As I write this on February 28th, 2021 it is just days away from the first anniversary of when all live events stopped due to Covid-19. I miss live events badly and it is not just me. The world mourns its Don McClean moment when the music died.
However, life is not a song, it is a journey. And, on every journey the road forks along the path. The road less traveled has been explored over the past 12 months by Steve Glazer and his team at Idol Roc.
Idol Roc is known for such staples as the Monster Outbreak Tour in which they put out genre specific shows featuring artists just breaking through. These shows were grouped by genre: Rock, Hip Hop, Dance, Country, Comedy, and one specific for college campuses.
Artists whose breakout moments were part of the Monster Outbreak Tour include The Chainsmokers, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore, 21 Savage, Cole Swindell and Kane Brown. Several have gone on to become headline acts at major festivals.
This year, touring was not possible. That did not stop Idol Roc. Steve Glazer, co-founder and managing partner of Idol Roc is a dynamo. I spoke to him at length about what he and his team were doing to keep live music available. The answer I got was something I like to think of as creative pandemic solving. Their answers were not the obvious choices like streaming or postponing. They were the devious, the clever and the preposterous. In other words, a true rock and roll solution.
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For example, Bones UK, a female fronted rock band from London played a variety of one-off events, including a drive-in show in which they performed within a circle of 12 cars, the audience consisting entirely of the people within those vehicles. Here’s an exclusive premiere: (Warning: This band ROCKS!)
Other events included a show played “sonically-distanced” for a single fan in the center of a football field, or drive-by performances past the front yards of selected lucky fans. These were done in partnership between the Rosie Bones and Carmen Vanderberg who are Bones UK, Idol Roc, and the Aces High agency in Austin.
It is this sort of high thought innovation which will power the future of fan/band interactions. Sure, we will return to live, but that’s going to be only one of a number of ways in which artists and their promotion teams will seek attention in the post-Covid world. The future belongs to the innovators.
In the second part of this story which we will publish in early March I will go into the ways in which Idol Roc has partnered with Monster Energy to build fan communities, support experimental outreach and continue to see that live music remains central to the consumer experience. I will also further discuss the ways in which Idol Roc has developed programs to incentive college student to activate their peers and lobby to get events to their campuses through entrepreneurialism and outreach. Make sure to follow me on Forbes to get notified when the next story posts.
Here is the my conversation with Idol Roc’s Steve Glazer in video and audio podcast formats: