Billie Eilish tour ‘can serve as blueprint’
The sustainability efforts of Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever Tour can serve as a “blueprint” for future tours, according to Live Nation promoter Kelly Chappel.
Eilish, who will become the youngest ever headliner of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage this Friday, partnered with environmental nonprofit Reverb to make the tour more sustainable and empower her fans to take action for people and the planet. The link-up extended to cross-campus climate festival Overheated at London’s The O2, which began on June 10 during Eilish’s dates at the venue.
The O2 has presented the 20-year-old with a special First Time Award to celebrate her six night sell-out residency at the arena, which wraps up this weekend.
“I’m personally so proud of our six Billie Eilish shows at The O2,” says Chappel, Live Nation’s EVP of global artist development and global tour promoter. “I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in delivering this tour. It’s testament to thoughtfulness and hard work, and it can serve as a blueprint for future arena tours, as this proves that artists performing on large scale tours can make vital changes to aid sustainability and be friendlier to our planet.”
Inspired by Eilish’s passion for sustainability, the award features a unique design and has been created using Jesmonite, a sustainable material which can be crushed and reused. It also features a piece of The O2’s own tent fabric that was retrieved following Storm Eunice, as well as photographs from her first show at the venue.
“The fight against climate change is incredibly important to us and with these initial steps and conversations there is now a chance to build on this”
Christian D’Acuña, senior director of programming at The O2, says: “It’s been incredible to welcome Billie Eilish to The O2, and we’re so proud to have hosted not only six incredible debut shows at the venue, but also the Overheated festival, which has sparked important discussions around making both our planet and our industry more sustainable.”
In conjunction with Eilish’s show dates, and the Overheated festival, The O2 also made several commitments to make the venue more sustainable, and in response to Eilish’s Green Rider, including offering a fully vegan menu in The O2 arena for all of Eilish’s show dates. The O2 also introduced recyclable paper cups and recycled PET fabric wristbands in the arena for the first time.
“A special thank you to The O2 for hosting us over what has been six incredible shows and the opportunity to create meaningful change through the launch of Overheated,” adds Eilish’s agent Mike Malak of Wasserman Music. “The fight against climate change is incredibly important to us and with these initial steps and conversations there is now a chance to build on this.”
The Happier Than Ever Tour continues its European stretch next week with stops in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, before concluding in Australasia in September.
“This partnership allows us to continue investing in improving the customer experience”
Meanwhile, The O2 has also announced a multi-year partnership with instant commerce firm Gopuff, which has been named as the venue’s principal partner and official grocery, food and beverage delivery partner.
The deal, which was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, means fans visiting the venue can now bypass concession lines through rapid click-and-collect services in The O2 app powered by Gopuff. It will also provide artists with instant access to their performance essentials while onsite.
“This partnership allows us to continue investing in improving the customer experience for our fans and premium clients, and with digital ticketing and other innovative solutions available for all customers via The O2’s app, we’re making the concert-going experience as seamless as possible through digital means,” says AEG Global Partnerships EVP Paul Samuels. “We are confident that over the next few years, Gopuff will significantly boost the onsite experience both for fans and artists, and we’re delighted to have them on board.”
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Billie Eilish hosts Overheated Climate Session
Over 250 music professionals and sustainability specialists came together at The O2 in London for a series of debates and performances today (16 June).
The event, which took place alongside Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever tour, was hosted by the BBC’s Abbie McCarthy (BBC), with representatives from REVERB, The Big Climate Thing, Live Nation, Julie’s Bicycle and The O2.
During the discussion titled Taking Charge – Efforts to Decarbonise Events, The O2’s VP and general manager Steve Sayer described the changes that hosting the Eilish tour had seen at the venue, including going fully vegan for the duration.
“We had Morrissey here five years ago and the question about whether we sold burgers was a huge topic, but on this tour, it wasn’t,” he said. “Going fully vegan was the right option for this tour and we’ll be entirely open with other venues about the results from that.”
The O2 recently committed to removing meat burgers from its menu, but other moves include installing water filling stations, and recyclable wristbands for floor-standing guests.
“We’re planning forward in partnership with our caterers, Levy, who are committed to being net zero by 2027,” he said. “As a flagship site for them, we’re aiming for 2025.”
