Of all the things, many of us have missed going to gigs and dancing through festival fields with friends the most this year. So hearing the government promise that everybody will be able to enjoy summer 2021 certainly filled us with hope. But while the live music sector continues to struggle, we're looking at ways for brands to help the industry get back on its feet.
At Frukt, we have helped countless brands navigate the ever-changing world of music. And now that the music industry needs us more than ever, we decided to explore ways for brands to give back. Over the past few weeks, we've been talking to people from across the industry to understand their challenges, from promoters to venues to music charities.
Here are five opportunities for brands to help right now.
Help save venues
Speaking to Mark Davyd at the Music Venue Trust, we heard first hand about the struggle of grassroots venues and why they play such an important role. They are an essential starting point for young artists and breeding ground for music culture. Brands have the opportunity to step in to help save them – by throwing their weight behind a fundraising campaign, using their platform to rally support or perhaps even by taking over a venue entirely.
Mentor young artists
Not being able to perform is particularly hard for artists at the very beginning of their career. But we've learned that they are determined to use this time wisely to learn skills and prepare for when the industry restarts. This is where brands can come in. They can provide opportunities and support that will help young musicians come out stronger on the other end – from online workshops in songwriting, producing or sound-mixing to initiatives that allow artists to be part of creating something together.
Protect and nurture diversity
As artists are struggling to get by, there's a growing concern about the future diversity of music. The "artist life" is at risk of becoming a luxury that only few can afford. Many brands have already made it their mission to support emerging artists. This will only grow in importance with the added focus on supporting a diverse set of artists and making music education and gig opportunities accessible to artists of all backgrounds.
Co-create live music solutions
Everyone across the sector is pulling together to bring back live events safely as soon as possible. The survival of the events industry depends on it. Having brands on board will be more important than ever to lighten the financial load, as restrictions and safety measures will drive up production costs. But the role of brands can go beyond that – they can continue to enrich events and help innovate with new creative solutions.
Activate virtual festivals
In the absence of IRL live music, many promoters have pivoted towards live-streaming. From speaking to Robin Collings from Lost Horizon festival, it is clear that there is an exciting opportunity for brands to be involved in shaping this new space. There's room to push the creative boundaries – from engaging fans along the journey leading up to the event to bringing the festival to life beyond the screen and into the homes of music fans.
Now, more than ever, there's an opportunity for brands to take on meaningful roles in music. To stand out, make a real difference and get not just attention but appreciation and love from fans and the creative community.
Sina Nutz is senior strategist at Frukt
Picture: Getty Images