Posts Tagged ‘The Lefsetz Letter’

LESSONS FROM COACHELLA

April 13, 2015

Coachella fever thundered through Southern California last weekend like a speeding train. And not just in So-Cal, all over the country. Every media outlet imaginable covered the star-studded 3-day music festival outside of Palm Springs, where tickets sell-out in minutes, and if you didn’t attend, you somehow felt left out. So what lessons can we take away from what Goldenvoice has built? Here are three:

  1. Trust – In the Lefsetz Letter’s recent Coachella post, Bob’s first point is the most important, “it’s a matter of trust”. You can say this about any “product”. If you make something great, and can find an audience, that audience will trust that the next thing you bring them is at least worth trying. Goldenvoice has built trust as both superior event producers and music/art curators. Building trust takes vision and guts. Charlie Jones,  one of the C’s in C3 Presents, and producers of  Lollapalooza and  ACL festivals talks about “taking a hickey”. He means losing money the first few times at the wheel. C3  believes in building a great product (acts and experience).  That’s the reason why they can sell their events out without announcing a line-up.
  1. Tenacity – You can’t give-up. Coachella lost money for years. In fact, there probably wouldn’t be a Coachella if it weren’t for AEG Live coming in at the right time with financing and support. Yet Paul, Skip, and Rick had the vision and guts to push on without knowing what the outcome would be… and have been rewarded for it. It is good to second guess yourself, but don’t stop at your first hurdle. Being awesome isn’t easy.
  1. Over Deliver – How do you go beyond your fan/consumer/guest’s expectations? Coachella takes place on the same field in Indio every April, and each year those polo grounds are turned into a sound, visual and social experience unlike any other. I’m not talking about having a Ferris wheel, VIP area, or RFID wristbands (although that can be part of it). That’s easy. It is the whole experience; the art installations, carnival games, the unique venue lighting, the polo field itself, arts and crafts vendors, local food and drinks, the music, how fans are communicated to, staff…basically every touch point needs to “wow”. Are you exceeding expectations?

Next weekend is round two in Indio. See what lessons you can take away to make your next product WOW.

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THE U2 EXPERIENCE

October 26, 2009

I wanted the next LiveWorks Newsletter to focus on marketing but needed a little inspiration.  It came in the form of a radio commercial for U2.  What caught my attention was that it didn’t sound like one produced by our business.  It sounded professional.  Then I realized that’s because it was paid for by Wal-Mart…to me that’s actually a good thing.  And then I read what Lefsetz wrote on U2 last night and I was a bit bummed http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2009/10/25/u2-360/.  Is Bob for the tour and U2 or not?

Back to the ad…it was just awesome.  What I got out of it was that the biggest band in the world was coming to down…they had new music…a new album @ Wal-Mart…and of course the “360 Tour“.  It sounded exciting, like you needed to be a part.  It was the U2 Experience!

For years I’ve harped on marketing the concert experience versus tickets going on-sale on a day and time.  U2’s tour is called 360 so right away you get a sense of what you are in for.  The radio spot comes on and envelopes you in U2 music, the band’s show and tour, the new album, and where you can get it (available at Wal-Mart).  The Lefsetz Letter’s opening last night almost took all the wind out of my sails as he pointed out that the biggest news on the U2 tour was the stage.  This is great!

With U2 360, you know you are in for an experience.  I love U2 and have since I saw them in high school when they played for free at SUNY Albany.  Now I love their marketing.  They know how to connect the dots.  Do you?  If you aren’t sure, let me recommend someone who does. 

Years ago, I had the good fortune of working with Jolene Pellant while she was a VP of Marketing for what was then Clear Channel Entertainment.  She had passion, knowledge, tenacity and relationships.  Jolene was willing to go the extra mile.  Cut to this past spring.  We needed help with the marketing around The Great American Food & Music Fest.  We needed a quarterback.  I called Jolene who now runs a company called “Yes Dear” with her partner Mike Gormley.  Within days everything was organized and all pistons firing at the same time.  The Fest had a well-organized plan that was implemented step-by-step by Yes Dear along with our “Best in the Business” PR team, Elaine Garza and Jada Williams from Giant Noise

So, here is three pieces of advice.

