Music lovers pack halls, drown the money blues

“[Artists are] no longer making money off of records,” says Bongiovanni. “Their real income stream is coming from touring, which makes the live show even more important.”

To save money and make a dent in his debt, Justin Ordman, 26, of Allston is forgoing road trips with friends. Donna Conway, 48, of Malden has put the kibosh on shopping sprees. Cheryl Tong, 51, of Revere is eating out less.

One thing none of them is willing to give up, however, is going to see live music.

“You might not remember a dinner you had two years ago at a restaurant, but you’ll remember a good show 20 years from now,” Ordman said before heading into the House of Blues recently to check out pop group 3OH!3.

The packed clubs and concert halls across the country make it clear they’re not alone. Despite belt-tightening and layoff fears, the live music industry is thriving.

“2008 was a decent year for the concert business despite everything that happened,” says Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of concert industry trade publication Pollstar. “What we’ve found as we’ve moved through this year is that fans are still buying concert tickets, and the high-profile tours that went on sale early in the year have done fine.”

While attendance in North America was down 2 percent in 2008 compared with 2007, it was a much less steep decline than the 20 percent slide that took place between 2007 and 2006. And concert revenues…

continue reading from source by Sarah Rodman

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