A few months ago, I decided to ask the Fayetteville Flyer community one of the questions that I ask every person or band that we interview for this site; “What have you been listening to lately?”
We got some great responses, found out about a few new bands and we also found out that for the most part, you guys have some pretty good taste in music. Nice work.
Which made me think it’s time to ask another question that I ask a lot of the bands we interview. How do you perceive the music scene in Fayetteville?
I ask bands this question because it is always interesting to me to check the pulse of our local music scene by asking some of the folks who are arguably most invested in it.
But to really take the temperature of a music scene, you need to hear from more than just the bands.
There are basically three central components that make up a music scene.
- The bands
- The venues
- The community of people who participate in the music scene by going to shows, patronizing the venues, etc.
After that, there are all kinds of things to consider. Are there enough venues? How are they doing? Are they the right kind of venues to support the bands and the people who want to see the bands? Do they treat the bands well? Are they bringing in enough national/regional acts? Are they booking the local bands?
Next, do people in bands go out to see other bands? Do other folks go out and see local bands? How often? Do they buy their music, t-shirts, stickers, and buttons? Do they tell their friends about them? Do they talk about them at work?
And of course, in order for a music scene to thrive, you have to have some good bands. How are the bands associated with the music scene? Do they self-promote online and off? Do they work hard? Do they sound good? Are they relevant? Are they consistent?
One of the quickest ways to gauge a music scene’s vibrance is to take a snapshot of how the venues who specialize in music are doing.
In the last year or so, at least six new music venues have opened in Fayetteville. Off the top of my head, I can think of Greenhouse Grille, Froggy’s, The Gypsy, Smoke and Barrel Tavern, Cheers, and Rogue Pizza Company. There are probably more.
During that same time period, Froggy’s, The Gypsy and the Old Post Office have closed. Plus, Cheers definitely doesn’t do regular shows if they do them at all.
George’s, of course, seems to have been thriving for years.
There are lots of places in town right now doing house shows and that particular scene seems to be doing well. But why is that? Is it because there aren’t enough venues? Is it economics? Will people not pay to see music? Does Fayetteville simply prefer house shows?
From my perspective, I think there are a ton of great bands playing in Fayetteville right now. We have bluegrass, rock, metal, indie, cover bands, jam bands, hip-hop, country, DJ’s, singer/songwriters and more. And a lot of them are really good at what they do.
But that’s just a small part of the equation.
What do you think? Is Fayetteville’s music scene thriving or struggling right now? How are our bands? How is the support? Do we have the venues we need?
I’m not looking for band bashing or venue bashing or a “this guy sucks” type of discussion. I’m really just wondering how our live music community is doing. How do we stack up to where we were 10 years ago. Five? Last year?
Have at it?