“The solutions are there, and amazing simple, but you have to get people to move past where they are right now”
Sayer also outlined that all National Arena Association member venues will be banning non- biodegradable confetti over the coming months.
With much of the day detailing myriad practical steps now available to tour and events on their sustainability journey, Chiara Badialli, music lead of Julie’s Bicycle, listed carbon offsetting as one of the most exciting.
“If these costs are factored into tour planning – and an example is that Pearl Jam has recently committed to paying $200 per tonne of carbon emissions – it gives artists a budget at the start of their tour to actively reduce emissions,” she said.
A focus of the discussion was collaboration across the business to bring change. And while Sayer insisted that senior management at each company must be engaged in the conversation, it was bottom-up pressure that instigated it.
“The most powerful agent of change was when our employees started coming to The O2 and AEG management team to ask what we were doing,” he said. “That employee push was incredibly powerful.”
And Jamal Chalabi of Backlash Productions reported that there are open ears across the supply chain now as well.
“It’s the culture change, particularly within crew and production houses. The solutions are there, and amazingly simple, but you have to get people to move past where they are right now,” he said.
“It’s a system change,” added Badialli. “You have to ask how we can do things differently.”
The event included performances from Sigrid, Nick Mulvey and Love Ssega, while Billie Eilish took the stage to thank the room for attending.
“I want to thank you all for informing people like me, and for everything you’re doing,” she said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed. It might sometimes fell like what you’re doing is pointless, but it’s not. There is a point and it’s really important.”
The conversation came just weeks after the 14th Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.
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The O2 enhances sustainability measures
The O2 in London has announced a series of new sustainability measures as it prepares to host multi-day climate festival Overheated.
Overheated is set to take place across six days – 10-12, 16 and 25-26 June – during Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour dates at the AEG-operated venue.
The O2 will be implementing various changes within the arena to reduce single use plastic, promote a plant-based menu, and better enable customers to make informed and responsible choices. Working with the singer and her tour team on their Green Rider, it has committed to going 100% vegan on all available food items for the six shows,
Following Eilish’s residency, The O2 will continue with a plant-forward philosophy, which will see the concession stand staple ‘beef burger’ being removed from the menu permanently.
“We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company”
“Finding ways to make both our venues across Europe and worldwide, as well as the wider live entertainment industry, more sustainable has never been more important,” says AEG Europe COO John Langford. “We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company to help find and trial innovative solutions and help reduce our impact on the planet.”
Throughout The O2 arena, the venue will be installing several water dispensers for fans to easily access on their visit, thereby reducing the need for plastic water bottles. Visitors to the arena will be encouraged to bring soft, reusable water bottles which will need to be emptied prior to entry and fully collapsible.
The O2 is also taking strides to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in the arena moving forwards and has committed to using recyclable paper cups in all areas of the arena, including backstage. It has also removed all plastic bags from merchandise units and is implementing fabric wristbands made from 100% recycled PET plastic for standing arena attendees for the first time this month.
“As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability”
“We’re so proud to be taking real strides this month to becoming an even more sustainable venue here at The O2,” says Steve Sayer, the 21,000-cap venue’s VP & general manager. “Going fully vegan in the arena for six sold out show dates with Billie Eilish is no small task and is something that we know will really resonate with fans attending the shows.
“The reduction in single use plastic in The O2 arena is another huge step forward for us, as we work towards our A Greener Arena accreditation, and ultimately one day towards becoming net zero as a venue. As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability and show that we can all make a difference, whilst continuing to still provide a best-in-class experience for the fans and artists.”
Through its partnership with catering partner Levy, The O2 is also working with Klimato to calculate, communicate and report the climate impact of the food available for fans to purchase. Levy has committed to reaching net zero at the arena by 2025 – an integral part of The O2’s overall strategy to hit net zero.
The O2 and AEG Europe are currently working with A Greener Festival on establishing an accurate scientific baseline for scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions before publishing its full plan for net zero later this year.
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Billie Eilish announces climate-focused event
Billie Eilish has announced multi-day climate-focused event Overheated in collaboration with Support + Feed and environmental nonprofit Reverb.
The event set to take place across six days – 10-12, 16 and 25-26 June – at The O2 in London during Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour dates at the venue.
