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The importance of keeping live music local

With a student budget that often doesn’t stretch as far as you might want it to, paying a lot of money for a gig is something the average student can’t justify.

With major mainstream artists like Drake and Ed Sheeran charging fans excessive amounts to attend their shows, the experience of seeing your favourite band or artist seems more out of reach than ever.

Secondary ticketing, the tout’s legitimate and slightly less evil sibling, has also led to an inflation in ticket prices over the last decade or so. Whilst it may not be illegal, it still means that tickets aren’t being sold to fans during the initial rush on websites like See Tickets and Ticketmaster.

Often this leads to fans and bands/artists missing out as now many fans choose not to try for tickets in the first place, instead choosing to stream music at home.

Who is to blame is often unclear in the current musical climate, although it could be that venues need to charge more for big name artists in a bid to help keep their own business afloat. Let’s face it though, stadium and arena gigs aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be and this is where Independent Venue Week comes in.

The annual celebration of independent venues, held at the end of January, helps to tackle the issues gig-goers face today. Whilst you may think you have bragging rights by saying you saw The Stone Roses at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium in 2016; you’re not really fooling anyone.

We all know that unless you were really, really lucky to be at the front of the crowd – you probably didn’t see a thing. The atmosphere was most likely shockingly poor and let’s not even talk about how much the average bucket hat-wearing ticket-holder paid for a pint of beer.

Gigs in smaller venues offer a completely different experience altogether. The artist may not be the best in the world but you can probably bet they’re on the rise and will be pretty successful in a couple of year’s time.

Independent venues are crucial and remain at the heart of many cities, with countless people behind the scenes making them a success all year round.

These smaller venues and inner city festivals like The Great Escape in Brighton and Live At Leeds (in Leeds, funnily enough) prevent the much-loved intimate atmosphere of gigs from disappearing completely and assist fans in getting closer to the bands they love and listen to regularly.

More often than not it’s the smaller gigs that you remember best anyway, rather than standing in an arena squinting at the stage and resenting the fact you spent so much on tickets to be there in the first place.

So make sure you pay your local gig venue a visit and support their efforts to bring live music back to the fans and the communities that matter.

You may see the next big artist in an intimate venue, you may not – but you’ll have a cracking time anyway.

 

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