Many musicians have given up on music careers. It’s just too hard to make a living. I play in two bands, but we only play locally. Everyone has day jobs. I teach guitar to earn my main income. Gigging doesn’t pay enough. I do it for fun and the love of playing live.
The cover band I’m in has 14 members, including four main singers, and a five piece horn section. We only play local outdoor festivals and gigs. About six to eight gigs a year, spring through fall. They are fun to do and people like seeing a full band with horns. And the crowds are usually good. But most of the money we make goes to the sound providers we hire (if one isn’t provided.) We all decided years ago we were doing it for fun. So we only take fun local gigs and pay people to deal with the nightmare of doing sound for a 14 piece band.
I also started my own jazz band. I do it so I can play some of my own original music along with jazz standards. You know the old joke about jazz? “How do you make a million dollars playing jazz? Start with two million.” It’s funny, but pretty accurate.
We mainly play to older people who still appreciate live music. Like me.