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July 13, 2020

You Really Had To Be There!

Getting the live experience but not actually being there, is not a new concept. Musicians have always recorded live music and movies of their performances and then gone on to sell them as live albums, video’s, DVD’s, films, downloads, streams – whatever – and then taken income from that. They present the same songs, the ones already available on pre-recorded albums, with a twist of some kind; featuring a particular line up, in a famous theatre, with an amazing light show, with the pithy shout-outs between songs and the energy of the crowd cheering at the end. So nothing new there.

In all cases of live commercial offerings, there is one common thread – they were all, produced, recorded, packaged and then sold some time after the event – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a physical item like a DVD or a digital purchase. It was still curated, recorded, edited and vetted, long before it was presented.

when live streams are made available immediately afterwards, we are diluting the magic and perpetuating the mishaps.

Live-streamed gigs are different, they are interesting and dangerous. Interesting because there may be magical moments and dangerous because anything can go awry. However, mistakes which are completely forgivable in a live setting, grate if always available. No artist wants to be defined by their mistakes and yet every artist wants to capture the magic. So when live streams are made available immediately afterwards, we are diluting the magic and perpetuating the mishaps.

Not only that but they get in the way of the next live-streamed performance – and just like with a radius clause, the promoter of the next event isn’t going to want a previous one hanging around and getting in the way!

So…

…if this format of live-streamed performance is going to find its place, if live-streamed shows are going to be frequent and sustainable, if there is going to be a role for the promoter, venue and agent in booking them, then we are all better served by making them of the moment and not something to keep forever. Sure, later, they can be edited and added to live feature-length films or chopped into songs and delivered as YouTube videos or even packaged as the whole thing and released months later, but that content will be curated – and become a memory rather than a unique present moment.

Last week I booked a live-streamed show with a revolutionary new platform from California Called Moment House. (more on that next week) You had to be there, the show was only for its paid ticket holders and when it was finished it was gone – a fleeting moment in time. And just like at a live gig there were “no-shows”. The show started at 7:30 pm if you showed up at 9 pm. Tough, you missed it! Now it’s over we can get on with focussing on the next performance by the artist. Maybe next time, the “no-shows” will buy tickets and show up!

What do you think? Should live-streamed events be available after the event? Should there be an aspect of “On Demand”?

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