Swifties, Ticketmaster & the Embrace of Limitations

The Technological Bargain

The point of technology is to take us beyond ourselves. This is not an inherently bad thing, but rather simply a fact of human existence. Hammers, forks, cranes, computers, iPhones, they are all tools that allow us to do more than we can do with our own physical bodies. Technology rubs out the frayed edges of human limitations.

The Cost of Production

Another log that has been turned over in all of this is the fact that touring is becoming a luxury of the mega-stars. Just a month ago, indie band Animal Collective canceled their tour due to cost. They wrote…

Embracing Limitations

The pandemic was a moment in time, that I believe in the future, will be looked back on as a hinge point in history — a time when everything changed. But, the reality, is that we all must change with it. The challenge I think many of us face is that we still remember the way things used to be; though pandemic-time feels like ages ago, we all remember the sold-out concerts, the highly produced events, and we long for that old way. And I think the artists do to. I’ve never played a sold-out show, or stepped away from the mic to listen to a group of people belt the words of a song I wrote, so I’ll never know what it’s like to have that, lose it, and then not get it back.

Embrace the Music: The CCR Way

For literal millennia, people enjoyed live music simply for the live music. Only in the last 20–30 years (and perhaps it’s even more phenomenological in the age of Instagrammability), did shows become as much, if not more, about the visual production than the music itself. Visual production is great, don’t get me wrong (Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams Tour was visually stunning, and I loved it). But, ultimately, fans fall in love with the music.

Embrace a Place: The Vegas Way

The joy of digital technology is that it has enabled artists to have a truly global reach. Yet, the shadow side of this is the feeling of needing to play a show for fans in Tokyo, Stockholm, and Dallas all in one tour (or maybe even just playing there at all).

Embrace the Analog: The Pre-Phone Way

This one, is perhaps the most challenging, but if costs of so insanely high for artists (and consumers) due to the technological bargain that has been made with Ticketmaster, it may be high time for us to allow some of the frayed edges of our humanity to ruffle up a little bit.

The Change In Us All

The odds of anybody reading this being a touring musician is slim to none, so what does this mean for you?

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