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Crosstown Concerts celebrates streaming success

UK-based promoter Crosstown Concerts is celebrating a successful debut for its recently launched virtual concert platform after selling over 8,000 tickets for Bellowhead’s first show in nearly five years.

The English folk legends, who went on hiatus in 2016, reunited for a one-off show at Stabal, a studio facility on the edge of Epping Forest in east London, as part of Crosstown Live, which launched in partnership with Stabal last summer.

Crosstown launches virtual concert platform

In total, the promoter sold 8,200 tickets for the 5 December show, with 70% of buyers opting for the higher-priced (£22) ‘deluxe’ option, which includes the ability the watch back for 30 days afterwards, as well as bonus content.

Other Crosstown Concerts Live shows include Seth Lakeman, who will celebrate 15 years of his Freedom Fields album on 27 February, and Damien Dempsey’s Christmas concert on 23 December 2020.

Crosstown Concerts director Conal Dodds comments: “We knew the return to full-capacity shows would be some time away and we needed to find an alternative platform for our artists. Our search to find the very best broadcast solution for our artists led us to Epping Forest-based broadcast platform Stabal. After several online meetings and lots of negotiations, we entered a partnership. Their whole team are super friendly and professional, sharing with us a desire to produce the highest-quality events.

“I am thrilled to see the success of our first few shows already surpassing all expectations”

“I believe this collaboration between Stabal and Crosstown solves all of the issues artists have encountered broadcasting concerts, as we can handle all the aspects required between us. We cover all the costs, and handle all marketing, ticketing, rights and publishing clearances, with audiovisual recording produced to a world-class standard.

“When I first met with Conal and Paul [Hutton, Crosstown co-founder] in early 2020, it was clear that we carried the same attitude to doing business,” continues Stabal’s CEO, Steve Odart. “Crosstown were promoting life-affirming concerts at a fair price, and their track record of success in the bricks-and-mortar promotion world was clearly evident. Stabal carries the same DNA, with our focus being firmly in the digital space. It was a very logical partnership.6

“We have crafted a well-thought-through, end-to-end offering and strategy to deliver the very best online concert offering to the music industry, building an outstanding commercial offering that works for all key stakeholders; labels, publishers, management, artist and PROs. That investment has been totally worth it, and I am thrilled to see the success of our first few shows already surpassing all expectations.”

Odart continues: “Twenty twenty-one is a very exciting year for our partnership. In Q1 2021, we are expanding the Stabal platform across Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire and Roku to provide an even more extensive TV viewing experience, and adding a production hub in Australia to complement our existing UK and US production teams.”

Dodds, who explains that Crosstown and Stabal are able to sell the content in over 150 countries in multiple currencies, says he has global ambitions for the platform. “We are currently negotiating with multiple international artists, and expect our collaboration with Stabal to go from strength to strength in the coming year,” he concludes.


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Crosstown launches virtual concert platform

Crosstown Concerts, the independent UK promoter, has launched Crosstown Live, a new ticketed online concert platform the company hopes will serve as a one-stop shop for artists who want to make money from virtual shows.

Utilising Stabal’s studio complex on the edge of Epping Forest, in east London, Crosstown Live aims to offer artists and agents a high-quality, no-fuss virtual concert solution, with Crosstown Concerts covering the costs of recording, editing, marketing, hospitality, ticketing and broadcasting, according to Crosstown co-founder and promoter Conal Dodds.

In an email to booking agents, Dodds explains that Crosstown Live will film and record concerts live, allowing up to ten days for approvals and editing before broadcasting the show “as live” to fans. The shows will sit on Stabal’s platform as Vimeo videos, albeit as separate, Crosstown-branded broadcasts.

In addition to the above costs, Crosstown will “sell tickets worldwide, in every country that allows unrestricted video-on-demand platforms to play,” says Dodds. “We will market the shows appropriately in the relevant territories to your artist. We are talking to major ticket agencies with regard to them being affiliate sellers via Stabal also, so we benefit from their databases.”

Crosstown Live will also allow for album bundles (which would be eligible for chart positions); artists could then treat their performances as “an in-store/out-store performance while social distancing restrictions render record store plays impossible,” continues Dodds. “We will do all the liaising with record labels, fulfilment partners, etc.”

“Our intention is to channel this offer through agents, and through the industry as a whole”

In addition to Stabal’s Epping Forest location, Crosstown has partnered with Dark Horse Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, to create a similar set-up for US Crosstown Live shows.

Other benefits to Crosstown Live for artists include additional earnings from bonus content, rentals and, potentially, Stabal subscriptions, while Crosstown can sell tickets in a variety of currencies, including Mexican pesos, Japanese yen, Polish zloty and various Scandinavian kroner (in addition to the usual dollars, euros and pounds).

“Our intention is to channel this offer through the artist’s booking agents, and through the music industry as a whole,” continues Dodds.

“From the outset, our UK target for artists are those worth at least 3,000–5,000 indoor ticket sales in London – our costs and investment in this project are significant, so we need artists capable of significant sales. Once we are up and running, we will investigate the opportunity to have multiple artists recording on a single day, so that we can drive down costs and make appropriately priced broadcasts viable for new and upcoming artists.”

The UK facility will be ready from 1 July, says Dodds, who adds that company is already investigating further studio partnerships internationally.


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