LIVE MUSIC IS BETTER

Welcome to the weekly article looking at the current music industry, its challenges and overall why and how SHOUT4's RevShare model works so well for the independent music industry. Written by SHOUT4 Chairman, Ric Yerbury.

Now this will be a turn up for the books for my co-founder, Alex Pilkington, finding me grabbing a line from one of his favourite artists, Neil Young, from his song ‘Union Man’. However, I am not sure that there can be a more appropriate quote to headline this article. 

The gentleman says:

‘Live music is better’ bumper stickers

Should be issued

All in favor of what he said

Signify by sayin’ “ay”

Ay!’

Well, holidays are over, the festivals are done and we are back on the chain gang again. It was a good chance to reflect on the value of live music as a driver in an industry I have loved for over 50 years. I know 50 is about right, as, in addition to the festivals, I have managed 2 gigs in a week last week including the incredible Scott Lavene and the venerable Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull.

I was 15 when I first saw Tull and it was a thing of wonder. I rushed out and bought their album ‘Stand Up’ with all my pocket money. As a point of interest that was in an ironmongers shop that had a listening booth at the back and an array of vinyl.

So with all this live music back in our lives, how do we feel about it?

Personally, some of the reaction was nervous, still uncertain as to whether it was ‘safe’. I have to say I was cautious about the tents at the festivals. Mind you according to the inestimable Charlie Steen, lead singer of Shame, ‘Covid has xxxxxx off!’ after losing his shirt and diving into the crowd.

For bands and artists like Shame and Scott Lavene, live music is an essential part of their lifeblood.  Overall the public loved the experience and seem to be thirsting for more. Note Greenman Festival selling out for next year. So pleased for them. Great festival and worthy of our support. As are many others.

Festivals however are very much the set piece of the live calendar and whilst not immune seem to come under the wider leisure budget. Hence the increase of glamping and luxury bolt-ons which, while they horrify me personally as a million miles from turning up at a festival with a sleeping bag and one pair of pants, do seem to drive a lot of business.  However, what is happening to the smaller gigs and promoters for whom I have complete admiration? Having spent time in that world, it is often a thankless exercise, driven only by the few moments of sheer joy when you find a band, promote it to an unsuspecting audience, they smash it and come back and fill the venue. Heaven. For the bands and artists themselves, they are continually being told that Tiktok and Youtube are their entry to a wider audience and that may be right to an extent. However, however, please don’t throw out the schooling that working the live circuit or ‘toilet tour’ represents. This is how you find out if your song works, who likes it and sometimes – why. You learn that this is about entertaining in whatever form. How to connect and above all experience a mutual experience of sharing your collective worlds. A very special and essential skill to nurture.

So how well is this going to go, post or part post Covid? Not well I suspect unless we work out how to fund this critical part of the artists’ career and allow the public to continue to experience that joy of discovery.

You will perhaps not be surprised to learn that SHOUT4 has some clear thoughts on this!

When we developed the RevShare platform, the obvious application was for the creation of the records themselves. Get your team to work with the artist for a much-reduced cost but reward them with a wider share of future earnings. Well, the same can apply to live music. There is a cost factor carried by artists, promoters, venues and various logistic service providers, sound, travel, lighting etc. That is why we set the platform to be able to offer these key people and businesses a share of any future revenues. So if you get a promoter, a venue, van hire business or whatever to provide their services on the basis of a future RevShare across a range of revenue sources such as recording or publishing, they all have a vested interest in the artists future success. 

All of this adds up to a re-think of the standard contracting process to enable a business that has lifelong value to sustain and prosper. More on this next time

We should not rely on the digital world alone to support the growth of the next Jethro Tull, an act that is enjoying a truly sustainable career! But if we don’t,  I can do no better than adapt one of Mr Anderson’s lyrics:

“My words (will be ) but a whisper your deafness a SHOUT”

#recordlabels #streaming #DCMS #livemusic #majors #musicindustry #music #entrepreneur #musicbusiness #contentcreator #musiclover #musicproducer #musicpromotion #independentartist #musicianlife #musicartist #musiclaw #independentartists #newmusicdealstoday #invest #technology  #money  #funding  #SHOUT4 #copyright  #retainyourrights #revshare 

Ric Yerbury

Ric has a background in music as an artist, manager, label owner and promoter. He has combined this with a career away from music as CEO within SMEs and PLCs. As the architect of SHOUT4's Revshare model he is a strong advocate for artists retaining rights and providing legal and financial solutions to the DIY market which reflect the way the world is now and not the past.

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