Why Live Music Attendance is Failing

I was recently talking to a friend of mine concerning the state of attendance of live music not just in our town but in other places in the country as well. It seems as though attendance to “band” shows is down. Singer-songwriter performances have always had the “correct” number of attendees, in my opinion, because of the way the singer-songwriter system is set up. Usually, one books a singer-songwriter in a restaurant or private venue; one or the other. Because of this, attendees either ignore or enjoy the performance. That being said, this post is not concerned with the singer-songwriter. So, let us not count that style of music in the discussion.

My aim, however, is concerned with “band” music. I have seen quality musicians and singers with quality songs struggle. My question and frustration (as I know is theirs as well) is ‘why’? Why the heck are these talented people struggling to captivate and, more importantly, keep an audience? Their performances are good. Their talent is good. Their delivery is good. So, why?
My conclusion, which I will express in a moment, comes from simple evolution. Do we as a society remain stagnant biologically and spiritually and technologically? No. We evolve. So, then, why is the “band” idea remaining the same? We should evolve this! How? Creativity. Learn from the past, but don’t stay in it. People are incredibly bored with the “band scene”. Believe me, I am. I don’t want to go see a band play. I don’t.

Now, I am in no way saying, “People are bored. Let’s make them ‘unbored’.” No, no, no. I’m rather saying. Get creative. Get weird. I have been loving folks like The Flaming Lips, James Blake, and Astronautalis as of late. Why? I mean, The Flaming Lips are old. They’ve been going at this for a while. So, why am I captivated so much by them? Because they are weird. Because they are creative. They don’t stay in the box. James Blake & Astronautalis: they don’t stay in the box, and they are on constant mission to create.

So, my conclusion: The “band scene” cannot and will not captivate unless they first create. Think I’m wrong? Apply this and prove me wrong! Please! I believe I am correct, but I want to see if I am. There is a difference between ‘I was inspired by’ & ‘I created’. Create! Just as you were created, create! Evolve! I believe we will see a shift in numbers, captivation, and loyalty in live music attendance if the change & evolution is made.