Fresh after last week’s Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), Overheated will bring together climate activists, musicians and designers to discuss the climate crisis, and their efforts to make a difference. Topics will range from greening practices in the music industry to the benefits of a plant-based diet, and sustainable fashion.
“We are thrilled to be in London and to have this opportunity to connect and discuss different ways we can take action to mitigate the climate crisis,” says Maggie Baird, founder of Support+Feed.
“We’re excited to empower even more people to take significant climate action and engage the music industry to do more”
Each day will feature unique programming including panel discussions, live performances, a documentary viewing, and opportunities for the public to take climate action. The cross-campus event will kick off on Friday, 10 June with Overheated Live – a panel event at Indigo at The O2, featuring introductions by Billie Eilish and Finneas and a special keynote speaker to be announced.
A Music Climate Session on 16 June, meanwhile, will feature representatives from Reverb, The Big Climate Thing, A Greener Festival, Julie’s Bicycle, Beggars Group, Live Nation, Earth/Percent, Tour Production Group and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. It will also see performances by Sigrid and Love Ssega, with others to be confirmed.
“Building upon our sustainability work on Billie’s world tour, and engaging fans at her shows to take climate action, we’re excited to empower even more people to take significant climate action and engage the music industry to do more through Overheated,” adds Reverb co-founder Adam Gardner.
The takeover will also include special screenings of the new Overheated short documentary at Cineworld at The O2 throughout the full six-day period, while all visitors to The O2 will have the opportunity to experience the free Citizen-TPlayground, which will feature a free clothes swap as well as talks from fashion sustainability experts, at the All Bar One Space from 10-12 June.
YouTube to sell custom merch during Coachella sets
YouTube is to sell exclusive Coachella and artist merchandise for the first time during livestreams of this year’s festival.
Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd and Swedish House Mafia are to headline the Goldenvoice-promoted festival’s first in-person event since 2019, which returns this Friday and runs over two weekends (15–17 and 22–24 April) at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
YouTube Shopping will offer virtual viewers a chance to purchase exclusive merchandise without leaving the livestream. Custom merch from Eilish and fellow Coachella performers Brockhampton and Flume will be available for purchase on Saturday 16 April for the entire day, directly on the livestream watchpage.
The collection will also be available for purchase the following Saturday during the second weekend of the event. Coachella will also drop its own merch collection, which can be bought on the watchpage throughout both festival weekends.
“The whole idea of exclusive merch drops is just so fans and artists could have more intersections together”
“We’re always trying to deepen the roots [with] fans and artists and one of the best ways that you could do it is through merchandise,” Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music tells the LA Times. “The whole idea of exclusive merch drops is just so fans and artists could have more intersections together.”
Fans will be able to choose between three livestream feeds of the festival, with different performances airing simultaneously. The YouTube livestream will also feature exclusive artist interviews, YouTube Shorts behind-the-scenes content and sweepstakes, and premium pre-parties, among other benefits.
In addition, six creators – Benoftheweek, Kaiti Yoo, Kirsten Titus, Larray, Lauren Giraldo and Quenlin Blackwell – will “live” at the YouTube Shorts Compound and capture their festival experience on their respective YouTube channels, with dozens more creators also set to document their adventures on Shorts.
A pair of lifetime Coachella passes in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) are also being offered as part of the YouTube Coachella Sweepstakes. The festival previously auctioned 10 lifetime passes to the event earlier this year as part of a series of NFTs.
Glastonbury reveals 2022 line-up
The UK’s Glastonbury festival has unveiled the first wave of acts for its 2022 edition, which sees Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar join Billie Eilish as headliners.
McCartney, who is represented by Marshall Arts, previously headlined in 2004, while WME client Lamar will top the bill for the first time. Both had been due to headline Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary in 2020, which did not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2021 event was also cancelled for the same reason.
McCartney and Lamar will close the Pyramid Stage on Saturday 25 June and Sunday 26 June, respectively.
Taylor Swift, who was originally set to headline in 2020, will not be performing this year, with Paradigm’s Eilish stepping up on Friday 24 June to become the festival’s youngest ever headliner. Diana Ross will grace the event’s Sunday afternoon “legends” slot, which has previously featured the likes of Dolly Parton, Kylie Minogue, Barry Gibb, Jeff Lynne’s ELO and Lionel Richie.
