The story ends neatly at the 20 year mark, with plenty of shows still to look forward to later in 2017 and new bands appearing all of the time. But will I still be going to these shows in another 20 years? Hard to say. The prospects beyond the next few years simply aren’t as good as they have been of late, with the demonisation of music venues and the complications of Brexit refusing to go away.
Regardless of individual views, I can’t deny that the free movement within the EU has allowed many bands to play here that wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do so, not to mention a number of promoters and significant proportions of the audience who have come to the UK of their own free will and played a part in our live music experiences.
On the plus side, the growth of the internet has allowed music to cross borders even when the bands themselves do not, and unless they criminalise streaming or even block it at source, the sounds will always make it to these shores thanks to those who know where to look.
Also have to consider the health issues of gigging – it’s probably already had a impact on my hearing, and the ‘beer and junkfood’ diet that accompanies such events doesn’t help either. There are precautions one could take, but after 20 years of such behaviour, I’m simply not convinced I could enjoy the shows as much without the ‘throw caution to the wind’ mentality.
But anyway, as I write this, there are plenty of bands still left to see, and Brexit or no Brexit, we’ll find a way to see them. But I do have other musical objectives in the DJ booth, and as I’ve said several times throughout the text, that is a story in its own right. And I’ll have a go at telling it next year.