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The famous and much-loved British festival season should be in full swing by now, but with coronavirus restricting us from being our usual social selves, revelling in amazing music, entertainment and settings, the festival scene is on hold for the foreseeable. And it’s not just the likes of the legendary Glastonbury or popular Lovebox that got cancelled this year, an all manner of different live music events have had to put the brakes on – causing disruption and devastation for event producers, promoters and excited fanbases across the world.
But let’s not be completely negative. As an industry known for its energy and enthusiasm, we have no choice but to look forward and start exploring where we can go next.
Grab the attention of viewers
As a result of the virus, the production value has become even more important. Having to innovate and be creative from the constraints of working from home has meant people are realising just how hard it is to deliver something which is on par with consumer expectations. To actually achieve high production levels, it takes awareness and deep understanding of what different platforms can offer. To engage consumers and capture their attention when scrolling on their smartphone, the content needs to be extremely well produced.
Take your viewers on a journey and transport them into the centre of your brand and its mindset – creating a live stream is an amazing way of achieving this. The Snakehips set we produced encapsulates what we mean by ‘scroll-stopping’ visuals. The white Beekeeper suits create an eye-catching silhouette against the colourful, dynamic Minecraft backdrop. Minecraft is an immensely popular video game on Twitch, grabbing the attention of viewers outside of Snakehips’ core fanbase. Live streams are not just for entertaining current fanbases, but for reaching new ones.
During the lockdown, Facebook announced it was introducing new live-streaming features. These included being able to add ‘donate’ buttons, watch Instagram live-streams on a desktop and an ‘audio-only’ viewing option for those with slow internet connections. This is great for content managers, creators and musicians. Pre-pandemic there was never really an easy way to monetise live streaming – until now.
Winter shows are stepping up
Event companies have pivoted in response to the current pandemic in the hope to save their performances and events. Although these might seem like rash decisions, for the majority they were being discussed at length and considered behind the scenes for some time as the impact of the virus unfolded. Strategies were then put in place to help respond to what was actually happening.
Live music lovers have had to face the sad truth that summer 2020 won’t be filled with the much-loved outdoor festival experiences or listening to favourite artists. Instead, event businesses have had to look at alternatives, and how we might be able to create a new festival season. Cue winter.
In a surprise turn of events, winter could just be the savior for companies looking for a way out. We Are FSTVL is a great example. The company is planning a New Year’s Eve party in Amsterdam, as well as a winter spin-off event for early 2021 in the mountains, with an aim to give attendees the opportunity to finally party. With an event planned for the other side of Christmas, it’s far away enough that it’s likely to happen, whilst also gives people something to look forward to, with the virus (hopefully) being a distant memory.
Look to the future
When it comes to the future, many people can assume that simply postponing your event for 2021 is the easy option and answer to all problems. It’s not. It’s complicated and most businesses will not be able to recover the outgoings which have gone towards ad spend or deposits for this year. This has led to so many businesses, especially small independent festivals, being up against it to even make it 2021, let alone beyond.
Next year doesn’t look like smooth sailing either. There will be a longer time to market, but less money in the pot to draw on. We’ve worked with Noisily to help them save the future of the festival and advise people on the benefits of donating their ticket from this year to ensure the brand can come back fighting and better than ever next year.
Events are a whole new ball game, new rules around social distancing and hygiene will become the norm whilst we work on finding a cure for the virus. The future is uncertain, but it isn’t the end of live music events. It’s just a chance for a new version to be born.