Music Industry

What is the future of rock concerts?

Few things beat the communal experience of being in a crowd where everyone is losing their mind to a live music performance. That’s something you can’t download.

But going to a gig can be onerous and expensive. The price of tickets, parking, maybe a babysitter, a couple of drinks, possibly some merch–it can be tough on the wallet.

Complicating matters is that we’ve seen a drop in new artists who are big draws. Compared to what we saw in the 20th century, how many acts have emerged in the 21st century capable of filling arenas or stadiums? Much of the concert industry continues to depend on heritage acts: The Rolling Stones, U2, Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, et al.

And sadly, if they’re not dying off, they are touring themselves into exhaustion and illness. We’re killing our rock stars.

So what’s next for the concert industry? Holograms? VR experiences?

Jacobs Media has some thoughts on the subject.

“[T]echnology may play a role in keeping Rock alive, so to speak. Last year, we wrote a blog post about Roy Orbison’s hologram appearing here in Detroit at the Fox Theater. And now it turns out this tribute to ‘Mr. Pretty Woman’ was not a one-off.

“In this year’s Techsurvey, we put the idea of a hologram concert to the test, asking our 50,000+ sample about the likelihood of attending a concert featuring a deceased favorite artist’s apparition performing on stage.”

This is a thought-provoking article. Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38291 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “What is the future of rock concerts?

  • I suspect that the novelty of full out hologram based concerts will wear off quickly.

  • I see 1/10th the shows I used to, between the crazy ticket prices, overpriced concessions, travel/transit and just generally getting older, it’s just too much work. And seriously, who wants to see a 75 year old man talk about “ getting satisfaction” anyway?


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