Submitted by Peter Astedt
I have been attending a lot of meetings with industry people the past week. Since it’s a lot of people from the live industry the discussions have been about what has happened since COVID was left behind and everything opened up again.
This is mainly in Sweden so I can’t really say yet if it is an international trend. Of course, here we got an overproduction of events this summer. You had several events that were postponed during COVID that now had to take place at the same time as new events were coming around. I thought that we would see some events going really bad since it was so many and that people now with economic crisis would keep their money tighter.
In the end, though most events seem to have succeeded. The ones that got hit and didn’t go that well are located in bigger cities. Events in the countryside seem to go fine. But one big problem seems to be the same for everybody. People are buying tickets late.
I found that in most of the events. One event that held 10,000 people had a crisis meeting three weeks before the event and had just sold 2500 tickets. They didn’t postpone it instead they went on. And in the forty-eight hours before the event, they sold another 6500 tickets and the whole thing was a success.
I guess the audience is used to waiting now. COVID had put into our mind that any event actually can be pushed in the last minute, and it can be pushed, again and again, so to be safe than sorry just buy the tickets the day before when you know when the event will get on. Also, then you know that you won’t be sick with COVID yourself and might lose the money if you can’t go.
I just wonder how many events in the future that will be closed just because the organizer can’t really take the risk and see if this phenomenon happens to their event. It can be that you won’t sell anything and then go through with the event and then lose a hell of a lot of money. All big festivals that sell out tickets beforehand have even announced the lineup. Will people stop doing that and just calmly wait?
I guess there will be many sleepless nights for a concert organizer if this keeps on going and become a permanent trend. At the same time will we see a big upswing of secondary market tickets. Shows will be sold out and then lazy people that wait want to get tickets the few days before the event. A very good ground for scams and illegal ticket sales.
No this is not that good; it will get the live industry a bad reputation that events might be called off or be uncertain when you buy tickets to an event. We just have to see how much Covid affected the audience, I guess.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.