Submitted by Peter Astedt
This is my last column for 2021. Another year that was mostly spent on COVID, but also there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We got back a bit to live shows in the Autumn and it’s getting better. We still have to cope with COVID and that will keep on going, so we just have to deal with the uncertainty.
This year doesn’t really have that much happening. It blurs together with 2020 like just another year. Now though at the end of the year, it seems like things are starting to get ready. People start to get ready for the new world. The changes we have talked about are now occurring and I just feel strongly that in January everything will kick into gear.
The changes have a big downside though. We are losing a whole generation of the music industry. I have also got several interesting offers to bail out from the music industry over the past several months. The new industry right now seems very boring and full AV just technical algorithms that really can’t promote anything interesting, so I see quite a few people that have served the industry for so many years going to totally different career choices. I understand them. Suddenly you don’t do it because you love music. The good music just got tucked away by the same boring algorithms. And they are replaced by an army of young kids that are not in it for the music. They are just in it for a nine-to-five job saying that they work in the music industry, while they are just like anybody else working in a cubicle at a random office.
A dark place that we look into? Not really, I have seen it before and usually, when this happens the opportunities are the gems that shine in the dark and become the big light very fast. This happens in all transitions. I still have one task left in my job in the music industry. I really have done it all. Worked on the biggest projects. Been on the biggest things. I was called a legend in a presentation this year, maybe I am but still, this last mission is missing. I really have all reasons to jump out of this industry, take a safe job, and just make money and have a boring but safe life.
Like I wrote, there is one big thing left that I need to do. The opportunity just shows every ten years or so. I have been there before but not ready like this time. This time I will catch it, not just let it slip. If I slip, I will leave and just do something completely different. Maybe that restaurant that I always write about?
If I catch it? Then I have done it all. The weird stuff is that all of this will happen in the next twenty-four months. Time is short, I must go all in. Risk everything. That makes the thrill going in the music industry. This is the time to shape it. As my old roadie friend says, there are many that are called, but few are chosen.
The next phase is for the brazen. Let’s start the next year with the last mission. Let’s go all in.
If you feel like me, now is the time to take the chances. If you wait you will lose. Yes, the risk is enormous, but the rewards are enormous as well. We are heading for an economic crisis. Best time to build the big stuff. Will you be one of the winners or are you going to be one of the people that will complain in the cubicles?
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.