Phew…. Made it! Just….

I was talking to a friend the other day about putting on concerts. I was saying that since COVID, I’ve noticed something different in the way that people buy tickets. And it’s not just me – it’s other artists too.

Tickets generally don’t sell until the very last minute. Take, for example, the last live stream I ran. It wasn’t until the day of the stream that I had enough money to cover all the costs I needed to. Now, I don’t have huge costs, and yes, eventually, it was all fine. But it was a nervous lead-up to the concert, let me tell you!

For every concert that goes on, someone, somewhere, is financially covering it. They are taking a gamble. And pre-COVID, that gamble, for many, wasn’t a big issue. It was fine – about a month out from whatever gig, enough tickets had been sold, and everyone was going to get paid, and there were no gaping holes anywhere. I was fine with the little concert series that is ‘Bach in the Dark’. I loved knowing I could easily pay my musical friends, cover their travel costs, pay me too, pay my musical arrangers, buy the wine etc. But now – that’s no longer the case. It’s a nervous wait.

And it’s not just me, I know. Other musical friends of mine are having to cancel concerts. I hear that festivals are being cancelled. I know that big arts organisations are selling various different programs for fewer nights.

And I wonder why? Is it the cost of living crisis? Is it that people are sick of things being cancelled due to sickness? Is it that people have just changed how they consume live music?

I also wonder how long I’m happy to live with this gamble each concert. I might be fine, learning to deal with it. I might get sick of chewing my fingernails and nervously waiting. I might find that living dangerously is a bit fun!

And it may change – but somehow, I don’t think it will, you know….