  1. If your marketing needs help call Yes Dear @ (310) 203-9007 and speak with Jolene or Mike
  2. Need the best PR people for festivals and events, call Giant Noise @ (512) 382-9017
  3. If you are a U2 fan, go see U2…if you can afford to

Don’t forget that if you have any plans to go to Aspen Live (Dec. 10-12) this year, I really need to hear from you soon.  jim@theagencygroupevents.com or (310) 385-2800.

Speak with you soon…

Jim

2 CENTS ON LEFSETZ/CONCERT STUFF

August 7, 2009

The idea of the last LiveWorks Newsletter https://liveworksnews.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/innovation-wins-every-time/ was to point out how innovators like C3, Goldenvoice/AEG Live, Superfly/Ashley Capps/Coran Capshaw, CAA, William Morris, Madison House…and Kevin Lyman have changed the landscape of the U.S. Concert Business through their festival development…and challenges the rest of us to try to live-up to their example.  So when I first saw a few jumping on Kid Rock’s bandwagon to tear Kevin down (in my mind Rock was the only one who should have been dissing and even he admits that he likes Kevin), my blood pressure started rising fast (those of you who know me have seen that before).  But then…Lefsetz http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/ started posting the flood (only way to describe it) of support for Kevin Lyman.

It was heartwarming to see so many bands, managers, agents, promoters, sponsors, fans…everyone say WE LOVE KEVIN… AND THIS IS WHY vs. ARTHUR FOGEL IS A LIAR (which we still saw too much of).  Here are some facts to chew on…

1) The U2 tour is doing very well whether you like their new album or not.  They are an amazing live band, always do groundbreaking production,  and unless you are in the box office counting the drop every-night, you shouldn’t be commenting on other’s ticket sales (unless you are Bob Lefsetz as he is our business’s commentator and conscious…and the reason we have these dialogues in the first place).

2) A new trend the business is seeing, and adapting to as much as possible is seating preferences.  P1 seats continue to sell in this economy.  So do P3’s and beyond.  P2’s not so much.  What you might see in a stadium concert is a show that is 98% sold-out and still has an empty section that looks like it is down-front. Just because the promoter/building/band wants to fill it in, doesn’t mean the show didn’t make money, and most of the capacity sold.  Maybe I’m totally wrong, but if you don’t know for sure, don’t call someone a liar!

3) Like the Festival Producers listed above,Arthur Fogel has changed our industry.  Bono and Madonna think he is the rock star!  He basically owns the top of the box score artists.  If you are talking shit about
Arthur, you are just jealous or pissed!  Me, I would rather do business with him than not. 

4) In case you haven’t noticed over the past couple of days, The Lefsetz Letter has us all talking.  Managers, agents, promoters, lawyers, business managers, label people, sponsors, fans, even rock stars (although I’m not sure if Madonna knows that Bob actually types on a computer and doesn’t write with a pen…but even she is talking about his fishing tackle).  Ok, so he doesn’t always get the facts perfect…but I don’t think that’s the point.  Bob, like the rest of us wants to see change for the positive.  Sometimes he needs to say things in a certain way to piss people off and get them talking (he never told me that but I’m guessing it is the case). 

With the way the world sits right now, our business should be pulling together instead of knocking each other down.  We should be encouraging Kevin Lyman and those like him to continue to innovate and create new vehicles.  It was awesome the way everyone wrote to Bob to tell “Kevin stories”.  We should all encourage and take part in the fun debate that happens as part of the Lefsetz Letter.  We should do the same for anyone who is trying to make a difference!

Hope you have a great weekend…and sell tickets (instead of giving them away)!

Speak with you soon…

Jim

LEFSETZ

April 9, 2009

Rumor has it that a major agency spoke about the power of the Lefsetz Letter in one of their staff meetings a while back.  Everyone tells you things like; “I delete every email he sends” or “who has time to read all that”…or even “that ass-hole has no idea what he is talking about”.  Well as the major agency went around the table (no, it wasn’t The Agency Group), they came to the conclusion that “almost everything Bob writes about becomes what the business is discussing the next day.”

Now I should throw out the disclaimer that Lefsetz and I are very good friends (yes, I send him angry notes about some of the stuff he writes too).  But if you ever doubted Bob’s influence, you just needed to see what happened yesterday when Lefsetz decided to start-up a Twitter account.  It was litteraly the biggest news on the whole system!!! 

