The closing of live music venues has been a common theme this summer in Eastern Massachusetts: T.T. The Bear’s Place closed last month, the Beachcomber in Quincy is reported to shutter next month, and Somerville’s Johnny D’s announced it will board up early next year.
The alleged death of live music, however, isn’t a trend limited to New England, but something being felt around the world. And one Australian promoter has a new theory to add to the conversation, one that doesn’t have anything to do with the usual reasoning behind the closing of rock clubs (high rents, disinterested youth, and rising costs). It’s Tinder and other hook-up apps.
“I had an interesting chat last night at Yah Yah’s with another Melbourne Promoter. We were discussing the fact that 2015 was a tough year,” writes James Young, owner of Melbourne venue Cherry Bar. “I said that I thought the closing of The Palace and the diabolical Australian Dollar leading to far fewer International Tours had genuinely effected numbers at Cherry, especially on the non-weekend nights.”
Then it gets interesting.
“But then he posed a theory I had never heard before: ‘You’ve forgotten the most important factor of all. Tinder has destroyed the live music and pub scene. First, look at Grinder and the gay scene. Grindr came two years before Tinder. Commercial Road Prahran used to be a thriving late night gay hot spot. Now, it’s dead as a door nail. It’s over. Now we are seeing the same thing with Tinder. This is how young people ‘pick up’ these days. I see them in the office. They’re on it all the time.”
He adds: “They’re not going out to clubs and pubs to pick up anymore. They’re just picking up their phones. Tinder is killing off clubs and pubs all over Melbourne and Australia. And when they take their dates out for the first time, they try to impress them with some chic dining experience, rather than a rowdy live music experience. I’m telling you, Tinder has alot to answer for. It’s bleak out their for club owners. These are dark and challenging times. We need to get young people off their phones and back into our bars to actually socialise or we’re all going to go out of business.’