val's blog 7.22.12

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    Lollapalooza - Chicago's premiere 3-Day Music Fest   Aug 3, 4, 5       




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Lollapalooza At Any Age
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valinsunglasses  - a note by Val Haller,  founder 



I have a question for you.  Your age might impact your answer.  That's what I'm trying to figure out.  You don't have to write me back, I just want to plant a seed.


Q:  When you make plans for the weekend - or a night out - how often is live music one of the options on your list?


If your answer is not often then my next question is why not?


When I decided to write this week's blog about adults and live music, I took a quick survey of friends - all busy adults.  Here's what I wanted to know:  

  • is music a fun activity for you - or is it simply the background to other things?
  • what was your first concert?
  • do you go to concerts for the music or the scene?
  • which happens more: you get invited to concerts OR you're the one who invites?
  • when you want to go out for live music, how do you research the shows?  
  • what was the last concert you attended?  arena or small venue? 
  • were there any good surprises that night?  
  • were there any bad surprises that night?
  • what do you wear to live music?  do you fret a bit about that?  
  • do you feel conspicuous as an adult at concerts - or proud to be there?
  • how does live music make you feel?  
  • at the end of the evening do you say you want to do that again? 
  • do you feel inclined to buy merchandise at the show (cd, t-shirt)  - if yes, why?
  • do  you relax at the show or does loud music & dancing kids bother you?
  • what comforts would you pay more for?  (seats, parking, server, meet & greet?)   
  • does your spouse/date like to go to music with you?  or is this an impediment? 
  • if you had a group to meet up with - would you go to more live music?   


Here's how you answered.  It's uncanny how many answers were the same.  For most of you, live music is really fun. Whether you're the organizer of a music outing or simply the invitee, you have a great time when you get there. You tell yourself you should do this more often. It's a refreshingly different night out, you say. The music and people watching is a cool education in so many ways. It's a diversion from your daily grind, a respite from a stressful job, a new point of view.  You feel a bit hipper, more open-minded, with a peek into your kids' world, and a reality check on what makes people tick in 2012. 

For most of you, your last concert was an arena show with a big name headliner - Springsteen, Roger Waters, McCartney...   and you definitely fit in with that crowd, that music, that scene. You own it.  Over and over you remarked about knowing every lyric to every song. You grew up doing this and you got that old feeling back right away. Many of you paid up for VIP seats and parking pass. You're grown up now and you admit to wanting a few comforts. You've earned it and will gladly pay for it. 

All of you bitched about the process of getting tickets. You hate it on so many levels. In your busy life it's difficult to know when tickets go on sale, or who's on tour when. When you do log on to buy, it's sold out in minutes. It angers you and makes more work to find a broker who will (charge a lot) to find you tickets. If you are lucky enough to grab tickets, the service fees sicken you even more. You all wished for a concert concierge service that would take the hassle out of all this. 

Some of you go to small venue shows. You admit it's harder to know about these shows. It takes a devoted music hobbyist to keep up with new artists and small venues. And these shows are much harder to sell to your friends - they ask who? where? You usually give up. But those of you who catch the intimate small show know that they are magic. There are so many cool surprises at the small venue show. You told me how often you are blown away by a new artist who sounds like an old favorite. You're unexpectedly impressed by the talent. You love being up close and personal where you see the band's every move. This might be new to you, as you were never that close at an arena show. In the small venue the artist talks to you, tells stories, jokes with his bandmates while you listen and laugh. You say you love this and ask yourself why you don't do this more often. You usually buy a CD at these shows because now you know this artist and you want to support him. And at the small venue the artist often comes to his merch table to meet you, take a photo, give an autograph. You like to spread the word to friends. The artists appreciate this.

For those of you who are huge music lovers, you have one universal complaint:  it's hard to find people to go with you. Your spouse is a good sport, but doesn't want to go to music all the time. You wish you had music friends to go with. You say it's the biggest reason you're not at more live music. Period. It's hard to get non-music lovers out for an artist they don't know, and your friends are into their own things - it's completely understandable. Other music lovers are a different story. This is a big dilemma, and an impediment that I think might have a solution... wants to start a music club.   Want to join?   Stay tuned. 






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LISTEN to this week's playlist:   GOTTA GET OUT
                                                                                            (out Monday)





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