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Wellness on the big stage: how live music connects fans with their values

Live music is intrinsically linked to our feeling of wellbeing, giving brands a unique opportunity to connect with fans and audiences

Wellness on the big stage: how live music connects fans with their values

In a post-pandemic world, the topic of wellness has never been more relevant than it is right now. With a renewed focus on the importance of both physical and mental wellbeing, a much-needed dialogue has opened up about how we can best protect and improve it. 

Brands looking for ways to connect with audiences in this space have a fine line to tread. More than ever, marketing in the wellness space needs to feel authentic and carefully targeted so it is not mistaken as being self-serving. 

The way to do this is by finding an audience that aligns itself with the wellness space organically, to ensure a good product-market fit. As the old adage says, it’s about reaching the right person with the right message at the right time.

Live music could well offer that moment. Music in any form has always been intrinsically linked to feelings of happiness and more so than ever, especially during the pandemic its mood-boosting qualities have been only more in demand. 

However, with no gigs to attend or live music to enjoy this past year, music fans turned to streaming services during lockdown to help fill the void, with a 20% rise in use. 

But now live music is coming back, and fans are desperate to return. In fact, a survey from Live Nation shows two-thirds of fans plan to make up for lost time and attend more live music events than they did before.

Dig a little deeper and the survey gives us an insight into why that might be, with an overwhelming 98% of music fans surveyed saying that music plays a great role in their happiness.

With such an effect on their mood, it is perhaps unsurprising that two-thirds of respondents say they plan to incorporate live music into their mental wellness plan going forward. 

With bands and artists beginning to take to the stage again, the timing couldn’t be better for brands with a wellness message to make meaningful and effective connections at scale with like-minded audiences. Here’s four key reasons why:

Fans are craving real-life experiences
Data from Live Nation’s proprietary surveys shows that three-quarters of 13- to 49-year-olds globally agree that now, more than ever, they want to experience real life rather than digital life. Technology and virtual experiences have helped make the pandemic’s limitations easier to manage, but in our post-pandemic lives, we are craving that real-life, human connection that comes from live music experiences. 

Live music strengthens our bonds and connections
Attending live music isn’t just about the love for the band or musician that’s playing. Four in five music fans say they attend live music events to boost their mental wellbeing through their social connections. 

Sharing experiences with like-minded people also creates a sense of community, and our bodies react to it in a physical way without us even realising. A biometric study that Live Nation carried out at a St. Vincent's concert found the majority of participants exhibited movement synchronisation – such as nodding heads and waving arms – which is a proxy for the ‘bonding hormone’ oxytocin. By testing galvanic skin response, alpha power brain waves and synchronization through accelerometers, the study was able to demonstrate the impact on fans' level of excitement, emotional intensity, attentiveness, engagement, and human connection. 

Within the first moments of the concert, live music provided an average 53% increase in emotional intensity among participants, 2.8x more than listening to recorded music. What’s more is that those emotions weren’t fleeting. Fans self-reported a mood increase, from before to after the show, by 5x.

It gives us identity
Besides being a growing source of how people spend their time (more than two-thirds of Generations X, Y and Z attend a live music event each year) and money, music also plays a significant role in defining our evolving identity beyond traditional markers like gender, race or home town. In an age where demographics are more blurred than ever, marketers have an opportunity to align with the intensity of fan passion points and shared values.

Live music lifts our mood
It is no surprise that music fans consider music a key factor in their overall happiness as live music is seen as a lasting morale booster for them. 87% of those surveyed said they leave a live music event in a better mood than when they arrived, while 71% said the moments that give them the most life are those they experience at live music events. By aligning with live experiences, brands have an opportunity to create deep meaning and engagement with their consumers in moments when they feel happiest and most alive.

Delivering on human connection, social bonding and heightened mood – the cornerstones of wellness – live music creates a great space for brands to start discussions and build connections effectively at scale. And with four in five live music-goers more conscious of their wellness than ever before, they’re an engaged and passionate audience, but also one that is open to doing more. 

"As parts of the world open up again, people have a newfound appreciation for wellness in all of its different forms. Whether it's the wellness of humans or the planet, we have an opportunity to evolve as global citizens and take care of the world and each other. As we work around the clock to welcome audiences back, brands have a rare moment to be a part of the euphoric return to the live music experiences we've missed. By combining wellness into in-person experiences, there's a clear call to action for brands - bring your optimism, enthusiasm and awareness to audiences and joyful fans will remember you for years to come," says David Pepper, senior vice president of sales for Live Nation.

As fans flock back to live music venues and festivals this summer, the stage is set for brands to have more open and effective conversations around wellness, with an audience that has feeling good at the forefront of its mind. 


Sources: 

  • Live Nation Online Customer Community - Sound Board, Health & Wellness Survey 2021 
  • Power of Togetherness: COVID-19's Global Impact on Live Events Study 2020 
  • Live Nation biometric research study 2018. Contributors: Mona Lisa Chanda, Ph.D., experimental neuroscientist and co-author of The Neurochemistry of Music and creative technology consultancy TBD Labs
  • Live Nation “Global Live Music Fan Study” 2018

For more information on how to work with Live Nation, please reach out to David Pepper, senior vice president of sales.

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