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It makes perfect sense to me that young well-off people would seek out a platform like this. They want the alt DIY venue but they don't know where to find it or they are scared of being rejected. Paying to feel like you're part of something is so much easier. "At a recent Sofar Sounds show, I looked around and wondered if this is really what people want now: seamless, curated social experience. To see shows in coworking spaces and Ray-Ban stores and white-walled coffee shops. If this is truly where mainstream culture is headed, there’s comfort in how universally hated and rejected the whole model is by so many artists."
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This is fascinating. "In Sofar’s self-mythology, the non-announced lineup adds to the “surprise” element of its prefab fun experience: you never know who might show up. But, in fact, not announcing who is playing your sponsored music event is a tactic that massive corporations have used to center their own brands while downplaying the role of artists for decades. In the 1999 book No Logo, Naomi Klein recalls this approach being taken by the beverage giant Molson Brewery in its attempts to siphon coolness from musicians. At the time, Molson—now owned by Coors—maintained big stakes in the music industry, including owning several venues and a 50 percent stake in a national Canadian concert promotion company. But in 1996, Klein writes, the beer billionaires were fed up: the artists were stealing their spotlight, and there was a growing trend where artists would talk shit about sponsors on stage. They needed to become more efficient leeches, so they designed a series called “Blind Date Concerts” that would eventually be adopted by sister company Miller Beer too. Molson and Miller would hold a “contest” offering winners a chance to attend a super exclusive concert they’d organized in a super intimate venue. “And here’s the clincher,” writes Klein. “Keep the name of the band secret until it steps on stage.” Sound familiar?"
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A global startup aims to exploit the underground music scene