Dec 22, 2020

Year In Review: 10 Good Things 2020 Brought for Live Music

 

“F*** 2020”?

This year in music could be titled: Fuck2020 considering the disastrous effects the pandemic had on live music in 2020. Steel Panther and Avenue Beat sing about it – and singer of the German Eurodance band Scooter shouts about it, too.

A catastrophe for music creators. From 100 to 0. From loud to off. The Corona pandemic endangers livelihoods and the entire international music landscape. We don’t need to beat around the bush. We all feel it ourselves. A platform for gigs without gigs – that can’t be.

But it wasn’t quite that bad after all. Our task as creatives and cultural workers is not to mourn in the gloom of the present, but to look ahead and find the positive moments in the negative situation. That’s why we don’t want to give a “Fuck 2020” review here, but look at the good things that 2020 brought for live music.

1. Ecological Sustainability

Good news for the climate: Coldplay had already cancelled their world tour at the end of 2019 to be more climate-friendly. Now, with COVID-19, CO2 emissions were involuntarily reduced. And probably not a few: According to SPIEGEL research, even the Live Earth concerts, fundraising events for environmental protection, caused up to 110,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2007.

Climate change awareness in the music industry is not yet particularly pronounced. However during the Corona outbreak, the issue has become more of a focus for music makers. For example, we were able to report on sustainable merch or touring by bicycle. A good thing that 2020 has brought and will bring for live music.

2. Accelerated Digitisation

We have said it again and again: use the time and discover the digital age of booking! But we didn’t really need the pandemic to make everyone realise that analogue flyers don’t perform so well in concert advertising after all.

The good thing about 2020 for live music is that the topic can no longer be ignored by society as a whole. This will have a positive effect on the acceptance of how we organise live music with gigmit. The gigmit community will benefit from this. For those who haven’t done it yet: make sure to check out our Online Promotion whitepaper for artists and promoters.

3. Cohesion in the live music industry

If 2020 has made one thing clear, it is that cohesion in the industry is crucial. Here, too, functional organisation has often been neglected. 

One movement emerged from this pandemic: the Red Alert Movement, which aims to highlight the threat of job losses in the live events sector. 

The “#WeMakeEvents, now at Red Alert!” initiative launched by Live Events Industry organizations, including WeMakeEvents and ExtendPUA.org is aiming at urging the American Congress to pass the RESTART Act, which benefits all small businesses. As a result, many buildings have been lit up in red with the hashtag #WeMakeEvents. More information here

The Red Alert movement has been followed in Europe and the Royal Albert Hall in London showed support too. 

By the way, despite Corona, the gigmit community grew by around 50,000 artists and organisers in 2020 – to over 150,000.

And here are a few more facts and figures about gigmit in 2020:

4. Creativity in the music cosmos

Because of the crisis, we had to be more inventive. At gigmit, we started thinking about how to offer the artist community more than “just” gigs. The proud result: a new online showcase concert series, a new 24-hour live streaming channel on Twitch, many new radio features, open calls from A&Rs, really lucrative and exclusive brand collaborations with Casio and JBL, competitions, coaching, industry talks, playlists, artist growth charts and a bunch of good advice content for you. 

But creativity was of course also in demand from artists and event organisers. In the course of our online showcase series Indoor Inspired, bands performed with a full stage setup, for the Kindest Christmas Concert gigmit acts played their own songs and Christmas carols in front of festively decorated Christmas trees and fairy lights, projected entire works of art on the room wall, or brought the jungle into their homes.

The INES Festival Liverpool Sound City took place entirely digitally and built its own online platform for digital showcase concerts and the conference. Not necessarily less work than organising a physical showcase festival.

In 2021, creativity will continue to grow, starting with a live gig by German JBL winner Daily Thompson with mobile PA from her converted camper van in a “canyon” in the Ruhr area and a free recording session at the legendary Metropolis Studios in London?

