Photo Friday 29th March 2019
Music tourism is a thing.
Trust me, it’s not just me, although I am a major music tourist. In the UK, a gig tourist spends on average £910 while attending festivals and £602 while attending concerts. (Source https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/music-tourism-generates-2-2bn-29652392.html). I don’t think I spend anything of the kind; I’m a cheap skate and also a starving writer (if we exaggerate a little). If I spent that much money on a single trip, I wouldn’t manage so many in a year.
I do most of my music trips to the UK, but I have combined my visits to Finland with gigs trips and have gone as far as Copenhagen to see my dearly beloved and dearly departed Fearless Vampire Killers. People travel from the UK to Ireland to see bands. Fans go from Ireland to Finland to see their favourites. People come from continental Europe to UK and Ireland. People will fly from the States to Europe and vice versa. It’s big business.
Some of these people spend a few days in their destination being regular tourists. That’s not usually how I do it because I don’t want to ‘waste’ my precious holidays. If I take extra days in my destination, I will quickly run out of vacation days at work, and when the next tour announcement comes, I might not have any holidays left to take.
My recent trip to see Sick Joy in Brighton was extreme but not untypical. The flight was delayed by an hour thanks to stormy weather, so we landed in Gatwick at 5.30 pm. What is usually a half-an-hour journey on the train took over an hour because engineering works means that part of the journey was done by bus instead. We got to Brighton railway station at 7. Our taxi got us to our hotel by 7.30. Our band was due on stage at 8.15 pm, and we got to the venue at approximately 7.50 pm - with 25 minutes to spare. I wouldn’t recommend that kind of travel arrangements to anyone.
Then again, when band members know the trouble you go to to see them live, it makes that bond extra special and totally worth it.