As we near the summer concert season, for the nights of trudging through parking lots in the semidarkness (“I thought I remember parking by that pole. . .or maybe that one”), of carrying damp blankets that began so well folded, of swatting mosquitoes that we think are there, of listening to the echoes in our ears of the music that we’d heard and that for which we wished. . . .
Are we really going to go?
Will tickets be sold? Will people fill up their tanks with what is inexorably becoming, again, liquid gold and drive out to the slightly bucolic venue? Will the arranged bills have sufficient power to offset prices of the ticket in the context of an economy that may be improving with all of the speed of a toenail fungus infection?
Could the summer of 2009 be the inflection point that people look back on as the one when the summer concert gave up the ghost, when the reconstituted hair bands or this week’s flavor are incapable of pulling in a sufficient house to cover the cost of picking up the plastic beer cups and the cardboard popcorn containers? I wouldn’t bet against it.
It has gone beyond just the banks and the car companies and the newspapers. There is bankruptcy, or nearly so, as we all work to reorganize what we have in the light of what we’ve lost. This state of affairs for the music industry has nothing to do with illegal downloading or any of the other usual suspects put up against the wall as explanators of the spiraling fortunes. No, its much bigger than any of the RIAA’s bogeymen and bugaboos. Much bigger. It’s war being waged and bubbles burst, securities and no promises, debt and paying for disaster.
So much for summer.