As this year, 2019, thunders past just like the previous year, I can’t help but wonder about the state of music around the world. I look at what broadcast/terrestrial/FM Radio is doing and I continue to shake my head. This blog isn’t about those problems, but it’s easy to see that the corporate wheel continues to roll, with no idea on how to make money, just on how to cut budgets, and make radio into a generic virtual streaming platform that appeals to the 20-something and 30-plus crowds to some degree.
If you are an independent artist, there are no opportunities to get music played on these stations, unless you are willing to buy your way on. It’s too bad here in North America the CRTC in Canada and FCC in the United States weren’t actually doing their jobs. Payola is alive and well!
So, we have streaming platforms, you know all the names, that don’t pay artists. You have people paying $10 for a coffee but refusing to pay 99 cents for music, which when you consider that statement, it tells you how stupid the corporations who are programing radio are. These same listeners are too damn cheap to spend money like that, you are going to have very limited advertising options on these broadcasting/FM stations. But I digress as usual.
This weekend here in my hometown they have a music Festival called Rock The Park. It has been going on for something like 15 years, and a few years back they added a night for the country music fans. No big deal, it was towards a big charity, and by adding a night it didn’t take away from an already huge event. To give you an idea of past events;
2011 Night 1
Loverboy, Trooper, John Kay & Steppenwolf and Poison
Brian Howe (Bad Company), Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, Meatloaf
Bleeker Ridge, Sloan, Our Lady Peace, & Stone Temple Pilots.
Monster Truck, I Mother Earth, Bush and Slash/ w/ Myles Kennedy
The Romantics, David Wilcox, George Thorogood and Steve Miller Band
Prism, 54-40, REO Speedwagon and Boston
This year.. ugh
Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment, Killswitch Engage, I Prevail and Pop Evil
Tone Loc, Ginuwine, Ma$e, Shaggy and Snoop Dog
T-Pain, Flo Rida and Pitbull
I didn’t include the country night from this year, it was the best night in my opinion. Maybe I am getting old, but they definitely don’t want my generations money any more. Calling it Rock the Park, is like saying L’il Nas is Country. LOL
Let me put it very clearly as far as Rock The Park. WTF is your problem? LOL
But in general festivals have been fairly successful, and it is something that has crossed my mind. Many independent artists have talked about the idea of coming to Ontario, Canada to play and do shows. Numerous times it has come up with artists, that maybe if they can connect with other Indie Artists, do a multiple lineup for a gig, make it bigger, it will help with costs etc in some ways, maybe draw more attention. There are a lot of potential positives to come out of that kind of situation.
Well to go full Monty on that would be to have a music festival for just Indie Artists. It is an idea that started as just one day, but a second day is considered be it in the first year or wait till the second. That second day would be for Country Music which I would not want to exclude.
So here is the plan. Imagine 2 stages not quite side by side, but close enough to allow one band/artist to perform and the other to set up. I want a festival that people will talk about and mark on their calendars to say, only 364 days left till next years KB Festival. We have 10 bands or artist performing, with the first going on stage at noon. There will be a 45 minute set, which will allow, if they do really well, to do one encore song. This means fans will have 10 to 15 minutes maximum between sets to wait. The last band goes on at 10pm. There will be a special area set up for each act to have their own sales and merchandise tent.
When it comes to the lineup, I want it to be a representation of the artists being played on KB Radio. With KB Radio being based in Canada, the majority of our listeners are from North America, so my thoughts are as follows;
3 Bands/Artists from Canada
3 Bands/Artists from the United States
4 Bands from World
When you look at these numbers and think of the number of musicians we play and have played it seems very small. But if and when we get to it, we will probably have quite the task going through who wants to play.
Here is the part that I want help with, and it isn’t financial, though we will be looking for sponsors. It is not missed on my part that there is significant cost to travel and perform. Plus, I also believe that the artists should get paid for this. I have talked to many who say they will play for free just for the exposure, but truthfully I don’t believe in that. Everyone’s time is worth something. But there are also different costs between a solo artist flying from California and a full band flying in from Sweden as two examples. In one conversation with an artist he talked about hiring backing musicians when he got to the event. My thoughts on that, something I hadn’t considered is, if you are coming to perform you want to give your best showing. You should have musicians you know and can count on, so be bringing them with you.
To me these are the things I want to know about. I know about air fare, hotels, food, rental cars, trucks to move equipment, etc. I want to know about the things I wouldn’t know about or consider, because I am not a musician. So I have created a simple survey. No” check this box or that”, It just asks for your email in one box and then your ideas in the other. We really want to see this come to fruition, and I think this city is the perfect place to have it.