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Backstreet Boys livestream pulls in 45m viewers

A free livestream performance by the Backstreet Boys attracted a record-breaking 45 million viewers in China via Tencent’s WeChat app.

Broadcast last Friday (24 June), the two-hour show was recorded at Rock Lititz Studio, Pennsylvania, US. Sponsored by Lincoln and produced by 24/7 Productions, it reached 10m viewers within its first half hour and was the highest-attended livestream concert on the platform by an international artist.

The show incorporated a special guest appearance from Westlife, broadcast from Smock Alley in Dublin. Directed by Chris Howe and produced by online event promoter Driift, it enabled the two bands to duet on the Backstreet Boys’ hit I Want It That Way and Westlife’s My Love.

“Achieving this level of engagement in China is unprecedented for international artists”

It marked the second time Howe and Driift have collaborated with Westlife and their management for a WeChat livestream. The Irish group’s previous show, which took place in December 2021, attracted 28m viewers. On both occasions, the performances were filmed specifically for viewing and consumption on mobile devices.

“It’s been a real joy to work with Westlife again as part of such an extraordinarily successful collaboration,” says Sasha Duncan, Driift’s head of production. “Achieving this level of engagement in China is unprecedented for international artists, and also highlights the versatility of the livestream format.

“Whether it’s a high-end cinematic production or a performance like this, tailored for viewing on mobile devices, we’re proving it’s possible to forge a genuine connection with online audiences.”

 


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14 hospitalised as storm hits Backstreet Boys concert

At least 14 people were injured at a sold-out Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees concert over the weekend after a storm battered the WinStar World Casino and Resort venue in Oklahoma.

12,000 concert hopefuls were queuing outside the venue when heavy rain and winds as strong as 80mph caused trusses located at the entrance of the open-air venue to collapse on top of the crowd. Videos taken by witnesses to the scene show fans helping the injured before emergency services arrived.

Staff at the venue had begun the process of evacuation prior to the collapse, after lightening was seen close to the venue. According to a statement from the venue, however, some chose not to heed the warnings of staff, instead choosing to stay in line amongst the severe weather.

“This was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm”

“All patrons in the area were asked to move and to seek shelter from the storm. However, about 150 patrons who were standing in line for the Backstreet Boys concert did not heed staff’s warnings,” the statement reads.

“We know that fans often suffer through inclement weather for their favourite acts, but this was an unusual event and our thoughts are with those who were injured during this storm.”

One prospective concertgoer shared a video of the scene on Twitter, showing the aftermath of the collapse, complete with ambulances and police cars.

Members of Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the turn of events. From their official Backstreet Boys Twitter account the band said: “We never want to put our fans in harm’s way and with tonight’s weather and the injuries from earlier.

“We have decided to cancel the show and will attempt to reschedule. The most important thing is for everyone to get home safely and we will see you all very soon!”

Band member Kevin Richardson has since confirmed on Twitter that the concert will be rescheduled and has advised fans to keep their tickets.

 


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