[Dixielandjazz] Re: Declining Audiences for OKOM

Stephen Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 15 19:15:45 PST 2003

Perhaps you misunderstand me. I am talking about the 21 to 40 something year
old group of CASH customers. In the USA, they support modern jazz festivals
that include smooth jazz and funk with both their attendance and a hell of a
lot more spending than do the blue haired OKOMers at OKOM Festivals. I also
suspect that they control a fair chunk of change throughout the World. And
being younger and less mortal, they seem to spend more freely.

>From my experience at Modern and/or Smooth Jazz, as well as Blues Festivals
here in the Eastern US, the statistics are:

1) Total attendance is MUCH HIGHER than at OKOM Festivals. Average age of
attendees is MUCH LOWER.

2) Headliners are WORLD CLASS. Marsalis, Sandoval, Osby, Redman, Barron,
Mangione, Barbieri, and scads of others. They do not come cheaply.

3) Therefore much of the music is WORLD CLASS.

4) Which enables OKOM bands (mine), to play there for as many as 5000 21-50
years olds at one sitting.
        a) At fees far exceeding what the "best" US OKOM festivals pay.
        b) For one set, vs. 3 days at an OKOM Festival
        c) In a Festival Universe that far exceeds the OKOM universe. (raw
number of festivals)

5) And which enables the producers to charge $20 to $80 US admission at a
single venue to hear one and sometimes 2 sets by a performer. (Most OKOM
Festivals charge less than $80 for a three day all events badge, how stupid is

All of which leads me to believe that Kids as I have defined our audience,
spend the big bucks.

Question: Now, I realize that things in the UK, might well be different,
however why would one or two similar bands attracting these "kids" act as a
turn-off to what is described as cash customers?

Steve Barbone

PS. At these festivals Preservation Hall ($5,000 performance fee) also gets
hired and will easily draw 500 or so cash customers at $30 per head for a gross
of $15,000. Yet OKOM festivals here in the US rarely hire Preservation Hall all
the while decrying the lack of black bands that play this music. (Forget
whether or not you like or dislike them, think they can play or not, etc.) THEY

So What's wrong with this picture?

I know!!! Too many "Weathermen" running OKOM Festivals. ;-)

Norrie Thomson wrote:

> If Mike takes Steve's suggestion youngsters might be attracted but the 'cash
> customers' might stay away.

> "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net> wrote to Mike Durham
> > Great idea Mike. Don't forget to book at least one jazz group that will
> help
> > attract the kids. If there is someone they know there, you will be even
> more
> > successful.
> >
> > The "Modern Jazz " festivals at which we play (along with some of the
> > Internationally famous Jazz players) are always sure to book at least one
> > "smooth" jazz group, or one "funk" jazz group that appeals to the young
> right
> > off the bat. It might offend those who feel it dilutes Dixieland, but
> then, it
> > is better than no festival at all.

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