[Dixielandjazz] Re: OKOM Bands - How Stupid Can We Be?

Beth V bethv at portafortuna.com
Mon Dec 13 10:44:09 PST 2004


In an era where festivals are folding faster than you can keep track of, I don't think asking the bands for a small percentage of their CD sales is greedy, nor is it stupid for bands to comply. You want to keep playing and selling CDs at festivals? Then there must be festivals around to do that.

Our festival (Vintage Jazz) last year just barely broke even. We didn't take a cut of the CD sales from the bands, but we did sell our own compilation CD that the bands each donated a cut to from their own CDs. If we had also asked for a cut of their CD sales, we might have made enough money to feel confident moving forward. As it is, the festival Board really had to struggle to decide if they wanted to take a chance on keeping the festival going. Happily, they decided to do so, but nobody knows how long that will continue to happen. It all amounts to how much money they can pull in.

As to greedy: EXCUSE ME?!!! I don't know about other festivals, but our Board worked our rear ends off the entire year for no pay, and were even wondering how much of our own money would have to be kicked in at the end to cover the expenses! We were lucky in that we broke even and didn't have to cough up any of our own cash, and this was in part due to the generosity of a number of patrons who support the music and the festival and who didn't want to see us fail.

Everyone cries about the audience for OKOM declining, and even the audience for other types of music in decline, as the article you posted on Julliard pointed out. My question is, why aren't the musicians also audience members? If there are so many young people out playing the music, why aren't they also attending the concerts? As to OKOM, how many band members attend festivals where they are not playing? How many attend local gigs of other bands? It seems everyone wants to play but no one cares to listen if they're not being paid to be there. What's the last festival you attended where you were not playing?

Sorry for the rant, but your classification of festival promoters as greedy really hit me hard after all the work we did to make our festival happen.

Beth Villanyi

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list