With gas prices at an all time high, many independent musicians and bands are finding it more difficult than ever to take their shows on the road this summer. While some bands are finding creative ways to manage high fuel costs, others are forced to just stay home. (AP)
What the commentators said
Money is always an issue for touring bands, said Jason Dearen in the Associated Press, but times are harder than ever with gas at $4 a gallon or more. Some bands "at the bottom of the music industry food chain" are canceling tours, others are “banding together, stuffing themselves into smaller vehicles or cutting short their tours.”
Rising gas prices also spell bad news for fans, said Stacy Nick in the Coloradoan.com. Music venues may need to start “increasing their guarantee rates” to make it worth it for bands to travel to their clubs, and that cost “could end up at the feet of concertgoers” in the form of higher ticket prices. And don’t be surprised if bands start charging more for their T-shirts and CDs, too.
Maybe if today’s indie bands “spent less money on haircuts and sweaters” they could afford gas, said the blog Swan Fungus. It’s never been easy for independent bands. Early punk rock bands like “the Minutemen and Black Flag didn’t seem to have a problem touring frequently in spite of their small fan bases and lack of funds.” Modern indie bands should stop their whining and just “be thankful that their predecessors even made it possible for them to tour by exposing the mainstream to underground music.”