My Experience at Pollstar Live! 2024

Pollstar Live!

Federico Beltrán Quiroga, usheru’s Sr. Partnerships Manager, Americas, traveled to his first  Los Angeles Pollstar Live! event with usheru’s Managing Director, Americas, Anish Deogaonkar. Federico brings us his learnings from the event and gives us a glimpse in the state of the live entertainment and events industry.

Embarking on my journey to Pollstar Live! as a newcomer to the live entertainment industry, I was eager to soak in the knowledge and insights from the leading figures of this vibrant community. The conference, held at the illustrious Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, promised an in-depth look into the current state and future of live entertainment through a series of panels, keynotes, and networking events. 

As I navigated through the bustling halls and listened intently to the discussions, three critical themes stood out: sustainability in the live entertainment industry, the evolving role of venues in concert experiences, and the intricacies of developing a global touring strategy.

1. Sustainability: A New Concert Ethos

The urgency of climate change and its impact on our planet is undeniable, and the live entertainment industry is no exception to its eƯects. The panel on sustainability, titled “The Most Impactful Show Possible,” featured industry leaders from Oak View Group, Live Nation, and artists like the Dave Matthews Band who are pioneering efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of live events. 

The zero-waste initiative at the Dave Matthews Band show in Savannah, Georgia, served as a beacon of possibility, demonstrating that sustainable practices could be successfully integrated into large-scale events. This panel was a revelation, highlighting not just the feasibility but the necessity of such initiatives. 

The conversation extended beyond the success stories, delving into the broader implications for the industry. The emphasis was on collective action; the responsibility does not lie solely with the artists but with venues, promoters, and fans alike. Sustainability is positioned as a community effort, where small, incremental changes by each stakeholder can culminate in significant environmental benefits. This holistic approach to sustainability in live entertainment not only aims to minimize the ecological footprint but also to inspire fans and communities to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, echoing the sentiments of their favorite artists.

2. Marketing and The Venue's Newfound Voice

In an industry where the connection between artist and fan is paramount, the role of venues in this dynamic is evolving. “The Venue’s Role in Booking, Marketing & Maximizing Concerts” panel shed light on this transformation. It became apparent that venues are no longer just physical spaces for performances but active participants in the marketing and promotional aspects of live events. 

The emphasis on communication, collaboration, and a partnership approach between venues and promoters is reshaping how concerts are marketed and experienced by fans. This partnership extends to the meticulous planning and execution of events, where venues work closely with promoters to ensure that each concert not only meets but exceeds the expectations of artists and audiences. 

The panelists discussed the importance of venues in creating buzz around tours, leveraging their marketing departments, and utilizing social media to enhance fan engagement. In this digital age, a venue’s proactive role in the promotional narrative can significantly impact the success of an event, underscoring the need for a more integrated approach to concert promotion.

3. Charting the Course: Global Touring Strategy

As the live entertainment industry eyes expansion, understanding the global market becomes crucial. The “Where To Go & When: Developing the Global Touring Strategy” panel provided invaluable insights into the potential and challenges of international touring. With markets like Europe showing resilience and growth post-pandemic, and emerging markets such as Saudi Arabia and South America bustling with live entertainment demand, the landscape for global tours is more vibrant than ever. The discussion highlighted the importance of venues in supporting this global expansion. 

The availability and quality of venues can significantly influence the success of tours in new and existing markets. The panel underscored the need for more music-first arenas and the role of local promoters in identifying and tapping into hot markets. This global perspective not only opens up new opportunities for artists but also challenges the industry to think creatively about overcoming logistical hurdles, such as the rising costs of transportation and the need for innovative show formats to engage diverse audiences worldwide.

The Path Forward

As my time at Pollstar Live! came to a close, the depth and breadth of the discussions left me with a profound understanding of the live entertainment industry’s current state and its trajectory. The themes of sustainability, the evolving role of venues, and the complexities of global touring painted a picture of an industry at a pivotal moment of transformation. The path forward is marked by innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to adapting to the changing landscapes of music, technology, and society. 

As a newcomer, I am inspired by the passion and resilience of the live entertainment community and look forward to contributing to its vibrant future. The path forward is clear: innovate, collaborate, and adapt to ensure the live entertainment industry not only survives but thrives in the years to come.