Access All Areas September 2019 - Page 5

SEPTEMBER | WELCOME Colophon EDITOR Tom Hall CONTRIBUTORS Martin Fullard NEWS REPORTER Stuart Wood SALES DIRECTOR SENIOR DESIGNER James Linin Sean Wyatt-Livesley PRODUCTION MANAGER SUBSCRIPTIONS EXECUTIVE Elizabeth Nixon Matthew Williams PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Duncan Siegle PUBLISHED BY MASH MEDIA GROUP Second Floor, Applemarket House, 17 Union Street, Kingston Upon Thames KT1 1RP. Tel: +44 (0)20 8481 11 22 SUBSCRIPTION: Free to qualified readers within UK, Non-qualified readers within UK - £50, Readers in Europe/Eire - £70, Worldwide - £105. SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES: Tel: 020 8481 11 28. Address: Access All Areas, Second Floor, Applemarket House, 17 Union Street, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 1RP. The opinions expressed by contributors to this publication are not always a reflection of the opinions or the policy of the publishers. Information on services or products contained within editorial sections does not imply recommendation by Access All Areas. No part of this publication can be reproduced in any form without written authority of Mash Media. Subscribe on T he board game Monopoly was invented as a parody of capitalism, where concentrations of wealth eventually paralyse all but one victorious player – my smug friend Chris usually. Of course, the board game isn’t an exact proxy of market conditions. Companies can, in reality, diversify and create novel niches, generating whole new swaths of customers. Capitalism can continue until we discover the limits of human desire – perhaps future festivalgoers will be plugged into a perfect replica of Woodstock ’69 like a hippy version of Neo in The Matrix. Many organisers, however, cannot pass ‘Go’ in the first place, or are confined to certain squares on board due to the market habits enshrined by a handful of increasingly large conglomerates. Our cover feature (p28) hears from some of the companies impacted by the big players – who all at once control concert promotion, festivals, ticketing, box offices and artist management companies. I also spoke to the organiser of ‘the last‘ Port Eliot Festival, a much- loved event that struggled to generate adequate finance for next year. These losses have a real effect on communities, and our industry. It was particularly interesting to learn about the challenges she faced marketing this event in a sector where every event is marketed as ‘unique’. Despite the understandable frustrations, I’m sceptical about using the law as a weapon to break up the big players. All too often, these same edicts can create barriers to entry for new players, thus actually strengthening the so-called ‘monopolies’ as an unintended consequence. We should champion and go the extra mile to support and promote our culture of wonderful independent festivals to ensure they flourish and have every opportunity to sit alongside the big guys. Your wallet and your time are the most powerful tools in your arsenal. Top hats are not mandatory. Tom Hall, Editor Keep up to date by visiting: @access_aa @access_aa 05