LWE partners with Sansar for Tobacco Dock Virtual
London-based electronic music promoter LWE has launched Tobacco Dock Virtual, a virtual-world recreation of the Wapping venue of the same name.
Created by Sansar, the virtual live events platform behind other digital venues including Lost Horizon and Melatopia festival, Tobacco Dock Virtual replicates the 16,000m² Tobacco Dock in “minute detail, from the sweeping staircases to the cavernous dancefloors”, says LWE, which will organise shows, parties and interactive experiences in the new venue.
LWE has previous organised virtual concert experiences, taking its Junction 2 festival online first as J2v last summer and then as Junction 2: Connections earlier this month. The latter event integrated with popular racing game Asphalt, with Asphalt players able to stream DJ sets from within the game, and attracted an audience of 3.1 million people globally.
The long-term plan for Tobacco Dock Virtual (TDv) is hybrid, the promoter says, with a merging of “all three platforms: virtual, gaming and real” and shows taking place simultaneously virtually, physically and in mobile video games.
“TDv is our next step in the evolution of LWE and the development of our long-term event concepts, where we see virtual worlds sitting alongside the real world,” says LWE director Paul Jack. “Tobacco Dock has hosted some of our most exciting shows and led the way in the UK for vast daytime events.
“LWE is creating an entirely new event experience for fans”
“This next step on our journey will pave the way for hybrid events within a fully immersive digital and physical space, providing a huge new platform to showcase music.”
Sheri Bryant, president of Sansar, adds: “LWE is creating an entirely new event experience for fans with their series of epic 2021 shows in Sansar across multiple digital platforms and in real life simultaneously. They are leading the charge of innovation across the music industry. We couldn’t be more proud than to be their virtual event partner, providing them with the technology to do so.”
Details for the opening weekend at Tobacco Dock Virtual will be announced on Tuesday 9 February, promising “some of the planet’s biggest party brands and a programme of globally acclaimed artists and exciting new sounds” across mobile, PC, Mac and VR. In the meantime, fans are encouraged to create a TDv account at www.tobaccodockvirtual.com.
“Tobacco Dock is excited to be working alongside our long-term partner LWE to develop a cutting-edge virtual venue that will enable remote audiences to have a truly immersive, rich experience with the attributes of being present without the travel,” says Tobacco Dock commercial director Jonathan Read. “It is a bold new step on our journey to make Tobacco Dock a global destination for music, cultural, fashion and tech events.”
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Roblox: “The concert market is going to get a lot bigger”
In late November, Roblox – a family friendly social videogaming platform with more than 150 million monthly users worldwide – staked a claim as the virtual concert platform to watch with its first in-world live music event.
The headline show, by ‘Old Town Road’ singer Lil Nas X, took full advantage of Roblox’s technical capabilities and diverse, engaged user base to deliver a must-see set by the double Grammy winner which was viewed over 30m times, rivalling Fortnite’s record-breaking Travis Scott event held earlier in the year.
With fresh concerns over the coronavirus already casting a shadow over live music in 2021, IQ caught up with Jon Vlassopulos, Roblox’s global head of music, to discover how artists, promoters, venues, festivals and labels can “reinvent” themselves for an online-first future; how the so-called ‘Metaverse’ will spawn a new wave of digital-native artists; and why the next generation of fans won’t have to choose between virtual and physical shows…
IQ: For the uninitiated, how would you describe Roblox? Is it a game? A way of creating games? A virtual world? Or something else?
JV: All of the above. I’d say Roblox is first and foremost an online community where people come together to play, create and explore millions of 3D virtual worlds together with their friends. Our vision for this online community of shared experiences draws inspiration from gaming, entertainment and social media. People come here to be who they want to be, and we provide them with tools to create their unique identities (avatars).
In addition, most of the virtual worlds on the platform have been created by our developer community – we have built a proprietary, next-gen tech platform that allows anyone to create and experience 3D content, forming the Metaverse, and we have invested heavily to build the technology and infrastructure for that.
You’ve seen huge growth through the Covid-19 pandemic. Why do you think that is, and how do you see that continuing in future?
This year has been an extremely challenging time for our global society. What we’ve seen during physical distancing is that people are turning to Roblox for the social connection, play and learning opportunities that they aren’t getting in their real lives right now.
