Music has been fully restored to the annual League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Fair and we were invited to be a part of it. For several years they scaled it back to next to nothing. Apparently the reason wasn't so much the cost of paying performers; it was the ASCAP licensing fees and live audio engineer that made it prohibitive. This year the board finally got around the problem by having performers provide their own sound, which we are all used to lugging around, anyway, and only hiring groups that can play exclusively original and public domain music. So The Buskers returned, after several years, to the stage (which could have been smaller, though a bigger tent would be an improvement–a lot of the audience ended up listening from the food tent across the way to get out of the hot sun. Next year!).
Our three sets yesterday were, more than ever, a tour of our extensive original songbook, and though CD sales will never be what they were back in the days before streaming, we did a pretty brisk business at the merch table, thanks to an older, old school crowd (and two very charming salespeople). Why pay money to own music when you can stream it for free? Because the income from CD sales and digital downloads is the only way a band like ours, with limited exposure, can afford to keep recording our music. With as little as one tenth of a cent per streaming–on songs we have to pay a fee for to upload to iTunes or CDbaby, we can never recoup the four or five thousand dollars spent in the studio. So thank you, again, to all of you who have supported us along the road with a CD or download purchase.
Karen, one of our two lovely merch table tenders.