In today’s world of music, DJs are the new rock gods

The red squirrel is in decline across the UK   
Picture by Harry Hogg

ALICE ASHCROFT: The plight of the red squirrel

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This week I’ve been working at a live events conference in London, where there’s been a discussion on, among other things, the future of music and the way audiences consume it.

Like many, I’ve always loved music. From my first purchase of the 7in single of Ian Dury & The Blockheads’ Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick through to the irreverent songs downloaded on iTunes, I’m incessantly in awe of performance and creative brilliance.

Of course, every generation has a particular fondness for their own era and an utter lack of respect for emerging genres.

Cliff Richard fans would have undoubtedly scoffed at Love Me Do when the song by The Beatles obliterated the hit parade in 1962.

The future looks very different, for musicians and their audiences.

The panel of industry leaders, promoters, venue owners and managers (including Harvey Goldsmith) painted a compelling picture of how young people will consume their music.

For starters DJs are the new ‘rock gods’.

These guys and gals are commanding the big money and pulling the biggest audiences.

I understand that top Dutch DJ Tiesto can charge a cool £500,000 for just one set…and has been known to do three or four in a night. Nice work if you can get it.

With regards to live music, ‘the youth’ don’t want to hear albums any more. Think about their listening habits, on iTunes or Spotify, it’s one or two songs by an artist and then on to another.

The days of listening to three great songs on an album and then tolerating the other six are over.

In a live performance context this translates into one gig; but with three or four acts, playing a couple of tunes each.

And what about longevity? Will the shrieking kids of 2009 still be reminiscing about the golden days of JLS in 2029? JL…who?

Watching a gig, whilst recording it, posting, liking, sharing and tweeting on your device, is the future.

Time for me to get the kettle on and dust off the vinyl.