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The XLIVE Monthly Beat
September Monthly Beat Video.JPG

2019 Festival Season Recap! - The XLIVE Monthly Beat

As many festival and event industry professionals view the festival season as running through Labor Day Weekend, we thought this was a great opportunity to discuss some of the highlights from this past season. Listen to stories about Woodstock, Ultra Music Festival, Influencer marketing and the rise in virtual influencers, the Slow Foods Nation festival's community supper, event sustainability, and more.

XLIVE Monthly Beat - September 2019 - Video Trancription

Good afternoon, everyone. Ace Antonio here, coming at you with another edition of The Monthly Beat by XLIVE, the community creating extraordinary live event experiences.

So for the September edition, I'm doing something a little different. Now that it's September, the peak festival and event season has passed. So things are probably slowing down for a lot of you that work in those fields. So if this applies to you, first of all, congratulations. You made it through another busy season. So today, instead of giving updates on the event and festival space, I wanted to recap the past few videos that I've done, talk about my favorite stories from each month and maybe give a little bit more commentary, why I like those things, some stories that we thought were interesting that didn't make it into the video, for whatever reason. So kind of just gonna have some fun with this. And before we get started, don't forget to subscribe to XLIVE on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, follow their website, subscribe to their YouTube. Just follow them everywhere and yeah, let's get started.

May 2019 - Monthly Beat Recap - Watch May Monthly Beat

Once again. My name is Ace Antonio, and I will see you in June. Alright, so first note from watching the May edition of the Monthly Beat was I remember that just days before I shot this video, a huge pimple popped up on my nose. Of course, as it would happen before I start a new video series. So I did cover up the tip of my nose with some concealer. I learned a lot about makeup that week, but this was a lot of fun to do because we talked about a lot of things that continued to develop over the season.

Woodstock 50, Ultra looking for a new venue which eventually found its way home back to Miami. My favorite story from this month was probably the influencers at Coachella story. I think influencer marketing is a fascinating component of the marketing space that is really just still in its infancy. Coachella obviously, is an extreme. That event has become synonymous with influencers. So it was really cool that Amanda took this event and talked about the effects and the impact on the respective markets and industries that are involved in Coachella, utilizing influencer marketing to kind of give a glance of the potential that it could have for other events in the future. So May was pretty straightforward.

June 2019 - Monthly Beat Recap - Watch June Monthly Beat

Okay, so also a lot of fun to do this video. You know, we were in the right in the middle of the busy season, So a lot of things were happening Primavera announcing their Los Angeles edition for 2020 Burning Man and their negotiations with the Bureau of Land Management.

But I got to say my favorite story from this month was the data personalization initiative that took place at Stagecoach. I think it is a fascinating use of consumer data. So just to recap what that was basically AEG Presents kind of under the radar tested these push notifications that would offer benefits to people that were at Stagecoach based on their prior purchases and interactions at other AEG events. And, you know, in 2019 going into 2020, "personalization," that's a real buzz word, right? So consumers now expect a very tailored custom experience, and the brands that are able to do that are the ones they're gonna win moving forward. At the end of that bit, the person in charge of that initiative over at AEG said that it was a massive success. They didn't share any numbers. But, I think you can expect to see that a little bit more at AEG events in 2020.

We had a lot going on in June, so not everything made the cut. I want to say one thing that I wanted to talk about really briefly that I didn't was Ja Rule reappearing in the media briefly because he stated on a radio show that he still thought that the Fyre Festival was a good idea. Keep in mind, this is just six months after the documentaries on the Fyre Festival came out on Netflix and Hulu. And if you have not seen those, you should definitely watch them go to Netflix. I love that documentary. It is just a complete wreck that you cannot look away from, especially if you work in the event space. So it is crazy to see the rise and fall of the Fyre Festival. And in the midst of all this for Ja Rule to still say that it was a good idea. It's like, dude, just just stop.

