McCartney scandal discussion still simmering

Almost caught up on missed work from last week, and when I am I will post more, but until then, here is a recent post from Locals.

Look, this is such a circular argument.

People like Folkie think Paul McCartney is better, for no quantifiable reason. Mainstream music consumers (a shrinking commodity, but still a huge force) think that “of course this music is better” meaning mainstream old school pop and rock.

So the government and bureaucrats can justify the expense based on “common knowledge” and “what everyone knows”.

Now, the event does have some kind of social, tourism and economic impact, and that is measurable, so the same politicians and bureaucrats say “this proves what everyone knows”.

BUT, all the other festivals and events have economic impacts, some significant, but often for non-mainstream or specialty music or art, and these too have social, tourism and economic impact, and it too is measurable and quantifiable.

Sometimes the economic impact is less (HPX, IDOW) or as much (AFF, Jazzfest) or more (Tattoo, Neptune, Symphony).

The fact that the music or art is not mainstream, well “everyone knows” that these events are “not as important or impactful”.

So the issue remains one of fairness.

There is no quantifiable reason to give a major commons concert disproportionately more money as a grant or a loan than, on a percentage or per capita basis, any other event EXCEPT the idea that “this music mattes more” which is intellectually bankrupt, and from a quantifiable provable basis SIMPLY FALSE in terms of social, tourism, and economic impacts.

  • Gravitas

    “There is no quantifiable reason to give a major commons concert disproportionately more money as a grant or a loan than, on a percentage or per capita basis, any other event EXCEPT the idea that “this music mattes more” “…

    Incorrect. Neptune and Symphony NS attract people to Halifax from across the province. This (in some cases) may add some incremental tax revenue to Halifax, but only by pulling it away from elsewhere. The same is true for most of the other examples mentioned (with the exception of the Tattoo, which brings people from literally around the world).

    Large, big-name concerts bring people to Halifax from other provinces, and even from the NE US. This brings NEW money into our region from elsewhere, which is the simplest definition of growing the economy. THAT is the ‘quantifiable reason’ the poster has overlooked, and it illustrates the total lack of understanding on the part of many people about what economic impact really means.

  • Gravitas

    “There is no quantifiable reason to give a major commons concert disproportionately more money as a grant or a loan than, on a percentage or per capita basis, any other event EXCEPT the idea that “this music mattes more” “…

    Incorrect. Neptune and Symphony NS attract people to Halifax from across the province. This (in some cases) may add some incremental tax revenue to Halifax, but only by pulling it away from elsewhere. The same is true for most of the other examples mentioned (with the exception of the Tattoo, which brings people from literally around the world).

    Large, big-name concerts bring people to Halifax from other provinces, and even from the NE US. This brings NEW money into our region from elsewhere, which is the simplest definition of growing the economy. THAT is the ‘quantifiable reason’ the poster has overlooked, and it illustrates the total lack of understanding on the part of many people about what economic impact really means.

  • Well, in this case, you are just wrong. HPX bring 1200 visitors to Halifax, about 550 from out of province, and has an economic impact of $2.1 million. All these events bring people. When I did the punk festival, Flip the Switch, in 2005, we had 550 people from out of province out of 3500, and that gave it an economic impact over all up in the high hundreds of thousands. There is at this time NO proof that the McCartney concert drew proportionally more people from out of town than any other event, because the WTCC won’t release the figures. You are just supposing this to be true but you have no data, again, you are just doing what all the other big concert boosters do, which is assume that “of course” people came for McCartney. Prove it.

  • Well, in this case, you are just wrong. HPX bring 1200 visitors to Halifax, about 550 from out of province, and has an economic impact of $2.1 million. All these events bring people. When I did the punk festival, Flip the Switch, in 2005, we had 550 people from out of province out of 3500, and that gave it an economic impact over all up in the high hundreds of thousands. There is at this time NO proof that the McCartney concert drew proportionally more people from out of town than any other event, because the WTCC won’t release the figures. You are just supposing this to be true but you have no data, again, you are just doing what all the other big concert boosters do, which is assume that “of course” people came for McCartney. Prove it.

  • Every time a private promoter does Wilco or Steve Earle we have people fly in from Que, On, and New England… should they get money too? What an absurd argument.

  • Every time a private promoter does Wilco or Steve Earle we have people fly in from Que, On, and New England… should they get money too? What an absurd argument.

  • Gravitas

    Waye, whatever. You’re asking me to take your word for the numbers you’re providing. I have just as much anecdotal evidence for the larger concerts bringing in more people from more locations outside the region. Frankly, your consistent indignation over this issue – you’re a bit of a broken record – smacks of sour grapes: “I didn’t get my share of the dough, so no one else should get any.”

    I might come back to your blog when (if?) these issues blow over. For now, your fixation is just a little too repetitive for me. Take care.

  • Gravitas

    Waye, whatever. You’re asking me to take your word for the numbers you’re providing. I have just as much anecdotal evidence for the larger concerts bringing in more people from more locations outside the region. Frankly, your consistent indignation over this issue – you’re a bit of a broken record – smacks of sour grapes: “I didn’t get my share of the dough, so no one else should get any.”

    I might come back to your blog when (if?) these issues blow over. For now, your fixation is just a little too repetitive for me. Take care.

  • I’m actually working on a research paper on festival economic impact right now. Gravitas, in some areas I have opinions. In some areas, like concert promotion, I am a 20 year veteran, one of the most experienced promoters in the region, and a college professor on the subject. When the paper comes out I will post it, and you can see the data, with the foot notes.

  • I’m actually working on a research paper on festival economic impact right now. Gravitas, in some areas I have opinions. In some areas, like concert promotion, I am a 20 year veteran, one of the most experienced promoters in the region, and a college professor on the subject. When the paper comes out I will post it, and you can see the data, with the foot notes.

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