Wednesday , October 17 2018
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Interesting Question

A member of the Pho mailing list has an interesting question: how many bands there are in the
US? signed, unsigned, garage bands, whatever?

What do you think? Make your estimates in the comments section and give your rationale. I think 1% of the country is in a band, divided by four for the average number of people in a band, and you get somewhere around 600,000 bands in the U.S. But I could be totally full of shit.

UPDATE
Dave Parks says:

    Years ago, for reasons I no longer recall, I did some homework along these
    lines for my home market of Sacramento.

    At that time, I calculated that roughly 150 ‘local’ bands were performing at
    least sporadically around the area. It seemed reasonable to me, in my
    experienced if not drug addled mind, that perhaps ten
    bullshit/nonserious/highschool/garage bands existed for every (quasi)
    professional band on the club circuit. Based on that, I determined there
    were approximately 1500 so-called ‘bands’ in the greater Sacramento
    metropolitan area (inclusive of the aforementioned and guaranteed horrific
    garage variety).

    As Sacramento’s balanced socio-economic mix is often used as a test market
    for every would-be national consumer product (we get all half wit grocery
    shelf fodder pitched here first), the market might offer a somewhat typical
    per capita band-to-resident ratio.

    As the greater metro area boasts some 1.5 million people, we can extrapolate
    a mean of one band per thousand citizens. Based on a national population
    approaching 300 Million, one arrives at a highly approximated figure of
    300,000 bands in the US alone.

    …and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a lot of bad music.

UPDATE
Marvin Sanders:

    Here’s one data point:

    Last time I checked, the cumulative circ of all the major U.S. music
    instrument mags (Guitar World, Guitar Player, Guitar One, Keyboard, EM, Mix,
    EQ, Modern Drummer, Drum!, etc.) was about 1,000,000. Count on pass-along
    readership between 1.5 and 3 times higher than that and cross-readership
    between 10% and 40%.

    Each of these readers isn’t in a band, but then again there are plenty of
    musicians *in* bands who never touch the music instrument mags, so maybe it
    kind of evens out!

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014.Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted.Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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