July 2019 - Monthly Beat Recap - Watch July Monthly Beat

This was interesting. I feel like this month a lot of kind of offbeat stories in the festival space made its way to the short list. This is the one where German locals of a town where a far right music festival was gonna take place, as in a Neo Nazis, bought all the beer from the local markets so that attendees couldn't have any drinks and that I'm just here for that level of pettiness. I thought, that is so awesome.

But let's see my favorite story for this was the virtual influencers bit. I actually had no idea that these existed. If you didn't see that video, this was based on the New York Times article about virtual influencers which are completely digital fabricated avatars that look and act like human influencers online. So, one of the most prominent ones is Lil Miquela, who has a spotify following an instagram following did a Calvin Klein commercial with Bella had beat one of the top models in the world. How is this digital entity able to do like an Instagram takeover of Milan Fashion Week. It's nuts. The underlying implications is that as this technology develops, there's the potential for brands to just own their own influencers, who are completely in line with their brand and values. Fortunately, virtual influencers are far less engaged with than human influencers. I think this technology actually still has a long way to go before it kind of hits that point where we all kind of just accept these fake avatars as real, authentic influences in our lives. But to just see that grow, it is still crazy to me.

A story that wasn't mentioned that I thought was interesting this month was the announcement of the Miami Beach Pop Festival. They announced the festival earlier that year, and then in July, they announced the lineup, which was, like Chance the Rapper Jack Johnson, Daddy Yankee, Kygo pretty stacked for a first time festival. You know, in a season that's been plagued by festival cancellations, it was really refreshing to see this new festival, which looks promising, so we'll see how that turns out when the event actually happens in November. Given that the rest of the video was talking about and a far right music festival and robot influencers, this one just didn't make the cut.

August 2019 - Monthly Beat Recap - Watch August Monthly Beat

And the most recent Monthly Beat we started to see some stories that I touched on earlier in the year really start to resolve. So one is Woodstock 50 finally was canceled. If you're following that story, it was a very slow, painful death to watch.

Ultra Miami announced that they're returning to Bayfront Park, but I got to say my favorite story that I talked about this month was Northern Night Music Festival.  They were one of the first 3-day music festivals to have recreational cannabis as part of the event, and the way they went about it was really cool. So they take place in what's called the Emerald Triangle, which is the county in California that produces the most cannabis. So it was very fitting just on the location, and there are laws that say you can't have recreational marijuana and recreational alcohol sold or consumed in the same place. So what they did is they placed the marijuana activations, they called it the "Tree Lounge," on one side of a county line within the venue. And then all the alcohol consumption and sales took place in another county still within the venue. So just the placement of that event sitting on a county line allowed for this. I think we're gonna see a lot of this moving forward. You know, as cannabis starts to become normalized for these events, especially here in California.

We already saw it at Outside Lands, they had recreational marijuana is part of the event for the first time. It really opens up the door to the types of vendors and the types of sponsors and really the types of festivals as a whole that we're gonna start to see.

If I had to choose a second favorite, it would be on the Slow Food Nations Festival in Colorado. So it's a food festival. I think like 20,000 people attend. I can't remember the number, but after the event, they do what's called the Zero Waste Community Supper where they repurpose all the food that wasn't used in the demos and the chefs repurpose it and for another paid ticket within this event, you can have another dinner. I think it's really awesome to see on on that micro level what can be done to minimize the waste. If you've worked in food service, you've had that heartbreaking moment when you realize how much ends up in the trash after an event or at the end of the night or whatever. It's a win in two ways, one obviously way less waste of food and then two it's an additional revenue stream for the festival because it's another paid ticket as part of the event. So that was it for this video.

I hope you really enjoyed that recap. As we head into the slow season let us know in the comments below what topics you might want to hear more about.

XLIVE 2019!

If you have not gotten your tickets to the XLIVE Annual Conference in Vegas this November, they're currently on sale, you gotta get yours. Gonna have a ton of speakers a ton of people in not just the festival space, but the events space as a whole. So if you are an event professional looking to connect with other like minded leaders head to XLIVE's website we'll put the link in the description below and purchase your tickets now. Thanks for watching The Monthly Beat by XLIVE. Once again, my name is Ace Antonio and I will see you next month.

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