If you’ve ever been out on tour, then you know there is truly nothing like that experience. As thrilling as being on the road might be, touring and live performance is an aspect of the music business that artists should take very seriously. It has become harder than ever for musicians and songwriters to earn a livable wage from their recorded music which makes live performance that much more important. Navigating through all the booking, financing, and tour logistics can be immensely complicated - attend the SXSW 2014 Music Conference to learn the secrets of touring and get some insight on the future of live performance.
The division of revenue among artists for live performances has changed drastically over the last 30 years. Between 1982 and 2003, the annual share of concert ticket revenue for the top 1 percent of acts rose from 26% to 56%, and it hasn’t changed at all over the last 10 years according to Wired. For indie artists, this highlights the importance of making sure your tours are properly planned and managed so you can earn as much as possible.
The technological landscape of live performance has been significantly altered in recent years, opening the door to new opportunities for artists, music venues, and festivals. One reason for income inequality among touring musicians, as cited in the Wired article, is that “the concert business is primarily a physical one...no one’s selling live performances over the web.” Companies like Ustream, an online live video streaming service, are attempting to change that; Ustream broadcasted this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
Touring artists, managers, and venue owners attending SXSW 2014 should take some time to sit in on the informative touring and live performance sessions outlined below. Learn from the experts on what to do - and what not to do - when planning and managing your shows.
SXSW 2014 Music Conference Sessions on Touring & Live Performance
Photo by Jesse Knish