Bob has been right about so many things the record companies could have done to save themselves, it isn’t even funny.  He told 200 of us at the Aspen Live Conference that the major labels should buy something called Napster, when no one in the room even knew what it was.  Sometimes we don’t appreciate people until they are no longer with us (look at the great artists through the years).  No one agrees with everything Bob Lefsetz says…not even Bob.  But there are many “smart people” out there that still think that Wal-Mart is going into the ticketing business with Bon Jovi because Bob wrote about it in his APRIL 1st letter. 

So the next time you hear someone slagging the Lefsetz Letter, you might want to remind them to not be “Playa Haters”.

Speak with you soon…

Jim

LIVE NATION’S BLOCKBUSTER DEAL

December 3, 2008

Well I’ll start with a line from Cheech & Chong, “holy sheep shit”!  I can’t believe our LiveWorks Newsletter subscribers got that October recession letter again.  Please know that I have emailed FeedBurner (the Google Company that makes the product that does the sending) about the problem for the third time.  There is no number to call.  I am so sorry.  Please know that I have deleted that “Hooray for the Recession” newsletter out of existence so if the problem persists, at least you won’t be getting that one again.

Since playing Live Nation CEO in the last LiveWorks News, like you on Monday and Tuesday I read a lot about LN’s deal to have Blockbuster act as their exclusive “bricks and mortar” ticketing outlets.  With the vast percentage of ticketing being done online these days, why would Live Nation do this deal?  Well, I’m hoping they are thinking what I’m thinking and it turns out to be a brilliant move.

Don’t you remember the excitement of waiting in line for the Ticketron outlet to open so you could get seats to see your favorite band?  Did you ever camp out so you could be first in line?  Are you old enough to even remember those days?  I think that’s partly what’s going on with this deal.

According to everything I’m reading (I think USA Today was the last so I should probably give them credit), Live Nation’s new ticketing system, along with its vast inventory of shows (they are the largest producer of live entertainment in the world) just got 500 new store fronts they didn’t have to pay for.  Not only does this give great in-store advertising for Live Nation shows; it provides an opportunity to re-create that excitement of waiting for the “box office” to open, creates circumstances for impulse buys from video customers, a chance to up sell a customer on merchandise, CD’s, DVD’s, and more.  All face-to-face.  All live.  It gives Live Nation a human face.

I give Live Nation and Blockbuster a standing ovation for their efforts.  They are trying something new.  Live Nation is selling where their competition is no where to be found (marketing 101). I wish both parties much success in this endeavor.

REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GO TO THE ASPEN LIVE CONFERENCE THIS YEAR (dec. 11-13 @ st. regis, aspen)

1. We are bringing people together this year to try and help.  That’s why we are waiving our registration fee. And although a week away, it’s not too late to register.

2. You will either make at least one new relationship or reconnect with someone that will be able to help your business immediately.

3. Rooms at the world famous St. Regis, Aspen are only $250 per night through our special rate.  All you need to do is call the hotel and ask for reservations.  Tell them you are with “Aspen Live” and they will give you our rate. (970) 920-3300

4. Flights into Aspen are very reasonable.  Last week someone booked a round trip on United from New York for just over $400.  When we checked Tuesday, you could still get flights from LA for around $400…a week out!!!

5. Meeting topics include: “How will we develop acts tomorrow, and where will the risk capital come from”, “The one thing you could do for me would be to….” (Where promoters tell agents the one thing they wish they would change or do for them…same with every other sector of our business), “What was the last great example of artist development during down economic times”, “Ways to save on the road”, and more.

6. Moderators for the above meetings include: Diarmuid Quinn (COO, Warner Bros. / President, Reprise Records), Marc Reiter (Q Prime Management…Metallica, Chili Peppers, Shania, etc), Bob Lefsetz (The Lefsetz Letter), Nick Light (Sr. VP, Sony Music), Jason Flom (Universal Music Group), Peter Tempkins (Entertainment Insurance God), Amy Morrison (Sr. VP, Marketing, AEG-Live), and more.

7. Aspen is the best conference for getting deals done…period.

8. During non-meeting time, Aspen has the best; skiing and boarding, restaurants, spas, shopping, outdoor activities, and of course people who come to the conference to network with.

9. If I’m hitting you this hard and not even charging, imagine how good the conference must be.

10. Did I mention that we were waiving our normal $1000+ registration fee due to the economy?

Go to http://www.aspenlive.net for more information or call or email me.

Talk to you soon…

Jim