It seems to me that most fandoms have some way of celebrating what they are interested in. They all have some event to really look forward to. It may be the Superbowl for football fans or the convention for Star Trek fans. I have always felt like tours were ours. It is what we all seem to look forward to, what keeps us going as fans. Now, that I know that a number of people haven’t been to shows, I have to wonder if my assumption was wrong. Are tours not as important to the fandom as I thought? Could it be that tours are the big party for some fans but not others? Could it be that our fandom wasn’t united with this common element of fandom?
I am pretty open about the fact that tours are a big deal in my life. I look forward to them and definitely countdown to the next one once I have tickets in hand. Tours represent fun, travel, friends and more. Yet, even more importantly, they represent shows. Concerts. Gigs. They are filled with seeing the band perform live. Let’s face it. Duran is a band. They play music. The two ways they provide us with the music are the live shows and the albums. While I love, love, love the albums, I don’t know that they are enough for me. If you look at Duran’s history, they actually don’t happen all that often. How many studio albums have there been? 13? That isn’t very many for a band that has been around 30 years. Are those albums enough to sustain interest? Enough to keep fans? I don’t think they would be for me. While I love the music and can listen to the albums over and over again, I know that my fandom is reinforced at most shows. In fact, I would go so far as to say that a great show actually increases my love for Duran. Shows makes the music more powerful, more meaningful. Then, of course, when I see their reactions to the music and their interactions with the crowd, this pushes my interest as well. Yet, obviously, there are other fans who don’t share this outlook with me.
I wonder why people haven’t been to shows. Yes, obviously, I realize that many fans probably have wanted to but haven’t been able for a variety of reasons (financial, health, other responsibilities, no shows near them, etc.). I wonder if there are some fans who don’t want to see them live, who don’t think it is important. Is it that their fandom needs are met through the albums? Maybe they get enough through videos or dvds. Perhaps, social interactions with other fans give them what they need. I don’t know. Nonetheless, it seems to me that my initial assumption about tours being essential isn’t totally right. Tours might be key for some of us but not all of us.