Other acts confirmed for this year include Doja Cat, Crowded House, Lorde, Pet Shop Boys, Sam Fender, Megan thee Stallion, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Olivia Rodrigo, Little Simz, Wolf Alice, Glass Animals, Burna Boy, Arlo Parks, Haim, Blossoms, Sigrid, Girl in Red, Charli XCX, Celeste, Wolf Alice, Fontaines DC, Foals, Idles and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Glastonbury 2022 will be held at Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset from 22-26 June.
Here is the first Glastonbury Festival 2022 line-up poster, which includes our final two Pyramid Stage headliners: @PaulMcCartney (Saturday) and @kendricklamar (Sunday). Many more acts and attractions still to be announced. pic.twitter.com/Tgo4HYMb6l
— Glastonbury Festival (@glastonbury) March 4, 2022
Canadian live biz hits out over latest Covid rules
Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) boss Erin Benjamin has warned of further cancellations after Billie Eilish became the latest superstar act to postpone tour dates due to provincial restrictions.
Eilish’s planned 15-16 February shows in Montreal and Toronto are being rescheduled as a result of “local guidelines and an abundance of caution”.
The singer follows the likes of Dua Lipa, The Weeknd and The Offspring in shifting concerts in Canada in light of the latest Covid-19 restrictions issued by the Ontario government, which limit concert venues to 50% capacity until at least 14 March – despite other entertainment spaces such as cinemas, casinos and restaurants expecting to be given the go-ahead to host full houses from 21 February.
Benjamin told The Canadian Press the policy was “really hard to understand”, and would likely deter other top international acts from visiting the country this year.
“We’re hearing things like outright cancellations and conversations being paused until 2023”
“I think the growing sentiment is that Ontario is closed for business,” she said. “The idea of doing business in Ontario is so uncertain that folks are just not interested in constantly trying to navigate the rules. We’re hearing things like outright cancellations and conversations [regarding future tour dates] being paused until 2023.”
The CLMA is also appealing for the government to extend relief for live music businesses via the Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF).
“We thank the government of Canada for its support of small business recovery through the recent extension of the interest-free repayment period for CEBA and RRRF loans from their previous end date of December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2023,” says Benjamin in a letter to the ministers of finance and international trade. “However, since the start of the pandemic, many live music businesses have taken on debt that will take at least two years to resolve; our members continue to report a bleak outlook for the future. As such, while this extension will provide some relief, it will not be enough.
“In support of other associations, such as the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), and on behalf of the CLMA, I urge you to consider increasing both CEBA’s and the RRRF’s maximum loan forgiveness amount by up to $10,000 if the balance of the loan is repaid by the end of the 0% interest free grace period; and extending the interest-free repayment period for CEBA loans and RRRF loans to December 31, 2024. These changes will help reduce the financial burden many businesses and organisations are currently facing.”
Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Ye to headline Coachella ’22
Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival organisers have announced the full line-up for the upcoming 2022 edition.
Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Ye (aka Kanye West) are to headline the festival’s first in-person event since 2019, which will run across two weekends (15–17 and 22–24 April) at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.
Styles’ headline set will mark his debut Coachella performance, while Eilish’s will qualify her as the youngest-ever headliner at Coachella, following a seminal performance at the festival back in 2019.
Travis Scott was reportedly set to top the bill but was allegedly removed following the crowd crush tragedy at his Astroworld event last year.
Other artists billed for the Goldenvoice-promoted festival are Swedish House Mafia, Flume, Megan Thee Stallion, Disclosure, 21 Savage, Phoebe Bridgers, Doja Cat, Joji, Jamie xx and Run the Jewels.
Danny Elfman, Carly Rae Jepsen, Big Sean, Idles, Spiritualized, Stromae, Brockhampton, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Caribou, Caroline Polachek, Vince Staples, Ari Lennox and Kim Petras are also slated to perform.
Travis Scott was reportedly set to top the bill but was allegedly removed following the tragedy at his Astroworld event
According to today’s announcement, the 2022 edition will also include a collaboration with 88rising, a US-based artist management company, record label and media brand focused on east Asian artists.
