Dis-concerted - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

July 1, 2010


Where has all the talent gone? I don't mean local talent, or up-and-coming talent, or even avant garde artists. I don't mean the club acts and small nightclub quality performances. But where are the big names in music? Why don't we have an Aloha Stadium show or a two-night Blaisdell Arena blockbuster this summer? Have the costs and economic realities of  the touring business become so outlandish that nowadays we can't even get an act or two coming or going from Japan or Australia? Apparently so...

With music sales dipping every year, and on-line downloading not coming anywhere near where album sales used to be in dollar volume, touring has now become more than a necessity for artists trying to promote their new music- it has become the lifeblood for surviving, and new music has almost become an afterthought to some acts. Equipment costs, technical requirements, and the airline industry have changed the landscape, too, as promoter costs just keep going up and many airlines fly right past Hawaii to and from the Far East. And the music consumer and concert-goer in Hawaii is the ultimate loser in this game, as we have no regular, major festivals or concert events that bring in talent from outside our island chain.

While some musical acts of note are not meeting economic expectations during their mainland concert jaunts, Hawaii is literally off the map, as our venues sit open and empty month after month. Neil Young once sang, "keep on rockin' in the free world". Well, it's getting harder and harder to do so in Hawaii. Think about it…

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