There is literally no point to the punk/hardcore/local independent music scene if people don’t get involved. Coming to a show is plenty, but once you’re there - there’s a tonne of great stuff you can do. For example, talking to members of the band & other members of the crowd often leads to sharing great bands and stories of other people’s experiences. Often times bands and labels will have music and merchandise for sale - spending small amounts of money on these helps keep that enterprise going - no one (at the kind of shows I go to) is out to grab your money and run, it basically gets recycled - so if you like what you saw and you can afford it, chuck some change in the direction of the merch guy.
Another thing you can do which helps enormously is to tell other people about what goes down at these shows, how great the bands are and how much you enjoy going. Bands constantly harp on about how awesome the shows they play are - and they mean it, but it comes across a lot more honest if someone without a vested interest says it.
Best of all, start a band - play shows with your friends/strangers who make similar music and enjoy it. Getting on the other side of the stage monitors will show you what it’s like and why the people are doing it. Everyone has a different definition of ‘making it’ as a band, and it varies across the genres and cultures surrounding the scene in which you are involved, set a goal - achieve it and feel proud.
I hope this doesn’t come across as condescending - I just think that it might not occur to certain people how important it is to get as much out of it as you can. A lot of people lose interest in going to the shows, buying the music and supporting the bands because other things take over - that’s natural, but if you allow yourself one night off a month to dip your toe in again - I think you’ll find it worthwhile.
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