The poster references the label’s annual LA-based music festival, Head in the Clouds. No further details have been revealed yet.
Coachella had its 2020 festival postponed twice due to the pandemic. It was rescheduled to April 2021, but postponed once again in January of that year, when the public health officer in charge of Riverside County, where the festival is held, signed a public health order cancelling Coachella and its sister festival, the country music event Stagecoach.
News emerged last October that Goldenvoice had signed a long-term agreement with the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, which will enable the promoter to stage additional festivals on the site.
Goldenvoice is one of the world’s biggest promoters; the company produces several festivals, including recently announced California Vibrations, operates 14 mid-sized venues and promotes over 1,800 shows per year.
Grammys double down on live after year of no concerts
Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift and Megan Thee Stallion delivered a handful of the 32 live or pre-recorded performances at the annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles last night (14 March).
The 63rd edition kicked off with three back-to-back performances from Harry Styles, Billie Eilish and Haim, who performed in an in-the-round set-up, reminiscent of Later… with Jools Holland.
Eilish and her brother/producer Finneas performed her ethereal ballad ‘Everything I Wanted’, for which she took home Record of the Year, for the second consecutive year.
Megan Thee Stallion made her impressive debut at the Grammys, scooping three awards including Best New Artist, and delivering two performances that were ranked first and second place on Billboard’s performance review list.
The rapper first performed a medley of ‘Body’ and ‘Savage’ – the latter won her Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance along with Beyoncé, who featured on the recording – before joining Cardi B onstage for a live rendition of their chart-topping smash ‘WAP’.
Beyoncé also made her mark last night, becoming the most-awarded person in Grammys history with her 28th win
Beyoncé had an equally unforgettable night, becoming the most-awarded person in Grammys history with her 28th win for ‘Black Parade’. Bluegrass singer Alison Krauss previously held the title.
Taylor Swift also made history at Sunday’s ceremony, by becoming the first female artist ever to win album of the year three times.
Only three other artists have ever won the album of the year prize three times: Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.
The star was rewarded for her lockdown album ‘Folklore’, which she performed in part during last night’s ceremony with collaborators Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff.
‘Cardigan’, ‘August’ and ‘Willow’ all got an outing during Swift’s first Grammys performance in five years.
BTS, Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, Doja Cat, Post Malone and Lionel Richie also delivered performances at last night’s Grammys.
Last night’s award show was the first from executive producer Ben Winston, best known for turning James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke series into a viral hit. Winston is the first new producer since Ken Ehrlich took over the show in 1980.
The production’s Covid precautions included 6ft-compliant tables and chairs beneath an outdoor terrace, five separate stages at the Los Angeles Convention Center and widespread testing – all of which added millions to the show’s budget.
See a complete list of winners and nominees for the 2021 Grammys here.
PULSE: Highlights from ILMC’s new tech event
PULSE is an all-new platform that sits at the intersection of technology and live entertainment. A collaboration between ILMC, senior booking agent Mike Malak (Paradigm), and digital entertainment expert Yvan Boudillet (TheLynk), the first PULSE event took place at ILMC today (3 March), welcoming leading figures from both industries for a full day of discussion and debate.
Tickets for ILMC 33, which include all panels, including PULSE, available to watch back until 5 April 2021, are still available. Click here for more information.
The final Pulse session of the day, The Business of Live Tech, brought together industry heads to discuss emerging business models and new deals around tech and music.
One of the panel’s most interesting discourses was about the perceived fan-appetite for livestreaming before, during and after the pandemic.
Steve Hancock, Melody VR/Napster (UK) points out that fans’ demand for livestreaming was strong before the pandemic and will continue to be a valuable complementary offering to live.
“Just exclusively VR, we moved on to mobile smartphone and tablet in 2019, where we launched our real-time live technology at Wireless with Live Nation in Finsbury Park. We did all three days, multi-stage, multi-cam jumps and had 250,000 people coming through the app on the first weekend at that festival and it showed everyone that appetite was there.
“And as we introduced paywalls, as the market progressed, people were good with it. Livestreaming will never replace live but I think a hybrid, and marriage, of physical and digital attendance is, in my opinion, the way forward,” said Hancock.
