Every corner you turn, there is a flyer for a show. Up-and-coming bands do their best to get themselves out there, usually through shows in old, rundown places to a handful of people, hoping that a record producer will randomly walk in. Others seem to have more luck by being discovered in the modern age, where YouTube is the latest gold mine for brewing talents. What counterculture the 60s had is now prominent and even, ironically, mainstream.
Fans of today are more loyal to the artists they fancy, as seen in the abundance of band merchandise being sold. It is a slow start when a band does not have a series of shows to introduce themselves to their target audience, perhaps as an opening act to a more established band in the same genre or under the same management. The audio equipment hire requirements for a certain event should give you an idea of what the band does: are they a ‘boy band’ resembling The Beatles or are they more of One Direction? The differences are quite stark, but both cater to a loyal following.
The Age of Subculture
Regardless of whether they play instruments, or whether they don stylish clothes, there is a market waiting to be targeted. These days, it is easy to fall into a category, and if a band has enough people under that category interested in their music, they have a niche willing to listen.
Gone are the days of fewer but bigger shows; now, it is all about music festivals and smaller, more ‘intimate’ venues where people have to prepare mentally and emotionally to get their desired tickets. Some artists are even so highly anticipated that they have to announce the ticket selling merely hours before the show, to prevent scalpers from taking advantage, and to control the number of crowds. It spells heartbreak for those who do not get tickets, but it makes for great headlines when a show has sold out in minutes.
Music, like everything else, is evolving. Artists play their part in keeping the culture alive, though it is now hidden in plain sight.