When we surveyed our community (nearly 3,000 teens responded to the survey) as part of our Digital Civility Initiative, we saw some positive trends around the use of the Roblox platform during this otherwise difficult time. For example, over half (52%) said they were spending the same amount or more time with their real-life friends via Roblox, voice/chat programs and other online gaming platforms during Covid-19. They also reflected on how meaningful online friendships can be for them, with two in five reporting that their relationships with online friends on Roblox got even better during COVID-19. Nearly 30% said parents are showing more interest in their online lives, including learning about and playing Roblox with them, and a similar number of teens reported that they started building their own games or learning how to code during this time.
You just hosted your first in-world concert. Was music always a focus from the outset, or is this something that’s naturally developed over time?
Music has been present on the platform and embedded in different ways and formats since the beginning. Our developers can access a broad catalogue of music to use in their games, and we have been adding to that recently with great licensed partners like Monstercat. There are also a variety of music-themed worlds on the platform, like the Dance Your Blox Off dance competition game and the AI game Splash: Music World, where people can DJ and create music. Splash actually did a fun collab with Tones & I before Christmas.
When I joined Roblox, mission one was to double down on what we were already doing and grow our music offering significantly so music becomes an organic part of our users’ daily experience on Roblox. We want to connect fans with each other and with their favourite music and artists in new and unprecedented ways. Getting into virtual concerts, like our recent Lil Nas X show, is a natural area of focus for us. We want to make the virtual concert experience even better than the real-world experience for our fans. I’m very excited about what we are going to be rolling out in 2021.
“We want to make the virtual concert experience even better than the real-world experience”
Will the new concert venue be used for other shows in future?
The Lil Nas X concert space was custom-built for this event, but a lot of the new features we debuted will soon be available to the developer community to leverage in their games. We do have our Launch Party product that artists and labels can use to create their own custom [album] launch party on Roblox. Warner and Ava Max used the code to build out a custom venue for the launch of her recent album, Heaven and Hell. It was a big success, with more than 2.5 million visits of the experience.
We have lots of interest from labels to do their own launch parties in 2020. It is such a fun way for the kids and teens on Roblox to get closer to their favourite artists and discover the best new music. We are working towards making the experience turnkey. For example, an artist could choose a pre-made set (ie a stage in the desert or floating in space), drop in some customised merch and then encourage fans to attend and watch their performance or enjoy their new music videos.
For the Lil Nas X event, how many people did you have capacity for?
We are a virtual platform so hopefully don’t have to think about having to turn people away from our events. We had our main concert and three encores, and the total number of visits of the experience has surpassed 33 million. Some people may have come back multiple times to catch additional shows or experience the pre-show events, including the scavenger hunt and Lil Nas X music video performance, but it’s millions of people who were able to experience the artist’s world and performances, which is a unique advantage of these virtual co-experiences.
They represent a massive opportunity for artists to reach their fans around the world and extend their brand into the Metaverse, especially during this time when larger real-world social events and artist tours are not possible.
Was it a pre-record, or was Nas actually performing live?
It was pre-recorded but presented as-live to the Roblox community. There were a lot of engaging real-time features baked into the experience that made it fun to experience live with your friends: You could dance together using custom, exclusive emotes, throw snowballs at each other, dress up in custom merch, hunt for coins, etc. The main concert featured a photorealistic motion-capture avatar of Lil Nas X dancing and singing across four different worlds that tied to his top songs: ‘Old Town Road’, ‘Rodeo’, ‘Panini’ and ‘Holiday’, his new single, which he performed for the first time during the concert.
The different worlds for each song were built using the latest shadowing, lighting, and physically based rendering (PBR) facial-recognition technologies available on the Roblox platform. The entire experience was designed to give Roblox users and Lil Nas X fans a unique way to discover and enjoy music together with their friends and connect with their favourite artist like never before.
“We were encouraged to see seven figures in merch sales for our first concert event”
What is the economic model for a show like this? Is it a straight revenue split on things like merch and other in-game items?
Yes, we split revenue from anything that is sold related to the concert with the artists and the label. It’s a net new revenue stream for our partners in addition to their current sales of physical merch, tickets, sponsorships, etc. We were encouraged to see seven figures in merch sales for our first concert event. Moving forward we plan to experiment with other types of monetisation around concerts and events.
Other virtual worlds/games, such as Fortnite, Minecraft and Sansar, have also hosted virtual shows. How is the Roblox experience different?
First, Roblox is a platform not a game – we have global scale, with millions of people from around the world coming to Roblox to hang out, chat, play, create and explore new places. They love to dress up and check out events together, so concerts are a perfect use case for us. It’s similar to the way kids and teens do in real life, where the majority of them go to shows just to be with their friends or show off a new outfit.
