It’s hard to take pro­mot­ers’ moan­ing se­ri­ously

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to those who are less for­tu­nate than our­selves. And, be­lieve it or not, there are live mu­sic pro­mot­ers who see them­selves in this cat­e­gory.

Last week, the chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of Live Na­tion UK gave us his sob story and vi­o­lins swelled dra­mat­i­cally in the back­ground.

Acord­ing to John Probyn, it was an­other tough year and the busi­ness is get­ting tougher. The rea­son for all of this? Pesky live mu­sic fans with a sense of en­ti­tle­ment.

“The pub­lic are much pick­ier than they used to be,” said Probyn. “Fans now ex­pect spec­tac­u­lar shows, with good qual­ity sound and great en­ter­tain­ment – they are look­ing for that wow fac­tor. But, you know, this is a cus­tomer­driven in­dus­try and the cus­tomer is al­ways right.”

Given the money that Probyn and his peers are de­mand­ing for tick­ets, you would hope so. While we know that the pro­mot­ers are not the ones solely re­spon­si­ble for the high ticket prices, they have contributed hugely to the in­fla­tion in artists’ fees and the knock-on ef­fect on ticket prices over the last decade.

It’s hard to take this bout of the béal bocht se­ri­ously given Live Na­tion’s dom­i­nant po­si­tion in the in­dus­try. The firm has a fin­ger in ev­ery pie go­ing, from fes­ti­vals to venues to Tick­etmaster. If the com­pany which be­came the big­gest name in the game by buy­ing up ev­ery­one else is giv­ing out, maybe they should re­think their dom­i­na­tion of live mu­sic?

It’s again worth not­ing that the live mu­sic busi­ness re­mains very re­sis­tant to dis­rup­tion and change. As we won­dered re­cently on the blog, when dis­cussing ter­ri­ble venues such as Dublin’s Academy 2, can the in­dus­try really con­tinue to do things like they’ve al­ways been done with­out some out­siders stick­ing their oar in?

For more see irish­times.com/blogs/on­there­cord

Live Na­tion UK boss John Probyn

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