Hastings has always maintained a healthy music scene with plenty of venues filled up and indie bands playing them.
Despite this, businesses are struggling in light of changes to the industry and economy. Local music store owner Roger Flag pointed to the weak pound leading to higher prices for instruments that are already expensive. Flag stated that “…the weaker the pound is, the more pounds you’ll have to pay for the same thing.” As a result, businesses have had to curb their stock on certain brands due to stock being too expensive to sustain. Flag mentioned that his business has depended more and more on second-hand products that are cheap sells but still cost money to obtain, all while VAT taxes also claim a cut of sales.
There’s also the internet which has had a continuous effect on many industries, music especially. More and more people are using digital services to purchase products, including musical instruments. Roger Flag pointed out that people’s habits are now changing to favour online purchases and delivery. This denies retailers potential business, with some criticising that purchasing an item online could further hurt local retailers.
Despite the age of the internet benefitting budding musicians by allowing them freedom from record label, businesses are continuing to face further issues as fear of declining business.