REMINDER: You don’t have to go broke to be a ‘real fan’

Posted: by The Editor

For my first college assignment, I presented a speech on Lana Del Rey. I’m thankful to the student who presented on a pornography actress because otherwise, my topic would have been the most risque one.

I was highly anxious about confessing my affinity for Del Rey to an entire class, but pushed through to deliver a stellar presentation. Four years later, I still heavily treasure her. Last year, my two most frequently played songs were both from her album Lust for Life. But despite my adoration, I still haven’t attended one of her shows.

If you’ve ever experienced the displeasure of being caught within one of my soliloquies in which I praise Del Rey, this might perplex you. If I really love her, then why haven’t I seen her live? I am, for all intents and purposes, a stan. I know her real name (I’d type it right here, but haters will say I googled it) and I own two of her albums on CD, even though I could listen to literally any time via Spotify. As soon as my new denim jacket came in the mail, I affixed a pin featuring a photo of Del Rey seductively nestling a cherry between her lips.

But as it turns out, Lana Del Rey isn’t exactly dropping by house gigs. She’s a highly established artist, meaning it costs a bit of money to see her live. At one point, she was supposedly the second most expensive pop artist to see in concert. I was broke throughout college, and even now as a post-grad, I still don’t know if I could shell out $100-plus to catch one of her shows.

At times, I abstain from spending money on music-related ventures. Sure, I can usually conjure up $15 to see a show happening near me. And afterwards, I don’t think it would be much of an issue to spend two dollars on a pin—or even another $15 on a t-shirt. But can I buy every piece of merch? Can I always attend shows happening hours away from me, even if doing so would mean missing work?

Whenever I choose to not buy merch, or a record, or a ticket to a show, I’m struck with guilt. Every article detailing how little revenue artists receive from Spotify makes me feel more compelled to support smaller artists with my money.

By that same token, I’m not rich, either. At 22 years old, I’m still establishing my life and I want to save money for future endeavors. That doesn’t make me any less of a fan. I still wholeheartedly appreciate music and the artists who provide me with it.

Spending money is an impactful way to support artists, but it isn’t the only way. I’ve written blog posts on releases in hopes that they would pique curiosity and encourage others to give it a listen. Even just telling your friends what you’ve been listening to lately can make a small impact. I will not discredit the fact that making purchases helps artists, but it is crucial to attend to your own financial needs as well. 

Remember, you don’t have to take a financial hit to express your love for your favorite musicians.

Bineet Kaur | @hellobineet

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