Monday, February 19, 2007

Ozzfest becomes Freefest

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne announced that Ozzfest will be free this year (free as in beer). The plan so far: Freefest will be supported entirely by sponsors. Bands will not be paid, but will be able to make money from merchandise sales, and will be encouraged to play paying side gigs between tour dates. Tickets will allegedly be free, but can only be obtained through sponsor sites.

In a press conference earlier this month, Sharon Osbourne gave some indication that she understands that the Internet demands new business models from the music industry:
Hey, kids can go online and download music, why not go to a show for free too? What the heck? Ozzy's got a new record coming out this year, he'll be touring the whole year. There is plenty of time to make money.
It remains to be seen whether the tour will result in a net gain for everyone invovled. Artists or their handlers may balk at not being able to make a buck on ticket sales, and it will undoubtedly put more strain on performers to play a "side tour" of smaller gigs alongside Freefest. Tickets will still be limited in supply, so if the organizers are not careful, aggressive scalpers may be able to create a secondary market at little cost and with little risk.

Still, it's reassuring to see some creative thinking from players in the mainsream music industry.

(via vh1.com)

3 comments:

Peter said...

I don't have much time for this dysfunctional bunch of idiots but...

"It remains to be seen whether the tour will result in a net gain for everyone invovled. Artists or their handlers may balk at not being able to make a buck on ticket sales, and it will undoubtedly put more strain on performers to play a "side tour" of smaller gigs alongside Freefest. Tickets will still be limited in supply, so if the organizers are not careful, aggressive scalpers may be able to create a secondary market at little cost and with little risk."

It seems to me that they are trying to do exactly what you call for on this site again and again. And all you do is throw up problems. I'm sure there will be issues but let's have a bit more support for a reasonably good idea.

esguerra said...

Haven't you heard of constructive criticism? I'm drawing attention to potential problems as a means of support. Imagine that Freefest fails its organizers or its audience--it will transform into a high-profile weapon for detractors of "free beer" business models.

If this tour is a success, which will undoubtedly take creative planning and constructive criticism beyond their "reasonably good idea," I hope to see more free tours. If not, then we're that much more likely to continue forking over hundreds of dollars to enjoy live music events.

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