It’s well documented that we’re living in the age of entitlement. For some reason often that’s as far as the dossier on the topic goes – admittance.
Is that how entrenched this sense of self-importance is? Are we so entitled now that we don’t even feel the need to fully understand it ourselves? Spend ten seconds on social media and the evidence points in that direction.
This mentality seems to apply more so to creatives than anyone else, and within that group, musicians appear to be the biggest target. Plan on touring or releasing new music? Well, we hope that you thought of every single person in your fan base, regardless of where they live or if they’ve bought your music.
Lest you see the eyes of an adoring followers turn savage. Instantly.
It’s a weird concept to grapple when you get it to the brass tacks. We worship our favourite musicians and for the most part, we seem to be spending what little money we all have on concert tickets and merch. Heaven forbid they should announce a tour and skip our town / city / country. I mean seriously. Who do they think they are?
‘Don’t they know that I bought their t-shirt once 3 years ago? I even downloaded their entire back catalogue, it’s not like artists get any money from albums now anyway’.
Queue the barrage of rhetoric and vitriol.
This seems to happen to artists of all levels, the ultimate surely being Sia, who is being sued for not engaging her audience enough at a recent performance in Israel. Well, maybe she just wanted to be in bed? You’ve never got to work and just wanted to go back to bed? Yeah, nah, you’re perfect aren’t you.
Now imagine if people tried to sue you because of it.
One of the most hair pulling situations is the recent East Coast run announced by Northlane, Hellions and Polaris. Hitting Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Northlane copped a tsunami of backlash for not including all major Australian cities or – and wait for it – all regional centres.
…Because how dare they not do a run of 50+ tour dates at the end of an album cycle already toured extensively. The popular question seemed to be ‘Why won’t you come to my town?”
Clearly no one bothered to vet that question internally before asking it, as the reasons are plentiful, the question ultimately irrelevant. The tour has already been announced but the fan seems to either ignore this or be totally unaware of it, reverting to their comfortable position of entitlement.
What is the end game here?
Do you think the band will change their entire schedule just to come to your city?
… Or is a band tired finishing an album cycle (and the bullshit) more likely to say, “Ok, well, we won’t tour here anymore then if you’re going to be dicks about it.”
This ownership over musicians doesn’t end there. It extends into their personal and private life. Case in point is Alison Wonderland’s accessible and timely note regarding the crushing lows that come with international success.
“How hard can it be?” you cried, “You’re a famous DJ, shut up, play music.” As though you were expecting her to apologise for her comments.
How hard can it be, you ask?
You* struggle to get to your job at the local café after a bender. In fact, you often call in sick. Now imagine if you had to travel 27 hours to the other side of the world, and go straight to work at a café there – then a different café every morning for the rest of the month.
Chances are you aren’t going to know what city you’re in, let alone have the focus to make a fucking soy-caramel-latte. Then, imagine having to fly 14 hours to do it again in another country with a different language. For months on end.
How bad can it really be, though? Your friends and family, your home and bed? Comforts. Oh yeah, that’s right – They’re on the other side of the world. With a crushing schedule in a foreign land and little respite, you’d best be prepared to deal with a barrage of threats and hate.
We idolise our favourite musicians. We soundtrack key moments of our lives to their music, but we don’t own them just because we’ve bought their products.
No more so than customers at your café own you just because they bought a soy-caramel-latte. The sooner we understand that, the sooner we lift 10,000 tonnes of stress off the shoulders of these musicians who are clearly the heroes we need but don’t deserve.
*Your experience may vary from the one described above