On November 7, Niall Horan performed one of the biggest livestream events of the year produced by Driift at the Royal Albert Hall.
Horan had to cancel his Nice To Meet Ya world tour plans earlier this year due to the coronavirus. With fans eager to hear the new songs from his latest No.1 record Heartbreak Weather live, Driift revealed that over 125,000 tickets were sold across 151 countries for the exclusive event.
The event was created to help fund Niall’s touring crew who were out of work and to aid in kick-starting the We Need Crew fund. You can see what Horan had to say to Music Week in his Q&A here.
Speaking on the triumphant event, Modest! Management partner Will Bloomfield caught up with Music Week to discuss its success and the future of livestreams…
How did the idea for Niall's livestream to support his touring crew come about?
Will Bloomfield: “The collaborative process of his music is something that Niall feels acutely aware of; his touring crew, band and wider team are all an integral part of his ability to make and share music. Hence, with Covid restrictions impacting so hugely on the livelihoods of the people he has worked so closely with for so many years, Niall came to us with this idea as a way of being able to support them and, hopefully, inspire others to do similar such events that can keep the live industry alive in this challenging time. Ultimately it was as simple as him sending us all an email saying, ‘I want to do this. Let’s make it happen!’ So we went to work.”
How does it feel to have had such a successful livestream that reached 151 countries?
“We are obviously elated, not only for that endorsement of so many people wanting to see Niall, but for the money made for this cause. More important than us reflecting on the success of the event, though, is our feeling that this issue has been far too internalised within the industry and Niall has made immense strides in helping to change that. Yes, Niall has reached 151 countries, but we all need more artists to bang the drum louder.”
The event sold more than 125,000 tickets, do you think the success of this event will change the way artists approach touring going forward?
“The data tells us that each ticket buyer on average had 3-4 people watching, so that’s lots of Wembley Stadiums and up to 500,000 eyeballs! If you are asking ‘will livestreams replace live events?’ then the answer is no, digital events can never replace the visceral feeling of a live performance, but I think we’re learning that digital events can be an important, enjoyable and valuable addition. When produced correctly they can resonate enormously.”
The data tells us that each ticket buyer on average had 3-4 people watching, so that’s up to 500,000 eyeballs!
Will Bloomfield, Modest! Management
How do you think you made the event such a success?
“Niall’s vision that the event be held at The Royal Albert Hall and, importantly, that it be in the round were both so key to the success of the event and how rich it felt both visually and audibly. The eloquence of his messaging and Niall’s natural charm and ability to hold and engage and audience single-handedly were also really important. It also felt like a cultural moment, one in which we rose above the current challenges of how to communally enjoy live music and find an authentic new way to do it and bring us all together for an hour or so. Back to the very point of the event, too, the crew and wider team worked tirelessly for months in the run-up to the event and overcame the enormous challenges that putting on a show like this entailed with all the restrictions that were imposed on us: it honestly could not have been the success that it was without their enduring brilliance, enthusiasm and tenacity.”
With Niall's tour cancelled, can we expect any more livestreams from him in the future?
“Well, the first words he said to us when he came off stage on Saturday were, ‘Let’s do that again!’ So, possibly.”
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