Digital transformation and live music

“For the music festivals of the future, technology is the headline act” (Intel,2020).

During the past decade, digital technology has revolutionised almost every music festival, and today technology promises further development during a thriving period for the industry. It can be perceived from the world around us how far we have reached in the technological advancement, and how the digital transformation storm penetrates each and every sector at a tremendous speed, especially after COVID-19. A recent survey was carried out by Vanson Bourne of 700 CIOs internationally and in large companies with more than 100 employees. The responses indicate that 89% of CIOs believe their digital transformation has accelerated over the last 12 months, and 57% say velocity will continue to speed due to the global pandemic (Saran, 2020).

Technical technologies are joining many music festivals and concerts exponentially, accelerating their digital transformation, and reducing their actual human needs. This is being noticed, especially on the workforce, customer’s behaviour, experience and expectation. For example, festival warders can be decreased by using (AI) recognition cameras which identify unusual movements, gatekeepers can be eliminated if attendees used RFID wristbands for entry, food vendors would disappear if vending machines are installed, and cameramen could be taken over by drones.

The leverage of digital solutions seems to be the way forward for music festivals to develop supremacy and succeed in the digital era. Nevertheless, the more digitally advanced this sector is, the more challenges will evolve for festivals organisers and leaders as a result of these emerging technologies.
So, have they succeeded?

The white paper explores how music festivals could be more data driven and people focused, and seemingly in this challenging time of COVID-19, how they can use digital technologies to try and bridge the gap. In addition, it aims to highlight some organisational factors and their ability to support or oppose the digital transformation, the value of data, and finally the role of people in its failure or success.