Olenik ventured that the way to keep fans interested in livestreaming events post-pandemic is to offer bonus features
Lesley Olenik, Live Nation (US), ventured that the way to keep fans interested in livestreaming events post-pandemic is to offer bonus features for those watching at home.
“If you have a world tour that you’re planning and if the artist is open to it, giving people access to maybe like the rehearsals or the soundcheck and doing some sort of virtual meet and greet could appeal to fans around the world. Billie Eilish did a really cool video that was shown before her live stream with her crew and how they all work together to bring this show to life and like what an undertaking is and fans loved it,” said Olenik.
Justin Lubliner, Darkroom (US), agreed and warned that without features tailored specifically for at-home livestreaming, fans’ interest could waiver.
“Billie’s show was an amazing live stream experience: I think the differentiating factor between the one that we did [with Billie] and the one that I’ve seen from other artists was that it was created specifically to be watched behind a computer and a TV. Not to offend anyone but personally, I am less bullish about the general virtual concert space,” he said.
Cheryl Paglierani, United Talent Agency (US), echoed that thought: “There is going to be ways for us to create virtual balconies or virtual meet and greet experiences if they’re already doing you can add, you know more and maybe it’s through zoom or whatever platform so you know it helps the artist generate more revenue, as opposed to you know just the bodies that are in the building, that’s what people are discussing right now and trying to find the best solutions for, but I do think people will be willing to pay for it for sure.”
— The World Jam (@_Angela_Gil) March 3, 2021
Asking how to keep the fan at the centre of new virtual performance spaces, The New Fan Experience welcomed Sheri Bryant from virtual events platform Sansar, who spoke of the importance of connecting fans with performers while avoiding trying to compete with the live experience.
Livestreaming, said Driift’s Ric Salmon, is the “holy grail” for artists. “It’s a direct-to-fan format,” he said. “The ecosystem between the artist and the fan is complicated and there are a lot of mouths to feed in that process – [livestreaming] provides us with an opportunity to realign that relationship.
When choosing a platform, said Tommas Arnby (Locomotion), “you want to go where the fans are”. Streaming, he said, is about “creat[ing] scarce, unique moments. You want to really make something that blows the fans away – give them something they didn’t expect.”
Where the sector goes next, suggested Brandon Goodman of Best Friends Music “depends on the artist. It’s important for the creative to make sense with the artist – I don’t think artists should necessarily do what Billie [Eilish] did. For exampled, I loved the Dermot Kennedy stream – but I don’t think Dermot Kennedy in an XR world, like Billie, would be very on-brand for an artist like him.”
— Martin Myers (@MartinMyers) March 3, 2021
Trivium frontman Matt Heafy opened The Livestreamers’ Guide to Live Music by talking about his following on videogame-focused livestreaming site Twitch, where has more than 200,000 subscribers (many of whom also tuned into the ILMC panel).
While Heafy has been streaming on Twitch for years (including every Trivium show for the past three), “it took up until the pandemic happening for my channel to really take off,” he explained. It’s because of his putting in that groundwork, he added, that, “now that everyone’s stuck at home, they know to come and see what Matt’s been telling us about all this time.”
Julie Bogaert from Facebook spoke of the importance for streamers of having a “presence on as many platforms as possible,” in addition to Facebook and Instagram, “because they all have different audiences”.
For livestreamers, viewer engagement is key, added Heafy. “That’s what separates live from video. That viewer-streamer relationship is the big difference [between a live broadcast and] a video that already exists.
“It’s really that human element that’s important. I’ve heard it described as the Bruce Dickinson effect. Iron Maiden have been playing arenas for 20 years, but what he can do is make even the person in the nosebleed seats feel like the show is all about them.”
Building an audience on a platform like Twitch is “a grind”, admitted Wiktoria Wójcik of esports specialist InStreamly. “You have to prepare to stream to, say, every day, or once a week – you need to have a schedule, and always deliver.”
Livestreaming, she added, “isn’t an easy way to be discovered, because you’re going live for a few hours and then you vanish, as it’s live content only. You have to have a place where you aggregate your fans and them push them towards your live streams.”’
Asian Agent’s Danny Lee, who works with a number of K-pop acts, described the subtle differences between the various platforms. For example, “Instagram Live is very immediate,” he said. “People just go right into it. Whereas on something like V Live, which is a very popular Korean livestreaming app, a streamer may start out by just looking at the camera for five minutes.”