5. New promoter knowledge

A new digital tool has enriched the live industry in 2020. Event organisers can now know an act’s potential to draw a crowd of fans to make smarter booking decisions! The gigmit FAN INSIGHTS saw the light of day in February – but are still waiting to be used on a mass scale. 

From the unprecedented instant insights into artists’ fan and streaming data, the FAN CHARTS (ranking acts according to the amount of fans and listeners, customisable to personal needs and own region) and the GROWTH CHARTS (national or genre-specific charts based on fan growth) have evolved. This gigmit feature is definitely a promising innovation that 2020 has brought for live music.

6. Hygiene concepts for more live concerts

Yes, the hygiene concepts have accompanied us in 2020 and helped some organisers to still put on smaller concerts, both outdoors and indoors. Seating was provided, people waited at a distance, masks were worn and a few organisers even went so far as to organise entire car concerts. What wouldn’t you do for a bit of real live music? We also called for artists to organise their own small garden concerts, for example, and collected a lot of links on the subject of Corona and hygiene measures

7. Support for live music in 2020

One cannot say that there was no support for live music, first and foremost for artists. Fans donated to their favourite bands via live streaming, bought more albums via mail order and even companies like Bandcamp waived their financial share at times. There were government aid programmes, which we have listed for you among other important information in our Covid 19 Shutdown article

We at gigmit also offered our premium service at greatly reduced prices with offers of up to -70% off the membership fee. If we couldn’t host physical concerts ourselves, we at least tried to give musicians visibility online via various live streaming platforms and social media. 

There were playlists, artist charts, surveys, mailings to our promoter community and reshares of your content. Here you can find more reasons why it is worth using gigmit even in Corona times

8. Winners of the instrument sale 

Corona and the sale of instruments: not a good combination. Far fewer orchestral instruments were sold because demand from the professional customer group, the musicians, naturally dried up due to the crisis and the cancelled concerts and thus also rehearsals. In the field of event technology, too, the instrument dealers lost a large branch of their turnover.

However, in the private sector, there was a considerable increase in sales of expensive grand pianos, digital pianos and, above all, guitars. Many music lovers fulfilled their dreams in 2020 and had time to learn an instrument, or invested their money as an asset. The online business in particular benefited from this. 

9. More internationality than ever before

Even if national borders were temporarily closed and flights cancelled, we are better connected today than we were before Corona, and ultimately through the use of live streaming and completely location-independent digital collaboration from anywhere in the world.

Suddenly it didn’t matter where an event took place – the main thing was a good internet connection. So at the Indoor Inspired Showcase we suddenly had live acts from South Korea, Venezuela, Australia, Canada and Europe in one lineup. The pandemic may have even led to more connectedness, even if it was “only” digital. Through the new “news function” on gigmit, over 150,000 artists can now network worldwide and work on collaborations or go on tour together in 2021.

The new Festival and Venue Database now offers almost 30,000 international promoter contacts. That is ten times as many as at the beginning of the year. In the near future, this should also help the gigmit artists to organise shows beyond their own national borders and to get in touch with promoters directly.

A project that will continue in 2020 despite Covid-19 and will help to connect the European music market and increase mobility within Europe is the Innovation Network of European Showcases. This year again, 79 gigmit acts were selected for the INES talent pool 2021, who will have the chance to play at up to 19 showcase festivals next year. So we can remain excited. 

10. The anticipation for 2021 is rising

The perfect segue for point 10: What can we look forward to next year? More “real” live concerts in summer 2021, that’s for sure! We’ve put together a selection of the festivals you can apply to now on gigmit below. But the digital concert format will also be with us in 2021, so we will continue to offer the opportunity to go live with gigmit, either on Twitch or as part of our digital showcase series. There will also be more great brand collaborations that will beckon with fees and live concerts.

Our Open Call Highlights 2020/21

We became organisers for you ourselves:

More Virtual Reality & Online Festivals:

Radio Open Calls: 

2021 Festivals:

Open calls for talent scouting:

Contests:

Coaching:

Brand Open Calls:

Highlight Content in 2020:

Stay tuned and have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. We’ve all really earned it this year.