[Dixielandjazz] How Stupid Can We Be.

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 13 17:30:50 PST 2004

Beth and List Mates:

Beth, your festival is not doing what I ranted about. Therefore your
festival cannot be described as greedy. I did not classify Festival
promoters as greedy, I classified Festival Promoters who charge an
outrageous fee to sell CDs as greedy.

Or, as Johnny Cochran said; (more or less) "If the glove does not fit, then
you must acquit." :-) VBG.

Dying festivals, audience decline and going out of business, relates right
back to the Juilliard article. Plain and Simple: THERE ARE TOO MANY

But please don't shoot the messenger. REINVENT YOURSELVES, bands and
festivals both.

By now, my mantra on that should be pretty well known.

Basically I admire what folks involved with any endeavor do, and how
dedicated they are. However, if the endeavor is NO LONGER VIABLE IN ITS
PRESENT FORM, then no matter how well you do it, or no matter how much
effort you expend, it will not succeed and those involved will drive
themselves crazy trying.

Festival survival revolves around getting a NEW AUDIENCE for the festivals,
or going out of business. It is that simple. AUDIENCE is Job number 1.

Band survival is exactly the same. Get a NEW AUDIENCE for your music or go
out of business. AUDIENCE is Job number 1.

No matter how much a festival charges per CD sold, it will never be enough
to make the OKOM band and/or festival business viable. Or even play a
significant role in the process. Same goes for musicians. as audience,
attending festivals. No matter how many go (even if they could afford to) it
will never be enough to make a difference.

A NEW AUDIENCE is why my band works 160 gigs a year. All OKOM, all within 80
miles of home and why I am able to say exactly what I think, without fear of
what an OKOM festival director might think. (and do to retaliate) Bands
don't need festivals to survive and prosper). Festivals do need bands to
survive. But both of us need A NEW AUDIEWNCE.


Steve Barbone

"Beth V" <bethv at portafortuna.com> wrote

> Steve,
> 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.

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