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Strong appetite for live, physical and digital, post-Covid-19

Concert fans are ready to start attending live shows again nearly as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted – but they’ll also carry on streaming concerts online, even when it’s possible to attend the ‘real’ thing, new data shows.

While some economic indicators point to a rocky post-coronavirus recovery for the live sector, research suggests concerts will have little difficulty attracting attendees after the pandemic passes, with nearly 60% of Americans willing to attend a live event within two months, according to a survey of US consumers by MRC Data.

Additionally, 29% of respondents would attend a live event less than one month after the pandemic passes or a vaccine/treatment is available – with that number rising to 36% among Hispanic consumers specifically, and 53% among teenagers.

Human trials for a vaccine against Covid-19 are underway, with an estimated 115 vaccine candidates in development, though health experts warn there is no guarantee a cure for the disease can be developed.

53% of teens would attend a live event less than a month after the coronavirus threat passes

The MRC data comes as Bandsintown releases research of its own showing that nearly three quarters of fans (74%) say that will continue to watch live streams regularly even after live events return.

The event discovery platform, which has used livestreaming to raise funds for artists during the coronavirus outbreak, surveyed 7,000 of its users earlier this month, also discovering that nearly 40% had never watched a concert stream online before the current lockdown.

Other findings were that fans strongly prefer for artists to do live performances, with a 96% favourability over fan Q&As, interviews or fan-selected sets, reports Billboard, while 70% of respondents said they would be willing to pay for live streams in future.

Additionally, bolstering MRC’s findings in the US, more than 65% of Bandsintown users said the Covid-19 outbreak would not affect their willingness to attend public gatherings once it is over.

 


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Virtual concerts raise money, spirits amid Covid-19 crisis

A whole host of virtual benefit concerts has seen significant amounts of money and awareness raised for charities and funds tackling the coronavirus crisis.

Perhaps the most prominent of fundraising events, the recent Elton John-hosted iHeart Living Room Concert for America saw acts including Billie Eilish, Dave Grohl, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Sam Smith and Backstreet Boys perform from their homes.

Attracting more than 8.7 million viewers, the event has so far raised over $8 million for US charities Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

British comedian James Corden last night (30 March) broadcast a similar event – dubbed HomeFest – from his garage with performances from BTS, Andrea Bocelli, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and John Legend.

Corden stated the aim of HomeFest was “to bring some joy and some music into your home at what is without a question one of the strangest and scariest moments in all our lives.”

Over the weekend, gaming-focused streaming platform Twitch hosted the Stream Aid 2020 charity event, including short performances from artists including Biffy Clyro, Rita Ora, OneRepublic, Sigrid, Diplo, Die Antwoord, Joe Jonas, the Lumineers, Lauv, Ellie Goulding and John Legend.

The event, which also saw celebrities compete against fans in a number of videogames, has so far raised over $2.7m for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 solidarity response fund.

“The generosity of our entire community resulted in a large donation to two non-profits that can ensure the stability of our world and our industry”

Twitch also partnered with electronic music platform Beatport for 34-hour live stream marathon ReConnect, which raised more than $180,000 for the WHO’s Covid-19 fund and the Association for Electronic Music’s (Afem) Covid-19 hardship fund.

DJs including Carl Cox, Bonobo, Pete Tong, Nina Kraviz, Griz, Rüfüs Du Sol, A-Trak, Nicole Moudaber and Chris Liebing performed live as part of ReConnect.

More than 8.5 million viewers tuned in across 150 countries, with 6,500 individual donors.

“We are deeply grateful for all the talented artists and their teams that made the ReConnect event possible, and equally impressed with the dedication and passion shown by the global electronic music community that tuned in for over 34 hours this past weekend to reconnect with their favourite DJs,” comments Beatport CEO Robb McDaniels.

“The generosity of our entire community, including so many great industry partners that donated products to give away, is what resulted in a large donation to two non-profits that can ensure the health and stability of our world and our industry in the months to come.”

Event discovery platform Bandsintown also joined forces with Twitch to host a live music marathon, with all proceeds going to the MusiCares Covid-19 relief fund. The Bandsintown Live channel is today hosting live sets from Imogen Heap and Flux Pavilion, among others.

