B&P Trading: Old School Meets New School

I throw this terminology around and some people look at me with the cocked puppy dog head. B&P means “blanks and postage”. Why is this even relevant you many ask? B&P trading is the way live shows have been traded for quite a long time. It has died down a bit with digital trading, but not everybody trades their shows digitally.

There are people who go to shows and record the show in audio and/or video with some of the top portable recording equipment. If you have been to an outdoor Dave Matthews concert you know what I am talking about. These fans are hard-core and have a hobby of trading the shows they record with other tappers or newbies that want a copy.

The bands can even be hard-core about their fans recording the shows. As mentioned above, Dave Matthews actually has “tapper sections” at their outdoor shows. This is an awesome site to see if you haven’t seen it before. In the front middle section of the lawn seating would be a roped off section for tappers and all that can be seen are “boomers,” mics with on the rods with the fuzzy covers, and audio equipment.

Getting started in B&P trading wasn’t easy. I had to find people that had B&P trading posts online for shows that I wanted. Then I had to make sure that the particular B&P post for a trade were current because a lot of them weren’t, but when I found current posts to trade with other fans it was awesome. I could get some really great shows from my favorite bands.

B&P traders never charged for copies of the show. Thus, someone like me would send blank cds and prepaid postage envelopes to these guys for copies. Some artists still embrace the community participation with B&P trading and refuse to allow digital downloads. The Allman Brothers are one band that hold steady to B&P. They do not allow digital trading of their shows.

I started running into problems with B&P when people were getting harder to contact for obtaining shows and I would occasionally run into traders that didn’t want to give up a show because they thought it was special. If it’s special SHARE it!

The digital age has made things a lot easier for file sharing and transfers. Hurray FTP!
One reason why Live Hub was created is to take the performances I have traded over the years with others and bring them to the digital realm for any fan to download 24/7 for free. Plus, artists sit on live recordings in their basement and I think fans should be able to listen to them to relive a live experience they had or just to listen to a new show.

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