Art and Entertainment


Gas Prices Have Indie Bands Staying Home

June 24, 2008 07:59 AM
by Cara McDonough
Many small-time bands were already on tight budgets. Now, they’re canceling or reworking tours due to soaring transportation costs.

30-Second Summary

Money has always been a concern for the band Something Fierce. So paying an estimated $2,500 for gas to drive from Houston to Vancouver and back for a recent tour just proved too much.

“There’s no way we can sustain a blow that big,” said Steven Garcia, singer-guitarist for the band. Something Fierce ended up canceling the tour.

With gas prices exceeding $4 a gallon, Something Fierce is hardly the only small, independent band making such decisions when booking gigs and setting tour schedules.

San Francisco-based band LoveLikeFire is booking more tours on the East Coast because the cities are closer to each other than on the West Coast. Others say they’re forcing their bands into smaller vehicles or sharing vehicles between two bands or more to cut costs.

Gas prices are undoubtedly affecting everyone, but Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of concert publication Pollstar, said the “people being most affected are new bands touring on the subsistence level. They don’t have the popularity to charge higher ticket prices because of higher fuel costs.”

The loss of indie band performances is one of many far-reaching—and somewhat unexpected—effects of high gas prices. Restaurants have seen a recent wave of grease theft as biodiesel producers use the leftover grease to convert it into comparatively inexpensive fuel. Another recent effect is an increase in Americans converting their backyards into vegetable gardens and growing their own food, in the hopes of combating high gas and food prices.

Headline Link: ‘High Gas Cost Puts Brakes on Indie Tours’

Background: Gas now past $4 a gallon

Related Topics: Gas prices spurn grease theft, vegetable gardening

Reference: Finding cheap gas, average gas prices


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