The small concert venues that make up Toronto’s concert scene may be overrun — and ultimately extinct — by larger venues. Is the division between club and theater venues growing smaller, or even artificial?
The Houston Post’s Craig Hafer wonders, quoting from a Wall Street Journal article, that arena-scale concerts may make up between 60 to 75 percent of all concerts in 2018. According to industry insiders, the city’s Toronto Music Conference isn’t looking to rework its concept, but instead to create a festival, which would bring smaller venues and unsold spotlights to Toronto’s Canadian Music Week.
We can’t help but recall a WXRT and WOLO reporter musing in 2015, after the independent tour platform broke up with the Canadian Music Week organizers, that larger venues may be ascendant. At the time, we thought that a festival may make sense for any stage in a city with such prestigious institutions as the Toronto International Film Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival and Canada’s International Film Festival, to name a few.
We can’t help but recall some stats. The total club venue count was around 800 in 2017, the WSJ article says, while the estimated total club, theatre and industrial potential is closer to 1,400. We don’t know if that percentage will change, but the market says it might be changing faster than we thought.
— Ryoko Yudou Motoyama, Baltimore Post staff