There is a Real Fear for the Future of Live Music in the US (And Elsewhere)

Since the shootings in Las Vegas on October 1, there’s been much discussion about the future of live music events, especially those held outdoors. This story at Pacific Standard articulates some of those fears.

I don’t know what the future of live music looks like. There’s no real way to speculate on the numbers, as concerts and festivals have seen declines for several years now, and it’s difficult to tie any of that directly to terror. It’s a constantly fluctuating industry, susceptible to a variety of factors. I know that fear will continue to loom over the prospect of live concert-going, particularly at outdoor concerts and festivals, and particularly with the revelation about Paddock’s potential plans to target other venues. I don’t necessarily miss the short-lived, youthful ignorance that allowed me to feel safe anywhere.

I imagine I will conquer my anxieties and go to an outdoor concert, and then hopefully another and another and another. I don’t know that there is anything courageous in that. After a terror attack, the country construes a return to normalcy as bravery: If the act of terror is meant to intimidate and strike fear, the very act of showing up then becomes triumphant. But I am not one to imagine that my decision to visit some venue where music is being played is an act of courage. I just want to see people dancing the way they dance when the wind catches a good note of music and blows it toward them before blowing it away, and I want to watch the darkness grow around a stage, and a band get driven to brilliance by the moon.

But I also refuse to pretend that the fear, once again looming larger than before, won’t also be there, hovering over the atmosphere.

The whole article can be viewed here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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