by cam vellacott
Have you ever listened to an absolute pearl of a band, one which not many people know about? A band which you adore, yet are unheard of in most circles. But gradually this changes. The band grows and moves from selling out intimate local venues, to arenas or stadiums. It feels like a part of you has been stripped away. Like their music once was written for you, and now it belongs to everyone.
Sometimes it is inevitable that your favourite artist will grow and prosper. Some happiness should emerge at the fact they can finally pay the bills and produce more music. Unfortunately, not everyone will feel this way. Some fans can turn sour at new found success. Whether it be hurling online abuse towards new fans, or showing dissent at live shows, it all tarnishes the positive experience everyone is trying to have.
There is a strong sense of entitlement from these fans, as if the band is theirs and you can't enjoy them as much as they do. This is utterly ridiculous. If you truly were a fan of the band, you’d celebrate their successes. This isn’t to say you can’t look back fondly to when when they were a struggling act who didn't have a big audience.
The audacity some gig and festival goers have to act as if they own the band playing is unbelievable. Have you ever experienced someone push past you in a band’s live set, and when you give them a puzzled look they remark, “I’ve listened to this band before you knew how to wipe your own arse, now move!” Maybe just me? You get the point, it is an entitlement issue.
A current example is Arctic Monkeys. Some fans shame others while discussing their favourite album. From some perspectives, if your answer isn’t Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, and instead is AM, then you aren’t a real fan. While ranking Arctic Monkeys albums is totally subjective, people so stern about their debut release being far superior is reflective of this culture. There are an abundance of other examples of this toxic behaviour; a behaviour which achieves nothing and just tarnishes music that should be enjoyed.
How long you have listened to a band and when you first discovered them are not defining factors as to who is a bigger fan; and anyway, does it really matter who the bigger fan is?
Keep showing your passion and indulging in their music. Go with the band, don’t fight their success. After all, if their music is good enough for you to love, why should you stop others from loving it just as much?
My name is Cameron Vellacott and I am a second year university student at QUT. I currently study Media and Communications. I have a passion for reading and writing, especially the intricacies of film, television and music. Understanding people and their behaviour, especially within the arts, is thoroughly fascinating for me. I have been heavily influenced by artists such as Quentin Tarantino, Heath Ledger, Ball Park Music, and Paul Kelly.