Live music post-covid

RyanioBirdio

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Since there’s been a lot of talk across other threads about gigs and live music, thought I would create its own space and also provide a little update.

I’ve been involved in a few discussions about this in the last couple of weeks, but there are now live performances being organised that are going to be filmed professionally, in spacious surroundings and environments where social distancing is safe for both band and crew, that will be streamed for cash.

However, there are a few things that make this unique and potentially worthwhile for the fan. One is that the fan base gets to vote on the set list and have input in shaping the set list ahead of time, another is that bands will be doing things like playing entire records in full for the first time and so on. But what’s also happening is that exclusive merchandise that isn’t available anywhere else is being used for your ticket. You can either pay a tenner (for example) just to see the stream of the set that you can vote to shape, you don’t have to purchase a physical item, or you can buy an exclusive shirt for £20 that isn’t available anywhere else which gives you access to the performance. This way you get a unique physical product that is yours to keep, so you don’t just get asked to pay money for something you can watch but don’t get to really experience in any way.

This also allows for a global audience to be involved at once, so nobody needs to lose out based on geography. It’s also potentially very lucrative as even if you’re a modest size band who can play to 500 people per night for 30 shows across America alone, you’ll have tens of thousands of fans all over the world on top of that, and it only needs a fraction of those people to take part to generate a huge amount. Even 5,000 people across the world buying one shirt to get access will gross a hundred grand, and the only cost is maybe £4 for the shirt and another £1 for the filming and streaming costs. Bands can also stream these events directly through their online merch stores, and it eliminates all cost not to mention time that goes into regular touring. The cost of even a small tour being on the road for one day after expenses is eye watering, and the band hardly makes anything. I can tell you bands who play to 2,000 people per night every night, but can’t afford to not have jobs when they’re not touring. This, however, can allow a band to make as much profit in one night as they usually make in a year of touring.

It’s also a way for bands who are currently sitting on tour merchandise that they spent a fortune getting made before the pandemic to repurpose them and recoup, by using them as said exclusive merch pieces that act as the ticket to the stream. A band called The Wonder Years are doing this at present and there are going to be many more announced across all manner of genres in the weeks to com:

http://instagr.am/p/CADbpRQj4YN/

Theoretically, this might work well enough that it becomes a part of live music even in a more ‘normal’ world. It’s something that can be done alongside regular touring, not necessarily instead of. Why not do a special yearly event in this manner alongside traditional on the road methods?
 

Sheik djibouti

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Whilst there is absolutely nothing like being there first hand at a great gig or festival, I think this is a really exciting development and could be a potential game changer for getting more people access to live music....just so long as it doesn't completely replace being able to experience it "in the flesh" as it were (however and whenever that might return.

So it's effectively a pay per view service, which is a format that has been successfully adopted for sport...why wouldn't it work here if it is pitched/marketed well?

Thinking out loud, I guess one concern might be around who has control of the operation (and ultimately revenues) and the impact that has on the artists if this really does take off? - What if all the major media streaming outlets jump on this idea and set up live music PPV streaming services...or the record labels etc...would that be a good or bad thing?
 

chuckbert

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It’s harder for orchestras etc, (The Polyphonic Spree?) who can’t even get together to rehearse or perform because of numbers. Singing has been shown to be dangerous (distancing of 5m+ needed), so it will be a long time until choirs or opera are back.
I feel taunted every time I pick up coffee at our local cafe because they have a wall of posters for upcoming gigs and one of them is for one I was supposed to be in in March - an opera by Tim Finn. Would have been cracking.
 

RyanioBirdio

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Thinking out loud, I guess one concern might be around who has control of the operation (and ultimately revenues) and the impact that has on the artists if this really does take off? - What if all the major media streaming outlets jump on this idea and set up live music PPV streaming services...or the record labels etc...would that be a good or bad thing?
There’s no performance without the artist, so given this is being built from the ground up, there’s no reason for them to be strong armed or exploited. TWY are doing this themselves - it’s got nothing to do with any label or promoter. If you can hire a camera crew (and there are numerous ones that exist solely for live music streaming already) and if you can pay for a room to film it in, you don’t need anybody else. It’s all in place.

Now, there of course is the chance that the promoters might see this and throw silly money at owning it all, and pay artists huge advances where they essentially go “Take this bag of money and in return we get X amount of streams in the next Y amount of time”, but that’s for the artists to decide. Anything along those lines will come down to artist preference, so they will make those decisions. But it can be done and in this initial form is artist owned. It’s up to them to keep that.
 

