How many gigs is enough? As an average fan I think going to an average of ten gigs a year for twenty five years is…well…average. Some of my friends, actually most of them, believe I go too far too many. Maybe I do go to too many...or maybe I don’t get to anywhere near enough. Are my family and friends right to think I am mad and 'waste' my money or is it them that just don’t understand the sheer joy live music can bring? How many gigs do you go to? What do you think the norm is? There is no right or wrong answer of course. You may only have a passing interest in live music. The reason I ask is that your answer would very much tell me a lot about you....
I have a certain friend on Twitter (no better kind) that has been to over 1000 gigs (at the time of writing). 18.104.22.168. A thousand. That’s four times as many gigs as me. He isn’t four times as old as me either (that would make him 160…so that would be silly…no way would they let him in to a venue at that age…think of the health and safety implications). In fact he is slightly younger than myself and has achieved that landmark in roughly the same amount of time as it has taken me to reach 250 (and if I'm being totally honest then it will be the end of the year before I reach the big 2.5.0.).
A thousand gigs…I am completely in awe of him but how on earth does he do it? He is not a loner who has nothing else to do, he is married and has a wife who shares his love of gigs although maybe not quite in his league…but then no one is. Does he get lots of free tickets or is he loaded? These are questions that quite frankly are none of my business and I have no right to know the answers to…yet if he has found some secret way of going to 40 or 50 gigs a year without pissing the wife, friends or bank manager off then actually fuck it I Do Deserve The Right to know what it is goddamit…he has a kid now though so that might slow the fucker down (any possible hint of jealously on my part is of course completely justified by my need to be the most obsessive geek in town).
So how many gigs is enough? I love going to see live music and as I have said previously I have averaged out at a yearly amount that seems reasonable. There are downsides though. My hearing is definitely not as good as it should be. I found that wearing earplugs was a good thing at concerts and not a thing to be mocked. However by the time I found that out I had already been to 230ish gigs so the proverbial horse had most definitely bolted. I’m not saying I’m deaf, not at all, but poorer hearing may be something I have to look forward to in the future (my wife will tell you that I'm a bit mutton as it is). If I do go a bit deaf in my later years will it have been worth it? I think so…I hope so.
There are many different types of concert going fan…I have known all types from the uber fans who follow a certain artist everywhere but rarely see others (yes Grainne and Áine ‘Hothouse Flowers 4-ever’ English I am talking about you) to those that have only been to one gig in their life (Andy ‘Take That One Time’ Kemp) to those that go to the opening of an envelope if it involved the playing of live music (Gareth ‘1000 fucking gigs dude’ Scramble). There is no right or wrong amount of gigs of course and whether you think going to one gig is the norm or whether over a thousand concerts is too few then it really does depend on the individual. As for me well I would call myself a regular gig goer. Mr Average. I am one of those that loves people who I can ask 'when is your next gig', without getting a strange look…yet if the answer was ‘I have six this week’ then yes ok I would think it a little odd.
I understand that not everyone likes going to gigs. They can be uncomfortable at times not to mention expensive. They can be noisy and sometimes full of drunken fools. However, what I don’t understand, what I really have no time for, are people that say they hate live music. How is that even a thing? Live music hits me in places were nothing else can...
So how many is enough? Well there is no definitive answer to that. All I can tell you is I am not tired of them yet, and don’t foresee that ever happening…at least I hope it never does as quite frankly I can't imagine life without them.
You may want to check this site out...someone on there has been to a lot of gigs: http://www.musicscramble.co.uk
1998:I went to just the two concerts in '98...mainly because of a girl. She didn’t like gigs so didn’t go to many…indeed she stopped me from going to quite a few…she didn’t last long…although I did marry her first. Stupid boy
2001: The fewest number of gigs I have been to in one calendar year was right at the beginning of the 21st century in 2001 with just the single paltry concert. Yep you read that right…ONE single concert. In my defence I had moved to Ireland to start a new life with my then new girlfriend that year and so I really wasn’t getting out much…she didn’t last long either…although I didn’t marry that one. Good boy
2011: The most gigs I have ever been to in one calendar year is twenty one. That was in 2011 and everyone I loved seemed to be touring. My wife is bloody brilliant and comes to most gigs with me and so there is never a battle of wills. This is despite me buying her a portable back up hard drive for Christmas whereas she bought me a trip to Venice. This one is most definitely a keeper
1989-2014: 250 gigs. Ten a year. Average? A lot? Not many? Could do better?