December 8, 2023

Concerts used to be a memorable music exchange between fans and artists, but unfortunately, it has now morphed into a hollow exploitation of a new artist’s popularity due to TikTok. TikTok has tarnished the concert experience and the problem is only growing.

Music is one of the main focuses of TikTok, as the app includes music as “sounds” for users to place over their videos. It is common to see songs trending on the app weekly and their popularity on the app almost immediately translates to where they land on the charts. TikTok’s immense sharing power inclines users to listen to songs from popular sounds.

A popular TikTok song is not a surprise somewhere on the top charts. For example, songs like “Kill Bill” by SZA, while popular on their own, owe some gratitude to TikTok for boosting streams.

The songs used for these sounds typically only include 10 to 30-second snippets of the song. The songs become popular, but people only know the bits used in the newest TikTok trend. As a result, when these artists go on tour and perform, most of the audience knows nothing about them or their music. They only purchase tickets because the artist and their music have been trending on TikTok.

This is quite frustrating for true lovers of the artist because it increases ticket prices and the concert experience is no longer genuine. You are no longer surrounded by people who enjoy the artist as much as you do.

Steve Lacy is one of the most recent victims. His song “Bad Habit” from his newest album, “Gemini Rights,” went viral as a sound on TikTok. When he announced his tour dates, tickets sold out almost instantly. His recent mainstream popularity surged because of the collaborative app, but videos later posted showed fans not knowing any of his music other than what has been shown on the app.
This idea of “fake fans” taking over the majority of concerts is upsetting and makes the concert experience feel very unauthentic for lovers of the artists.

The popularity that artists are gaining from TikTok is a blessing and a curse. Of course, as fans of these artists, it is great to see them succeed and top the charts, but when concert tickets jump from $40 in the front row to $300 in the nosebleeds, you start to wonder if everyone there really enjoys their music as much as you do.

Nothing is more discouraging than getting tickets to your favorite artist and expecting a communal gathering of fans. Instead, everyone is on their phones, sitting and waiting for the “TikTok song” to come on.

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