"Shut Up and Sing!"
"Shut up and sing!"
This week, an artist I admire, Amy Speace announced that she was cancelling her Texas shows in response to the extreme anti-abortion legislation that was just passed. Regardless of where you stand, as an individual on the question, her facebook post and the comments that followed really highlighted the tenuous relationship that some fans have with artists.
Many commented that they felt artists should "stick with the singing" and leave politics off the stage. She's not the only artists who's been told to tone down political messages. Many of you have experienced pushback when you've been vocal on any issue!
I suppose this series of comments really caught my attention by the vehemence with which a few individuals expressed themselves. The same control they seemed to want to exert over female reproductive systems was evident in their desire to control the artist muse...
And that, for me, is a red flag.
Not every artist wants to be political. And that is absolutely your right.
Yet, for many of you, your music is only one part of your engagement with fans. As modern-troubadours, you recognize your power in passing on messages, in compelling folk to action.
And that too, is absolutely your right!
In all cases, it's important to remind audiences that artists are not their puppets. They are not their property. Artists do not "owe" their audiences... even if these audiences pay for music and concert tickets.
I just thought I'd put that out there...
You might find yourself with a vocal fan who starts to bellow on your facebook page and threaten to unfollow you, rip up their tickets or take you off their Spotify playlist. There's an easy response to this: "Bye bye!"
I'll be around in a few hours if you want to pop in and say Hi at the Hang!
Hope you're well where you are.