These are disconcerting times for the club scene in Toronto. Venues are closing and clubs are being pushed out of their spaces. Meanwhile, the low Canadian dollar makes it tough for promoters to bring foreign-based events like the Vans Warped Tour into the country. Clearly a new approach is required.
Enter Stranded Fest, a DIY punk-themed series of shows that seem to have figure out how get people away from their phones and video game consoles and to a gig. Vanessa Markov has this in Medium.com.
With local venues dropping like flies and major festival tours quietly stepping over Toronto like a dead body, our live music community is all but a post-apocalyptic wasteland — the last gasps of life reflected in the obliterated spirits of bushy tailed bands who can’t seem to catch a crowd, exasperated promoters who swear this bill is a hit, and the tired, condescending memes that really want you to SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC.
Held hostage by dated tactics, small scale promoters and bands alike have never been more confused or frustrated about how in the hell they’ll ever get anywhere if people just aren’t showing up to a show worth appreciating. What’s dead is the approach, not the scene.
The times that thrived on quarter page flyers has long since lost its last battle, but amid the chaotic cries of self-proclaimed scene prophets and complacent shrugs of embittered glory-days-gluttons exists an audience of bored but eager music lovers patiently waiting for something to get excited about. The question is, how does one get excited about all 28 Facebook event invites that generically rattle off unknown names for this month alone? Boredom by saturation, if you will.
It’s Marketing 101: The live music market is flooded. And a flooded market thins out demand which, thereby, scatters and exhausts consumers ability to pay attention. Maybe this is common knowledge, maybe it’s not. But one thing is for sure, no one has really acted on it.
Enter Stranded Fest.