The gig-less economy: what could a post-pandemic dance music scene look like?

The shutdown of club culture this year has got me thinking more deeply about what the hell all of this is for, and how we could go about creating and funding our community out of reach of the slimy hands of Big Tech. Collective ownership, co-ops, worker alliances and the need to own our own physical space all cropped up in my conversations with industry thinkers – there’s a lot for us to chew on. Read the full feature on DJ Mag

It’s been four months since COVID-19 sent dancers into deep freeze. With no sign of a vaccine, the suspicion is that clubs will stay closed until spring 2021 — a shutdown leaving thousands of musicians and industry workers without an income. But beyond the urgent need to support those affected, the pandemic has forced us to confront a broken system. It’s time to sift through the wreckage. How can we rebuild?

As was obvious long before COVID-19 hit, the music industry is dangerously dependent on live events. Shows are the most common source of income for professional musicians, despite record-high streaming revenues, and ticket sales trickle down to everyone else: bookers, venues, event staff, journalists. That’s why, when COVID-19 arrived in Europe, the mere prospect of a cancelled festival season caused such drastic and lasting damage.

The roots of this malaise are well known: as streaming replaced music ownership in the last decade, the collapse in record sales left artists reliant on performance fees. It’s not that there’s no money left in music — the three major labels now generate over $1 million an hour from streaming — but most of the wealth created by artists is pocketed by the tech companies that control how we listen to music.

Read the full feature on DJ Mag

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