High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Hit the Road. Bands in Search of an Audience Abroad
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Hit the Road. Bands in Search of an Audience Abroad

(Lutgard Mutsaers) The Low Countries - 2006, № 14, pp. 150-156

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The idea that a rock group from the Low Countries might attract large crowds elsewhere has become less and less bizarre in recent years. The world's become smaller because of the spread of music via the internet, which means that fame is no longer just a question of being in the record shops and the magazines and appearing on the radio and television. Flights to popular destinations have become cheaper, so groups can go abroad under their own steam. But the explanation's not that simple. When bands go on the road, it's generally not something that they do on spec; there have to be destinations, contacts, invitations and agreements. A hit in your own country and in the countries where your music is distributed will signal the start of a tour for bands who are signed to big labels. But how does it work for bands who haven't had any hits, for bands who have contracts with independent labels or groups working on a ‘do-it-yourself' basis? What does ‘success' abroad mean when a group has to manage without the traditional channels of the established music industry and media? What sort of adventure is a band of this kind, often independent of the prevailing tastes and trends in the music industry, embarking on when they attempt to find an audience in another country for their concerts and CDs?

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