Dave Fortune gets back to his roots with the relaunch of Perryscope Concerts
Last month, long-time music industry vet Dave Fortune got back to his roots a little with the relaunch of Perryscope Concerts—a title that hasn’t graced the top of a gig poster since 1996, and a company, in Fortune’s view, that always put the love of music first.
“Unfortunately, the concert-going experience from the artist-producer side has become just a transaction,” Fortune told the Straight in a call from Whistler. “It’s no longer about being a promoter. But if I hear a band and I think they’re great, I want everybody to think they’re great. Not because I wanna make a whack of money off of it, but because I think they’re great. I wanna influence people to not miss out on something that might be significant in their life.”
Perryscope aligned itself with the punk and new-wave movements in the ’70s, bringing bands like the Clash and Blondie to the Commodore Ballroom, and only becoming bigger as the decades wore on, eventually finding itself in Rolling Stones, U2, and Pink Floyd territory.
Fortune said that the original revolutionary spirit symbolized by Perryscope—he also worked for the company in the ’90s—is what he and his partners at parent company Digital Live Entertainment are keen to tap. “It was a time of radical change, and that kind of change is happening today,” he said. “The difference is it’s technology that’s the game-changer.” Fortune added that he wants to create “a closer, tighter fan-to-artist relationship, be it social interaction through video blogs, or set-list posts, or an e-commerce space where bands can sell their merch in advance of the show.”
So far, Jeremy Fisher, the Barr Brothers, and Wooden Sky are among the acts that have received the new Perryscope touch, with shows including Said the Whale at the Vogue (May 3) on the horizon. Most important, said Fortune, who hopes to focus on local and Canadian acts, is that the artists he works with “understand where the industry is going”.
“We can find ways where bands can make more money without having to turn the fan off through strategies that only allow the rich to have the front-row seats,” he said. “Bands who wanna live by the old way of thinking? Good luck to you! Call me when you figure it out.”