Fri Aug 14, 2020

It’s a very uncertain world we now currently find ourselves living in. On one hand, the music industry feels so far away right now. It’s now summer and no shows and more or lesser releases. At the same time, the whole machinery is going on under the surface.

Negotiations are ongoing with new clubs, festivals, and other outlets. The difference is that during the planning we don’t know if it will happen with the dates we are discussing. It will all eventually happen but when?

I guess it is all one's death and the other one's bread. I just recently got several jobs during this crisis. Probably because people that didn’t make it want to move over to another business.  I also think this will be the time where we see who will remain on the stage for a living and who are just there because they think it’s a fun hobby that they just keep up while they work in their ‘real job.’

The changes will be quite severe. And in many cases it will be not be in favour for an established big artist that is not in the Top 50. Many that are semi-famous or live off the history of an old career will find themselves in a totally new world. A world that changes in a much more rapid way than any of us are used to at the moment.

Just a simple thing like the American election can change everything if Donald Trump gets re-elected. My guess is the country will go deeper down into the rabbit hole that it’s already in. More debts and now with the crises in full swing along with China that is in a position to control market shares. What would that do to the music industry? Quite an easy choice, USA would be the last market to enter. The restrictions would hold on longer and the crisis will prevail and will be quite uninteresting to invest money in a career there. Instead, we would go for more secure territories to start to invest in.

But the USA has the infrastructure you say? Not even developing areas are more interesting once the whole infrastructure is crashed we all have to start all over again. What happens if Joe Biden becomes president? Then you have a guy that is forced to clean up the mess the former president made. At the same time probably release many rescue packages which will put more stress on the current economy. The result is almost the same. It will be become harder to invest in the USA with a new artist’s career.

In Sweden we have a saying: however, you turn you will always have your ass in the back. Now I am already looking at which new territories are waking up first and also giving the money in a smart way to build up a new infrastructure for the live industry. That is where the money will initially be. That music will die out is not even an option. It just will develop, but not in the areas we might be used to or expecting.

Don’t even get me started with the UK that just left the EU and now has to handle the crisis as just one country literally on its own.

The only good thing about this is that these changes will open up so many new opportunities. The question is, are you connected enough to grab these opportunities?

Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes scheduled for February 18-20, 2021.