Meanwhile, in Spain, the La Liga Santander Fest, organised by Spanish football division La Liga, Universal Music and technical services company GTS, has raised over €800,000.

“Together we can convince people of the importance of staying at home and achieve our aim of providing funding for essential hospital materials”

Hosted by Spanish actress Eva González and radio DJ Tony Aguilar, the virtual festival saw performances from Alejandro Sanz, Juanes, Luis Fonsi, Morat and Manuel Carrasco, among others, as well as appearances from Spanish footballers and tennis player Rafael Nadal.

The Santander Bank Foundation will dedicate the funds for medical equipment and supplies in conjunction with the health authorities and national sports council.

“This initiative has turned into something huge,” says La Liga president Javier Tebas. “We have the best artists, the best clubs, the best players and the best fans. Together we can convince people of the importance of staying at home and achieve our aim of providing funding for essential hospital materials.”

‘Secret gig’ platform Sofar Sounds is also doing its bit, launching a ‘Listening Room’ where artists can perform live and announcing all artists who had shows cancelled will be paid as normal. All upcoming Sofar shows were cancelled on 13 March, affecting 2,000 artists.

Sofar has also launched a Global Artist Fund, aiming to raise $250,000 for artists, which will be distributed in grants of $250 each.

In January, the platform paid out over $460,000 among people who worked its concerts for free between 2016 and 2019, after agreeing a settlement with New York state’s Department of Labor.

In Australia, acts including Casey Donovan, Dami Im, Courtney Act and Patti Newton have joined forces with the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, or John Foreman’s Aussie Pops Orchestra, performing a rendition of ‘What a Wonderful World’ from their respective homes and encouraging donations to music industry charity Support Act.

The orchaestra urges the public to “stay home, stay safe and when the time is right, please support live performance.”

Support Act’s Covid-19 emergency appeal has so far raised almost AU$240,000 (€133,819) to help the music industry through the coronavirus pandemic. Read how Australia’s Michael Chugg (Chugg Entertainment/Frontier Touring) is coping with the challenges thrown up by the coronvairus pandemic here.

Tales from Covid: Michael Chugg Q&A

 


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Event discovery platforms rally for live music

Event discovery platforms Resident Advisor and Bandsintown are spearheading initiatives to support the live music community through difficult times.

Direct-to-fan platform Bandsintown is launching the Bandsintown Live channel on live streaming platform Twitch, showcasing live performances from around the world from 5 p.m. (GMT) today (20 March).

The channel, which launches with a live show by DJ and producer Black Coffee, wil next week feature a multi-day live music marathon to raise money for the MusiCares Fund to help musicians.

Bandsintown is also implementing a new Watch Live feature, allowing the 530,000 artists registered on its platform to promote their live-streamed shows at no cost to fans using the Bandsintown platform.

“Artists and fans are already missing the tribal experience that live shows create,” says Bandsintown managing partner Fabrice Sergent. “We all must do whatever we can to keep that feeling alive as well as help artists in these difficult times.”

“Artists and fans are already missing the tribal experience that live shows create – we all must do whatever we can to keep that feeling alive”

Electronic music-focused platform Resident Advisor has initiated the #SaveOurScene campaign, encouraging collective action to encourage fans to buy music and merchandise, forego ticket refunds, support petitions, attend virtual events and donate through its platform.

The campaign launched with an open letter signed by over 150 key music industry figures including festivals like Melt! In Germany, Unsound in Poland and Houghton in the UK, as well as live streaming platform Boiler Room, Nike and artists such as Dixon, Richie Hawtin and The Black Madonna.

“The events caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have dire consequences for the hundreds of thousands of people who give so much to keep our culture alive,” reads a Resident Advisor statement.

“There is hope, however, that we, the dance music community, can work together to find the ideas that positively impact the future of independent music for decades to come. We can seize on this moment to make something that works better for everyone.”

 


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Bandsintown acquires Hypebot, Music Think Tank

Concert discovery platform Bandsintown has announced the acquisition of artist- and technology-focused news outlets Hypebot and Music Think Tank (MTT).

