The industry is much more fluid now and partnerships are the only way to replace the former gate keepers. The innovators of the “hey day” are aging out with limited infrastructure beyond monopolized sheds and casinos to replace them.
The soil that once was lush and green for live music is now leached of life. New players struggle away in coffee shops, restaurant corners and third stages of festivals.
But there is one thing that has not changed, the power of the fan base. A fan base provides not only financial stability and longevity of success but more importantly, it allows the artist to pursue real creativity without being beholden to anyone but the people who truly love their work.
An artist without a fan base is like a general without an army. No matter how brilliant he/she is, he/she will conquer nothing.