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Bebop Spoken There

Adam O'Farrill: "Right now in my life, I don't see music as the be-all and end-all." - (DownBeat November 2020).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

Postage

12,176 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 1315 of them this year alone and, so far, 18 this month (Dec. 5).

Remembering ...

Roland Kirk died on Dec. 5, 1977.

Tuesday, November 03, 2020

SaveLive - US live music venues to be acquired by a chain?

It seems that 90% of US music venues are set to close, due to the lockdown. In response, someone has raised money to buy up the failing concerns, creating an organisation called SaveLive, which will take a 51% stake in each.

This must be a big gamble, for any investor.

However, what seems likely, in practice, is common ownership may mean the venues all become part of a national chain. This may create a national US circuit for music acts - effectively, one chain controlling nearly all live music. On the one hand, this could mean some acts find it much easier to get a series of gigs; on the other hand, music could become a lot more controlled, restricted, filtered, commodified, making it much harder for anything new and different to be heard. Musicians may also have to deal with a monopoly. (Anyone remember TOBA? Pre-WWII, it forced down black musicians' wages - Tough On Black Acts.)

The lockdown seems likely to change the future of music and there are a few different ways this could go.

In the US, it appears a large capital investor has decided this is a good moment to launch a long-term project in live music, and has backed a particular individual to organise the investment/ acquisition for them.

However, Britain might not even be that lucky - instead, we might simply see most independent music venues close forever.

The US example shows that an initiative by one or two individuals could be decisive to what happens.

Nathan Allonby

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