Jon wrote:jennylois wrote:Tickets are generally more expensive over here as well.
yep, regardless of working out the figures in comparison to the exchange rate (which I stopped doing as soon as a wage came in) they are not only expensive, but over-priced. The Special Beat played in one of the Brisbane suburbs and were charging $74 a ticket
Obviously, I don't have details of the Special Beat's contract, but my educated guess is that the economics for them are considerably more punitive than even for The Pogues, who do at least have name recognition and a more-or-less guaranteed bar turnover in the larger alcohol-licensed venues [this plays a bigger part in a local promoter's decision about where to put on a Pogues' show than you might imagine]. It's a little unfair to call a show "over-priced", with its implications of at least partial blame to the perfomer, if that's what it took to get the band over to Australia.
In the other arts, from theatre to dance to opera etc, nobody gets to or from Australia without massive financial support from Arts Councils, Local Education Authorities, Cultural Institutes, Sponsors etc etc. This is because most cultural organisations accept that art is expensive and, when it is as far away as Australia, is even more expensive. Arts bodies tend to accept that access to art should not come at a high cost to the Artist's income stream. Perhaps the time has come to ask Arts Subsidy people to stump up for certain contemporary music ensembles.
If you are U2 or the Stones, the counter-argument can easily be made that you are in Australia in the hope that your appearance there will generate even more zillions of album sales than you already enjoy. Indeed, a not dissimilar case was made in 1988 and onwards that The Pogues were also feeding their future by doing loss-making tours of the Antipodes. However, the Pogues have not put out a new record [with the current so-called "classic" line-up] in almost twenty years. We are not, in fact, competing much for record sales anymore, engaging though the annual saga of "Fairytale'" Top Three chart position has sometimes been. We are a crumbling yet surprisingly resilient cultural landmark, like the Abbey Theatre. We all individually have other projects we like doing for most of our time and cannot, therefore, be lured "back" to OZ/NZ at less than the rate we ourselves consider appropriate. What I'm saying here is we are not subject much to "market forces" or, if we are, we reserve the right to reject those forces and wait for a better offer. I do know we are a constant source of frustration to International Promoters who assume we're bluffing about this, that we'll somehow "come round" to a compromise. We're not and we won't. We mean what we say - we all "paid our dues" scrabbling for gig money from the mid-1970s/mid-1960s up to the late 1980s. It is not just the bathroom mirror which tells us we are no longer that eager kid who will make the necessary personal sacrifices in order to serve the common good.