ZeroTheHero

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Hmm. I suspect that some of this might survive when 'proper' live music comes back. But I feel the same way about this as I do about the prospect of watching us play on iFollow in an empty stadium - it's better than nothing, but a pale shadow of the real experience.
That's not to say (in either case) that I wouldn't do it - I watched Rory McLeod playing live in his living room a couple of days ago for almost 2 hours and did make a small donation - but once the real thing comes back, that is where I'll be spending my money.
 

RyanioBirdio

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Hmm. I suspect that some of this might survive when 'proper' live music comes back. But I feel the same way about this as I do about the prospect of watching us play on iFollow in an empty stadium - it's better than nothing, but a pale shadow of the real experience.
That's not to say (in either case) that I wouldn't do it - I watched Rory McLeod playing live in his living room a couple of days ago for almost 2 hours and did make a small donation - but once the real thing comes back, that is where I'll be spending my money.
I agree, but I think this will form part of regular activities now. Especially since they’re using exclusive merchandise that can’t be purchased anywhere else to act as a ticket. It may be more suited to some genres and some demographics than others, but I think this will hang around.
 

Sarge

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Whilst there is absolutely nothing like being there first hand at a great gig or festival, I think this is a really exciting development and could be a potential game changer for getting more people access to live music....just so long as it doesn't completely replace being able to experience it "in the flesh" as it were (however and whenever that might return.

So it's effectively a pay per view service, which is a format that has been successfully adopted for sport...why wouldn't it work here if it is pitched/marketed well?

Thinking out loud, I guess one concern might be around who has control of the operation (and ultimately revenues) and the impact that has on the artists if this really does take off? - What if all the major media streaming outlets jump on this idea and set up live music PPV streaming services...or the record labels etc...would that be a good or bad thing?


While not live music, there are a number of fb groups streaming 'live' dj sets ( has been since late March), playing from original vinyl releases- some good, some bad, some shambolic..... its free (usually- theres been a few fundraiser online dj events), it keeps like minded people from UK, europe and America, who share a similar interest in a particular genre ( rare soul/ funk, northern soul , motown etc in my case) connected and in touch with each other during the lockdown.... however a major cause of annoyance is FB have algorithms that recognise 'copyrighted' tracks - usually very well known ones that have appeared on (many) compilation albums- which when triggered FB fun police initially mute any track the algorithms identify, if another is flagged up the live broadcast is shutdown, and if someone is deemed to be a persistant offender , they get blocked from broadcasting ( first offence 3 days, 2nd offence a week, 3rd offence a month), which is IMO rather harsh ..... if the format is from original vinyl, copyright has been paid, also if you are 'entertaining friends' and playing for freethere is no breach of copyright....

away of swerve FB algorithms is to only dj for 30 mins at a time, adjust the pitch - speed up or slow down ( algorithms tend to only recognise the studio cut, any deviation confounds em) , and aim to play tracks that arent well known and havent been included on compilations (if possible)



Live performance wise @RyanioBirdio will know the ins n outs of the current situation ?, ..... Stone Foundation have streamed entire performances from last years tour for free ,online recently, with a virtual merchandise stall which has done reasonably well. Better than nothing, but far from ideal ( as is the virtual rare soul events mentioned above)...... August has been tentatively mentioned, as to when live music and original vinyl dj events (allnighters/ alldayers /weekenders etc), may see restrictions lifted from how they are currently .... not that anyone can accurately predict when the entertainment end of things will see restrictions lifted... while August would be good, I think its no more than speculatively hopeful atm
 

ZeroTheHero

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The Young Knives (now a duo) are managing to play live over the internet despite social distancing from each other. One stays in his house, the other comes along to the caravan in his garden and they are joined by long wires (so no internet lag)! Ingenious.
 

SteMerritt

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I like it. How easy/cost effective would it be to also rip a recording of the set and drop onto vinyl? That would be something I'd be interested in, I don't really buy other merch.

There are other things that could be looked into, for instance doing a VR gig, didn't a DJ even play a set in Fortnight as well? I've seen a lot of bands doing little acoustic covers etc on YouTube, any way to get these put on a series of 7 inches for example, and release 1 a fortnight to subscribers or something like that?
 

