Access All Areas June 2019 - Page 20

JUNE | OPINION “I see mass globalisation leading to too much control for some organisations and platforms that may suffocate and starve the artists and creatives” You ‘gotta love that. However, like many things, there is a monopoly of control - certain promoters, agents and artists are controlling so much of the action and the pie. I have concerns about that. However, I don’t know if the audience cares - as long as the offer is good. The challenge for the likes of LIMF is to make sure we can do our thing within this climate - and that’s why having creative and original ideas, an underlying purpose and considered programming is so important. The inclusive nature, of not just the programme but the ticket price points, means we have something here that is special. Lord willing, it can survive and grow, as I believe it is something so wonderful to have in these times of struggle, conflict and globalisation. I feel proud that the city I call home stands annually, offering this small taste of the opposite. How can artists get noticed? I work with so many developing artists and I think it’s very important - especially if you are independent - to do your thing, with conviction and be diligent and persistent with who you approach, how when and where. Fundamentally, a music festival is nothing without the right artists and bands, but you do need to help us find you amidst the noise. Why are there fewer long-lasting artists today in the mainstream? I think the ability to ‘launch’ whenever you want is a part of that problem. I don’t think 75% of the artists are ready when they first release music. It seems so many artists, to use a business term, are almost ‘test trading’ for 5 or 6 years. And because of the accessibility of people and platforms, they often push at times when they should probably take a bit more time to develop. The long tail is nuts. I heard that like 90% of music on iTunes has only 1 purchase (usually by the person who released the track). I can imagine Spotify will reflect a similar thing with streams. It’s all so easy that the focus may have gone away from development and excellence. But we are where we are and the future greats will work a way to take advantage of the flat nature of access 20 whilst still striving and working towards being great. You just hope that they don’t go unnoticed within the noise. I believe the artists that cut through and last are the ones that develop under the radar for a while and the hype occurs because it’s undeniable. I’m thinking Ed Sheeran, Adele, Anne Marie, Frank Ocean etc. Obviously they had investment, but it was about ‘growing’ what was there and not creating it from scratch. Then they have all worked post that point to grow year on year. What’s that phrase - Kaizen - constant improvement. I always use the example of Beyonce - yeah she is doing stadiums and awing people with how nuts she is as a performer - but she has been getting better since she started and puts in the work. She’s been working to be great for over 30 years. That’s the level of dedication that should be standard. I’m not sure everyone is doing that. Some just slide in and do the bare minimum and hope hype or an algorithm carries them. Any other music/festival industry observations? I am starting to get concerned with the strain on the greatest assets of the music industry - the artists. I see mass globalisation leading to too much control for some organisations and platforms that may suffocate and starve the artists and creatives. Then what are we all doing? Without them creating and thriving, we all don’t have jobs. So I think we 100% need to be mindful of this when doing whatever we are doing - at every level, as every action we all do creates the current truth and current and future climate. We just need to be conscious of this. LIMF 2018