Cash-strapped music industry pins hope on festivals

INDIO, CA - APRIL 15: Singer Rihanna in the audience during day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 15, 2012 in Indio, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella)
Christopher Polk

(CBS News) The music industry has come upon hard times over the last ten years, as it struggled to adapt to the digital revolution and combat the growing tide of illegal downloads. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that consumers access up to between $7 and $20 million dollars worth of digitally pirated music annually.

In an attempt to look for cash outside of record sales, the industry is going old-school, turning to live music, and music festivals, as a crucial revenue source.

This summer alone, more than 500 festivalstook place across the U.S., catering to nearly every music genre imaginable -- from rock and roll and folk, to classical and jazz. By all accounts the festival scene is thriving, with concert ticket sales tripling from $1.5 billion to $4.6 billion between 1999 and 2009.


In a report that aired Tuesday on "CBS This Morning," CBS News business and economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis, hit the festival scene this summer to see how it all works. Jarvis spoke with Dave Foran, a 28-year-old concert promoter who recently introduced the Catalpa Festival in New York City. He's hoping to take advantage of fan's desire for live music.

"You can't pirate live music, you can't pirate that experience," Foran told Jarvis. "That's not going anywhere, that experience. The festival experience is not disappearing."

For his part, Foran feels taking the risk of launching a new music festival, and being prepared to take potential financial losses that come with it, is worthwhile. "This is like a baby for me," he said, "creating something from nothing that becomes a really positive thing in people's live all the time."

From the musician's perspective, country star Jason Aldean reiterates the value of a live show. "Everybody that comes out to these things is here for two reasons," he told Jarivs. "They're here for the music and they're here for the party...two things that go hand in hand in my opinion."