Sunday, September 25, 2016
The Truth About Tickets
Jazz musicians and jazz presenters often decry a supposed lack of support for live music. Two speakers broached the trope at Candido’s recent concert at the American Jazz Museum. The lament rankles me for two reasons.
These misguided people are preaching to the choir. There’s no point in haranguing ticket-holders who are already attending performances.
More significantly, the live music scene is thriving in Kansas City and elsewhere. Concerts at large venues including the Sprint Center, Starlight Theatre, the Uptown Theater and Crossroads KC have hosted dozens of capacity audiences this summer. I attended two sold-out concerts at the Midland theater just last week.
The price of admission varies. Capacity crowds of 8,000 regularly filled the central square of the Power & Light District for weekly free country and R&B concerts. The 16,000 fans at a Dixie Chicks concert at the Sprint Center in August paid an average ticket price of about $80.
The groundswell of support isn’t limited to national touring artists. About 1,200 fans forked over $25 each to hear the Kansas City trio Trampled Under Foot play blues-rock at Knuckleheads on a steamy July night.
Fans are clearly willing to spend their time and money on performances by the musicians they love. The people in the jazz community who imply that the lack of support for their endeavors is a systemic problem are either making disingenuous excuses or are woefully ignorant of the live music scene that’s flourishing outside of the isolated jazz sanctuary.
The comparative lack of support for jazz events won’t be remedied until this troubling discrepancy is acknowledged.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)