In Defense of Live Music

I cannot stand idly by while the music industry completely destroys music.

In Defense of Live Music
John Maus - Basilica Soundscape, 2017

By Camelia Brennan

I have spent the last decade of my life building a career working with independent record labels. This has been a sincere, albeit naive, attempt to help musicians succeed.

I was happy to contribute in any way I could. However, it has now become extraordinary clear to me that working within the existing music industry infrastructure is not how I will make a meaningful contribution to music.

The music industry as a whole has failed musicians time and time again — through gatekeeping, censorship, blatant inefficiency and corruption. Anything they can do, we can do independently, and probably better. We need a decentralized community that empowers performers, venues and fans. A community where everyone is actually welcome, regardless of medical procedures or political views.

I cannot participate in festivals I have attended since their conception. All of this, because I refuse to comply with medical requirements that are marketed by the State and pharmaceutical companies as a pass to freely participate in society. In practice, this is class discrimination. This is segregation. This is evil.

The goal of these policies is to create division, but we can counter them with kindness and compassion.

How can we accept that from now on only State and corporate sanctioned events will be allowed? Our society is cheering on the end of culture and somehow we're not able to see past the immediate promises of a return to normal, that so many want desperately to be true.

The more we comply the worse our future will become. Freedom of speech & personal choice as well as skepticism of the State & corporations used to be principles the anti-establishment left held dearly. What has happened?

If we mourn what we've lost and acknowledge that we need to start over, we have a real opportunity to create a supportive community for musicians that actually seeks to be helpful instead of exploitative.

Let's bring back real D.I.Y. art and performance. We don't need anyone's permission, we just need to be nice to each other.