A music scene – even a relatively small one like Dublin’s – is a complex and multifaceted beast, and with essentially the whole thing having been shut down for the last two years or so, its reemergence is beyond welcome.
As the mask mandate lifts this week, in fact, the biggest issue facing music after its period of fiscal drought and enforced quiet is getting shows booked into venues, with spaces extremely in-demand. The musicians, after all, need to start making money, and shows are where most of that happens in the modern scene (a topic for another week: ticket prices are high now because income for the music itself is low. The industry has to make money somewhere, after all).
What’s not yet clear, though, is who is back, and who we have lost, to music at least, as a result of the pandemic. It’s obvious that most of the really big acts will survive. After all, U2 could never play a gig for the rest of their lives and still be fiscally sound, so it would take different reasoning for them to call it a day. On the fringes of the scene, though, there will be bands, solo artists, DJs and venues that never see the light of day again. So much so that I’ve been watching gig listings like a hawk, and let out a small sigh of relief each time an act I love adds a 2022 show.
As the coming weeks unfold, then, the party atmosphere will sadly and slowly unveil more losses: performers who never come back to the stage, or venues who never reopen their doors. Of course we should celebrate the reopening, it’s a beautiful thing. But let’s take a moment to acknowledge the talent and soulful beauty that’s been lost to the calling of ‘the real world’ over the past couple of years, too.
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