Why Do Bands Never Tour In Eastern Europe?


“Why do bands never tour in Eastern Europe?”. This is the question many music lovers from Eastern Europe ask themselves when a new European tour is announced by their favourite band.

Born and raised in Hungary, and as a fan of bands that no one in the country has heard of before – because I am that ‘hipster’ or what not on home grounds – I’ve always struggled to see my favourite artists live in concert, or even getting my hands on a copy of their CDs (don’t get me started on this)… Until I moved to England and discovered a whole new world; there, I went to more concerts in under a year and a half than I did during my entire life and have seen bands I’d never even thought of seeing before. However, I recently moved back to Hungary and am terribly missing my concert-goer habits.

Usually, when touring artists do a so-called European tour, it contains a few shows around the Western countries of Europe and then it stops at the borders of Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland. They hardly – or never – travel further than that. From the other side, they do a whole bunch of shows extensively around the UK as if it’s not even part of Europe but a different continent. Have they changed the geographical facts at school nowadays or what?

Why don’t they come here?

Better question…

Do they have a fan base big enough over here to make it worth doing so?

Probably not.

The truth is, no one ever comes here [to Hungary] unless it’s festival season and the amount of bands who do is limited to the big names that people only know from the radio and have no knowledge AT ALL about their work pre-mainstream – a great example for this is Fall Out Boy‘s first Hungarian appearance last week.

It would be worth a try to invite some new bands for a few tiny shows in the country to see how people react to them. For example, All Time Low have a huge following worldwide but if you mention their name here, people will reply with “All Time What?!”. Crazy to imagine, right? Same goes to any other popular pop-rock/punk-rock/alternative/call-the-genre-whatever-you-want bands these days. People just don’t know them because the media – music related or not – is stuck on the level of mainstream rock bands, cheap pop icons, retro stars and below.

Imagine, in this situation, an unknown band [e.g All Time Low] playing an intimate pub gig to a handful of people at Zöld Pardon in the heart of Budapest (insert your Eastern European town here). It would be an Eastern-European music lover’s dream come true, but it’s not true – yet. Although, Blessthefall are coming in September! Whoop!

Its looks like we are beginning to put Hungary, along with other musically neglected parts of Europe, on the world map of touring but it’s a very slow progress. We are in serious need of more passionate people in our local music scene who could make this happen and who are able to improve and see further than inviting 30 Seconds to Mars, Hurts, David Guetta and co. to headline “the best festival of Europe”. Every. Single. Year.

Dóra Udvardi
Dora covers the events of the Hungarian music scene – or wherever she's actually living – over at Alt Scribe. She gained interest in writing about music when she created her first blog on Buzznet in 2011. Since then she became a featured blogger on the site, where she shares about fragments of her life, travels and music experiences. She's the person to go to if you want to know about actual music events. CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: All Time Low, The Carbonfools and The Kooks. SPECIALIST SUBJECT: The Hungarian music scene

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