Open Source Concerts - From the Brink of Disaster

Open Source Concerts - From the Brink of Disaster

Lifestyle | Posted by - December 16, 2013 at 12:00 am

I remember reading once, that successful entrepreneurs almost never take significant risks. That's because so many things can go wrong it's best to start off with a fighting chance. Case in point, our Open Source Concerts video shoot at the Rifflandia music festival in Victoria, B.C. – the 2nd stage of an idea-in-progress that I first told you about here at YouInc back on November 4th.

The first thing to go wrong – weather. We were shooting outside. And it was raining. Hard.

Since our whole idea is to have fans use their phones, who would want to take out their device in a downpour? Those things aren't waterproof.

Even worse – there were warnings of lightning, which threatened to shut down the entire festival.

I don't carry insurance for weather cancellation, so I'd be out all our travel and labour costs with nothing to show for it. And maybe without enough money to try it again.

Why I didn't factor that in I don't know – classic mistake. I was so focused on all the contracts and the technology that I forgot about the most obvious element. And it might have sunk the whole project.

The bad weather was also delaying the artists, like the incredible Montreal band Stars, from getting in. Even if the weather had cleared, there might not have been any music.

Finally, just when we were about to scrub it (and I was mentally writing off thousands of dollars), the plane landed and the lightning warning receded.

Miraculously phones started to appear in the crowd and something sort of magical happened.

The band had arrived, but their gear didn't make the connection in Vancouver. My bad luck was on a roll. 

Amazingly, after lots of last-minute scrambling – borrowing instruments from other artists, etc. – Stars took the stage in a drizzle, not a downpour. 

Miraculously phones started to appear in the crowd and something sort of magical happened.

Here it is:

I think this footage captures the intimacy and spontaneity of live music better than anything I've ever seen. If you've ever been a fan, and have been transported somewhere by an incredible connection with an artist onstage, I think you can identify with what this audience is feeling.

So ­– victory over the weather gods. But now our challenge is to build this idea into something more sustainable. Will other artists want to take part? Will broadcasters, brands and online platforms be as excited about this as we are?

Stay tuned to YouInc for my next installment.

Tags: concerts, festivals, live music, open source concerts, rifflandia, stars, profiles

Stuart Coxe
International Emmy-nominated Stuart Coxe brought "Dragons' Den" to Canada and produced it for its first four seasons. Other shows he's produced include "Wipeout Canada", "Next Great Prime Minister" and "Compete to Eat". He’s currently producing a joint digital/broadcast venture with CBC Music called WeShot. On Twitter: @stuartcoxe
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