Topic: no more live Joe for us....

as some of you may know I have waffled on before about my concerns for the direction the music industry is going in terms of engaging children as it is a real minority of them who are into what I would call "real" music.

I recall there being debate on Joe's increasing ticket prices and we have sadly realised that we just cannot justify £220 for the 4 of us to go see Joe next year, it is just too much money in these difficult times - with Brighton being just down the road my wife and 2 kids wanted to go to this one. My 11 year old daughter still talks about standing in the rain watching Joe a few years back at Guilfest. - It is absolutely brilliant that a child who knows nothing about rock/blues or Joe can stand at the front of one of Joe's live shows and be completely enthralled by his performance. I have taken my son to a few gigs on his own, - the pair of us got to see Joe's first gig at Hammersmith and again the pair of us got to see Warren Haynes at Shepherds Bush this year. - Warren and his keyboard player Nigel Hall were really enthused to see a 12 year old at the front of the stage and said so when we got to speak to them after the show.

Not Joe's fault at all, and I do not want my moaning to come across as in any way negative towards him because this is very much a music industry problem, not a Joe one.

It is hardly surprising that kids today are not into live music and think that the music world revolves around MTV approach. I know that I am in the minority but can't help but think the music industry and venues could be more proactive to engage children by offering concession pricing for the kids, - if football can allow kids in for £1 and moto racing circuits allow them in for free if accompanied could the music industry not do something?

In my opinion for real music to survive it needs children to be interested not us oldies, - I guess we are lucky to have 2 children who are involved in music, - son with his guitar and daughter with her keyboard and violin, but I am convinced that music is at its best when played or seen live as that is where the real emotion of performance comes across to encourage kids to go out and do it for themselves. - Perhaps dramatic but the music industry is being "attacked" by mediocrity with the "X" factor type of approach, -  not knocking the ability of SOME of these artists but if you take a step back you will see that that too much of the focus is on laughing at the failures and chucking out those that are not appreciated in a very public way in the name of entertainment.

I hope my thread here does not come across as me moaning about myself or my own situation because my concern is a lot greater than that. I would be interested to know if others share my concerns?

Does quality live music have a problem and should more younger children be engaged? Or is it about the oldies having something for themselves away from the kids?

My YouTube channel with plenty of my Joe's videos dating from 2009 inc his first Hammersmith Odeon ones:
http://www.youtube.com/ian916fun

Re: no more live Joe for us....

Sorry to hear about your decision, but I understand your concern when ticket prices get quite excessive.

I guess it is all down to how much you want to see a particular artist.  I believe at the last U2 concert tour here in Australia, tickets were going for something like AUD$300 EACH!!  A bit crazy.  Joe's last tour here, his tickets were around $60 each, but considering my son and I flew across the country to catch his show, our effective ticket price was something like $1200 each! tongue Totally worth it!

Locally, we don't get many good acts here, but I try and take my kids down to the local Blues festivals or smaller acts which end up around $40 for the whole family to enjoy a night out.  Both my sons play guitar themselves, so I guess they have a bit more interest in esoteric music and seeing live acts, which is great.

Ultimately, the viewing public will determine where ticket prices stay, and as long as there are people who will pay high prices to see acts, then I am afraid it will continue.  Not always the call of the artist, but the management teams and venues have say in this too...

JBLP Gold Top #129 - redubbed "#1 in Oz"

Re: no more live Joe for us....

It's a bit tough to pay $80 a seat but..
but .. if I went to a hockey game.. the upper bowl is $95 a seat and the front row glass $450 per game.

Be happy your family wants to go.
If I want to see Joe I have to do it alone.
I can't seem to convert friends let alone family to go.

---------------

(If only I had 1% of Joe's guitar talent)

Re: no more live Joe for us....

I sympathise with you Ian, the cost of family outings - anywhere, be it football, motor cycle racing, Fun fares - is getting very expensive. Junor prices and concessions are simply not viable at most commercial enterprises. Yes I agree we have seen the cost of Joe tickets rise steadily over the last few years but that has been matched by higher costs to hire bigger venues to allow the demand to be met, stage gear, lighting and sound, crew and of course transportation to shift it all around. Sure, Joe's popularity has grown, as it quite properly should do. I guess there will come a time when all of us have to make that same decision.