Essexyellows

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A few of my musician friends have played live gigs on various platforms with viewers paying a nominal fee.They are still selling merch etc.
Its nothing like the whole social thing of a gig but it seems to be keeping them going.
Some larger events have deferred to next year, tickets still valid etc, rather than refunds.
On a "stadium" sort of scale it must be an absolute nightmare for everyone involved.
 

RyanioBirdio

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I like it. How easy/cost effective would it be to also rip a recording of the set and drop onto vinyl? That would be something I'd be interested in, I don't really buy other merch.
Very. It’s all being mixed through a desk during the broadcast anyway. It may need a different mastering treatment but the tracks are being recorded on separate lines before they go through the mixer, so realistically you could have a high quality master ready for duplication within hours of the end of the show. You may even be able to get a good enough real time mix that it’s ready to go before the band have even gotten into their (respective!) cars to drive home. There are a lot of opportunities with this model. It could even extend beyond merch / clothing and live recordings, and extend to things like premium coffee table books containing photos of the performance, or limited edition lithograph poster prints that are hand numbered or even signed by the band (one by one and a full day apart from each other, obviously...)


Live performance wise @RyanioBirdio will know the ins n outs of the current situation ?, ..... Stone Foundation have streamed entire performances from last years tour for free ,online recently, with a virtual merchandise stall which has done reasonably well. Better than nothing, but far from ideal ( as is the virtual rare soul events mentioned above)...... August has been tentatively mentioned, as to when live music and original vinyl dj events (allnighters/ alldayers /weekenders etc), may see restrictions lifted from how they are currently .... not that anyone can accurately predict when the entertainment end of things will see restrictions lifted... while August would be good, I think its no more than speculatively hopeful atm
The publishing / royalties works the same on this as it does any live performance, if that’s what you’re asking? The PRS mechanics are exactly the same, so the fees are paid / collected the same way as if it were a performance in a venue in front of a ticketed audience. Reading & Leeds has just been cancelled today and that’s at the end of August, and while that’s at the extreme end of things in terms of attendance, I can’t see any sort of small live or DJ event being sanctioned in that month. I just don’t see how it could possibly happen at the moment. Common sense, people!

Also, check out Mixcloud. Could provide a way around Facebook’s draconian nonsense.
 

SteMerritt

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things like premium coffee table books containing photos of the performance, or limited edition lithograph poster prints that are hand numbered or even signed by the band
High quality performance photographs, or gig posters, now that would be right up my street. Up to maybe A3 size. My prized Bowie poster...

20200513_133547.jpg
 

Gary Baldi

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And watching gigs online means for those who stand, you aren't forced to watch part of it from through the phone screen on someone in front of it because they have the need to record it all. And no cups of questionable contents/origin being chucked...

Win, win!

Except for venues
 

RyanioBirdio

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High quality performance photographs, or gig posters, now that would be right up my street. Up to maybe A3 size. My prized Bowie poster...

View attachment 3654
Love that!

I’ve actually started a business making premium print products directly for artists. Coffee table magazines on super-high quality paper based on specific albums. It gives the band the chance to tell the story of the record in their own words, totally unfiltered, and on their own terms. Also means they can include their own photos from the studio / on the road to give people a totally unique and intimate journey through the records they love, and include things like handwritten lyric sheets that are used as part of a track by track that runs parallel to the main story arc. More importantly, the band profits. I merely put it all together creatively, manufacture and ship it to them, and they then pay me a unit price and sell through their own existing stores, where the markup is all theirs and they get the customer data for remarketing purposes. I’m also including things like A3 lithograph prints, where I speak to the person who made the original artwork for said album, and then commission them to create a brand new and bespoke art print / poster print to go with the publication. I can even make a custom box for it all to go in that features additional artwork, and has a handwritten message from one of the band printed on the inside. Music magazines barely sell anymore and when they do they’re usually sold purely to fanatics and collectors of the artist on the front cover, so why not cut out the middle man and make it an official product? What few music mags are left will likely be gone by Christmas anyway - half of them are already furloughed and the sales and advertising bases have collapsed.

There are a lot of changes coming, across the whole thing. Much of them positive I would wager.
 
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SteMerritt

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you aren't forced to watch part of it from through the phone screen on someone in front of it because they have the need to record it all. And no cups of questionable origin being chucked...
Also people talking to their mates through the quieter songs.