Livestreaming will not replace live, said Wójcik, but act as an add-on in future. “Even when we come out of this, there will still be people who can’t come to see you in person or come to your shows, so streaming will provide a way to connect with those fans.”
— Trish Brown (@Trish_Brown) March 3, 2021
Pulse continued with Sweet Streams – Best in Class, which saw Lars-Oliver Vogt, Live Nation GSA, assemble leaders in the livestreaming space to share best practice and reflect on 2020’s standout events.
James Sutcliffe, LiveNow Global (UK), reflected on the success of Dua Lipa’s first ticketed virtual show, Studio 2054, which took place late last year and garnered more than 500 million views and 300,000 ticket sales.
LiveNow splashed out a whopping $1.5 million in realising the Dua Lipa project but big budgets are part of the company’s business model, said Sutcliffe.
“We’re not afraid to invest and I think it’s important for us to ensure that the quality levels of the content and the product that we’re putting out is high. And by us coming to the table with the willingness to invest and help curate these shows, it gives them the best possible chance of the end product being as good as you’ve just seen.”
Mike Schabel, Kiswe (US), enjoyed similar success with K-pop band BTS and their Map of the Soul On:e pay-per-view live stream, which saw 993,000 people across 193 countries tune in.
“How does livestreaming become more than just a promotional vehicle or novelty for mid-range acts”
Schabel says the most exciting thing about the live stream was “the number of innovations we’ve brought to the table for the audience” including multiple cameras to choose from, multi-language live closed captioning and Bluetooth-enabled light sticks.
However, the “live live” aspect of the shows was “an overwhelming challenge that everybody in this space knows”.
Speaking on the role of an agent in livestreaming, Natasha Gregory, Mother Artists (UK), says that while there’s been little financial gain, there’s been a lot to learn.
“I really wanted to get involved and find out how streaming works and how many tickets you can sell for a rock band, for instance, Idles who sell 2,500 tickets in London, and how that can reflect.”
“[Idles livestream] was at least six weeks of solid work and what you get out of it is minimal. I mean we did 12,000 streams but we did decide to use it more as a marketing tool,” she adds.
“It’s really about what can you do differently [with livestreaming] that makes it actually viable”
However, Tim Westergreen, Sessions Live (US), asked “how does livestreaming become more than just a promotional vehicle or novelty for mid-range acts?”.
“It’s really about what can you do differently that makes it actually viable, so that an average band can take advantage of what should be a great platform. You can do all sorts of different ticketing to offer the ability to connect with a band that the real world doesn’t allow you and unless you until you do that and do that in a scalable way, [livestreaming] will continue to be more elitist.”
Westergreen says that the monetisation of livestreaming for mid-range acts depends on two things: a fan and audience development platform as well as a monetisation mechanism similar to those tried and tested in gaming.
“How do you monetise engagement? That’s what gaming has done for two decades now it’s why, as an industry, it’s been so much more successful than music in the digital era.”
“It has only taken 10 months for fans to accept they have to pay for tickets to a live stream”
Fabrice Sergent, Bandsintown group (US), says: “There’s hope, and not just for the large artists”.
Sergeant says that last year Bandsintown listed 70,000 live streams last year, 75% of which were actually listed by artists of less than 100,000 followers.
Not only that but from July to October, the number of live streams that were ticketed jumped from 2% to 50%.
“For something that started as a free medium, it has only taken 10 months for fans to accept they have to pay for tickets to a live stream. When you think back to the time when music was pirated on Napster and it took 10 years for fans to finally accept to buy a subscription to music streaming.”
Pulse kicked off with New Technology Pitches, hosted by Steve Machin LiveFrom Events (UK), comprised of quick-fire presentations on the best new tech and innovation in the business.
First up, Arjun Mehta (US) showcased Moment House’s premium digital platform for live creators.
“How do you marry technology with culture? That’s the question at the heart of our approach,” Mehta says.
Mehta explained that Moment House was launched because he felt “a fundamental tool was missing from the internet”.
“This was never meant to be a replacement for a physical concert. We built it from the standpoint of ‘how do we craft the most compelling digital fan experience digitally?’… a brand new unit that’s fully complementary to the physical world.”