Geoff O

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Re: no more live Joe for us....

I agree that the marketplace will determine what's an acceptable ticket price for a particular artist. Joe's star is rising and ticket prices are doing the same. Personally I have adjusted by limiting ticket purchases to myself and my wife. My adult daughters (26 & 28) have seen Joe at least 7 or 8 times each at my expense. That was when ticket prices ranged between $10 and $30. I told both my daughters that I could no longer afford to spring for their tickets anymore. Unfortunately for them, they have more pressing financial issues and haven't been to a show in the last two years. In the meantime, they are still fans and have been to shows where they sat within arms reach of Joe.
As far as kids seeing live music, I don't think you'll ever see discounted tickets when the venues can sell them for full price. The best you can do is find the smaller venues and next tier artists (read less popular, not less talented).
I'll be seeing Sonny Landreth next month and ticket prices were about $25 each. At that price, my older daughter and her husband decided to join us.

"Rock ON & Keep the Faith"

6 (edited by Jane H. 2011-10-11 21:39:14)

Re: no more live Joe for us....

One of the things some of us wished for back in May of '09 (wow have to take a moment to reflect on the fact its well past 2 years ago and how many ways my Bonamassa experience is different since then....)
anyway was a chance to purchase a live webcast or something.
sure it is not the same as being there but it is one thing i could think of to overcome this sort of a problem or dilemma. beyond that, going along the lines of what some others have already posted, i have definitely changed the number of Pro sports events i attend. it was never something i really did that much in adulthood anyway but the costs of going to the game and having a bit to eat or drink just costs not only way to much but also more than the great feeling from actually being there.
i am not familiar with cost breaks for kids at pro sports however there are plenty of minor leagues or non-pro events to attend and actually be closer, a more real experience, similar to what i think you refer to with the live vs non-live music thing. i think going to the baseball stadium is a completely different experience than watching on tv, yet with technology you can still have the live event in your living room at an affordable cost.

i think it parallels what you are saying, you could still take the kids to smaller gigs or lesser know acts. there is only one Joe Bonamassa and of course he is the only one who can give that performance but there are plenty of bands who do put all they have into their live show. so i don't think all is lost on the live experience but yeah the live Joe is often unobtianium. so many of us have found his shows to be so inspiring and uplifting and motivating and kids who are interested sure can't get that elsewhere but i didn't take your questions as being all specific about Joe.

now finding said shows at affordable rates in nearby locations is hard enough but then finding them at an all ages venue is also a challenging task.

i don't know all the ins and outs of the business and or industry and all that but i just really can't get past what i feel is the biggest limiting factor in these issues.i really think its got to do with payola and radio bs down the line.
i think it is all connected and it not only makes it harder for acts to get known but also to get gigs and support themsleves. Joe's talents have served him well but probably not nearly as well as all the hard work. there are others that have paid plently of similar dues but still can't breakthrough the constant media messages about the chosen artists or should we just call them 'brands'. i think its the payola that has caused a lack of choices in the industry. i think that Joe would have gotten to a higher ticket price no matter what the state of the industry was so i kind of seprate him somewhat when trying to examine the limited info i have on these subjects.
so its not for or about Joe when i say it but i can't shake the big question in my head that says, do we have more of a say than we think we have?
would it make enough of a difference to go ahead and call our radio stations and tell them what we would prefer on a regular basis? (more US specific thoughts on that in multiple other threads here)
would it make enough of a difference if we sent our requests/comments to local venues particularly about more all ages shows and/or reduced kid's tickets?
i dunno but i think that more bands could tour successfully with a little radio exposure. the radio exposure gets so concentrated it eliminates so many possibilities I think.
i think its worth the effort to repeatedly and regularly make radio requests and encourage others to do so as well.
i think its the biggest factor in this subject, it didn't come out exactly how sensible it sounded thinking about typing this and i know its a bit of a stray from the topic but that is because i think its part of the larger issue. i think the industry will keep doing what they can predict will make them the most money to the detriment of our musical environment and its future. when music lovers unite and share with each other potential solutions, better ways, new (even if really old) ways, than we can make some of the pain and sorrow be lessened.

Re: no more live Joe for us....

