Is there a future in crowdsourcing for events?
A Belgian initiative sets out to fill the gap that was left after I Love Techno’s discontinuation through crowdfunding, and an Asian crowdsourcing platform for events has raised over $10m in venture capital. Time for us to carefully explore these ideas that appear to be picking up speed, even though they go against much of how the event industry works.
HART Festival – Crowdfunding
I Love Techno’s departure from the Belgian scene had many electronic music fans feel left behind. The news came just one year after the legendary festival 10 Days Off’s final edition, and meant that the city of Ghent – where electronic music festivals were pioneered – suddenly had no more flagship events left.
HART appeals to the sentiment of those who feel that Ghent needs a real techno and house festival again, with a logo that clearly resonates ILT’s, say an interpretation of how it would look if it were designed in 2015. They take it back to Vooruit, where ILT started, and seek to get market validation and sold tickets in advance of a full lineup announcement.
What’s so surprising, is that this is set up by a team without much professional experience in the festival world, and that they are asking for validation beforehand. Though it’s easy, possibly even tempting, to dismiss the initiative as naïve, there is a huge opportunity for the event industry to find out whether or not crowdfunding is a viable path for certain events in the future. HART is a brave shot at breaking two very important industry dogma’s: 1) You need a team with experience and a strong network, 2) the promoter knows what the crowd wants and will present a lineup for them to agree upon or not.
Regardless of how it plays out, HART’s campaign is a project worth keeping your eyes on.
MyMusicTaste – Crowdsourcing & -funding
A Korean startup (based in Seoul) that just raised $10m in series a funding, including an investment from Samsung, and sets out to compete with Live Nation? You would think this news would have spread further than just the tech industry, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Whether it’s a case of limited pr efforts or a shortage of media interest is of little importance; let’s look at how this company works and how it disrupts the way the event industry goes about things.
It’s no coincidence that MyMusicTaste was founded in Asia. Not many Western pop stars are able to step on solid ground there, and often shows are canceled due to low ticket sales, among various other (undisclosed) reasons. It is a risky territory for events, and crowdsourcing both lineups and funds (by starting ticket sales before confirming the show) takes away most of the risk whilst also involving and activating fans early on. Co-creation taken to the lineup level.
So here we see an initiative that disrupts the same top-down way of working that HART challenges, but MyMusicTaste takes it one step further by actively engaging fans to find out whether or not there is a market for certain acts – not just validating a concept that the promoter should be trusted to fill in. Also, MMT is founded in a pretty much unsaturated market, so it offers a very unique opportunity to find out what happens if the industry grows both around traditional promoters and new business models. Whereas in the West, we can only see it as a transition from traditional to disruptive ideas.
So though it’s still very early to tell, there’s a lot to say for crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, even though they are hard to embrace in an industry that is still used to working top-down, and without co-creation in lineups and production. We for one are excited to find out what’s next.