We all love major bands and singers who top the charts with every new release, but it’s always important to remember the local musicians as well. More often than not, these homegrown artists push the envelope with each new song, experimenting in new genres and styles. The question then becomes, how do I support local musicians?
With the digitization of the music industry, it’s gotten easier and easier to access your favorite artists big and small. Streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music host a massive variety of artists and genres, meaning almost every listener can find their niche and favorite musician.
The process to be placed on Spotify or other streaming services is not so difficult, and there are many innovative musicians on the platform with only a few thousand monthly listeners. But as we all know, the large majority of these streaming services are incredibly predatory when it comes to profit, and after their record label takes a cut, small musicians are left with next to no source of income. It’s not to say you shouldn’t stream your favorite independent artists, but remember that it’s far from the best way to support them.
What then, can we do to support our favorite local artists outside of streaming platforms? There are a few obvious steps, and some less popular ones to try as well.
COVID-19 practically decimated live music scenes across the globe, and fans and musicians are still reeling from the first few lockdowns. As the COVID-19 pandemic is easing, and bands are getting back into the swing of things, one problem still stands apparent.
Though many artists are ready to play, there is simply nowhere open or available for them to perform. Half of the struggle for modern local musicians is for the venue itself. Now that so many pubs, theaters, and stadiums require licenses and some COVID-19 restrictions still linger, both bands and fans are left wondering where the next music festivals might take place.
This is where community members can play a key role in the success of full-time musicians. Of course, the first and most obvious step is to attend the live outings that are made possible. If pubs and seats are filled for these smaller performances, the managers behind the music venues are much less likely to say no to future ventures.
Write to the local leadership, attend the town halls, and make it known that live music is an important aspect of your community. Not only does it bring the locals closer together, it helps these independent musicians reach greater success and recognition. In the past decade or so, many theaters and similar live venues have been shuttered for various reasons, though the bottom line is usually due to low attendance.
The most vital act you can do to keep these venues alive is simply attend, and bring your friends with you. Let business owners know how much the local music scene means to your community.
It’s hard to support local artists and their work if you’re out of the loop. Follow your favorite bands on social media, and connect with a local music community like Tune Hoppers online. Creating a network like this will help not only you but the fans at large stay up to date on the latest events and concerts in the area.
Don’t be afraid to try new, smaller venues as well. Only supporting the same three pubs and theaters means that new locales can’t break in the scene, creating a monopoly and stagnation within your own town. Keep things diverse and lively, and most importantly, keep others up to date as well.
While some might find those concert posts on your story annoying, it is a great method of sharing info on new spots and individual artists.
At the end of the day, we are all united by our love for music both local and worldwide. Sharing this love with others and helping local musicians grow contributes to the industry at large, allowing for the development of new genres that might one day top the charts.
The beauty of live music is that everyone starts somewhere, and as local music fans, we have the honor of witnessing these new bands and musicians take their first steps into the unknown.
If you’d like to connect with a growing network of musicians and fans alike, consider following Tune Hoppers on our social media pages, and don’t forget to visit our blog for more articles like this.