Last night, I took in a couple of new European bands playing at a small venue in London. One was a German folk/soul singer called Sophie Hunger:
And the other was a Swiss group called Hal Flavin that played electronica:
Along with upcoming London singer Ryan Koriya and comedian Marcel Lucont (his bit on London Transport was really funny, have a listen), it was a departure from the kind of stuff I usually do on a day-to-day basis.
There was a decent crowd despite it being Sunday evening, and I was wondering whether there has been any impact of the financial crisis on the creative performing industries at all. At the maximum, there may be less people attending their concerts (this one was free, so ticket prices were not a factor, but otherwise, for the non-hardcore fans – see point 4 below – that could be a factor). I think it is an industry that has protected itself well against the fall in the economy’s fortunes overall. This could be because of a few reasons:
- Creative people are less likely to take huge financial risks with their money, especially if they are yet to strike it big, so the downside is also not that bad.
- They have probably already taken the biggest conceivable risk, of trying to make it big in an industry where individual fortunes rise and fall every day. They’ve seen bad economic times personally already (many of them subsist on things like busking etc.), so they think that it couldn’t really get much worse.
- They are too self-involved to realise the impact.
- Most of their real fans will still pay to watch them or, in relevant cases (where they don’t want to depend on pirated stuff online), will pay to buy their records anyway.
- They philosophize more than act on their philosophy of life. What thoughts they do have, they translate into their work – which goes back to the previous point and is insulated from market impact.
- In the case of comedians, people WANT to laugh in tough times. So there will be, perhaps, an even greater market for their work.