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Study: Posers Only Reason Scene Economically Feasible

PORTLAND, Ore. — A comprehensive study by independent researchers at SceneStats confirmed that posers are the sole reason DIY music scenes across the country are able to stay afloat.

“It goes without saying that there are posers everywhere, and these people are often the most vocal and annoying scene-supporters,” said statistician Jennifer Horowitz, who led the study for DIY analytics giant. “Although posers are generally hated by most legitimate scene members, they are essential for scene survival — they account for 87% of scene revenue. Believe me, anytime I see some guy wearing a Warped Tour hat I want to puke, but I know that same guy is the only person for miles that will actually buy music from Bandcamp.”

According to the study, so-called “legitimate” members of the scene often have strong ties to bands and promoters, meaning they can expect to be on guest lists and acquire complimentary drink tickets and other perks.

“Unfortunately for bands just barely scraping by, social currency is not real currency: you can’t put food on the table with clout alone. The scene, therefore, relies heavily on rank-and-file posers to pay at the door, buy alcohol, and spend money at the merch table,” said SceneStats analyst Jeremy Burkhardt. “At this point, most bands have a choice: they can either continue to play secret basement shows to 11 people, or play to a sold-out crowd who ‘loves live music’ at the House of Blues.”

The study has not been well received by many longtime scene members.

“I can only imagine this report was put out by posers to make themselves feel better. How long have these clowns even been going to shows? They have no idea what they’re talking about,” said Buckley Smyth, singer of legendary hardcore band First Punch. “Back in the ’80s, we didn’t need nerds telling us what makes this scene work — everyone was fucking cool. Now it’s all these rich college kids who got no trouble paying $5 at the door and three-for-$10 Pabsts. Must be fucking nice.”

SceneStats is reportedly working on a follow up study that posits “pay to play” shows are the most viable path forward to keep DIY scenes healthy.