“Without return customers you don’t have a business;” this is a saying I have heard from many locals back home and from my experience of working in the machinery repair industry it is very true. From what I have read and understand about the bluegrass music business it has much in common with service industries. I have learned that to be successful you need to please and completely serve your customers. This means that you need to look at their interests; what they are getting out of it and was the service worth their time and money. Also in the repair business you need to be able to adapt to new technologies and modernize or you will be left behind (except for a select group of folks). You may specialize in repairing vehicles or tractors from the 50’s but if you want to have constant clientele that grows you need to be able to work on machines built in this day and age.
I see this in Bluegrass music; the need to progress to gain clientele, but the limiting factors are of views and standards of days gone by. From what I understand the IBMA wants to grow and become more successful as time goes on. With this understanding, I see that newer types and varieties Bluegrass style music need to be accepted. I look at it like a small church, if the congregation is small and made up of only adults it will only last so long before the folks become older and leave the church and the membership gets smaller and smaller. Without children, young folks, getting involved the membership will likely stagnate and the church will only last a short time (this comes from personal experience). I see it that for Bluegrass to grow and move forward through the ages young folks need to be attracted to it, and the music has to match their tastes and energy to do that. This by no means means that the classic sound, and values of Bluegrass needs to take a hike; to me it means that new sounds and ideas need to be added onto the already established norms and for young artists, and listeners to be able to leave their mark, lay claim to Bluegrass. Without young folks being accepted and interested in Bluegrass, I believe the genre of Bluegrass would slowly go away in a generation or two except for in small groups and communities.