Leading with purpose in today’s fast changing, hyperconnected world will be vital for brands looking to gain legitimacy with their consumers and to society more widely.
The good news is that live music’s return presents just the platform for purposeful brands determined to drive meaningful connections with some of the world’s most influential and engaged fans.
So why should live music be at the core of every marketer’s playbook this year and beyond? And what do brands really need to know before amped-up fans flock to live music events across the UK from June 21st?
The stage is set
You might say that the live music industry is having its own sort of ‘Comeback Tour’ this year.
First it was Reading and Leeds, then Wilderness, Creamfields, Parklife and Wireless. Major UK festivals sold out in just days. Live Nation have sold around 250,000 day and weekend tickets to date for Reading and Leeds alone.
According to Live Nation’s proprietary research, which looked at the pandemic’s global impact on live events, 95% of fans are likely to return to live music events. And further, 74% of fans want artists to announce new touring plans so they have something to look forward to.
And fans aren’t the only ones eager to return to live, venues and musicians are ready too. Twice as many top global artists are planning to tour in 2022 and two-thirds of nights are open for scheduling at arenas and stadiums in a typical year to match the soaring demand.
An arena fit for purpose
2020 sparked a wave of global change resulting in ever-increasing consumer activism. It was a litmus test for whether brands really were willing to prioritise people and planet over (or at least alongside) profit. Some brands differentiated themselves from the field. In fact, the S&P 500 Environmental Social Governance index, which tracks large U.S. companies with high ESG ratings, outperformed the normal S&P 500 index.
So why is this relevant to the live music arena?
Simply, live music fans demand authenticity from musicians, sponsors and festivals. Live Nation’s ‘The Power of Together’ report highlighted that 81% of fans said they were more likely to be loyal to brands that take positive action. Packed arenas are more than rows and aisles. They can be the ignition for change. A place for lasting, impactful memories.
In 2019, Live Nation laid out its own sustainability goals for concerts and live events as part of its ongoing Green Nation Charter. They pledged to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2025 and end the sale of single-use plastics at all their venues and festivals.
Live music can inspire change in thoughts, attitudes and behaviours. From the 1960-70s counterculture era to iconic stage moments such as Kurt Cobain’s performance dressed in a hospital gown at Reading, music fans want to be moved, challenged and inspired. The power of live music is its delightful spontaneity and emotional rigour that can drive hope across global audiences.
"What people want from experiences has shifted over the past year - from social currency to fulfilling emotional needs,” says David Pepper, SVP of Sales for Live Nation UK. “People are looking to reconnect with the real world again and are reprioritising their lives with more intention. While technology has allowed us to stay digitally connected over the past year, we have a newfound appreciation for how the physical world plays into the quality of daily life. Moving forward, being present and in the moment at live experiences will have more cache as people understand the value and beauty in live moments that can only happen once."
Connect with people
Of course, fans see through performative authenticity. The past year alone has reinforced that trust is everything. And music fans trust Live Nation to deliver smart and culturally relevant in-person and digital experiences.
Live Nation connects approximately 100 million fans to 40,000 events in over 40 countries in a typical year, giving marketers the ability to capture the emotional intensity of live music and drive consumer engagement in a way that traditional marketing efforts can’t match.
Here are three ways Live Nation can help brands maximise exposure at live music events and across digital platforms, and leave a lasting impression on fans when they are truly listening:
Think above and beyond with the fan in mind
From being front and center as a headline sponsor to playing an additive role across travel, beauty or style there are so many ways for brands to be an integral part of the live music fan experience. 90% of Live Nation fans say there is at least one thing a brand could do to enhance the live music experience. The key is to pilot new ideas, drive purposeful value and build meaningful relationships.
Reach and engage audiences at scale via digital
Tailored and targeted campaigns using collected first party audiences from across event and festival websites/apps, and social channels. Globally, Live Nation’s digital ecosystem offers billions of impressions across an international ad network as well as billions of screen views across the company’s global apps.
Be the microphone for change and reflect the audience you serve
Music fans demand real commitment to sustainability and diversity. ESG driven brands are evidently more profitable and resonate with music fans. The business case is clear.
Brands that listen and take a firm stance on important social issues, are now perfectly positioned to appeal to live music’s environmentally conscious audience and take advantage of the surging desire to return to live music events for years to come.
For more information on how to work with Live Nation, please reach out to David Pepper, Senior Vice President of Sales at email@example.com
Second image - Wireless Festival 2019, Photo credit: Jordan Hughes
Third image - Latitude Festival 2019, Photo credit: Matt Eachus