I saw this article about how musician Langhorne Slim is creating a new way to make money in this age of Spotify and iTunes. Instead of paying for a ticket, the cost of entry to his latest gig in Brooklyn, New York was his latest CD, which was also available as an LP with MP3 download – $10 or $15 respectively. This ties in closely to an article I read in the Telegraph not too long ago where Noel Gallagher actually played at a mate’s house instead of a larger, more traditional venue. On a similar note, a fan invited Peterborough, UK-based group The Candle Thieves to play in the garden of her communal flat recently. What a great idea – not only are these kind of gigs likely to be more intimate and memorable, they are most likely very valuable PR for bands that have not yet hit big time.
It’s in keeping with a thought I’ve been having quite frequently of late – find your fans and focus on them, instead of trying to convert people who have no interest in you anyway. Dedicated fans can be retained for a lifetime, as opposed to passers-by who will try you once and probably move on to something more attuned to their tastes.
Garden gigs are also probably going to be more sustainable as a business model for the music industry than selling T-shirts, as Matt Mason argued here!