We think we can bring and potentially improve on these real-life shared experiences. We can make discovery of music and artists super-interactive and special for the Roblox community, delivering experiences that may be unattainable in the real world. For example, at a real concert very few fans have the opportunity to do a meet and greet with an artist or dance on stage. We can make these things happen and give our community tentpole moments and connections with their idols that they will hold with them all their lives.
Each of our community members have their own unique identity (avatar) that they take with them as they move across different virtual environments and worlds, which means they get recognised by friends. That means they love customising their look and getting unique merch that will stay in their virtual collection.
Finally, Roblox has millions of developers on the platform, so artists can create their own unique experiences or connect with existing developers to collaborate to reach their fans around the world.
What does the core Roblox user look like?
An average of 36.2m people from around the world come to Roblox every day to connect with friends, and it’s a truly global and diverse community. For example, over 40% of our users are female – this is pretty unique in the world of online gaming. Over half of all kids and teens under the age of 16 in the US are on Roblox. While our user base has historically skewed younger, we are seeing people staying on the platform as they are growing up. Entire families are using Roblox to connect and have shared experiences like the Lil Nas X concert; older demographics attracted by incredible new content.
We are focused on retaining those users and bringing on new demographics to the platform as we continue to innovate in creating more immersive experiences, introducing new realistic avatar technology, spatial audio and other new features available both to our creators and users.
“Virtual shows can be a great way to kick off a real-world artist tour”
More broadly, what do you see as the possibilities for virtual live music events in future? Do you see the trend towards these kind of shows continuing even once we’re all vaccinated against Covid-19?
Absolutely. We believe discovering and enjoying music in the Metaverse together with friends from all over the world is a unique experience that can bring millions of people together, and often can’t be replicated in the physical world. I don’t think fans will need to pick real world or virtual once lockdowns are over – they can have both.
Virtual shows can be a great way to kick off a real-world artist tour. If you can aggregate tens of millions of fans over a weekend online, you can then drive them to buy tickets for the tour. If you attended the virtual concert you could unlock special experiences at the live concert. Then, post-concert, you could go back to Roblox and have a post-show artist experience and meet fellow fans from around the world.
The concert market is going to get a lot bigger and more exciting for fans moving forward. Remember, most concerts are 18+ or 21+, and we have a large community of users under 18, so everything we do is additive. We are helping many of our kids and teens experience a concert for the first time – and no one forgets their first show!
It’s all very exciting. And as the Metaverse expands, we’ll see new forms of entertainment emerge; new Metaverse artists will be able to launch careers virtually without ever having to play a real-world show.
I think it is important to note that we are right at the beginning of a massive new industry. We are just scratching the surface with shows like our Lil Nas X concert. I have been through the birth of the internet in the ’90s and the impact it had on the music industry, then we have had mobile for the last 20 years. I believe the Metaverse has the potential to be bigger than all of them.
Artists, labels, publishers, venue and festival owners, video platforms, etc., all have a chance to reinvent themselves and capture first-mover advantage on platforms like ours. For 2021, we are looking to work with forward-thinking partners who can help us create some amazing case-study experiences that others in the industry can learn from and follow. We look forward to a future where kids can reconnect with music at a very core level, and artists are able to express themselves fully beyond what they can do on streaming platforms. Along with all of this innovation will come new and lucrative new revenue opportunities. If you have creative projects that you think would be a fit for Roblox, please get in touch!
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How to stay ahead of the curve
It’s time to forget what you know – or risk getting left behind.
Now that I have your attention, let me explain that statement.
We will absolutely get the live business back on track, but it goes without saying that it will be a process to get there. With that, those that do not understand and embrace the role technology will play will inevitably become the new dinosaurs of our business – and nobody wants that title.
Technology in music was always gaining prominence. However, this global pandemic has simply sped up the process and forced us to rethink how we are to use it in its entirety. Just like how Napster backed the recorded music industry into a corner in the early 2000s and subsequently birthed iTunes and streaming, we are essentially going through our own moment in history that will be just as monumental for our business. This is an incredibly exciting time for the live industry – if we embrace the change.
The technology we have been using is not a ‘temporary solution’ while we are at home. Livestreaming, gaming platforms, virtual events and a more strategic approach to content is part of how we can rebuild the live industry to be more resilient. It also allows us to create strong revenue streams supporting the foundations of our business and allowing us to survive a future global crisis more efficiently.
