(00:00) Welcome to July's Monthly Beat!
(00:00) Good morning everyone, and welcome back to another edition of The Monthly Beat by XLIVE, the community creating extraordinary live event experiences. Now I'm feeling extra pumped today. I had a great Independence Day weekend and I hope everyone here did too. And just a little tidbit about me; my father was in the Navy for 23 years so I did grow up as a military brat moving around and all that. So holidays like Independence Day hold a little bit more weight for me. I'm just feeling really good! And I hope everyone here is too.
(00:29) German Town Residents Buy Out Beer Supply So Neo-Nazi Festival Stays Dry
(00:29) I cannot think of a better way to start this video by talking about this music festival in Germany that was set to take place in June. Locals of a small German town purchased the town's entire beer supply ahead of a far right music festival that was set to take place inside the town of Ostritz. And by far right, I mean we're talking about a neo-Nazi festival. Ahead of the festival, a German court imposed a ban on alcohol upon entry into the town, and anticipating that attendees would buy alcohol once they got there, local citizens planned in advance to buy out all the beer in an attempt to quote: "Dry the Nazis out" (#DryTheNazisOut). This simple yet genius plan was praised by local officials, who loved the initiative of the local citizens, all while stocking up on their beer supplies. So it was kind of a win-win. This just goes to show that you can stand up to fascism, and have fun while doing it.
(01:26) Festival Announcements: Metarama, Day N Vegas
(01:30) In recent weeks, a couple of new music festivals have been announced. First of all C3, producers of Lollapalooza in Chicago and Austin City Limits in Texas, has announced Metarama Festival, a first-of-its-kind music festival which will blend the worlds of live music and esports. The event will take place October 19th and 20th at the Las Vegas festival grounds and boasts a pretty impressive lineup, which includes Marshmallow, Logic and Snoop Dogg, and that's just the music lineup. The event has also booked comedians, YouTubers, and streamers to round out the bill. I believe as the music festival industry continues to evolve, some of the most successful events will be the ones with such a honed in niche, as this music festival, esports hybrid event. I think this is just the beginning of a very important trend that we're already beginning to see.
(02:16) Just a month after that, Sin City is going to be popping off again with Travis Scott, J Cole and Kendrick Lamar, headlining a brand new hip-hop festival called Day N Vegas. The event is being produced by Goldenvoice, so expectations are high for the producers of Coachella, but if the lineup is any sign, this is set to be a pretty incredible event because in additional to those huge headliners, you can see the likes of Juice Wrld, Migos, Brockhampton, and many more at the event. Day N Vegas will take place at the Las Vegas festival grounds from November 1st - 3rd and tickets are already on sale that www.daynvegas2019.com.
(02:43) Fyre Festival 2.0?
(02:43) Finally, a new fiasco in Belgium is being compared to the Fyre Festival with some calling it Fyre Festival 2.0. So Vestiville in Belgium recently took place in June...well it kinda took place...basically people showed up to the event only to realize that it was canceled with no advance announcement. Many took to Twitter to document the horror with many saying that apart from the stage there were no other signs that a festival was even taking place. Thousands of attendees were stuck inside the venue with no coordinated exit plan, food, or water, with many spending thousands of dollars to get there having traveled from out of country. Festival organizers eventually cited security and logistical issues, but there was no specificity given, and the credibility of these claims are being questioned. An investigation is currently underway on suspicions of fraud.
(03:43) Live Nation's new Augmented Reality Suite of Apps
(03:44) And now a couple of really interesting things happening in the tech world. Live Nation just announced a suite of augmented reality applications to engage fans at live music events, and they're partnering with Hyundai to debut them at the music midtown festival in September. While the initial announcement included five or six AR apps, a couple of my favorites were AR Live Stream, where viewers can point their phones at a flat surface, such as a table, from which a three-dimensional view of the stage in real-time will appear and you can view select performances from that view.
(04:24) Second is AR Intermission, which by using brands can creatively redesign and re-imagine the stage. So during changeovers and intermissions in between sets, attendees can point their phones at the stage and see what Frito's would imagine for this stage, or what KFC would imagine for the stage for example. They are not sponsors of this video, they were just the most recent things I ate. So, yes.
(04:49) Virtual Influencers: Big Potential, or Short Term Trend?
(04:50) And then my last story of the day is really saving the best for last. The New York Times released an article titled, These Influencers Aren't Flesh and Blood, Yet Millions Follow Them. And I have to admit, as socially active as I am, I am not one of the millions that follow what they're calling 'virtual influencers'. As the article explains, virtual influencers are completely artificial, fabricated, digitized personas or avatars that look and act and sound online like human influencers.
(05:23) Slowly but surely virtual influencers are gaining traction with brands as it creates this potential to create the perfect human or the perfect brand ambassador. As opposed to partnering with an influencer and aligning values and approving content, the alternative is brands can own this persona which looks and sounds like a person online. Some examples of virtual influencers today are KFC's Colonel Sanders, 'Xinhua' which is the Chinese government's virtual news anchor, and perhaps the most popular Miquela Sousa, aka Lil Miquela. Lil Miquela started off as an Instagram profile in 2016 but since then, she has 1.6 million Instagram followers, she did an Instagram takeover of Vogue during Milan Fashion Week, she did a commercial with Calvin Klein and Bella Hadid, one of the top models in the world, she's got a Spotify channel where she's pushing out music, and as events like Coachella have shown, there's enormous potential for return as event organizers use influencers to help add brand value and promote their events. I talked a little bit about that in the June edition of The Monthly Beat, so I'll make sure to include the link to that video in the description below.
(06:40) As virtual influencers begin to penetrate the market, it begs the question, when are we going to start seeing virtual influencers attending the major music festivals that we all know and love? In my opinion, I think we've got a little bit of time. Music festivals are so rooted in human connection and authenticity that despite how bizarre or incredible the technology is, I just don't think people are going to take well to digital influencers having these experiences at music festivals. I think we saw a little bit about that at Ultra this past year where KFC sponsored a changeover set and during this five minutes they had a DJ Colonel Sanders perform a set. And I did a whole beats out video on that which you can see here. Basically people were confused and some people were pretty insulted. It just didn't really make sense because they took what is typically a human experience and they put a caricature of a brand, in place of what could have been a person. And lastly as the article states, virtual influencers are much less engaged with online than their human counterparts. So I think we have a little bit of time until the robots take over, at least if you're a digital influencer.
(07:59) XLIVE 2019 Tickets On Sale!
(08:00) Before we wrap this up, we have to announce that the 2019 XLIVE Annual Conference & Expo in Las Vegas has been announced, and tickets are now on sale at www.xlivecon.com. If you have not been, it is three days in Vegas taking place November 17-20 this year with events and speakers from all corners of the industry, people from esports, music festivals, film festivals, event technology, experiential marketing agencies, really the whole gamut. So if you're a live event professional like me, and you want to network and learn from industry leaders, go to xlivecon.com and register today. And don't forget to follow and connect with XLIVE on social media to stay up to date with the latest from the live event industry.
(08:39) Upcoming Festivals
(08:41) I'm going to end this month's Monthly Beat with highlights of some upcoming events, and thank you again for watching. I'll see you in August!