(Hypebot) — Ahead of this Thursday’s not to be missed SXSW panel, “Who Gives A Sh!t About Indie Music?” we asked the panelists to share some of the challenges and opportunities facing independent music from their unique perspectives.
Dayna Frank, of legendary Minneapolis’s venue First Avenue and the North American Venue Alliance (NIVA), is concerned with industry consolidation along with how inflation has affected touring and the trickle-down impact of the rising ticket prices for top-level events.
Another threat Frank calls delocalization.
“We used to have local and regional music scenes that created environments where artists could grow,” says the indie venue operator and advocate. ”I don’t see that much anymore, and I think we need to find ways to bring them back.”
Moderator Fabrice Sergent of Bandsintown promised to share stats from the concert discovery platform’s 75 million users and echoed Frank’s concerns recalling a recent conversation with a group of 20-year-old music lovers who “admitted they’d pay $200 to see an act they’d love but had never considered going to ten $20 shows of smaller artists.”
Rising costs and oversaturation are also top of mind for Wasserman’s Trey Many, but so are some positive trends, including new avenues of music discovery and how genre barriers are disappearing. “More consumers are pushing the envelope and trying new music,” said the veteran indie music agent.
Secretly Group’s Robby Morris points to the many artists who broke through during the pandemic when touring was shut down as a positive sign. “Nothing will replace the live experience,” said Morris, “but these acts showed that there are other ways to build a real fanbase.”
These topics and more will be explored this Thursday at SXSW, along with ample time for questions.
Who Gives A Sh!t About Indie Music?
Thursday, March 16rh, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM Austin Convention Center Room 18AB
Add it to your SXSW schedule here.
Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.