It is vital we educate our audiences and be comfortable with exploring new processes as we work towards moving the needle. The aim is to create a new model whereby consumers are willing to pay for music content. Along with that, the existing culture and the attitudes of fans needs to adapt.
It’s time for us to hack the tech out there and make it work in our favour
We have understood how losing a year of business in live music has affected so many of us in these unprecedented times. From venues and festivals struggling to artist revenue decreasing, and thus having an adverse effect on managers, agents and promoters. And not forgetting – and most importantly – our incredible touring crews, who work so hard, day in and day out, on the road, away from their families, and are now suddenly unable to provide. I truly believe that technology can help change this.
We cannot be scared of failing. Jimmy Iovine once said: “Turn fear into a tailwind.” This is a scary time, but you and only you can decide how you move forward. I urge you to innovate and embrace a willingness to learn.
I myself have been trying a variety of things, from delving into TikTok and discovering their live feature to launching #ZoomFest with partners Ronnie Madra, Richie Akiva and Mike Jurkova, hacking at Zoom’s technology and original intent to bring artists and brands closer together for a unique experience that fans can re-stream in its entirety after the show.
Understanding how each tech platform works will be as important to us as agents and promoters as knowing how to cut a deal. Technology moving forward is part of the deal.
It is also our responsibility that we as a live business do not let tech companies dictate our every move. Let’s get behind these businesses and platforms to work closer than ever and to let our voices be heard. By working with them, we can ensure the best options are being created for our artists instead of it being an afterthought. If you wait for technology to fix your problems, it is going to overtake you. Get ahead instead.
Please remember we are not on pause permanently and change is a part of life, whether you like it or not. Technology is going to constantly evolve, so we know change is coming, while artists’ attitudes will continue to grow in terms of what they expect or how they want to run their business. That is a fact. We are only at the beginning – it hasn’t even started yet.
We are not on pause permanently – and change is a part of life, whether you like it or not
As an entire music industry, we will see much change in the rest of our careers everywhere, from streaming to how record deals are done to how audiences and artists want to experience music. Side note: if Joe Rogan can get a $100 million deal in place with Spotify for his podcast, you now things are about to get very interesting.
We need to learn and understand that the comfort zones we have been in for years in this industry stop now, and if we want to have the privilege of working with incredible artists we need to go back to the drawing board with an open mind.
My hope is that this article serves as a springboard and wake-up call to anybody who reads it. Start today and experiment and discuss. What could work well for your artist or festival? What does each platform do? How can content be monetised and add value to the audience? Where and how to brands fit in this equation?
In the spirit of us all working together as an industry and looking forward to a boom in the live industry, I have shared some examples for everyone to dive in, as well as a list of useful platforms and streams to check out to help you get started with this process.
Time for us to hack the tech out there and make it work in our favour. This will be our legacy.
Some things I have seen over the recent months that have worked well:
Yungblud: I highly recommend you check out his online TV show if you haven’t already and take note of the platform, the comments and the overall engagement. This artist is doing a great job leading the front during this time and authentically connecting with his audience.
Travis Scott x Fortnite: This incredible experience is one to check out.
Post Malone x Nirvana: I personally loved this stream because it was accessible to all and the songs of Nirvana are familiar to all of us. The editing was also on point.
Lewis Capaldi x Dice: Lewis did a great acoustic show via Dice which resulted in sales that could easily fill an arena, and proved the model of paying for content with his audience.
A guide of what is on offer to get you started in a constantly evolving world.
What it is: A livestreaming and virtual meet-and-greet platform.
Advantages: It is the only platform to effectively run live streams and virtual meet-and-greets in a flexible manner, allowing you to capitalise on VIP.
Where to find it: loopedlive.com
What it is: The leading digital ticketing platform, with the recently launched Dice TV.
Advantages: Strong database and direct relationships with venues and festivals.
Where to find it: dice.fm/tv
What it is: An immersive virtual environment available to access for free.
Advantages: You can literally create your own venue, branded event and concert within Sansar and charge for tickets, merch and more to generate income. An incredible platform to delve into. Recommend you check out what they are doing with Shangri-La at Glastonbury this year.
Where to find it: sansar.com
What it is: An online video game available to download for free.
Advantages: This really applies to a particular audience and can be very powerful, as we have seen from the performances of Marshmello, Travis Scott and more.
Where to find it: fortnite.com
What it is: Enables you to ticket your livestreams.
Advantages: Great livestreaming platform from the US.
Where to find it: veeps.com
What it is: Jimmy Iovine-backed ticketed livestreaming platform.
