It's business. When you are a smaller venue, withall of the things that are involved in the costs of doing business as well as the increased competition, not to mention what has happened to the venues during pandemics, paying what often seem to be exorbinant rates for the use of music is an economic decision. They can't afford it. They will go to a music subscription service. Contrary to popular belief, live music is not as essential as it once was. Like everything else, music is in the background of our lives now, not in the foreground. And it's not just covers, it's originals as well. It's any live music. If you have live music, you have to pay BMI/ASCAP/SESAC, liscencing fees, which often are arbitrarily decided on. Venues resturants, bars, pubs, clubs, etc, are not on the profit margins most people think they are.

So having live music at all is being phased out in many places. But again, this has happened long before the Pandemic. This has been something happening for well over 20 years. BAck when I was really performing a lot and then phasing into my teaching phase of my career, I started being at many of the "final live shows" of venues that had been around for a long time. Meeting with managers, owners, etc. were always financial considerations. They were not making as much money, indeed, many losing money. On many occasions, I was brought in as a "last gasp" of some venues, thinking that I would bring some extra business (which did happen at times) or have some special "magic" (I didn't) to inject life into some place. I did many songwriters workshops and shows in some resturant bar, bring in two or three dozen people, who ate, drank, and had a good time, making the venue good money for that day or days. Then to find out they closed a few days or weeks later, because that was the last gasp.

The present lackadasical attitude of the general public in many areas toward live music is pretty interesting. It's just not that big a deal anymore. There are pockets of course, was just in Florida,where things are opening back up and pretty active. But in many places, audience numbers have been down even before the Pandemic. There are just a lot of competing factors for the consumer dollar now. And the Internet has brought endless choices to people's home computers and phones. They just don't place the same priorities on it.

As far as outlawing music instruments, while that's not happening, another segment of the culture that has taken enormous hits due to the Internet are brick and mortar music stores. They are passing into history too, as people go to more online purchasing. Nashville is down to two or three left, with most of the rest closing left and right.

So in all of this, I don't know that it's MONEY that screws everything up. In regard to music, it's the LACK of money that is screwing everything up.