Posts Tagged ‘Cirque Du Soleil’


November 6, 2011

The Steve Jobs book is having a big effect on my thinking lately.  There’s a quote from Jobs about halfway through that hits like a sledgehammer.  “In the end, you just don’t want someone else to control a big part of user experience.”  In Live Entertainment, that’s all we do…with a few exceptions.

The talent/artist/act/athlete/producer/director has their vision and from there, the watering down begins.  Costs play the biggest role in diluting the message.  The show needs a place to play (w/ venue ops people, box office, security, ticket takers, ushers, parking attendants, customer service, etc, all between the show and guest) , marketing, ticketing, production and design, crew, etc, which can all have negative impacts…yet can be cost prohibitive to carry.  Cirque du Soleil has their touring shows in tents and the others, installs/sit-downs (Vegas, NY, LA, etc) where they can transform and control the environment.

Disney is similar in wanting control of the experience.  With Broadway, the theme parks, cruise ships, adventures and vacations, guests are coddled from the first interaction. The exception would be Feld Entertainment’s Disney On Ice which is a license that has been in place for decades. 

So what do we do?  It needs to start with a hybrid model.  Let’s use Feld as an example. 

Tickets are sold, mostly through Ticketmaster rather than Disney or Feld’s own ticketing.  This is necessitated by the multiple venues the show plays under contract (although Feld does have their own promoter agreements with TM).  The same with ticket takers, security, ushers, box office, etc.  Yet Feld does promote the shows internally (w/ help from venue marketing), caries production, crew, performers…and their own merch and concession operations and sales people (to the dismay of venues around the world).

Take a look at your upcoming projects and find every touch point with guests that you can take control of.  Apple, along with Disney and Cirque believe in the end-to-end user experience.  You should too. 

Aspen Update – The 16th Annual Aspen Live Conference is filling up like it hasn’t in years.  At this point, The St. Regis, Aspen is completely sold-out.  There are still Grand Deluxe rooms available at the Limelight Hotel.  Please go to and register today.



November 4, 2011

Concert and event promoting was once an art and can be again.  The money was second to being part of something bigger than ourselves… that made people happy.  Something important.  From a show’s announcement, to where it played, how it was promoted, marketed and produced, every detail became a new adventure.  Just as the mood and vibe of a recording makes a great record, the experience of the fan, entertainer/artist, crew, and producer make a great event. 

We all must draw the line now.  It is time for innovation…for investment and reflection.  The experience…and as Michael Rapino would frequently say when first taking the reins at Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation), the fan’s “value proposition”, must be strong and obvious.  There is a reason why Cirque Du Soleil currently has seven shows running in Las Vegas alone.  It is about innovation…investment in the creative process…art, production, marketing and design coming together.

Last night I met-up 3-buddies from our business.  We discussed an old friend we have worked with for years.  There was a time when this person genuinely seemed to love the job…working for one of the legends that has since retired.  Now, the best words to describe his adopted work style, ass hole!  He cares not about the art, the fan, the experience…only how much money he can squeeze from each date.  Time to retire dude!!!

The line we all need to draw starts with ourselves.  Look at what you are doing.  If your only motivator is money, go into banking where the real money is.