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The Decline of Small Live Music Venues

There has been a lot said about the slow decline of small live music venues on social media recently, this got me thinking as to why so i decided to look into the situation a bit deeper. I spoke to a few pub landlords in the area where i live, at this point i will say there are very few pubs and clubs that host live music in my local area. One landlord was totally honest and admitted the breweries didn't like paying for the license and tie that in with the space a band take up there is less room for paying customers, i suggested that if the band were good then surely more people would come along and the pubs profits wouldn't suffer. Apparently this is not the case, quite a few pubs have regular customers going else where if they have a band playing.

So it seemed i had my answer, or so i thought. I decided to get an opinion from a couple of local bands as well, just to balance it out.

The first band i spoke with are an all male four piece band who do mostly covers of classic rock songs, they admitted that the lack of venues is a big problem and the quite often have to travel a fair distance to play a live set. The second person i talked to was a drummer from a five piece symphonic rock band, he confirmed that travelling to venues was a problem but for them as a band it went deeper than that. He explained that two years ago they were asked to headline a small one day festival organised by the county council, since then the vocalist and lead guitarist have pretty much given up on playing pubs and clubs. The female vocalist seems to have adopted the attitude of "we played a festival so we are above playing local clubs anymore" For this reason the band have only played two gigs since.

Now i am not saying all bands are like this but when you think of the amount oif festivals each year and the various stages at these events i can see why some would have that attitude. The Monsters of Rock used to be a one day thing with one stage, now its a weekend gig with several stages. The same could also be said for The Ramblin' Man Fair as well, to my knowledge there are three stages at that event.

So in conclusion and this is only my opinion i think the decline of small venues is mostly due to plain old economics , but in some cases the attitude of the bands as well.

The Reverend.

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