San Antonio’s growth and new cultural cache has been pretty well documented, here at home, regionally and nationally. Same can be said for the music scene. Since 2014, we have witnessed a steady trajectory of overall awesomeness. Even arguably approaching a Goldie Locks situation.
The common line is we are getting shows that use to pass us by and that is true. There are now options weekly and even nightly and I’m not talking Joe Blow’s Blues Band at so-and-so's Pool Hall, this is Kraftwerk, Morrissey, Kanye, EDM DJ’s like Kaskade or The Flaming Lips at world class theaters or downtown festivals, on top of a good music being made and performed at the local level.
But what now? What are we in the live entertainment business, media, and music fans to do? Here are a few ideas:
First and (the obvious) foremost, maintain. Venues and concert organizers can’t get lazy and can’t take the new fervor of audiences for granted. They need to continue producing events and improving upon them. Local media must continue it's current level coverage and expand live music news output to volumes of sports coverage. Fans need to continue to attend events and engage each other on social media about artists’ performances, art work and buy local merchandise like t-shirts and vinyl.
Investment. A major step in the right direction recently took place with San Antonio Sound Garden acquiring a grant from the City of San Antonio to study the local music business. With data and snap shots of what is happening, we can better plan for the future and take advantage of opportunities in uncharted ways. There’s plenty of room for growth too. With approximately 2,000,000 in the metro area and another couple million an hour and half north, there is a significant source of new customers being created.
Licensing music for movies, games, commercials, etc has been an increasing source of revenue for artists in recent years. Everybody loves the HEB/Spurs commercials, which could be an example for other local businesses. They could follow both the national trend and a local favorite by harnessing the music and endorsements from local bands. Local businesses investing in music is a way to connect to music listeners in San Antonio and a way for musicians to stay afloat.
Awareness. Local media’s role is important for informed citizenry and hyper local news reporting has grown all around the country including her. Individual artists' and fans’ social media pages aren’t enough for a ground swell. Without the regular attention of local media, San Antonio’s business and corporate community will continue to be slow to partner with live entertainment. Also, there are a large number of tourists and service members who are here temporarily for various lengths of time, all looking for things to do other than the Riverwalk, history & theme parks.
Expansion of professional services for one, such as lighting and sound companies and recording studios, The city could play a crucial role in a number of ways too, such as not meddling with. What got us here, won’t get us there. Keep innovating.
Please comment on social media or below with your suggestions, if we get enough we'll compile them and present them to interested groups.
What makes a good or healthy music scene?