew or band)
– Union workers (for union venues) who load/unload everything
– Backup dancers/Choreographer
– Personal masseuse
– Nannies if kids were coming
– Box office workers
– Merch person/people
– Venue workers selling booze and food
– Caterers for the band
– The food/drink suppliers for the caterers
– Parking lot attendants
– Truck drivers getting everything from Point A to Point B
– Hotels that were going to house band/crew
– Gas stations that would fuel the trucks
– Any entity that would receive advertising money
– Oh yeah, the fans
Do you see how many people and organizations are touched by a tour cancellation?
The list is probably incomplete. Can you think of anyone else who gets hurt?
The point is, as an artist gets bigger and bigger, their live shows employ more people, directly and indirectly. Take away those shows and you’re hurting a mini economy constructed around the tour.
So when you hear about any tour that ever gets moved or cancelled, think for a moment about all of the casualties of that action. Unless all of these folks can get work somewhere else (and many times, it’s too late in the season to jump on another tour), and since there is no government bailout to reimburse those who need the reimbursement, the ending is not a happy one.
Other Readings For You:
Thanks for the link, Dr. Esteban!
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Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music & Entertainment Industries and Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too). Your favorite professor is also co-author (with Dr. Steve Marcone) of Managing Your Band – 6th Edition. Reach him at PhilpD@wpunj.edu or find him on LinkedIn HERE. The WPU Music & Entertainment Industries program is ranked one of the best by Billboard Magazine. Don’t believe us? Click HERE for truth!