The Saying ‘You Can’t Please Everyone’ is Especially True When Talking About the Sioux Falls Music Scene
‘You Can’t Please Everyone’. It seems like an obvious statement and something that we all understand, but when it comes to live music in Sioux Falls, especially when talking about national touring bands, we seem to forget it and lose sight of the term.
I admit it. I’m as guilty as the next guy for being a little hyper-critical. A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about Sioux Falls (and myself especially) being starved for a classic rock concert in Sioux Falls and maybe being a little hard on the country music industry at the same time. But at least the guys who run the country radio stations in my building agree that there are a LOT of country shows coming to Sioux Falls this year, from The District, to the Arena, to the casinos, to the Sioux Empire Fair (all the announced acts so far are country music and rodeo) to rumors of the new Events Center. Yet when the Sioux Falls Arena posted the RibFest lineup Friday on their Facebook page, people immediately started asking why there was no country music night.
The classic rock filled RibFest lineup makes me and the majority of our listeners very happy but we even had a few dissenters among the posters wanting to move beyond the 80s and do a modern blues night.
JazzFest goes through it every summer as well. We try to bring a mixture of blues and jazz with even some zydeco and jam bands mixed in. The second stage offers local and regional musicians playing Americana to ska to hip hop and more. Unbelievably, when we wanted to try to appeal to even a wider audience by bringing in Joe Walsh in 2012 and Sheryl Crow in 2013, there were a lot of vocal opponents to the choices despite over 100,000 people in attendance each night.
I see some of the posts regarding a hard rock festival put on by another station in town and see that they go through the same complaints whether it’s about the lineup or the day of the week the show lands on.
And what about the fans of ‘pop’ music in the area? Hopefully once the Events Center opens its doors this summer, we’ll be able to draw acts like Pink, Rob Thomas, Justin Timberlake and the rest, because we haven’t had any shows for that demographic in forever.
The bottom line is we all are guilty of being a little short-sighted when it comes to shows we are fortunate enough to get in Sioux Falls. Yes, I said fortunate. Because 99% of the people who read this and live in the area, really have no idea what it takes to put on a show in a venue the size of Old Skoolz to JazzFest in Yankton Trail Park. The cost, the risk, the negotiations with agents, the convincing a band that it’s a good thing to do a show in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I love this city as much as anyone, but let’s face it, for bands that literally travel the WORLD, we’re not exactly New York, London or Paris. And on top of it all, the people who put these shows and festivals on have to face the wonderful world of social media, where anyone with a computer, tablet, or smartphone can voice their opinion and likely, their displeasure.
There really isn’t a way to please everyone. It applies to radio stations, restaurants, live music, and pretty much anything else you can think of. If you don’t like something, you don’t have to go or listen. Not every show is going to be for YOU.
Personally I don’t like rap music, death metal, and only a little bit of country, but do I think shows or festivals for fans of those genres should change for me or cease to exist because I’m not a fan? Of course not! There are a lot of people that LOVE those types of music. Just be happy that promoters believe in us and bands want to come play for us. If you don’t like the type of music being offered at a particular show or event, no one says you have to go. With the growing population in our area and the amount of venues here, eventually we should start seeing every type of music artist come through town. It’s up to you and I to support it when it does. And while you’re waiting for that national band in your ‘wheelhouse’ to come through, get out and support our local and regional musicians that are playing a lot of the music you’re looking for at a fraction of the cost to you.
Remember. If it wasn’t for local bands, there wouldn’t be any national bands. They all started somewhere. There’s music for everyone, there just won’t ever be a show or festival or event that will appeal to everyone, because you just can’t please everyone. We just need to stop complaining and support what we have.