Being given the opportunity to write blogs for was one of the best moments this year so far. Fueled by my passion for the arts, music especially, I set forth trying to figure out what would be the best topic to start off with. What direction do I want to take with my writing? What do I want our readers to get from reading my blogs? Every idea that passed through my mind always led back to one simple fact. The divide between artists and fans is bigger than anyone truly realizes.

During the last 6 or 7 years, I have walked that divide. Taking turns being a fan and being a part of the artist world. In my experience running an online radio station (Dreamers Radio), that in its prime, helped promote local bands and local shows. I’d go to the shows and be the fan dancing & singing along in the crowd. I’ve managed musician’s tours and headed their street teams. I have booked musicians for local bars and then come in on those nights to see the show. Teetering between the two worlds, I learned a lot about what it takes to be a fan and an artist.

I also learned most fans have no idea how it really feels to be an artists in this day and age. I’ve compiled a list of the Top 5 Biggest Misconceptions fans have about musicians based solely on my journey though the “rabbit hole” called the local music industry.

Top 5 Biggest Misconceptions

1. Roll your eyes all you want at the pesky little cover charge. But when you arrive at the door and tell them what band that you are there to see, that cover charge is most likely how your favorite band is getting paid that night. Most of the time, they don’t even get the full door charge. After the sound guy, the doorman and whoever else is helping make the evening go off without a hitch gets paid, then the band gets paid. Then the band pays their expenses and breaks up the remaining payout between their members. $5 cover charge split up 7-8 times leaves very little to play with. All of a sudden, that cover charge doesn’t seem so awful now, does it?

2. Go ahead and get frustrated every time you get a notification about an upcoming event. Better yet, click “Attending” and then do something completely different that night. Bands use these invites to build excitement around their shows. They will spend their time posting any possible details for their fans so it is literally effortless for someone to come to their show. Then as the days go by and more and more people say they are coming, the band gets more excited to play. Then the night arrives. The crowd shuffles in and as they take the stage, they notice a few of their die hard fans, the band member’s significant others, some close friends and the drummer’s Aunt Lorainne and Uncle Charlie are in town and wanted to see what all the hype is about. The RSVP count on their invite was 50 people but 90% of those fans decided to go to their neighbors house and play Cards Against Humanity instead and never thought to change the RSVP. My advise to you is to familiarize yourself with the ‘maybe’ option and use it when you are not 100%.

3. As you walk out after the show, it’s really nice of you to stop by the merch booth to take a look. Sure, its a great opportunity to meet the band, shake their hands, tell them it was a great show. But when you don’t pick up their newest EP and think to yourself you will just rip the songs from YouTube or see if they are on Spotify, the artists knows exactly what you are thinking! They are on to you! As you walk away, their hearts slump back a little as the idea of actually getting a little extra cash that night walks away with you. For a touring artists, buying their CD or t-shirt could mean the difference between them ordering off the dollar menu for breakfast the next morning or actually sitting down at a diner and devouring some biscuits and gravy! Those items are their bread and butter. They pay out of their own pockets for them to be made in hopes to sell them at their shows to help bring in some cash flow for gas, food, replacement cords, new strings, pics, drum sticks. So, if you have the cash, just buy the CD. I promise you, your purchase is seriously appreciated!

4. You get home after the show and notice the band or the venue had posted pics from the evening or a status thanking everyone for coming out. You look through the pics, download any of them you and your friends are in and read the status updates…and then move along to more important updates about what your neighbor ate for dinner and memes explaining how tough life is in some witty fashion. Did you know that musicians need your ‘likes’, comments, photo tags, etc in order to get more exposure on Facebook? Complicated algorithms mixed with scientific mumbo jumbo collected from people’s involvement on a page is how Facebook decides what people will see, or not see, on their news feed. The more you comment on a status, the more exposure that status will get. ‘Like’ a photo or tag yourself in it, and instantly that photo is shared with your friends. More people seeing these activities in their News Feed means more potential fans for your favorite band. Next time, set your thumbs free and tap away on your little smart phone. Every comment you make, every photo you like, Facebook will be watching you.

5. Now that I have given you a glimpse of some of the struggles a musician goes through, I give you number 5 in my count down. Artists do all the above, over and over and over again. For every show, every event, any chance they can to help spread the word about their work…they relentlessly promote against all odds, for next to no pay, if they are lucky.

This is why I jumped at the chance to write for Their vision is to bring artists and fans together in a world where we can all work together and really get a chance to enjoy the work people put their heart and souls into on a daily basis. If you are like me, then come on in and make yourself comfortable.


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