HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Touring for musicians is critical to developing a fan base, but the reality of the music industry is that it can also be a challenge and financially difficult.
Brandon Lee, also known as Brandon the Artist, is a member of the neo-soul band Element Eleven that have performed throughout Huntsville for over a decade. Lee told News 19 that earning money while on the road through dedicated performances can often be a challenge.
“It’s very hard to stay consistent when the money flow is not how you want it,” Lee explained.
Local iconic band JED Eye has also performed several live shows in Huntsville and has become one of the city’s music ambassadors.
The city’s growing band population and venues have become a part of the thriving North Alabama music scene.
“It’s growing very fast with everything from the Orion Amphitheater to the calendars of the VBC and Mars Music Hall. And also with some of our local venues like The Camp,” said Matt Mandrella, Huntsville Music Officer.
Mandrella and the City of Huntsville have developed a program to incentivize its home-based performers, giving them more of the initiative to help them earn more money while touring.
The city has taken notice of the hard work of its Huntsville-based touring band community and is set to reward them through a special initiative through the newly formed Music Brand Ambassador Program.
“Musicians are already on-stage saying ‘Hey we’re from Huntsville,’ so why not incentivize them to take Huntsville’s music on the road with them,” said Mandrella. “If they are touring artists based in the Huntsville area, it’s an opportunity to help supplement the funds that you’re taking on tour.”
Mandrella says that bands are an integral part of elevating the city of Huntsville through authentic voices and instruments and should be paid.
More money and financial assistance for doing what he loves is sweet music to Brandon Lee’s ears. “Being able to pursue, go all the way into the music, through the MAP program is giving me a better and a better chance to stay consistent,” said Lee.
For more information on the Music Ambassador Program, you can visit the program website.