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View Full Version : $4 gas killing indie tours



MarkO
06-22-2008, 09:41 PM
Interesting.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080622/ap_en_mu/touring_on_empty

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Steven Garcia pulled into a Houston gas station recently to fill up the old Dodge van his punk band uses on summer tours.

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For months, the 23-year-old singer-guitarist had been budgeting money and booking show dates for Something Fierce's third tour but skyrocketing gas prices have put the brakes on those plans.

"Once I ran the numbers it was a 'There's no (expletive) way' kind of moment," Garcia said. After much hand-wringing and grumbling from bookers who'd scheduled the band to play, Garcia canceled the tour.

Cramming into a rusty, creaky van and playing dive bars and house parties is a summer ritual for many young musicians and ambitious independent bands trying to get exposure, make a living and maybe build a solid future in music.

But like everything else that requires lengthy time on the road, filling up at $4 a gallon or more is taking a toll.

On the grass-roots level, cost has always been a concern for touring bands. But the nearly $2,500 in gas Garcia and his two bandmates would have had to pay just to make it to Vancouver, Canada, and back was too much to overcome.

"There's no way we can sustain a blow that big," he said, adding that the band is lucky to break even on a tour even when gas prices are more moderate.

If they're not canceling their tours, small acts are banding together, stuffing themselves into smaller vehicles or cutting short their tours.

"We do have two bands, The Revisions and The Estranged, out on tour together right now who have decided to share a van to save on gas costs," said Ken Cheppaikode, who operates Dirtnap Records, a Portland, Ore. independent label and record shop.

Cheppaikode said that after putting seven band members and their equipment into a van, they didn't have room for a roadie.

San Francisco's LoveLikeFire, a young band that counts on touring to make money and increase its fan base, now tries to get to the East Coast more often because the cities are closer to each other than out west.

"We often ask ourselves, is it worth driving so far when gas is almost $5 a gallon?" said Ann Yu, the band's singer. "We spend at least 150 bucks in gas to (get to) a show, when there is no guarantee that you'll make any of it back.

"It does screw up a lot of bands on the West Coast, 'cause ... there are very few cities to play in under seven-hour stretches, which can be costly," Yu said.

The tough choices being made at the bottom of the music industry food chain are just one more hit to the business already reeling from declining album sales because of digital music.

Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, a trade publication covering the concert business, said the cost of fuel is affecting all levels, but the "people being most affected are new bands touring on the subsistence level. They don't have the popularity to charge higher ticket prices because of higher fuel costs."

Weathering soaring prices for more famous bands sometimes means just cutting back. "Like big acts using eight trucks instead of 12 this time around," Bongiovanni said.

Larger bands can also ask clubs for guaranteed money to play, meaning even if no one comes to the show, they'll still get paid. And with the higher gas prices, they're asking for more, said Romona Downey, who books bands at the Bottom of the Hill club in San Francisco, which is popular with midlevel touring bands.

Dirtnap's Cheppaikode said the independent bands on his label don't always have the leverage to ask for guaranteed money and therefore they swallow the extra costs. They also tend to play at very small venues that may not be able to offer guarantees.

"I always tell our bands to make sure they have lots of (merchandise) to sell on each tour," he said.

Still, the groups have to get there to sell their goods. So for the little guy, there's often no choice but to keep truckin' and gas prices just become another hurdle on an already difficult road to stardom.

"What else can you do?" Yu said. "It's just the battle scars of trying to get your music out there. And for every band that doesn't or can't do it, there are other ones that can and will."

Barbara, the ninja
06-22-2008, 10:04 PM
I think it would be neat to see bands going to gigs through buses and trains.

idrive1life
06-22-2008, 10:09 PM
I saw Yo La Tengo did that when they went here in FL on their tour early last year.

betao
06-22-2008, 10:14 PM
I think it would be neat to see bands going to gigs through buses and trains.

I can see Thom Yorke getting an idea idea like this...

haha just the thought of a band with their equipment on some commuter bus on their way to the venue makes me chuckle.

it'd be cool to land on the same bus as the artist you're going to see.

MarkO
06-22-2008, 10:20 PM
On David Gilmours last dvd, you can see them taking a train between a couple of shows. Didn't see them humping the gear though.

idrive1life
06-22-2008, 10:33 PM
Ooh, YLT rented/used a bus just for them & some friends (?) in their tour.

suprefan
06-22-2008, 10:53 PM
You mean $5 gas.

