Many of today’s more progressive thinkers have suggested that live music is the way forward for the music industry (that is, actual money-making through music), and I for one have always subscribed to that view. Today however, the sudden hysteria surrounding the delay to the opening of the XOYO club in London and a couple of tweets from Simon, the blogger supreme behind Sweeping The Nation made me start to doubt this, those tweets reading thusly:
‘…the whole XOYO thing makes me think of Leicester’s new 1000+ venue the Auditorium…’
‘…Three weeks before their first proper gig, with club nights going on, they’ve not yet raised the funds to alter the exterior signage.’
It seems to me that a venue that big in a city with, presumably, a burgeoning music scene just should not be having money trouble. If live music truly is the future of the industry and the continued profitability of music making in general for both the artist and their label, then how are venues having these problems? Of course, this is pretty open to interpretation – Leicester itself might be the problem (not enough interest from fans and bands, poor management etc.) and the sheer size of the venue obviously alienates smaller acts, who are supposedly the beneficiaries of a more live-oriented industry. However, with the problems facing XOYO – which is, from what I can tell, a pretty intensely hyped venue in a city that is famous for its sheer number of new acts – the picture looks a little bleaker. What if there just isn’t enough interest, financial and actual, to open new live venues to a profit, or even a possible one?
Perhaps it’s a target that lies further down the line and maybe it’s for the fans to realise that live music is the way forward, but right now these kinds of signs seem to point to a startling fact; music is not making enough money, and that can only spell disaster for those involved.