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High land prices are a big hamper to improvised live music venues (i.e. bars, nightclubs, juice bars, church conversions vs. theatres, arenas and ballrooms.) A lot of live music is designed for these ILMVs and people hoping to make a living off of hosting a stop on any of these circuits is going to run in the problem of high rents. I have noticed in Edmonton that Old Strathcona has been seeing less music venues. New ones are popping up along 99th street (Sugar Foot Ballroom) or near Argyll ( Fiddler's Roost.) I know the best metal club is located quite far near the NW industrial parks. The rents in these areas are lower than along Old Strathcona but are less serviced by public transit.
 

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They might be killing live music to some degree in urban centres - hadn't really thought about it. Though I suspect that the fact that every square inch of land is being turned into condos is a bigger factor.

I think that the place to be with live music is in the rural centres. Those communities of 15,000 or more that are the hub for a larger geographical area. All of those communities have music halls and community halls and you can sell 250 tickets at $25 apiece and the band can walk away with a couple grand. Or a couple of bands can get together and share the night - less money, but more audience. Takes a bit of organization, but it seems to work well.
 

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I don't think so. In contrast, I rather think festivals contribute to new music discovery, and in my particular case, absolutely renewed my interest in live music which I had forgotten for a couple of decades. And I am definitely listening to artists now that I had no idea even existed before, solely due to festivals I've attended (primarily blues).
 

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We have three major festivals in the Ottawa region (Bluesfest, Amnesia, Cityfolk) that bring a lot of rock/pop acts to one location in a condensed period, but also a bunch of smaller festivals (Westfest, Tulip Festival, et al). I haven't been to any of them for a while, so I may be talking out of my hindquarters here. But it strikes me there can be several different consequences of such festivals, which may not be entirely mutually exclusive, but operating simultaneously.

1) Seeing a lot of major acts in a concentrated period whets one's appetite to see/hear more, and makes any "dead periods" between festivals stick out more and foster a craving for live music.
2) Seeing a lot of major acts in a condensed period wears the listener out and makes them appreciate those periods when they can just kick back with quiet evenings that don't involve lineups and long waits, or having to eat food standing up.
3) The ticket prices for seeing lots of major acts in a short period eat up a lot of disposable cash (I don't rate this one very high).
4) The appetite created for bigger-name acts results in venues overextending themselves when they book. We have a venue 4 blocks away that has changed hands several times. Two of those ownerships made a valiant effort to bring live music to the area. They carried some acts that made me think "How the hell can they afford that, given how few patrons can fit inside the place?". The most recent change in ownership enlarged the venue and renovated the adjacent space that was a dry cleaners. It led me to think "Hey, maybe they'll have enough seating to make a real go of it.", but they eliminated the live music and filled the additional space with pinball and arcade games. So if a place can only seat 60, but patrons will only show up for live music that requires 250 to be able to pay the band and make any money, it's no wonder that live music dries up. Should we blame that fickleness on rising expectations created by festivals? I don't know, but it's a possibility.
5) Maybe it's the Millenial version of what used to be called "cocooning". The demise of movie theatres was blamed on more adults staying home to watch VHS and then DVD and streamed movies on their home system. Is the drop in business for live music a consequence of festivals, or is it simply a sympton of a broader societal change, with people splurging on a festival now and then but preferring to stay home the rest of the time?
6) Maybe there's just too damn much music and nobody can afford to pay to hear it all.
 

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Sorry budda. Can't help with this discussion.

I am with bw66. Live music does well enough in rural areas and small towns, but its so different to big city action that I can't even relate.

Even as a young man in my twenties, i preferred small personal shows to large shows.

I also attended a couple of festivals back in the day. Saw "legendary" bands. Bored after a few hours.

I prefer an hour or two in a decent club.
 

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I don't really like big festival events

I prefer to see a band in a smaller local place. with decent beer and seating.

and exploring local food/coffee nearby in the neighbourhood as well
 

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Discussion Starter #8
But do you guys think the festival scene is killing the local scene?
 

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But do you guys think the festival scene is killing the local scene?
Not in the K-W area ...IMHO.

We have a huge annual Blues festival and a decent sized annual Jazz festival.
We also have an annual Porch Party music event...and likely others that I have missed.

