My friend and I spent our Friday evening this past week at a Straight No Chaser concert in Houston, TX. Their performance opened with a video of how to enjoy the concert. During that video, they made a point, at least twice, to encourage people to take photos and videos of the performance and post them online (tagging, hashtagging, etc. them of course). Then, during the performance, they took photos of the crowd and asked us to go on their Facebook page and tag ourselves They explained that they had a limited marketing budget and social media was an effective way to get their message out.
Considering that the popularity of Straight No Chaser began when one of their members posted a video of them on YouTube and it went viral (see video above), it’s not shocking that this group has embraced social media and the online world as they have, but it is quite unusual. Over the years, I’ve watched with great interest as the music world struggles to find the perfect balance with the online world. As it stands now, most musicians seem to tolerate online videos and photos of their concerts and some will even ask you to tweet your experience using a hashtag. But Straight No Chaser has taken it a step further by asking fans to actively post videos of their performances online.
Do I think it’s a good idea? Yes. People go to the concerts for the experience and to hear the music live. No video is going to overcome that thirst for the experience. But is it good for all musicians? I’d say yes, but would love to hear your thoughts.
On another note, I chose NOT to take photos and videos during the concert because I wanted to just sit back and enjoy the experience. For more on my thoughts about this, read: Put down the camera and enjoy the moment.