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A person will share their discoveries with friends. Back in the 80's it was via tape trading, now it's file swapping that all leads to a crucial word-of-mouth.

The next step is taking that small peer group into a larger social circle, in my case it was making my way from Westchester, NY to the hardcore punk scene at CBGB in the mid 80's. That scene, (and the indie-rock that spun off of it) actually helped to gentrify the Lower East Side as more and more people moved in from the suburbs to be closer to like-minded souls.

The same is true with other sub-cultural genres as well. Metal, jam, house, all have local geographic epicenters.

You bring up a great point when you ask if the internet has somewhat ruined this experience, as it allows remote and solitary connection. There's no doubt that it makes music less visceral and more of a voyeuristic pastime.

This is hopefully where sites like Haystack (designed by and for musicians and the folks who love them will help.) The goal of the site is to promote real-life music through people and local connections.

Ryan Downe

We are seeing a tremendous amount of activity over here in Second Life that might get you fired up! Recent events have ranged from the BBC simultaneously broadcasting their Radio 1 Big Weekend concert to their BBC virtual islands, a 12 hour live music marathon in a virtual Dublin pub, Chamillionaire's virtual meet-and-greet - the list goes on. All great examples of how a 3D virtual world that connects to the real world allows distributed people to come together for meaningful, shared, collaborative experiences - in this case music.

We ran a survey and learned some encouraging things:

People primarily find out about live (SL) music events via the Live Music category and word of mouth.
Most people have tipped a live musician (77%)
Most people have never paid an entrance fee (94%), yet would consider doing so in the future (78%).
Most people attend 1-2 live music events per week.

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