At around noon on Thursday, June 1st, Dublin’s atmosphere became a bit more community-minded. More specifically, it became a bit more nurturing towards those who possess a love of music.
Sixty independent musicians based in multiple countries—from Portugal to Sweden—would play a unique gig during that weekend at the youbloomDublin Music Summit & Festival, an independent music conference and festival. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that youbloom caters specifically to unsigned artists with the intention of altering the current unsustainability of said artists.
How do they accomplish this? Well, just ask the artists themselves who performed at youbloomDublin three weeks ago.
But first, let’s take a step back.
The Music Industry Exposed
The music industry is extremely skewed: a few hundred artists make 75% of the revenue. Smaller artists usually remain unseen because they simply don’t have the support they need to grow their business. These music industry statistics and the monopoly effect lead artists like Oski Bravo, who performed at youbloom Dublin for the first time, to insist that the music industry is a “pigsty”.
Back to the Ocean, an alternative band who played twice at youbloomDublin, also attests to the demanding aspects of the music industry in that independent musicians basically must figure out how to get fans on their own. They’re “expected to have world class recordings, [a] big fanbase, professional videos and social media profiles, and [a] business orientation”.
A Love of Music
But for many, even though the odds seem insurmountable, the love for the craft is greater.
“It felt like a natural progression for both of us”, CARRON stated. For the two sisters who played at youbloomDublin in Phoenix Park on Saturday and The Globe on Sunday, it began with “leading roles in shows like ‘Annie’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, and ‘The Sound of Music’” along with violin and vocal lessons.
They believe the music industry standard is quite high, particularly in Ireland with artists such as Hozier attaining success. However, they are hopeful for what it means for them in that “[they] must always be progressing too, writing new music and taking part in as many live events as [they] can”.
For others, such as Dandelion Tea, who performed at 4 Dame Lane on Saturday, “Music is just something that always made sense. [It’s] an intangible form of art that can impact so many people in a big way. We felt we had something unique to say and music was the language we could best express it in.”
The overwhelming nature of the music business may discourage artists to pursue music, but many still do simply because they couldn’t imagine themselves doing anything different. It’s this overwhelming love for music that fuels artists and youbloom members alike.