Is going to a live music event worth it? The attendee books a night off, drives to the venue, parks their car, buys a ticket, and gives up 2-3 hours of their life. What should they expect in return?
Here’s what I think.
Fans should expect an experience.
The 2-3 hours that the audience gives should be unlike anything else that they could have done with that time. They should be thinking about the space, the visuals, the sound, the atmosphere, and anything else that allows them to release their connection to the rest of their world.
The time needs to be unique to the audience. Do the best with what’s available. Help them to engage in something new with their time.
Fans should receive direct communication.
Connected to the experience, an audience needs something to be said directly to them. If there’s nothing directed at them during the performance, they may as well have sat at home and watched a video. The communication could be as simple as the strong expression of a great song lyric, a joke, a story, or even a sincere gesture. Speak to them.
Moments are the highlight reel.
When leaving a performance, audiences rarely talk about the full performance. They discuss small sections that stood out in the show, like a sports highlight reel. They usually last mere seconds. If an audience takes in 60 minutes, or 3600 seconds of a show, they may discuss 5-10 seconds of the whole thing. This doesn’t mean it was a bad show. What this does mean is that what they needed was a great highlight reel to play back in their minds. Give them those moments.
These are just some of the practical ideas I use and value during my shows. I’d like to write a bit more about some of my philosophy’s about what audiences need from music, but that’s another blog post.
Hope to see you at a live concert.