Venues where top bands started out are shutting down as rent rises and falling audiences spell crisis for gig promoters.
This article caught my eye in the guardian. Everyone is finding themselves strap for cash one way or another these days and shops are closing rapidly. The choice to go out to a small gig or stay home and save the cash is one many gig goes have to look at.
The smaller venues are an important launching pad for many artists yet the article indicates the larger venues are thriving as stadiums sell out. Yet the smaller grass roots venues where, traditionally, the artists of tomorrow are found struggle with closure looming.
"The frequency with which smaller venues are closing is scary," said Krissi Murison, editor of the music magazine NME. "There's the Charlotte in Leicester, TJ's in Newport, I could go on and on. It feels like not a week goes past without more closing."
The Horn's promoter, Hansi Koppe, said: "Things are extremely difficult at the moment and we're trying hard to put on the right acts. In good times people will go and see a new band just to hear what they're like. Now if it's a band nobody has heard of then people aren't so keen to pay the money to see them. They'd rather go and see a cover band down the pub where it's free. But that's not what we are about. We're a little rock'n'roll sweatbox: the vibe is second to none. We're trying to stay positive."
Whereas there is the place for the stadium concerts it is the intimacy of a small venue that makes music live. There is something about the feeling of live music in a small venue that you just cannot find anywhere else.
To be honest I am not sure if it is the low ceiling, the pint in your hand, the band you have never heard of but sing along anyway or being squashed in a small room with little light with your mates, where you know no-one but everyone seems to know you and you know everyone too. But whatever it is, it is what you get at a small music venue and a great night out with your mates.
My suggestion, leave the stadium gigs and if you want a night out, check out your local music venue - you may have a night to remember and see a band who will fill a stadium in 5 years time, for the cost of a few pints.