New post-pandemic hurdles for live concerts


Live shows and those who produce them have it harder than the headlines of “Fans Return To Live” would lead you to believe, writes Fred Jacobs.

By Fred Jacob of the Media of Jacob.

If the COVID trend holds (and maybe it’s from a rose-colored glasses perspective), this summer is shaping up to be particularly interesting.

Especially for concerts.

At the onset of the Coronavirus (as it was known at the time), we conducted a series of nine research studies with commercial, public and Christian music radio listeners. The first of these was conducted right after the virus emerged here in the United States. In fact, she was deployed from March 31 to April 2, 2020. Even then, people were speaking out and being passionate about what they were missing once home. the orders were issued state by state.

Yes, nearly 21,000 radio listeners told us they talk about personal interaction with friends and family. But they also lacked entertainment activities, including concerts and sporting events.

There was, however, a setback last week. Mammoth WVH – Wolfgang Van Halen’s band have canceled the final six shows of their Young Guns tour due to a COVID staff breakout. Wolfgang himself continues to test negative, but enough crew members are infected for the tour to be postponed.

While some consumers have ventured out, already seeing big shows in arenas and stadiums, many have resisted, waiting to see how the pandemic unfolds.

Certainly concert organizers, bands and the touring ecosystem are ready to roar. After two years of inactivity, most musicians have a lot of touring ground to catch up on – not to mention a lot of mouths to feed. Markets across the country are overbooking concerts and events — more than the average person has time — or can afford.

A recent story in the the wall street journal by Neil Shah points out that the average concert ticket price last year was $78 – up 14% from 2019. essence – will make concerts even more out of reach for the typical music fan.

Of course, the impact of the pandemic is still being felt. Normally, about half of touring artists in the industry hit the road, while the other half are in the studio or engaged in other activities. But thanks to COVID, many more artists and bands are on tour.

Fans find themselves with tough decisions to make, trying to figure out which show(s) they can afford. Shah notes that some of the bigger acts could benefit, while mid and smaller tiers could be hit as consumers go for it all and shell out big bucks to see megastars like Elton John, the Eagles or Bon Jovi. .

For local radio stations, the 2022 concert season represents a great opportunity to reap the benefits – IF (a big IF) they have the resources – money, staff and interns – to respond in the moment.

Here’s how:

  1. Ticket giveaways – This is a no-brainer. It’s a chance for a station to go back to basics with free tickets to good shows. Of course, using tickets as a way to expand audience and build brand is even better. It’s hard to stress how much that means to people — especially this year.
  2. Memorable presence at concerts – This means more than pulling the van, opening the chart table and hanging the banner. Photo opportunities with resort staff or band backdrops will be popular – and shared on all social pages. It’s time to think about specific tactics and activities for each station’s lead artist gig.
  3. Garland – Do not laugh. You might need a sponsor, but “backstage passes” and other branded items could punch through if they’re creative and done right.
  4. Live – In a world where everyone’s voice-tracking nights, finding a way to go live with post-concert coverage (the old “concert echo”) will definitely stand out in a sea of ​​automation.
  5. embrace the joy – For most people, going to a concert is a big deal. They pay big bucks (don’t forget parking, food and drink, babysitters, gas, and sometimes hotels). Chances are they’ll be happy to see you, so give them a hug.

The 2022 concert season could end up being a case of radio to the rescue, especially if stations make good use of the opportunity. This could even include a “check-in” with a ticket winner the next morning. In many cases, radio employees have not paid for a concert ticket for years. Many may not know what it costs even for a pair of listeners to catch a show. The issue of entertainment spending is near and dear to most people.

This summer promises to be special for so many people, eager to get out and get their lives back on track.

This is a job that only local radio can do.

Fred Jacob founded Jacobs Media in 1983 and quickly rose to fame for creating the Classic Rock radio format. Jacobs Media has always walked in the digital space, providing insight and advice through its well-read national technical surveys. In 2008, jacapps was launched – a mobile application company that has designed and built over 1,300 applications for Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH conference was created – a mix of radio and automotive, designed to foster a better understanding of the “connected car” and its impact. In addition to providing creative and intellectual direction to the business, Fred consults with many of Jacobs Media’s commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing technological environment. Fred was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2018.


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