Some very interesting comments here...I personally am concerned about the trend in Joe's ticket prices. I have seen shows for 35 yrs. I fully understand about the rise and fall of an artist, the market place dictates prices ,etc.
All I am asking for is a moderation of prices... a leveling off of prices now that Joe has made it to the 2500 seat theatre 'step'. I am fortunately in the positon of paying  approx. 80 dollars (it is the rip off extra fees that burn me more) every 6 months or so but I know many who can't pay that amount. I will be very disenchanted if decent tic prices go north of $100. I will then be thinking like IAN916...which will be a very sad day for me.
See you in Boston Joe!

Re: no more live Joe for us....

Well I did think like Ian only last week. Joe is here (in North Germany, Bremen)tonight, and I won't be going.

OK so Bremen isn't around the corner as such, as it is about a 300Km round trip, but if the artist is worth seeing I've done it before. When I checked out the prices I saw they were at over 60 Euros. Probably reasonable compared to what some of you have and are paying in different parts of the world. But its all relative.

For my girlfriend and I plus the transport costs for the first time I found I couldn't justify it. Doesn't mean Joe is expensive, market forces will dictate. His price is rising and will continue to do so while demand exists. Others will take my place and be glad to do so.

I've seen Joe a number of times already and right now 120 Euros + travel costs doesn't work for me/us.

I continue to wish him all the success he deserves and am grateful to have seen him earlier in his career.

On the general theme of the industry doing something about it, I just don't see it. Agents are screwing us for a margin and the only way is for the artist themselves to take control and sell more tickets direct to fans  preferentially through their websites and mailings, maybe even with some fan club issue only recorded material. I would have thought this would be a no-brainer as it would get fans on board even earlier.

Classic Rock magazine' in house label funded a limited tour of free entry concerts featuring several of their newer bands specifically aimed at attracting new and younger fans. This is good news, but I don't see any incentive for established acts to do it especially if the they are filling venues and ticket sales are holding up.

That said I think some artists and their management are going to have to take a reality check. I was in Hamburg a couple of weeks ago and noticed Jools Holland was playing that night at the Fabrik. I spontaneously decided to go only to see that the ticket price was over 45 Euros.

The girl at the desk told me ticket sales were not good and at that price I wouldn't wonder so I decided to pass. Now Jools has a big band so there are a lot of costs involved, but if the price isn't right he won't cover them anyway.

As a comparison Wishbone Ash play there in February for 30 Euros, Kenny Wayne Shepherd is there in November at 29 Euros and so on.

As you can tell I am needing to be more selective about the live music I see and it will be cost based and I'm not going to be alone in that. For now then Joe, unless he is with BCC is out of my reach, but hopefully that won't be forever.

No Hits, No Hype.......................Classic Rock Jan 2012

Re: no more live Joe for us....

Ian's concerns are legitimate, Elton John tickets are $600+ in the front row in Brisbane, ridiclous prices and only a true fan would surely pay that sort of money to see any concert.  Brisbane prices for JB this year were $70, but it was at an adult only venue, so even if the kids aren't priced out the actual venue keeps them out.  My 15 year old son was distraught.

Saying that I'll always pay to see quality, and JB is quality number 1.  Also, taking a family out is expensive.  On top of the the 220 quid Ian would have paid in tickets would be food, transport and perhaps some memorabilia.

Lenny

Re: no more live Joe for us....

Good sensible views being expressed here, much i would agree with.

I can't remember my parents taking us to any musical event ... EVER!!
In a way, i'm thankful, knowing the music my dad liked. My mother was better... she loved/loves Elvis.

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Re: no more live Joe for us....

Sadly, I agree with Ian. Prices go up, quality of shows (and I mean the size and sound quality of the places) goes down.
I've seen many people discussing how this has to happen, because of an artist getting popular and the ideas on why the price of the ticket is as such and where that money goes
...but it is grating to a person who has been there from the early shows as a strong supporter to be paying double, triple...five fold...to sit with lots of people who just seem indifferent to seeing live music (you know that happens and that's for another topic).

12 (edited by gsj 2011-10-12 07:55:59)

Re: no more live Joe for us....

I suppose to some extent  there was a time when album prices were high and tickets for live shows were more affordable as artists used the tour to promote album sales. Nowadays, due to downloads etc album prices are low and as a result ticket prices are up - the album is now used to promote the tour to some degree.