Advantages: Early days but I am loving the lay-out of the stream with chat boxes.
Where to find it: momenthouse.com
What it is: Another livestreaming platform enabling you to ticket your livestream.
Advantages: No performance is recorded or archived so all you see is live.
Where to find it: stageit.com
What it is: A ticketing experience through text message.
Advantages: Follow your favourite artists’ profiles and get alerts via text when they announce a show near you.
Where to find it: seated.com
What it is: A live streaming service popular with gamers, but everyone is on it now. Owned by Amazon.
Advantages: Huge audiences on Twitch so engagement can be high with the right event.
Where to find it: twitch.tv
What is it: TikTok is an incredible social media app based on video.
Advantages: Two main advantages in my opinion are firstly that the algorithm works in your favour, meaning content is more likely to be seen, and secondly you can go live. Music is also a key component of TikTok.
Where to find it: tiktok.com
Read part two of this three-part series, which focuses on the opportunities and positives for the live industry presented by the coronavirus, here.
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Gamers: 750m new live music fans?
Live music professionals who fail to capitalise on the lockdown-era boom in videogaming will miss out on a confirmed audience of more than three quarters of a billion potential fans, new analysis of player numbers for some of the biggest online games reveals.
A total of 758.5 million people – more than live in Europe, and some 2.5 times the population of the US – regularly play one or more of the 20 most popular online multiplayer video games for which there is recent, reliable data on active users, according to IQ analysis.
Gaming is thriving during the Covid-19 crisis, with firms such as Epic Games, the company behind the Fortnite phenomenon, and Tencent, the Chinese publisher of hit multiplayer titles League of Legends and Honor of Kings, seeing sales soaring while consumers worldwide remain stuck at home.
Especially interesting for the concert industry is how successfully the virtual worlds of Fortnite, Minecraft and other online games lend themselves to live performance, as well as the apparent receptiveness of those games’ existing audiences to live music content. For comparison, One World: Together at Home – aka the star-studded, Taylor Swift-headlined virtual Live Aid – was watched by 20.7m people in the US; the figure for Travis Scott’s 20-minute ‘Astronomical’ event in Fortnite Battle Royale (albeit globally) was 27.7m.
Estimates of the number of videogamers worldwide range from 877m to 2.7bn
Before we continue, a note on IQ’s numbers: the 758.5m figure includes only active users. so while EA’s Apex Legends, for example, has been played by at least 70m people on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the only available data on monthly active users (MAU) shows just shy of 7m playing regularly on console, which is the figure IQ has used. Similarly, Epic Games does not share data on active Fortnite users, so IQ has used the 27.7m who turned out for Travis Scott, even though the real number is far higher.
This, combined with the choice to limit the research to 20 games, means the aforementioned three quarters of a billion is a conservative estimate – with the actual total likely far higher. (Estimates of the number of videogamers worldwide range from around 877m for online gamers only to 2.7bn in total, including those who play single-player titles, casual mobile games and others).
Videogame concerts, it should be noted, are nothing new: Second Life, the forerunner of event-focused video game-cum-virtual hangout Sansar, hosted what was billed as the world’s first virtual gig in 2007, with Duran Duran, Suzanne Vega and, most famously, U2, also performing as virtual avatars during the game’s late-2000s heyday.
However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the push towards digital forms of ‘live’ entertainment, with Travis Scott’s spectacular (albeit prerecorded) show in Fortnite in April and upcoming Diplo-headlined festival Electric Blockaloo in Minecraft among recent high-profile virtual events capitalising on the influx of new gamers.
A number of other multiplayer titles are nipping at Minecraft’s heels
Mojang Studios’ Minecraft, which launched in 2011, is both the best-selling video game of all time, with 200m copies shipped, and the most popular online game, with 126m monthly active users as of 18 May. It hosted its first music festival in 2016, and has held several more in the years since, including Fire Festival in January 2019 and the recent Block by Blockwest, with Pussy Riot, Idles and Sports Team.
However, Minecraft’s status as top dog of the notoriously fickle online gaming world is by no means secure, with a number of other multiplayer titles – such as tween-friendly create-your-own-game platform Roblox (115m MAU), esports favourite League of Legends (100m MAU) and two Chinese games, Fortnite-style mobile battle royale Free Fire (80m daily users) and blatant Minecraft knock-off Mini World: Block Art (80m MAU) – already nipping at its heels.
To date, none of those games have hosted a large-scale, artist-backed live music experience akin to Travis Scott or Marshmello in Fortnite – and the same is true of Fortnite’s battle-royale arch-rival, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which has 55m active daily users excluding China according to developer PUBG Corporation.
