If you don't need any convincing that 2003 was a great year for live music, please look away now...
The Performing Rights Society confirmed yesterday (Jan 12th) that they expect over £10 million in royalties to collect and distribute to their members, from live shows in 2003 - the highest figure since the Society was set up 90 years ago.
Putting the boom down to a strong economy, PRS director John Axon made the following statement: "It has been an exceptional year on the concert front - the best ever for revenues. It has become part of the culture to attend one of more of the big live events of the year."
We're sure the Darkness would tongue-in-cheekedly love to believe this is all down to them, and Robbie Williams probably has a bit of a knowing smirk on his face at this news, but it really is clear that 2003 was the year when the internet opened more doors to new music, by allowing fans to sample even more bands than ever, become members of informed communities and has made gig information available at the tap of a key. But, the internet and mtv, has also created a need for people to go out more, to get away from the screen and back out into reality, not that there is any research that we know of to back this up.
DiScuss: What were your top 5 live highlights of 2003? Where is your favourite venue? And what do you believe can be done to improve the live scene in 2004? Have you heard any good festival rumours yet?