Either way all I know is this; money is extremely tight in this household along with thousands of others and I simply can't afford to pay some of the current ticket prices whether I want to or not. I have to chuckle when I hear financial 'experts' on talk shows stating that the public aren't spending because they're saving. I haven't got any money to save if I wanted to, it all goes on keeping a roof over our heads and putting food on the table. The company I work for have asked all employees to work for a certain amount of time without pay this year to help with running costs and there is no choice but to agree to it. But don't think I'm moaning about it - I'm not. It's ok, we'll survive.....#&%# happens.

So, as much as I admire Joe's success and wish him well I won't be able to pay to see him on this tour, which is a shame because I've followed him since I saw him at the Borderline gig in London back in 2006.  Likewise I haven't been to see Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck or Crosby & Nash because the tickets are too expensive for me to buy right now. This recession has had a huge effect on some more than others it seems. We're certainly feeling it's effect in this home right now so I'll sit indoors and watch the DVD wink

Geoff

never give up, never slow down
never grow old, never ever die young

Re: no more live Joe for us....

gsj wrote:

I suppose to some extent  there was a time when album prices were high and tickets for live shows were more affordable as artists used the tour to promote album sales. Nowadays, due to downloads etc album prices are low and as a result ticket prices are up - the album is now used to promote the tour to some degree.

Either way all I know is this; money is extremely tight in this household along with thousands of others and I simply can't afford to pay some of the current ticket prices whether I want to or not. I have to chuckle when I hear financial 'experts' on talk shows stating that the public aren't spending because they're saving. I haven't got any money to save if I wanted to, it all goes on keeping a roof over our heads and putting food on the table. The company I work for have asked all employees to work for a certain amount of time without pay this year to help with running costs and there is no choice but to agree to it. But don't think I'm moaning about it - I'm not. It's ok, we'll survive.....#&%# happens.

So, as much as I admire Joe's success and wish him well I won't be able to pay to see him on this tour, which is a shame because I've followed him since I saw him at the Borderline gig in London back in 2006.  Likewise I haven't been to see Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck or Crosby & Nash because the tickets are too expensive for me to buy right now. This recession has had a huge effect on some more than others it seems. We're certainly feeling it's effect in this home right now so I'll sit indoors and watch the DVD wink

Geoff

I think you hit the nail on the head regarding CD sales and touring! Touring is where the money is these days - that's why you can now see some of the "old" bands at a reasonable price - others not reasonable at all - in fact a total rip-off with some. But I must say to me Joe's shows are reasonable priced and for what you get it's a bargain! I'm feeling the pinch too and have great sympathy with others who are probably struggling more than me! Anyway, all the best to the best forum fans out there!

Re: no more live Joe for us....

I'm going to play on the opposing team on this one - at least partly.

I have been at a number of concerts over the last 2 years where it has really concerned me that parents have taken young children  of 10 or 11 along to what I would consider adult rock music gigs. For instance Black Stone Cherry in an all standing bar was just not appropriate for some of the children I saw there and there have been a run of these that I have seen.

Now I'm not putting Joe playing in an all seated auditorium in this catagory and I think that in this case taken an 11 year old is fine if they really want to go themselves - not taken along for parental convinience which I'm sure I've witnessed.

But I do think that some parents should be much more diserning about where they take their kids and that venues shouldn't neccessarily be encouraging young children at lots of live music shows and maybe shouldn't admit under a certain age at all for some venues / shows.

Re: no more live Joe for us....

I don't agree. I normally only see a couple shows a year. I live within my means. In other words, I don't charge what I can not afford to pay at the end of the month when the bill arrives. I don't believe in over extending myself into debt. So, if I can't afford a show I don't do it. It's really that simple. Plan ahead and you can actually live very nicely within your means. Now if you want to dive into deep debt you can do that too. But don't whine to me or expect me to help you up out of the hole you dug yourself into...........

16 (edited by gsj 2011-10-12 15:40:48)

Re: no more live Joe for us....

Spider wrote:

I don't agree. I normally only see a couple shows a year. I live within my means. In other words, I don't charge what I can not afford to pay at the end of the month when the bill arrives. I don't believe in over extending myself into debt. So, if I can't afford a show I don't do it. It's really that simple. Plan ahead and you can actually live very nicely within your means. Now if you want to dive into deep debt you can do that too. But don't whine to me or expect me to help you up out of the hole you dug yourself into...........