Other as-yet untapped videogame phenomena include another free-to-play battle royale, Call of Duty: Warzone, which has been played by 60m people since its launch in March; mobile strategy game Teamfight Tactics, spun off from League of Legends by developer Riot Games, which had 33m active users as of September; and first-person shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, another game played as a competitive esport, which recorded over 26m players in April.
“Going forward, there will be more partnerships with the wider entertainment industry”
Given Fortnite’s success, it seems likely the next major in-game musical performance will be in a similar battle royale-type title; DJ Deadmau5, who recently performed in Fortnite’s new combat-free Party Royale mode, is known to be a PUBG player, while Taylor Kurosaki of developer Infinity Ward has suggested live events could be held in Call of Duty: Warzone in future.
What the future has in store for digital live performance – whether consumers will ever flock en masse to concerts in video games or virtual-reality worlds, or if ‘simple’ livestreamed video will suffice – only time will tell. What is certain, however, is that music and other traditional entertainment businesses, keen to claim their slice of the US$160bn global videogame market, will seek increasingly to partner with gaming companies in the years ahead, according to Stefan Hall of the World Economic Forum.
“Going forward, there will be more partnerships with the wider entertainment industry, as media companies seek to take advantage of the momentum gaming has produced,” says Hall, who also highlights recent reports linking Japanese tech giant Sony with efforts to improve the VR content, including concerts, available for its upcoming PlayStation 5 console as proof of the growing power of virtual experiences.
The latest IQ Focus session, The Innovators, will discuss the growth of videogaming, virtual worlds, 3D venues, livestreaming and more. Featuring Sheri Bryant, president of Sansar, alongside other technological innovators, the panel takes place tomorrow (27 May) at 4pm UK time on Facebook and YouTube:
La Morada: Top artists back Move CO aid for laid-off crew
Move Concerts has partnered with Spin Agency, an advertising and branding company, to launch La Morada, a new online entertainment hub designed to raise money for Colombia’s chinomatics, or production crews, during the coronavirus epidemic.
La Morada (which means both a home and the colour purple in Spanish) is a ‘virtual house’ made up of ‘rooms’ each containing specific content, such as live music, comedy, yoga, psychology, meditation, fitness classes, cooking and video games. Launched on 17 April, over 300 hours of free content has been created for the initial lifespan of the project, which was originally programmed to run for one month, until 17 May, but has been extended to 17 June.
Artists who appear in La Morada – which include Latin music stars such as J Balvin, Juanes, Fonseca and Carlos Vives – have donated their time for free, providing performance footage or exclusive interviews. Other content includes virtual PlayStation football matches (Colombia vs Peru is a recent highlight), and production masterclasses with Teo Echevarria and guests.
While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a cesta basica (‘basic basket’) containing essential groceries for a family, including food and hygiene products, for the chinomatics and their loved ones.
Nicolas Martinez, marketing director for Move Concerts Colombia and director/partner at Spin Agency, recalls Covid-19 first hitting Colombia: “As the reality sunk in, fear was all that I felt. Twenty twenty was supposed to be our best year ever. We had a calendar filled with brand events and concerts. Our budget goals were already accomplished and then, out of the blue, our world froze.
“Then I started thinking about our office in Bogota, which operates with 32 people, plus hundreds of direct and indirect hires around events: producers, stagehands, roadies, security, sound and light engineers, riggers, tour managers, and other jobs that are the real foundation of our business – the chinomatics.”
While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a ‘basic basket’ containing essential groceries
He continues: “I found out that Teo Echevarria, our head of production and Maluma’s production manager, was linked to an association, IPEE [Industria de Produccion de Eventos y Espectaculos, a union for production personnel), that was compiling a database of all the chinomatics who were going through a difficult time, and who were not even able to purchase basic food products for themselves and their families.
“To date, the database has a listing of more than 3,000 people.”
Using IPEE’s data, the Move and Spin teams came up with a project that would keep staff busy while generating some basic assistance for crew and their families.
Fernando Escobar, talent director for Move Concerts Colombia, who is also general manager for La Morada, adds: “We are essentially running a TV station that airs on a digital platform and social media with a programming grid that extends 7am to 11pm daily. This is non-stop.”
To date, La Morada, which is sponsored by Aval Group, has donated over 900 food baskets (out of a goal of 1,500 before the project ends) and been viewed by 600,000 viewers across all platforms (web plus Instagram and social media).