5 Reasons To Support Your Local Music Scene

Buying the latest music from mega-stars is almost like saying, “I support overindulgence. I support big businesses that manipulate and corrupt the beauty of art. I support using hyped-up production techniques to cause widespread mania.” Why not support local music instead?

guitar-445387_1280 Support local music: Photo of a busker

For The Love Of Music

It’s no secret that I love music. I won’t lie to you. I’ve bought my share of records and CDs from mega-stars like Bruce Springsteen and U2. But over the years, I’ve been buying less big-name music and focusing more on supporting local music. I’m also a singer-songwriter myself, so this post comes not only from a minimalist perspective, but also from a musician’s point of view.

Chances are that most big-name musicians are not living simply. Most live huge. If you claim to be a minimalist, it’s a little hypocritical to support people that are living excessively. So stop spending $200 a ticket to support their lavish lifestyles.

5 Reasons To Support Local Music

  1. Local music is diverse: I’ve been to enough arena shows to know that they all start to feel and sound the same. You get one artist playing hit songs for a few hours. And you paid $200 for that? You get flashy light shows. You get overpriced tee-shirts. You get hype. On the other hand, when you go to a local music festival, you get 50 to 100 different musicians playing a variety of instruments. You get a variety of musical styles. You get cultural diversity. 
  2. Local music is personal: I’ve watched musicians and played music at many local music venues. I’ve shaken hands after the show. A coffee shop or a local park allows you the freedom to talk with other musicians one-on-one. Try that with Taylor Swift. On stage, local musicians share their stories and their personal experiences. Often these stories have a local flavor. Local musicians are doing it for the love, not the money. That makes the music more honest and real.  
  3. Local music is fun: I make a point to go to a couple local music events per month. Each year, I attend several music festivals. It’s fun. It’s something that both adults and kids can enjoy. Coffee shops, community parks, and many wineries around my region, are all family friendly. Good food and good drink often go hand-in-hand with the music. Many times, there are special activities for the kids. It’s a good get-away from the daily routine
  4. Local music is economical: So you spent $300 on a ticket to see a three-hour show? Now you’re short on cash. What’s the point? Was it really worth it? What were your really supporting? Big business? Maximalism? Many local music events are free. And often they go all day, or even all weekend. And when there is a small charge, that money is supporting your local community.  
  5. Local music builds community: Music brings people together. Local music can help raise money for local causes. It can help to energize local movements. It can help to change your little corner of the world. Big change starts with small changes. When we learn to build stronger local communities, we show the world what a little music can do.

Support Your Community

I could go on. This could probably be a 20-reasons list. And it’s not just local music. There are local artists, photographers, woodworkers, farmers, and many others that have poured their hearts and souls into what they do. And they’re all willing to share it with you.

The next time you hear about a local music showcase at a coffee shop, or a local folklife festival, don’t stay home and listen to canned music on your computer. Get out and have some fun. Support local music.

Check out my other posts about music:

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4 Comments

  1. Great post! This is all true, and includes all kinds of music. I sing in a local chorale that produces classical concerts, and in a local opera company. The points you make are true for us too. Same for the local theatre company, potters, poets, and as you said local artists, photographers, woodworkers, farmers and many others. There’s so much culture and just plain fun in most communities, and it would be wonderful if more people paid attention to what’s right in their backyard, so to speak, than to what’s mass-produced, packaged, hyped, air brushed, and auto-tuned by big corporations.

  2. Bullseye! I am in the band Porcelain Mary in Charlotte, NC and I shared this on our Facebook page. Charlotte has a strong local music pulse and this article will really hit home with a lot of our fans and peers. Thanks for putting it so perfectly!!

    John Dwiggins – Porcelain Mary

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