The Future of Concerts


Evan Mills, Staff Writer

With life slowly feeling like it is going back to normal, some of the most popular artists and festivals can finally bring back what everyone has been wanting, in-person concerts. Venues and festivals have been able to fill up with fans eager to hear their favorite artist perform and hear their new music live. However, it feels like lots of people still aren’t ready to go back to stadiums yet, so many musicians and shows had to get creative. 

With the digital age we live in, many artists and festivals saw live-streaming as a great way to still be able to perform and get paid by large streaming and social media companies like Tik Tok, Hulu, and Twitch. During 2020, many artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Justin Bieber hosted their own virtual concerts on Tik Tok while big music festivals like Rolling Loud were able to show virtual lineups on Twitch featuring artists like Rick Ross, Trippie Redd and Swae Lee. These companies saw this as a major opportunity to make money during the pandemic and in the future. The way these companies made money was by paying artists or companies to perform for them while being able to make money through ads, sponsorships, and subscriptions. Artists also saw this as an opportunity to be able to grow their brand and fanbase and to advertise new music and also a way to still make normal show money. It worked for both sides and also gave the fans what they wanted to see. 

Those same streaming services saw the success of what was happening and decided to keep it going even while fans were coming back to attend in person shows. Larger shows like Lollapalooza and artists like Kanye West, Drake, and Travis Scott have partnered with brands like Apple Music, Amazon, and Twitch to bring their own festivals and concerts to worldwide audiences and let people who can’t necessarily afford tickets be able to enjoy the experience. The popularity of these shows is immense with many of them pulling hundreds of thousands to millions of viewers. For example, Kanye West held a few listening parties that were streamed on Apple Music for his new album Donda. He was able to pull a total of 8.7 million viewers from his first two streams and also twice sold out Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, which holds up to 78,000 people. The streams are able to hold millions of viewers and could eventually lead to lots of people no longer going to larger, in-person shows to save money and get a better viewing experience. Think about it, would the average person rather pay hundreds of dollars to watch from bad seats or pay $3.99 to get the best view, the best sound quality, and be able to stay in the comfort of their own home without having to deal with any of the other expenses of going to see a concert or festival. Another example of that would be with the Kanye and Drake concert that recently happened. Why would someone rather pay thousands of dollars for seats when they can watch it on Amazon Prime with a subscription or Twitch for free. The concert pulled over 330,000 viewers across 3 streamers on Twitch which excludes anyone streaming it on YouTube or on Amazon Prime. Live-streamed shows offer a much more optimal experience if you care more about the music and performance rather than the concert experience. However, going to an in-person concert will still be the best experience overall because you can actually be there and be with other people and have more fun. Live shows are still going to be just as popular as before with examples being Lollapalooza holding 385,000 people in July of 2021, and Rolling Loud shows across the U.S. selling out Citi Field and Miami Gardens for more than one night. Live-streams are just an overall great way for people to experience a larger concert or a music festival without having to pay another mortgage. For many people now, they will be able to watch a bigger show with friends at home and be able to go out to a more affordable local show and watch an artist in person. This new way of viewing is a step in a very good direction for all music fans and concert goers alike.