How To Host A Livestream Concert
With many people “sheltering in place” thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, live concerts and other musical performances have been canceled. During your time online, you have probably seen singers, bands and other performers doing livestreams on Facebook or YouTube so that they can stay in touch with their fans. Live streams are a great way to stay connected with an audience and keep a community of fans together.
Live music industry experts continue to say that the landscape of concerts has changed drastically. Many venues, including casinos, theaters, and fairs, are planning for hybrid concerts in 2020 as the full concert experience won’t be returning until 2021. Concerts and music festivals have long been a way for communities to get together and bond – and we can’t let that disappear during this pandemic. Communities rely on live music and business collaboration. What if there was a way for your company or organization to host an online virtual concert that you could bring to your town or city – during a time when your community could use it the most? A virtual concert event is the perfect way for you to show support for your community during these strange times.
Livestreaming has become mainstream, and with the help from the right professionals and partners, having a “Real Time” or “True Live” concert that is directly broadcast — or “live streamed” as it happens — is a great way to show off your company and your support for the community.
Here are some tips on how to plan, set up and livestream a concert.
Getting Started: Find Community Partners
Every good event starts with finding good partners. Pulling off a virtual concert requires help — and getting buy-in and financial or sponsorship support from other businesses in the community will go a long way to making your livestream concert a success. It’s time to break out your list of business and non-profit contacts and start reaching out to them to see if they’d like to partner with you on your livestream concert.
It’s best to get as many companies to support you in this endeavor as possible. In exchange for monetary support, the companies could be listed on all promotional material, in the lower-third of the screen during the livestream, they could get a 30-second promotional spot before the concert, etc. Brainstorm with these companies on what type of support/promotion would benefit them and still work out best for the integrity and look and feel of the concert.
Don’t forget to check with the non-profits in your area! Non-profits are always looking for a way to get the word out about their organization. They may not be able to give you money to support your concert, but they may be able to help in other ways. Get creative!
Find A Performer Or Band
While you’re working to find community partners to help with your livestreaming concert, you need to look for local bands and singers to perform at your event. Check with local bars in your area and see which bands they’ve recently hired and find out how big the crowds were. Look at the performers’ website and social media channels. You want to hire performers with a strong social media following. You will rely on them to help promote the event, too, so having a large social following is key. Pick local or regional bands or singers that are well known in your community with at least 1,500 fans on social media.
Since these performers aren’t performing now, you can typically negotiate with the band/singer for a performance that meets your budget.
Calculate A Budget
Cost for your livestream are going to be much less than a live concert. By the time you find a location, hire the band, pay for a professional production company to run the livestream (cameras, lighting, staging, etc.) you can plan on spending a reasonable amount of money for a 90-minute show, depending on your market. If you’re going to give away incentives to attendees – like t-shirts, fee downloadable music, or gift cards – those costs should also be factored in. If you can find businesses to donate those items in exchange for promotion or sponsorship, that’s even better!
Get Professional Help
You want your livestream concert to look professional, so make sure you hire a professional, full-production video company that has experience with live streaming. With a professional production company, you’ll get staging, robotics, automation, professional lighting, etc. It should only take four to five video and audio production staff members to produce a live virtual music event when you factor in the automated production equipment that is available to you – so you’ll keep COVID-19 exposure to a minimum.
Sponsorships Are Key
Getting sponsors will help cover the costs of your livestream concert. Great sponsors are banks, restaurants, bars, non-profits, insurance companies, car dealerships and more. Give your sponsors prime real estate during the live show. You can have pre-recorded openers, commercial sponsorships that play before or after the show, 30-60 second commercials, lower third sponsorships, etc.
If you want to help a charity in your community, your livestreamed concert can also be a great way to raise money for a local organization. Throughout the marketing, ticketing, and the show, incentivize attendees to donate money (i.e. if you donate $5, you get a free download of the band’s music or some other gift).
You can host your livestream concert as a ticketed event – but during times like this it’s best to host it as a free music event. Ticketing software just adds to the cost of your event, plus, people are going through hard times right now and a free concert will increase your attendance. Remember, you can use the money you receive from sponsors to offset your costs.
Pick A Location
Make sure the space you will be livestreaming from looks professional. Even though many people are quarantining right now, you want your event to look professional. Try to secure a conference room at a hotel so that the video production team has room to setup a stage, lighting, etc. You want the sound to be amazing – and you can’t get that quality from the band’s living room!
Choose A Live Streaming Platform
Picking a platform these days is easy! YouTube Live, Facebook Live and other live platforms are the way to go. When you work with a professional production company, you can even broadcast live on multiple platforms at once!
Promote, Promote, Promote
Before your event you need to PROMOTE your virtual concert! Email marketing is a great way to reach out to people and let them know about your concert – and you can even mention/promote some of your sponsors nicely in emails.
Social media is one of the best ways to promote your livestream concert. Just check out the fun social media posts that the famous country music festival Stagecoach created to promote their recent live stream concert:
Be sure to provide your partners, sponsors and the band with content and collateral so they can promote your event as well.
Day of the Virtual Concert
On the day of your virtual concert, your livestream setup should be tested to be sure there will be no unexpected glitches with your actual live show. Double-check and triple-check every camera, microphone, speaker, and light is working properly to be sure that your performance is flawless. You will also want to ensure that your band or performers have plenty of time to set up and do a soundcheck before the concert is live – just like any other concert.
If you plan to have your performers make any announcements to the audience during the performance, it would be best to provide them with this information beforehand. If they are able to have a tablet or music stand with the information in front of them, that is ideal. Otherwise, you can have one of your staff members stand with cue cards next to the camera operator or set up a TV screen with the messages.
When it’s finally showtime for your livestream concert, your virtual audience will be anxiously anticipating the start of the show. It’s best to start your livestream feed 10 minutes before your actual concert or content will begin to stream. You can create a custom graphic to use as your “hold slide” and share the message that your virtual concert will begin shortly at the scheduled start time. This is a great opportunity to share any information or external links you want to promote, including links to donate, connect with the bands after the show, and highlight your sponsors.
The livestream concert you produce can be remembered for years to come as the footage can be saved on most streaming platforms for playback as well as download. Even though the show is live, it doesn’t mean others have to miss out! Give all of your virtual attendees a chance to watch, even if it’s not at the scheduled time. Footage from the show can also be reused for future marketing purposes, too. Get the most out of your show!
During this time of quarantine, any virtual concert will be sure to entertain those who are staying home and staying safe. Congratulate yourself after the show on a job well done!
Need Help Live Streaming?
If you need help live streaming your virtual concert or other live event, contact us today! We’d love to help you with your live event.