I'm sure all of these can be emulated in your own home for the authentic experience.
 

Gary Baldi

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Also people talking to their mates through the quieter songs.

I'm sure all of these can be emulated in your own home for the authentic experience.
Yep.

If it's all the same, I'd rather watch it in your home. Just in case someone chucks a cup of P**s ? ;)
 

Sarge

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Very. It’s all being mixed through a desk during the broadcast anyway. It may need a different mastering treatment but the tracks are being recorded on separate lines before they go through the mixer, so realistically you could have a high quality master ready for duplication within hours of the end of the show. You may even be able to get a good enough real time mix that it’s ready to go before the band have even gotten into their (respective!) cars to drive home. There are a lot of opportunities with this model. It could even extend beyond merch / clothing and live recordings, and extend to things like premium coffee table books containing photos of the performance, or limited edition lithograph poster prints that are hand numbered or even signed by the band (one by one and a full day apart from each other, obviously...)



The publishing / royalties works the same on this as it does any live performance, if that’s what you’re asking? The PRS mechanics are exactly the same, so the fees are paid / collected the same way as if it were a performance in a venue in front of a ticketed audience. Reading & Leeds has just been cancelled today and that’s at the end of August, and while that’s at the extreme end of things in terms of attendance, I can’t see any sort of small live or DJ event being sanctioned in that month. I just don’t see how it could possibly happen at the moment. Common sense, people!

Also, check out Mixcloud. Could provide a way around Facebook’s draconian nonsense.

know about PRS and mechanical royalties ( at many events I DJ at I often have to complete a PRS type form giving my playlist- which me being me, I never know what I'm going to play until im on the decks- so prs form has to wait till Ive finished)..... mixcloud doesnt (as far as im aware) have accompanying visuals ( of Orig vinyl DJs doing their thing- which is a big part of the social interaction/ chatroom that goes with 'live' DJ streaming), its basically the online equivalent of someones homemade mixtape imo, as well as which mixcloud digitises whats played, compressing top and bottom frequencies , whereas a live DJ stream is much more 'organic' as opossed to compressed ( changed).... old tunes werent made to be compressed digitally (IMO)

agree re August being far too early, unless immunity tests and vaccines are developed , tested and approved - and, atm, that isnt looking very likely!
 

RyanioBirdio

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know about PRS and mechanical royalties ( at many events I DJ at I often have to complete a PRS type form giving my playlist- which me being me, I never know what I'm going to play until im on the decks- so prs form has to wait till Ive finished)..... mixcloud doesnt (as far as im aware) have accompanying visuals ( of Orig vinyl DJs doing their thing- which is a big part of the social interaction/ chatroom that goes with 'live' DJ streaming), its basically the online equivalent of someones homemade mixtape imo, as well as which mixcloud digitises whats played, compressing top and bottom frequencies , whereas a live DJ stream is much more 'organic' as opossed to compressed ( changed).... old tunes werent made to be compressed digitally (IMO)

agree re August being far too early, unless immunity tests and vaccines are developed , tested and approved - and, atm, that isnt looking very likely!
What about creating a private stream on something like Vimeo? Could that be a solution?

I can’t stand Facebook. Their algorithm shifts really started getting out of hand around 2017, when they started cutting the reach of commercial media brands by around 95% in an attempt to extort cash from them. “Pay us and you can have your reach back”. Rotten gits - they were already getting the billions in advertising that brands using their platform allowed them to generate. Their draconian copyright enforcement will ultimately lead down a path with a paywall at the end of it, sooner or later.
 

Sarge

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What about creating a private stream on something like Vimeo? Could that be a solution?

I can’t stand Facebook. Their algorithm shifts really started getting out of hand around 2017, when they started cutting the reach of commercial media brands by around 95% in an attempt to extort cash from them. “Pay us and you can have your reach back”. Rotten gits - they were already getting the billions in advertising that brands using their platform allowed them to generate. Their draconian copyright enforcement will ultimately lead down a path with a paywall at the end of it, sooner or later.
zoom is one that has been tried but anymore than a mere handful involved, ( some dj live streams attracts a few 1000 watchers/listeners), they want a sizeable fee to act as host ... assume similar formats are the same? .... fb is a real pain, however dodging the algorithms kicking in and being muted/ shutdown/ banned can be mildly entertaining in its own right (for some)
 
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