Taken TONIGHT

http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/5931/dsc045081uc1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

anti-square
06-22-2008, 11:05 PM
Fucking gross.

Sushov23
06-22-2008, 11:11 PM
FUCK!. The indie band might die.

woogie846
06-22-2008, 11:12 PM
This is just plain sad.

zenidogx
06-22-2008, 11:28 PM
interesting article.

funny how an indie band's music travels farther than the actual band itself these days.

luckyface
06-22-2008, 11:46 PM
You mean $5 gas.

Taken TONIGHT

http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/5931/dsc045081uc1.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

How did you like the Thievery show?

Man, I don't get why people enjoy the Bowl. Worst crowd I have ever seen at a show. Nothing is worse for a concert than allowing people to bring their own alcohol.

Boourns
06-22-2008, 11:49 PM
This bullshit gas inflation is terrorism.

suprefan
06-22-2008, 11:51 PM
Dude, why didnt you tell me you were there man, I wouldve found you to day hi. I had fun, Los Amigos Invisibles shouldve gone before thievery. I shuffled around seating wise though, my friend who workes there got me a ticket in section D so I ''upgraded'''(view wise) from my super seat. And man pretty much everyone was drunk at the show, I was offered so much alcohol, I just had to repeat ''sorry I dont drink''. I dont even think them being aloowed to bring alcohol makes a diff, they still run out and buy more, the bowl knows what its doing in regards to letting them bring it in the first place cause they know itll dissappear and they have no choice but to buy right there.

microlovebeat
06-23-2008, 12:59 AM
oh no. my god. sound the mother fucking alarms. GASP a lame ass punk band simply cannot go on due to gas prices. Ever heard of busking you stupid, stupid pricks? with that, you'd never need your van with the seats covered in jizz from your circle jerk to lug around all of your piece of shit Johnson Guitars and Crate amps, AND there'd be less cancer patients because surely, not having your shitty ass, second rate black flag cover songs heard by everyone at blaring volumes must be the cure. just because you see gas prices as a scapegoat for your failed cause, doesn't mean you should actually use it to cover up how bad your band sucks balls till the cows come home, BROSEF.

this thread = totaly useless.

Marko = sexually demented monkey's plaything

C DUB YA
06-23-2008, 06:01 AM
kind throws a big effing wrench in the whole tour to make the cash arguement for illegal downloading.

just sayin.

betao
06-23-2008, 06:11 AM
http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/S/T/gasprices_allyourbase.jpg

faxman75
06-23-2008, 06:51 AM
hahahaha I love that pic

luckyface
06-23-2008, 08:17 AM
Dude, why didnt you tell me you were there man, I wouldve found you to day hi. I had fun, Los Amigos Invisibles shouldve gone before thievery. I shuffled around seating wise though, my friend who workes there got me a ticket in section D so I ''upgraded'''(view wise) from my super seat. And man pretty much everyone was drunk at the show, I was offered so much alcohol, I just had to repeat ''sorry I dont drink''. I dont even think them being aloowed to bring alcohol makes a diff, they still run out and buy more, the bowl knows what its doing in regards to letting them bring it in the first place cause they know itll dissappear and they have no choice but to buy right there.

I forgot you were going! I didn't check the board before I left so I missed your post about going to the show.

Seriously, I have never seen more drunk people at a show in my life.

bballarl
06-23-2008, 09:34 AM
It was quite the party in Berkeley. Great show.

SFChrissy
06-23-2008, 11:17 AM
It was quite the party in Berkeley. Great show.Berkeley was rocking...and I can't believe teh bay bridge was a bumper to bumper cruising strip into the city!!!

faxman75
06-23-2008, 12:06 PM
WAH WAH I'M A ROCKSTAR AND I CAN'T AFFORD TO DRIVE TO MY GIGS WAH!

Blinken
06-23-2008, 12:08 PM
WAH WAH I'M A POOR MUSICIAN AND I CAN'T AFFORD TO DRIVE TO MY GIGS WAH!

Fixed

BlackSwan
06-23-2008, 12:39 PM
It was quite the party in Berkeley. Great show.


Berkeley was rocking...and I can't believe teh bay bridge was a bumper to bumper cruising strip into the city!!!

