Concerts Committee plans virtual semester

first_imgWhile Instagram Lives are low-budget and more manageable to set up, such interactive events can amass huge crowds and provide ample opportunity for music promotion and merchandise sales. Travis Scott held a similar event on Fortnite, with almost 12 million viewers from around the world in attendance.  “If the artist wants to post about it, I wouldn’t be mad because then all of their fans can come too,” Gibbs said. “At the end of the day, I just want as many people to enjoy our events as possible.”  While the future of live shows may currently be uncertain, Gibbs, Kronenberg and the Committee are actively working to provide entertainment and events for USC students.  “We’re definitely going to try and have some sort of virtual programming, whether that be panels or special smaller events with either student artists or non-student artists,” Gibbs said. Concerts Committee co-executive director Samantha Gibbs, along with her team, is now dealing with a colossal dilemma: How can the organization do its job when concerts and big crowds are prohibited for the time being? Stepping into its mid-Spring semester role, Concerts Committee’s new executive board is entering uncharted territory this coming school year. Alongside co-director Faiz Haque, Gibbs and the rest of the team have been challenged to drastically alter the traditional Welcome Back Concert held every August.  While traditional large, in-person events like the Welcome Back Concert and Conquest! are out of the question, Concerts Committee is quickly pivoting toward providing entertainment for students at a socially acceptable distance — virtually. Having previously featured artists such as Saweetie, Migos, Gunna, Playboi Carti, Trippie Redd and Still Woozy, Concerts Committee works with agents to book performers for its events, which are free to USC students.  The transition to a digital interface will force the Committee to think outside the box, experiment with new methods of viewer engagement, promote smaller online events and partner with more student artists. However, Concerts Committee views the many challenges of the current virtual-only landscape as an opportunity.  While the exact format and headliner of the event are yet to be announced, Concerts Committee is working to make sure it’s a virtual music experience like no other.  Because events will be online, Concerts Committee is in an unprecedented position to publicize them to a much wider audience than usual, perhaps opening it to not only the USC community but each artist’s fans as well.  Ben Kronenberg, the assistant director of marketing for Concerts Committee, acknowledged that his responsibilities this semester will be a far cry from the average school year. He said that the now-typical Instagram Live concert content is overdone, often unengaging and as a result, “disheartening.” He will work closely with his creative teams to find new ways to reach out to and engage students and get people excited about a digital event. Jared Khan, a junior majoring in quantitative biology and an avid concertgoer, recently attended a 100 gecs music festival on the Minecraft platform. He said he enjoyed the novelty of the experiential event, noting that it was “more of an emulation of a real concert versus a passive viewing party.” Khan was also quick to point out that it was not identical to a typical concert experience. While Concerts Committee hasn’t yet officially confirmed any events, opening up virtual events would be an opportunity to publicize both the Committee and some of USC’s own artists, Gibbs said. USC Concerts Committee is responsible for orchestrating some of the biggest and most exciting events of the school year. From the Welcome Back Concert to Conquest! and Springfest, members of the committee create and coordinate unforgettable live music experiences for USC students.  The organization recently teased the opening acts for its Welcome Back event. Partnering with the Black Student Assembly, Concerts Committee announced via Instagram Aug. 10 that its event will feature Kyle Lux and Jordyn Simone, two up-and-coming artists and USC students.  In typical years, Concerts Committee employs a variety of methods to reach students and promote their events, using a mixture of digital and terrestrial marketing strategies, such as social media platforms, email blasts, on-campus promotion and tabling on Trousdale Parkway. However, with campus life disrupted by a virtual semester, the Committee is forced to get creative in its outreach methods. Unlike Instagram Live concerts that have become commonplace during the lockdown, Gibbs said that Concerts Committee is brainstorming ways to make the virtual concert experience as interactive and creative as possible for attendees.  “We’re trying to pull something together that’s really interesting and unique from what we’ve seen previously with livestreams and stuff like that,” said Gibbs, a senior majoring in communication. “We’re just trying to make it so that whatever we do is something enjoyable and something maybe different than what we’ve seen over the past few months.” Tentatively planning to livestream its music events, the committee is working to create engaging and inimitable experiences for students logging on from around the globe.  Crowds that once filled music venues at McCarthy Quad turn to virtual means of the concert experience due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Ling Luo | Daily Trojan) Springfest 2020 was supposed to be held in late March in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum but was canceled due to concerns over the coronavirus. With a nearly empty campus in August and restrictions imposed on large gatherings, sporting events and live shows in L.A. County, Springfest won’t be the last concert cancellation.  “Everyone in any role anywhere now has to really learn what resilience is and how to … make the best out of the situation,” Kronenberg said.last_img

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