Friday, August 21, 2015

Are Online Dating Sites Killing Live Music?

Empty bar caused by online dating image
Bar managers are complaining that online dating sites like Tinder are taking a bite out of their business, and not just in the US either.

Australia is one of the last bastions for a healthy live music scene but it's been suffering a lot lately, and many feel that's because it's easier (not to mention cheaper) to hook up with someone from the opposite sex through a phone app than in a bar.

Live music in the US has gone through ups and down over the years, but for other reasons. There was a peak of activity during the 70s when almost every town had multiple bars that showcased live music, many on almost every night of the week.

The reason why live music proliferated then was because the drinking age in most states had been lowered to 18, mostly because of the Viet Nam war.

At the time the youth of America declared "old enough to fight, old enough to drink" and many in their state congress agreed, so bars sprang up everywhere to cater to the thirsty youth. The best way to get them into a bar was with live music, so real live paying gigs where everywhere as a result.

That all began to change in 1982 with the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) campaign that got every state to raise the drinking age back to 21. The new and much tougher DUI laws then caused many to question whether it was worth even going out for a drink. Bars closed everywhere and the music business hasn't been the same since.

One of the things that has never changed is that young people go to bars with live music to connect romantically. Take that element away, and you can see why live music venues might suffer.

Still, blaming online dating sites might be a little extreme. Could it be the music, perhaps?

What do you think?

1 comment:

Mike Verzi said...

Even if people are using internet dating sites to hook up rather than the bar, they still need places to go on their date. I'm sure in the end, that many of them still end up at the bar. Hopefully a bar with live music.


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