Friday was a blast indeed... i forgot how many of Thievery's fans are pretentious hippies tho.

suprefan
06-23-2008, 12:52 PM
I forgot you were going! I didn't check the board before I left so I missed your post about going to the show.

Seriously, I have never seen more drunk people at a show in my life.

Boooo, so where did you sit? I couldve gotten you a better seat if you were in the back. And I agree with Blackswans post, thievery fans are lots of pretentiuous hippies....


I cant believe they sold out the bowl.

BlackSwan
06-23-2008, 12:56 PM
I cant believe they sold out the bowl.

holy shit they sold it out?!? that is nuts, good for them tho.

SFChrissy
06-23-2008, 01:16 PM
I was surrounded by snobs but didn't pay much attention to it as me and my friend were in our own world...

BlackSwan
06-23-2008, 01:30 PM
I was surrounded by snobs but didn't pay much attention to it as me and my friend were in our own world...

unfortunately where we were it was impossible to ignore the whole time.

Bud Luster
06-23-2008, 01:41 PM
better get signed to a major then...

luckyface
06-23-2008, 01:50 PM
Boooo, so where did you sit? I couldve gotten you a better seat if you were in the back. And I agree with Blackswans post, thievery fans are lots of pretentiuous hippies....


I cant believe they sold out the bowl.

G2, row 8. Last seat at the end, yet I got bumped repeatedly by people dancing in the aisle. Weird, huh? I'd really like to see what the job description reads for Bowl security.

C DUB YA
06-23-2008, 02:00 PM
better get signed to a major then...

oops - that doesn't happen anymore either

suprefan
06-23-2008, 03:21 PM
G2, row 8. Last seat at the end, yet I got bumped repeatedly by people dancing in the aisle. Weird, huh? I'd really like to see what the job description reads for Bowl security.

Ok, this sucks, I was in H Row 9, so close man.........

jigsaw
06-23-2008, 03:24 PM
The gas price is really high...420 bitch!
http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p39/p_rock79/gasprices.jpg

NicoDread
06-23-2008, 03:40 PM
where the hell are you where gas is so cheap? i payed $4.61/gallon today.

amyzzz
06-23-2008, 03:47 PM
Gas is $4.08 (arco) or $4.09 (chevron) at my closest street corner.

BROKENDOLL
06-23-2008, 06:05 PM
You mean $5 gas.

Taken TONIGHT

http://img522.imageshack.us/img522/5931/dsc045081uc1.jpg (http://imageshack.us) Shit! Right now I have a full tank and no place to go...I can deal with that!

BROKENDOLL
06-23-2008, 06:08 PM
http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/S/T/gasprices_allyourbase.jpg I'm just gonna consider that to be one of those LOL pics, right?

betao
06-23-2008, 06:17 PM
I'm just gonna consider that to be one of those LOL pics, right?

if you LOLed, then yes it would be.

idrive1life
06-23-2008, 06:21 PM
LOLed

http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s139/idrive1life/armlegboth.jpg

in FL ^

Pixiessp
06-23-2008, 07:17 PM
Gas is $4.08 (arco) or $4.09 (chevron) at my closest street corner.

what!!!! that's crazy. $4.55 cheapest here.

MarkO
06-23-2008, 07:19 PM
It's around $4.25 here but it varies by 10 or 15c depending on where you go.

idrive1life
06-23-2008, 07:27 PM
Its less than <$4 for my Prius in around Atlanta, GA 2 days ago when I went there for the R.E.M. show

Lowest Regular Gas Prices in the Last 24 Hours in around Atlanta, GA

http://www.atlantagasprices.com/

$3.75 is the cheapest ... most expensive $4.19

Sushov23
06-23-2008, 07:42 PM
I would gladly pay 3.75 right now, and I think everyone in CALI would.

betao
06-23-2008, 07:58 PM
LOLed

http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s139/idrive1life/armlegboth.jpg

in FL ^

now thats a good one.

Somewhat Damaged
06-23-2008, 09:50 PM
I paid $3.73 today. A couple miles closer to my house, the cheapest was $3.89. It's curious how there's such a large discrepancy in Tucson seemingly from one block to the next.

shakermaker113
06-23-2008, 10:13 PM
man people are gonna hurt bad once it gets up to $7. and if the headline is accurate, say goodbye to indie tours.