This question came up on Metafilter: Why doesn't mainland Europe produce as many popular music artists than UK / US? Is it purely down to the language barrier
Supposing the premise is actually true, I think it has a lot to do with venues. Everyone starts out crap. But where do you get good?
Britain has pubs. So does Ireland. Pubs will hire crap bands to perform on an off night. The US also has lots of bars where a crap band can get their act together.
That's not true everywhere. Look at France. There are places in Paris for a good band to perform, but there are almost no places for a crap band to perform. Bands don't play in bars in Paris.
There are other factors. Canada does well exporting performers because there is a lot of protection for Canadian content in the music industry, so budding performers can get airplay. And the other factor is whether people are interested in listening to bands from their own country.
But I think the availability of venues for crap bands has a lot to do with it.
Labels: breaking in
As someone that plays in a band in London I concur. It's very, very easy to get bookings here. The money is rubbish of course, but the bookings are easy.
Of course, I've never tried to get bookings in mainland Europe. ;)
With all due respect, there are tons of bands from mainland Europe and they all have a chance to play. Whereas in London and Ireland you may play in pubs, in the rest of Europe, France and Spain especially, there are always live music events happening all around the city in parks and public squares... often impromptu.
In my opinion it simply comes down to marketing. The agents, managers and representation, etc, don't have any interest in bringing bands from mainland Europe into the larger "world" (North American) market. They have enough British and American acts to represent for 25 years to come.
Have you ever heard German rap? Or worse, Hungarian rap?! *blech*
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