According to Bandsintown, the acquisition will allow the expansion of its mission to help its more than 500,000 registered artists to grow their careers and connect with fans. The concert discovery service has strategic partnerships with both Eventbrite and Live Nation.

Launched in 2004 by industry veteran Bruce Houghton, Hypebot delivers artist-focused news and outlines the use of new technology within the industry. Music Think Tank serves as an open forum for musicians and music business professionals.

Houghton will continue to run the outlets and will take on a role as advisor for Bandsintown, with a specific focus on artist partnerships. He will also maintain his position as president of booking agency Skyline Artists Agency.

“Hypebot was created as a guide to understanding the new music industry – not just labels and tech companies; but more importantly, the artists and music that give it life,” says Houghton.

“Working with a successful artist-centric team like Bandsintown will give Hypebot the resources to expand on our mutual mission of empowering artists”

“Working with a successful artist-centric team like Bandsintown will give Hypebot the resources to expand on our mutual mission of empowering artists. I look forward to contributing to Bandsintown’s ongoing effort to help more artists and managers build a successful and sustainable career in music, with live music at its centre,” adds the Hypebot founder.

Bandsintown and Hypebot plan to cater to lesser-known or unsigned artists, as 93% of registered artists on Bandsintown have fewer than 100,000 followers.

“We [Bandsintown and Hypebot] share the same passion for independent and DIY artists,” says Bandsintown managing partner Fabrice Sergent, stating that emerging artists are “a transformative and vibrant component of the music industry.”

“By welcoming Bruce and Hypebot into the Bandsintown family, we enhance the breadth of our support to the artists and further contribute to artists’ career growth and success,” comments Sergent.

Hypebot also joins the Bandsintown Amplified advertising platform, which provides music properties with targeted ad solutions.

 


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Bandsintown launches Instagram tool

Popular concert discovery service Bandsintown has launched a new Instagram tool which will allow artists to promote concerts and sell tickets directly through the photo-sharing app.

The new Events Landing page will allow Bandsintown’s some 450,000 registered artists to promote themselves via the Instagram Stories function, therefore converting “links into ticket sales”. By swiping up on an artist’s story, fans will be able to access tickets, pre-sales and further information about events. The new integration will also allow artists to monitor their social media analytics – things like clicks, conversations and RSVPs – via the Bandsintown Manager platform.

Converting “links into ticket sales”

Using social media to promote events and sell tickets is becoming increasingly popular. In 2016, Live Nation began selling tickets through Snapchat and in the same year, Instagram debuted their Events channel, providing users with tailored suggestions of videos and pictures from concerts. In May this year, Instagram teamed up with Eventbrite to streamline ticket-buying with the creation of the ‘get tickets’ button for business profiles.

More information on how the new integration works can be found on the Bandsintown artist website.

 


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Eventbrite, Bandsintown announce integration

Ticketing company Eventbrite has announced a strategic partnership with Bandsintown, one of the web’s leading concert news and discovery destinations, that will see Eventbrite-ticketed events integrated into Bandsintown’s concert listings.

The partnership, announced via Billboard and confirmed by the listing of Bandsintown as a ‘distribution partner’ on the Eventbrite site, will, starting today, give Eventbrite users access to Bandsintown’s 30 million users via the integration of the latter’s ad tool, Promoter, into its ticketing platform.

Billboard reports the second phase of the deal will launch in early 2017, and enable the discovery and purchase of tickets to Eventbrite shows on the Bandsintown app and website.

“This new partnership with Bandsintown provides our organisers with a super-targeted, direct connection to the most passionate of music fans”

“This new partnership with Bandsintown provides our organisers with a super-targeted, direct connection to the most passionate of music fans,” says Julia Hartz (pictured), co-founder and CEO of Eventbrite. “We’re proud to continue innovating with a best-in-class music partner to create exciting new products that ultimately get more concertgoers to the shows they love.”

Bandsintown already has a similar relationship with Live Nation/Ticketmaster. Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino praised the site for its contribution to Ticketmaster’s 14% growth in the second quarter of 2016, saying it “and other distribution partners [are] a key way to extend our reach and continue selling more tickets powered by Ticketmaster”.

Eventbrite, meanwhile, has an existing distribution partnership with with direct Bandsintown rival Songkick.

 


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