“How do you marry technology with culture? That’s the question at the heart of [Moment House’s] approach”
Mehta says Moment House is built on three core principles: “Number one is beautiful design – a beautiful user experience that really prioritises the fan. Number two is our messaging and how we frame Moment House to both the artists and fans as this new independent unit of a moment. The third thing is curating the sorts of artists on the platform…it’s very important to us that we took a top-down approach and brought some of the world’s biggest superstars onto the platform.”
Eight Day Sound then presented its Virtual Live Audience (VLA) technology, which “meaningfully reconnects audiences to the entertainment they love”.
“VLA is cutting edge proprietary technology that allows for seamless communication between presenters and audiences with low latency and high quality remote participants are displayed via video screens on site and the team can customise the layout.”
“The sky is the limit for the number of participants able to join VLA, which means that the audience is no longer limited to the venue, and there are opportunities for scalable ticketing sponsorship, advertising and other revenue-generating streams. You can maximise event profits.”
Next to the stand was Vladic Ravich, who told ILMC delegates how Bramble came to be.
Vladic and co-founder Salimah Ebrahim launched Bramble to offer “a more human way to gather online”
The company behind Bramble, Artery, started as a way to “connect people with cultural experience” by helping users set up secret events in their own homes.
When the pandemic hit, rendering Artery’s business model redundant, Vladic and co-founder Salimah Ebrahim launched Bramble which sought to offer “a more human way to gather online”.
“What makes Bramble a good gathering? The first thing is our proprietary fluid video technology, and if you haven’t seen this kind of spatial video and audio, it’s immediately intuitive.”
Bramble also offers a customisable performance venue that has hosted events including the House of Yes’s Halloween show as well as the Artist and Manager awards.
Next up, Param Kanabar tells ILMC delegates about Noq, a cashless and contactless ordering system that “looks at tackling queue management and issues around queuing at events”.
Noq is “a hybrid blend between a marketplace app as well as a branding solution”
“You just need a QR code specific to a particular event. This could be shared with customers, ahead of the event, whether that be through a website, social media, tickets, newsletters.
“Additionally, at the event, there’ll be multiple touch points, at the entrance, near the food zones. So when customers scan a QR code, they are taken straight to a festival landing page where they’re able to see all the vendors that are around them.
“This is great because there’s a lot of increase in folks being gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. Plus people have food allergies. So, communicating what you want in a busy festival and an event is difficult sometimes. And so from a customer perspective, having this and access to view everything that is around them is important.”
Kanabar says Noq’s unique selling point is that the app is “ultimately a hybrid blend between a marketplace app as well as a branding solution”.
Notetracks founder and CEO Kam Lal was next in line to deliver his pitch on what was dubbed ‘Asana for video and audio’.
Lookport is “the biggest video livestreaming platform in Eastern Europe”
The platform to share music, video, audio projects and gather feedback and notes.
“The problem we aim to solve is working on audio and video files remotely. Currently, you know the tools are very fragmented and there’s a disconnected workflow – it’s not very collaborative. So our solution is one workspace where you could review and collaborate in a seamless environment and gather feedback.”
Lookport’s Alex Wolf was next to the stand to tell delegates about “the biggest video livestreaming platform in Eastern Europe” which has hosted 150 livestreams throughout the pandemic and boasts more than 90 million views.
Wolf said the unique selling point of Lookport is that it provides a full service, from promoting the event, to producing it, to selling tickets, and then streaming the show.
“Lockport is a completely web based solution and you don’t need to then launch any specific application, we created our own web player so users can watch our content from any device. The player can also be embedded into any web page or landing site.”
“It is next to impossible today to receive audience data for an artist or event team all in one place”
Last but by no means least, Aivar took to the virtual stage to pitch FanSifter.
“It is next to impossible today to receive audience data for an artist or event team all in one place, in one format because data is locked into silos both in music and live. To get that data out of the silos is now more important than ever because, with cookie-based targeting and advertising sunsetting, artists and all the partners, management teams, promoters, labels, merch stores, even brands need to collaborate on these first party audience data sets, have to comply to GDPR and other privacy laws. FanSifter exists to solve this with a collaborative and privacy-compliant customer data platform.”