Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Location: Nazareth, Pennsylvania, USA
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|Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:43 pm Post subject:
How and Where to Find an Audience
|Here are two posts from the Different Skies list to give you some food for thought as to where your audience potential might be hiding.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Metlay" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Different Skies" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2003 4:14 PM
Subject: [differentskies] On the subject of an audience
> It occurs to me that some folks on this list might not read Beyond_EM, where
> this message was posted earlier today. I think that it's important that folks
> here have a chance to read it too, as I think I've stumbled upon something
> that may prove to be fairly important to DS as an event in the long run.
> The thread under discussion was a popular angels-and-pinheads discussion for
> BEM: namely, what is Electronic Music? Paul Lawler (himself a very talented
> electronic musician with a fair number of albums and TV music themes to his
> credit) tossed off a humorous comment that nevertheless got me thinking hard
> about the question of an audience. It occurred to me that DS really broke the
> mold of what an EM audience was supposed to be like, and that this was not
> only a good thing, it was a VERY good thing, perhaps vital to the event's
> Anyway, here's the post again. Apologies to anyone who now has to read it a
> second time.
> ------------------------------ Original Message --------------------
> Subject: [beyond_em] Anoracking up sales
> From: "Mike Metlay" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Mon, October 27, 2003 9:50 am
> To: email@example.com
> Paul Lawler said:
> > If you look in the dictionary it describes it as "unpopular/ un-sellable
> music that appeals mostly to anoraks and people working in IT "
> > Paul
> > www.paullawler.org
> "Mostly" being the key word. I have at least one counterexample in hand.
> At Different Skies, there was one, count'em, ONE person in the audience that
> could be classified as a traditional EM fan who travelled a long distance to
> hear the performances. And I thank him for it... you da man, Steve!
> The other people we played for (still don't have concrete numbers--under 200
> but not by much) were an audience entirely unlike anything you'd see at a
> conventional EM concert. They were drawn to the concert not by the promise of
> anorak music but by the fact that Arcosanti, as a venue, has a widely eclectic
> concert season ranging from pop to classical to avant-garde. There is a large
> and healthy community of people who come out to most or all of the Arcosanti
> shows each summer as a matter of principle, to keep their horizons open and to
> keep themselves from calcifying.
> We had people from all over Arizona, and some from Nevada, California, and New
> Mexico, intrigued by the idea of live space music (whatever THAT is) and eager
> to give it a try. There were families with children, young people, middle-aged
> people, and a surprising number of elderly folks who really enjoyed
> themselves, thanked us, and said they'd be back next year for sure. (DuVal was
> commenting that the audience's median age was older than HE was.) Folks of all
> ages bought our CDs, in decent quantities.
> They were open-eared and well-educated: there was a fairly subtle
> compositional joke in the Traktori set that got a huge laugh from most of the
> audience (some anoraks would have gotten it, but a dance crowd wouldn't). They
> were polite, friendly, and enthusiastic, entranced by the visuals and in tune
> with the music. Nervous guy that I am, I paced the amphitheatre when I wasn't
> playing, and really enjoyed seeing how much people were into it. I stepped
> outside the amphitheatre at one point and found a group of four women in their
> 50s, stretched out on the amphitheatre roof watching the stars and blissing
> out on the music.
> I am only beginning to realize the significance of this now, in the weeks
> after the show. We reached an entirely new audience and opened its ears: they
> had fun, bought our music, and went home happy. Many of them were in a greying
> age bracket that's not likely to be there in a few decades, but there were a
> lot of children there too, who were absorbing the music like sponges and
> asking for more: a good sign, I think.
> I've been to a few EM concerts advertised among the traditional fandom and
> visited by the traditional fandom. The vibe there was very different than what
> we had in Arizona. Not better or worse, just different. Different enough,
> perhaps, to be the real defining line between what DS does and what other EM
> concerts and festivals do: a sense of outreach to an entirely new audience
> rather than providing new and different material to an audience already primed
> to expect it. I believe this diversity is a good thing, and healthy.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Combs" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2003 8:30 PM
Subject: Re: [differentskies] On the subject of an audience
> Mike, you've certainly stumbled on something that matches the experience I've
> had in marketing my band TouchXtone here in the Atlanta area. While we
> initially targeted the 20s/30s crowd, the folks who most responded to our
> messages and music and are our "repeat" audience at gigs are primarily over 40
> (in some cases, way way over 40) and the parents bring their primarily under
> 12 year old children. I have purposely booked us into places that are low/no
> cover, family-friendly, and have some unique environmental/cultural aspect
> just to cater as much to this audience as possible. Most of these folks
> comment on how unique the performances are and I hear how it's hard to
> describe but like classical music, like new age music, like <put classic space
> rock band name here>, but not like anything anyone's heard before.
> So I guess we're selling an experience not a genre.