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For millennials, gigs about ‘more than the music’

Gig-going remains one of the most popular activities for young people in the UK, but 18–34-year-olds are seeing live music for different reasons to the previous generation, new data suggests.

Compared to generation-Xers (35–45-year-olds), millennials (18–34s) have a “stronger moral compass”, according to a new survey by Eventbrite, placing a greater emphasis on events and artists that align with their own beliefs and values.

According to the survey – conducted in partnership with research agency Crowd DNA – nearly half (49%) of millennials have attended a live music event in the past 12 months. However, “unlike gen X,” says Eventbrite, “millennials treat live events as a form of self-expression [and] self-improvement” – with 69% saying they see attending a show as “the best way to show other people what they stand for” (compared to 59% of gen-Xers) and 78% more likely to attend a festival featuring artists who are “affecting positive change through their music” (compared to 69% of gen-Xers).

Additionally, 20% of millennials have in the past year attended an event specifically billed as supporting a particular cause.

“Attending live music events as a form of self-expression is very much a millennial trait”

“Millennials and gen X both attend live music events to escape day-to-day reality and connect with like minded people, but it’s millennials who have a stronger moral compass: three quarters choose music events which align to their own beliefs and values, and 78% attend to express support for the artist’s beliefs and values,” reads the survey, which had a sample audience of British adults aged 18 to 45.

“Attending live music events as a form of self-expression is very much a millennial trait, it was found, and artists who promote positive change are more appealing for millennials.”

The new research follows a similar Eventbrite survey of millennials in the US, which concluded that “the current political climate is driving a deep desire for Americans to connect with each other, their communities and the world, and that they see live events as an incredible way to do that”.

Eventbrite, the world’s largest self-service ticketing platform, acquired Ticketfly from Pandora for US$200m earlier this month.

 


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Millennials drive “healthy, successful” EDM mkt

Electronic music conference International Music Summit (IMS) today released the 2017 edition of its annual IMS Business Report, which reveals that dance music shows are overwhelming the live music events of choice for generation Y.

The report, researched and compiled, as in 2016, by Danceonomics’ Kevin Watson, finds that while live concerts with one headliner are the biggest draw for the US general population, club shows – and, to a lesser extent, intimate concerts – are especially popular among millennials, with that age group attending 36–39% more dance events with live DJs:IMS Business Report 2017

The report also spotlights the “huge growth” in electronic dance music (EDM) in Latin America; the acquisition or launch by fast-growing UK outfit Global of three dance music festivals (South West Four, Snowbombing Canada and Hideout); and the pioneering use of new technologies, including VR, live streaming and chatbots/AI, by several high-profile DJs and clubs.

As a whole, the value of the industry is up 3%, to US$7.4 billion, in what IMS calls an indicator of a “healthy and successful industry”.

But it’s not all good news: Gender diversity, says IMS, remains “a key issue” after analysis by Thump revealed that of 24 of the biggest EDM festivals in 2016, an average of just 17% of performers were female.

Better than some rock festivals, at least…

 


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Fest sponsorship a favourite for young Europeans

Partnering with or sponsoring a music festival is one of the best ways for brands to reach young Europeans, a new study suggests.

Some 34% of Germans, 33% of French and 31% of Britons aged 18 to 34 chose partnering with a festival as one of their five “favourite ways brands or companies can engage with people your age” in a recent survey of over 1,500 millennials in the UK, France and Germany by Chinese smartphone brand Honor, ahead of, among other things, partnering with sports events (29%) and video-gaming events (27%), the creation of sponsored social media content (26%) and news stories (20%) and taking out traditional ads on billboards and posters (24%).

Festivals are on a level pegging with sponsorship deals with film, TV, sports or social media stars (31%), but do, however, lag behind posts on brands’ own social media accounts (35%), television adverts (42%), new-buyer promotions (46%) and sponsored YouTube videos (39%).

Some 34% of Germans, 33% of French and 31% of Britons aged 18 to 34 chose partnering with a festival as one of their five “favourite ways brands or companies can engage with people your age”

The survey, commissioned by Honor and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) in July and August, also investigated European millennials’ expectations of brands, attitudes towards technology and confidence in their own futures, finding “while the region is shadowed by some uncertainties and difficult issues, European millennials remain optimistic” and that “7 in 10 respondents agree they will have the opportunities to follow their dreams, and a sizeable majority think their own generation is the best equipped to help their countries tackle the biggest issues”.

The survey data can be viewed in full here.

