Live performances were among the industries that suffered greatly during the pandemic. According to some studies, the loss amounted to billions of dollars (in 2020 alone) as a result of the prolonged closure, including sponsorships, item sales, booked flights, hotels, and venues.
With an uncertain future, the industry fought back the best it could, some artists started monetizing music consumption, others got creative by hosting live concerts online, either through their social networks or on different platforms. This attracted live viewers who were happy to pay to watch the show online as if they had paid to go in person.
Although streaming helped a lot to some musicians, during this period, and proved to be a strong business, it also suffered losses. In consequence these companies decided to increase streaming costs and paying artists a pittance with Cradle Of Filth's Dani Filth stating in a recent interview: "I think we had 25, 26 million plays last year, and I think personally I got about 20 pounds, which is less than an hourly work rate."
Nowadays, despite inflation and the fact that the cost of airline flights and hotels has skyrocketed dramatically, we are seeing a very strong resurgence in live performances and people are experiencing a hunger for travel like never before. But that leaves us with another problem to solve, as discussed with Eric Peterson from Testament in a recent interview with Riff X's Metal XS:
"The price of gasoline has risen. A number of things have risen. Perhaps some band fees have not increased. Some of my favorite techs who have worked with me are no longer in the business because three years without working is quite difficult. Fortunately, we've gradually assembled a new team, and everything appears to be blazing on all cylinders. We're rather pleased. But, yes, it is difficult. It's like starting from scratch — new sound engineer, new guitar techs. When touring resumed, everyone toured again, thus there were no buses. It was difficult. But I believe that we were one of the lucky bands because of the relationships Testament had with so many companies over the years."
Many artists have voiced their concerns about the high costs of touring. Dez Fafara in a recent episode of Heavy Metal Mayhem, expressed his concerns saying "I don't think the cost of crews are ever gonna come down. The cost of lighting has doubled, the cost of gas has tripled, I don't see any of that returning back to form to where people can do this. So it's gonna be a real rough go." It is definitely a significant problem, that is affecting everyone with no sights on how to be solved. Fafara also, makes a connection of high prices with fans who think twice when buying a ticket.
But even though the prices are high, let's continue to support our favorite music bands the best we can. According to Peterson, Testament is working on a new album that will probably be out later this year. If so, let's go out and buy it to continue supporting this incredible band. And if not, let's save the money for when it comes out.
Another great way to support Testament is seeing them at the upcoming Metal Injection festival this September alongside bands like Fear Factory, the Cavalera brothers, and Machine Head. Check that out here.