While the cost of seeing national acts in concerts continues to skyrocket, the cost for seeing a local band remains extremely affordable. I’m the furthest thing from an economist or even a high school-level proficient mathematician, but it seems to me the inflation rate for seeing a local band is well below the inflation rate for any other form of entertainment. What did it cost to see a local band in a local bar in 1986, maybe $3 to $5? I remember seeing local bands open for underground bands with a slight national profile from other towns and feel the pinch of paying $7 for enter a tiny club and drink the cheapest beer on tap.
The rare times I get out to see local bands these days I pay about $7, $10 tops. When my friends’ bands are opening for a local act I pay $15. Stamp my hand, big guy! Do the math—anyone but me: that’s a low inflation rate over the last 25 years, isn’t it? To make matters more affordable, I no longer drink, so the rising cost of alcohol is not a factor; my sobriety offsets the slight rise in local club door charges. If I work whatever charm I have left on the punk woman tending bar I often get my tonic waters with lime for free. “It’s the least I can do for this old guy,” she’s thinking.
Local band rockonomics presents a great deal for local club-goers, but in my limited experience in the 21st century it sucks for bands.
WARNING: Following may be the point where I learn a shameful truth and stand in the corner with a lone tear forming in my right eye while those of you in cooler and/or better-managed bands point and laugh at me.