Bostons Economic Race to the Bottom

Bostons music scene has a terrible trend amongst local artists.  Most artists are taking advantage of themselves by being willing to sell out for free shows and free music.  Most independent promoters in the area are a scam, sometimes even following the pay to play model.  Most of the time it’s sell a number of tickets to get on the show.  Some of these names could be the leader of WEMR radio station or Richard Collier.  Richard Collier has been known to make band sell a certain amount of tickets before paying them.  I personally do not believe this is because he is a bad person, I think it is because he doesn’t know how to better break an artist/ takes on too many shoes and therefore puts on a lot of bad shows instead of a few great local shows.

This trend is not only limited to local shows at the Middle East or T.T. and the Bears place.  We are all familiar with the music streaming and sales site  However independent artists could be harming themselves more than helping with this new internet distribution system.  The band Bat House (a math rock band from Boston) has been giving away their demo online for free.  However Bat House is only one of many bands that are devaluing the oversaturated music that is Boston. Everyone in Allston is in a band, they’re all really good bands.  However if they are all doing everything for free this doesn’t put pressure on promoters to hire bands and pay them.

Some bands like Grey Season (a folk rock band from Boston) have been at it for a while giving away their music for free and climbing ranks having recently played SXSW and Boston Calling.  However this was limited to a demo which was quickly followed up with a release on Green Line Records (Northeasterns student label) which was sold for $6.  This accelerated their growth greatly.  Recently they bumped the cost up to $10 to make it a better source of income.  This is only IF you have the income to to keep up creating music and pay Bostons high rent costs.  Boston musicians should consider selling their music as opposed to giving it away for free.

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