 


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Live goes digital—and why phones aren’t the enemy

Nearly every aspect of discovering and attending a live event – bar, of course, the event itself – is now chiefly a digital one, with the finding of events, ticket purchase and the sharing of experiences with friends all primarily driven by digital channels.

That’s the conclusion of Decoding the Live Event Consumer, a new report by Mark Mulligan’s MIDiA Research which analysed the findings of a See Tickets/Schlesinger Associates survey of US consumers to deliver a comprehensive overview of the buying, discovery and sharing habits of eventgoers in 2015.

Advertising is, unsurprisingly, still the main way promoters get the word out about their events, with 78% of respondees saying they’d heard about a concert or other live event via a TV, radio, print or online ad. Online is by far the most heavily relied-upon platform – 63% found out about an event through an internet advertisement – with local radio in a distant second, at 14%.

However, social media – Facebook is by far the most popular – has leapfrogged recommendations from family and friends to make it to second place (58%, compared to the latter’s 57%), with mail from a band/sports team or festival in third (46%) and mail from ticketing companies and browsing a venue’s website in joint fifth (both 39%).

Online is by far the most heavily relied-upon platform for event discovery – and social media is now in second place

When it comes to buying, “search is the first step”, says the report, with half of eventgoers heading straight to a search engine to find out more about an event after they first hear about it.

While 57% ask others if they want to go before they buy tickets, a more impulsive 35% buy more than one ticket immediately without a clear idea of who they’ll take.

Over half of respondees said they compare ticket prices on price comparison sites, with 61% eventually buying tickets from ticketing companies’ websites and 58% from venues’ sites.

The tickets themselves are also becoming increasingly digital: 39% of eventgoers print e-tickets, and 29% use them as-is on their smartphones. Over half of physical ticketholders, however, keep them as a memento “for at least five years”.

Attitudes towards smartphones – “once seen as the bane of live events, and even viewed as threats to copyright and other intellectual property”, says MIDiA – are apparently changing, with 87% of live eventgoers using their phones to take photos and over half (55%) to shoot videos. “Creating a digital record of being at an event is now a default consumer experience,” says the report. “It is the digital extension of being physically present and watching a live music performance.”

“Creating a digital record of being at an event is now a default consumer experience. It is the digital extension of being physically present and watching a live music performance”

Seventy-six out of every 100 eventgoers post photos or other content on social media when at concerts and other events, and 65% use social notifications to let people know they are attending. The figure of 76% is higher among younger audiences and vice versa: under-36s are most likely to post (84%), compared to 64% of those over 36.

MIDiA offers a number of recommendations for marketing and selling live events to digitally native consumers, “especially millennials who have grown up on social media and instant access to services”, including:

The report can be purchased in full from the MiDIA Research website.

 


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US festival fans are boozy Hispanic millennials

American festivalgoers are more likely to be drink craft beer, be Hispanic and be born between the early 1980s and late ’90s than the average music listener.

Those are some of the findings from market research firm Nielsen, which recently released Who’s Headed to This Summer’s Major Music Festivals?, its latest report into the make-up and behaviour of attendees to the US’s largest festivals.

Nielsen found that nearly half (45%) of US festivalgoers are millennials – that is, those born roughly between 1981 and 1997 – and that attendees are 51% more likely to be Hispanic (with origins in Latin America) and 11% more likely to be “Asian” (Oriental, or south/south-east Asian) compared to music listeners as a whole – something it says isn’t surprising given that “this generation is [more] multicultural [than] any previous generation”.

Americans’ awareness of music festivals as whole has increased in recent years, with Lollapalooza, Coachella and the iHeartRadio Music Festival the most well known. Over half (52%) of the US general public has heard of Lollapalooza, with 36% recognising Coachella – up from 22% in 2013 – and 21% Bonnaroo.

Americans’ awareness of music festivals as whole has increased in recent years, with Lollapalooza, Coachella and the iHeartRadio Music Festival the most well known

While the musical line-up is festivalgoers’ single most important consideration when deciding which events to attend, there is also a strong regional element at play. “For example,” says Nielsen, “Coachella – held in California – largely attracts attendees from the western parts of the US.” Price is also key.

Festival fans aged 21 and over are larger consumers of almost every type of alcohol than the average music listener. US festivalgoers are 38% more likely to drink craft beer than the average music listener, and also count domestically produced wine, vodka, tequila and rum among their tipples of choice.

And around half of American festival attendees share their experiences digitally with friends via photos and text – so those who can’t attend, “and suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out), can be part of the experience too”.

American festivalgoers, then, concludes Nielsen, are “a large, young, diverse and music-loving group that also enjoys a good party”. Sounds about right.