Jamaican Music

Reggae Artist outpricing themselves

As the global economy heads into a tailspin, it is expected that it will have a profound effect on many sectors in Jamaica. I believe that one of the sectors that will be greatly impacted is the music industry. In difficult times music can be a life savior and as the exacerbated events continue in this economic environment, one comes to the realization that things like stage shows will have to remain competitive, yet affordable, if they want patrons to attend. People in general will start prioritizing and balancing their needs based on their fiancés. As an ardent music lover, I can’t help but notice how much money it actually cost to attend some shows. The music industry needs to change with the times. The artist, their managers, promoters and so forth has to realize that there is only so much cost that can be passed on to supporters, and that there is only so much that a fan will, or can afford to pay. A music lover now has to make realistic decisions in regards to competing factors, for example, if one had the choice to attend a reggae show or pay one’s mortgage; you bet the latter would be chosen. The reggae artist and their managers need to get creative and come to the realization that if they are to continue gaining financially, they need to do some things differently. They have to find creative ways to make their shows more affordable to the small men and women that patronize them. The rates that they are charging in many cases are exorbitant. They need to give recession rates based on the current economic climate. THIS WAY EVERY ONE WINS.

The time has come for promoters and artist to start dialogue in regards to what expenses should be covered or not covered by promoters. For example, promoters should let the artist understand that they are paying them for their services and not for some of the unnecessary entourage that travels with them. This is one way to reduce cost, so that patrons do not have to pay these outrageous cover charges. Employment is down and people are losing their homes and personal income. This means that conscious decisions will be made in regards to things like stage shows. Many people will not be able to attend shows at the current prices, especially if they are losing their incomes. The desire of many Jamaicans is to support our singers, dancehall artist and others like them, but if a couple have to pay for example,$180.00 United States dollars to see an artist like Beres Hammond, who I must admit is great; then it is really cause for alarm. Patrons will have the desires to attend these shows but financially will dot have the resources to do so. It is scary to think what will happen overtime if the economy continues along the same trend. Eventually, and this is my opinion, that if prices are not reduced, many artist will be performing at empty venues. It is important to understand that every artist is not Movado or Beres, that can draw a decent crowd and when these promoters book these artists albeit with some risk, they need in many cases more than one artist to draw the crowd. Everyone will loose if the industry does nothing. The promoters will loose because they will not have the mass of people attending these events, and therefore would not be able to meet thier financial obligation to these artist. The artist will loose because they will not get enough bookings to be able to sustain themselves and take care of their families; and the fans will loose because there will not be any shows for them to attend. Everyone wants to support our artist and one can always find solace in music. We all just need to ride these economic waves together and hope that we all reach to shore alive and well. We all need to work together, Producers, Artist and Patrons. We all have to keep the music industry alive and we can achieve this if we all work together. Like Barack Obama said, ‘We need to share the wealth”.

About the author

Sherry Southe