As you know, we have several venues that offer blues and rock on a regular basis. We are also fortunate to have the superb Jazz Room that is a very successful jazz venue and, in addition, is used for various genres on a regular basis. I will be going to the Jazz Room tomorrow afternoon to see local musicians doing a tribute to Crosby, Stills and Nash (and maybe some Young???...LOL)
 

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I like the major venues in big cities and I also like small town venues.

Places like the Key to Bala come to mind. The bar can only hold 500 max. I have seen Snoop dog, Kim Mitchell and a few others there. I have also been to a lot smaller venues and have been exposed to some mind blowing blues bands that I might not have had the chance to see.
 

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Johnny Winter at Peter's Players in Gravenhurst - place holds less than 100 people. Lottsa others played there too.

Too many tribute bands runnin round now though.
 

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I dont see it damaging things...but using kingston as an example...when i was in high school and college, there were big bands coming thru every week...but now, the same bars realized that todays music scene only cares about beats and booze...so we rarely get acts at these clubs anymore...

Now, ive also heard that a lot of these festivals require a contract stating that those bands wont tour within a time frame around the festival they are playing...as a way to ensure more people pay for tickets for the festivals...

This makes sense in some ways...like mark said above, there is just sooo much music out there now that, while i enjoy opening acts...i dont want to pay a frestival pass to see a boat load of bands ive never heard of and have as much interest in as shooting myself in the foot of actually sticking around for...

I remember an article a few yrs ago where the record companies were blamed for all the shitty music out there...back in the day the would fund a band and develope the band, helping them evolve and grow....now, theres soo many bands that they give a little money, and if that one song you wrote that was exponentially better than everything else on your disc didnt sell, you were dropped from the roster

Is what it is...and i realize i strayed from the OP but...its kind of part and parcel
 

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But do you guys think the festival scene is killing the local scene?
I don't believe so...live music seems to be on the upswing where I am

I think festivals *should* get people out to listen to more local stuff: I would think people who go to festivals are more inclined to check out local music scenes

Festival ticket prices tend to be high, while local acts are very reasonable & affordable

( by local acts, I do not mean big name acts that play Molson Amphitheatre/Skydome/Sony Centre. But local bar/pub scene ).

however I am not privy to stats or polls. This is a gut feeling that is not based on any hard data
 
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Small clubs for me too.
Dr Hook in our small town bar (which is dead now) a few years back.
This was a place where bands would work out their sets before hitting T.O.
 

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Personally I think It's a personality quirk of Canadian's

The General Public doesn't support Canadian talent until they've made it somewhere else, With very few exceptions. There's very few Canadian popular music acts that are Made in Canada that are long term popular only in Canada. For the most part It doesn't happen in most other fields. Canadian's will love and support, Comedians, Actors, News people. most types of Celebrity seeking personalities, just not musicians.

Like Jeff Healey once said, They didn't sign with a label in Canada, because Canadian Labels can not produce results in the US or UK, 2 markets you really need to "Make it" in to be long term popular in Music.
 

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Like Jeff Healey once said, They didn't sign with a label in Canada, because Canadian Labels can not produce results in the US or UK, 2 markets you really need to "Make it" in to be long term popular in Music.
that is interesting and sadly, probably true

I don't think the population base in Canada is large enough to support bands. compared to US/UK
 

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I heard Fred Eaglesmith say something along the lines of "I'd like the thank the CBC and other stations in Canada who wouldn't play me and the promoters here who wouldn't book me because now, thanks to them, I went and got a career in the states."
 

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I don't think so. In contrast, I rather think festivals contribute to new music discovery, and in my particular case, absolutely renewed my interest in live music which I had forgotten for a couple of decades. And I am definitely listening to artists now that I had no idea even existed before, solely due to festivals I've attended (primarily blues).
There's a handful of blues festivals in our area and yes, what a great thing...lots of great talent to discover!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The "not playing dates near the festival" is the radius clause of a contract - for X period, an act cannot play within Y distance from the venue. Usually it's enough to cover 100km or so if memory serves.

I think it's the people who don't play an instrument who go to festivals to see 5 bands they like and skip all the local talent. If you're actually in a band, chances are you go and see way more local shows - partially because you want those people at your shows.
 
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