I don't see anyone here whining Spider. Just a few saying that the current world economic climate is having a noticeable effect on day to day lives and as a result, as you so rightly state, some of us are in fact choosing to live within our means, The end result of this prioritising of expendable income is that Joe won't be getting a visit from all of us on his current tour. I haven't seen anyone asking for you to 'help dig us out of any hole'!! I find your statement very offensive indeed, particularly given that you're not in a position to know individual forum members personal financial commitments or circumstances.

never give up, never slow down
never grow old, never ever die young

Re: no more live Joe for us....

Shame that you won't be seeing Joe this time Ian, and perfectly understandable. I sat out his last tour last October, and on the tour this month there are no shows I can make that I can make affordable (nearest 200 miles). I do however plan to see him on his next tour in March. Ultimately I feel that one show every two years is sufficient for those ticket prices.
I do tend to go to 2-3 gigs a month, most of which have a ticket price of £10, in much smaller venues, so there are other gigs to see. I'm sure your son would enjoy the intimate atmosphere at an Oli Brown show (for example) instead.

"The recently formed Edinburgh Blues Club has identified an appetite for the personal communication between musicians and audience that the blues long ago perfected." The Herald Newspaper (Scotland)
http://www.edinburgh-blues.uk

Re: no more live Joe for us....

some really good points here, I think you are right Greenose Oli Brown would be a great idea.

Chrisuk no problem from me with your opposing view, not sure I agree with it as it perhaps implies that a crowd cannot behave itself at certain gigs, - but would agree that there should be some parental responsibility around not putting your kids into a vulnerable situation. However taking this as just about seeing Joe live there should be no issue whatsoever, - we have been lucky enough to see Joe at 2 standing gigs and those around us have been extremely courteous, - at Guilfest making sure my daughter could see at the front, - and again at recent Warren Haynes gig the JB friends who we met for the first time made way so my son could be right at the front. - And again the Shepherds Bush venue staff were excellent.

Interesting that there was a comment FROM devan about seeing U2 in Australia and the cost of that, - we saw U2 at Wembley Stadium at the start of the recent 360 tour and the ticket price was less than Joe playing next march in Brighton.... - Something is not right there, - U2 playing in a Stadium where the stage set alone cost between £15 and £20 million....

Handling fees need dealing with, - 10% plus per ticket is ridiculous, - on each ticket.

It would be easy to plonk the cost of tickets on a credit card, - but we stopped spending on cards a year or so back, - if the money is not in the account now then we don't buy it. In the UK we have a Government that nobody voted for (warning political) and look to be out of their depth when getting us out of these difficult times, - I was made redundant earlier this year as a direct result of Government cuts/restriction on the public sector, - in my case Education. - I am lucky in that I got a job straight away, although earning less, - but I am not moaning I am a lot luckier than some.

The wider issue of opening up opportunity for kids into quality live music is either something you get the importance of or you don't. I have worked in the education sector for over 10 years and am married to a teacher. - In the UK there is a lot of money put into music education as an extra to regular lessons, - but parents do have to spend a fortune themselves supporting this. That pot of money from Government may well disappear next April. The problem in my opinion as it relates to this issue is that this funding stream is controlled by the "classical" types, - nothing wrong with classical music but sadly a lot of the people involved look down their noses at kids playing rock/blues, - we see the clash and lack of engagement between my daughter learning violin/viola and son learning guitar...being taught by a wonderful young (ish) tattoo'ed Paul Gilbert fan - She asked to learn a beautiful song on Viola by a great UK group called Elbow "One Day like this" http://youtu.be/hk2xaeXnxlM and was dismissed without the teacher even knowing what the song was....back to the Mozart then....!

..in saying al of this I see an opportunity for Street Team to focus on the younger listener via the education sector, - I know a few years back Joe did play to a lot of school kids in the UK and got one up to play his guitar, - perhaps some thought needs to be given to this?

My YouTube channel with plenty of my Joe's videos dating from 2009 inc his first Hammersmith Odeon ones:
http://www.youtube.com/ian916fun