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August, 2006

"The Price of Gas"

by Webmaster

First, I'm sorry to be so late writing this column. I was out of state. I flew to Phoenix, then to Vancouver. From there, my mother and I boarded a ship and visited 3 towns in southeast Alaska. We went back to Vancouver and then back to Phoenix. I was lucky to get back to Colorado, the night before the latest security alert.

Yes, this applies to the price of gas. As I visited the various cities and towns, I noticed all the summer concert series in the parks there. As I play in several bands, I thought about a road trip: going from town to town playing music and looking at some spectacular scenery. What a wonderful way to see places I've never seen before.

But, the cost of gas! Let's face it, flying with an entire band (not too mention an upright bass) can be cost prohibitive. Many of these intriguing festivals can't afford to pay a lot. It would take a lot of festivals to make a road trip worthwhile. Up till recentlly, driving was a viable option for some bands. Road trips were do-able.

I'm not sure that's true any more. I feel sad about that.

Recently Suzie Solomon of Founders: Bands, Singers, Songwriters, Solo Performers, Sidemen, Instrumentalists, Performers, Entertainers, Musicians, Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Business and Services Supporting Acoustic Music, Music Stores, Musical Instruments, Music Teachers GospelGrass Gospel Grass: Places to Hear Acoustic Music, Locations, Venues, Clubs, Festivals, Music Promoters wrote to B. J. Suter of the Colorado Bluegrass Music Society:

"The big issue right now is gas prices. We had a good festival at Curt Gowdy but not a good turnout. I knew that would happen. That is why regional things are what we will focus on."

I got involved with music again, after a long hiatus, because of bluegrass festivals. Bluegrass, more than any other music genre, seems to thrive on weekend-long festivals. People travel across the country to pick with old and new friends for a weekend. They camp out, play music till the wee hours, and listen to stages of wonderful acts. The Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival, in Winfield, KS, is one of my favorites. I've been going off and on since 1994, along with 15,000-18,000 other music lovers.

But, the price of gas may keep a lot of folks from attending festivals that "too far", whatever each person's definition of "too far" may be.

I'd hate to see any acoustic music festivals die because of the price of gas.

Along with the impact of tougher drunk driving laws on the way folks travel across town to follow their favorite bands, the price of gas may keep some folks from driving across town to follow their favorite bands.

And, performers who play in various venues must take the cost of gas into account when they quote the price to perform. If they price themselves too high, they won't get gigs. If they keep their prices the same, they won't make as much money.

I don't have any answers for this dilemma--just more questions.

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