Although live music and concerts are a vital part of Danish culture and activity, the COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered music venues and led to the cancellation of live events throughout the country. And, like other bands around the world, it forced Danish alternative rock band Dizzy Mizz Lizzy to indefinitely postpone a much-anticipated tour.
But Ekstra Bladet saw an opportunity to bring Denmark together with an online concert, letting the band perform live and providing viewers with a much-needed break from a steady stream of somber news. After an external partner approached Ekstra Bladet with the idea, they immediately began working out the details to bring the idea to life in a matter of just a few days.
“From idea to the actual concert we only had a week, so tight project management was undoubtedly a big key to success,” said Claus Rothoff Brix, commercial manager for Ekstra Bladet. “It required us to work together editorially and commercially to get the event up and running.”
Setting the stage
From the editorial side, the main focus was to created awareness and excitement for the concert; they used the front page to promote the Friday night concert in the days leading up to the event.
Meanwhile, the marketing department launched an awareness campaign so that users understood how the digital concert worked, ensuring that viewers would be ready when the show began, while the sales department worked to secure sponsors to pay for the event.
“All in all, it required a lot of internal resources, but it was worth it,” Brix said.
Working with a third-party production company, they set up the virtual concert in Sony’s Copenhagen studio. Three cameras — two stationary and one handheld — were used to bring the live experience to viewers. They also put backup measures in place to ensure that the livestream would continue, even if the primary stream experienced any interruptions or downtime.
By 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20, all of the necessary components were in place and Dizzy Mizz Lizzy performed a five-song set that streamed live on ekstrabladet.dk. The 30-minute show was a huge success for both the band and the news company, garnering 178,000 page views. The video of the event also received more than 47,000 plays after the fact.
Creating community interaction
Even more impressive was the community’s response to the concert. More than 2,300 comments were posted on their page during the event.
“Our reporter who gave feedback on all the user comments was totally exhausted after the concert,” Brix said. Those comments were, across the board, positive and appreciative. Many left comments such as, “Thank you, Ekstra Bladet, for bringing live music into our living rooms,” and one young woman commented that she had never been to a rock concert with her 85-year-old grandmother before that night.
Because it went so well, Brix said they are “definitely going to do it again.”
“We have received fantastic response from users, and we are now seeing several great artists having the desire to give a concert at ekstrabladet.dk,” he said. “We’ve just started to [create] an artist lineup for the next four weeks.”
Brix said the opportunity to bring a live music event to readers in a time when so many events have been canceled or postponed is something that has benefitted everyone.
“We learned that if we work closely together across editorial and commercial competencies, we can create something that actually has a big impact on people’s lives in difficult times. In this case, we proved to ourselves that we, on a short timespan, can succeed in creating something as big as a digital concert for the Danes, with one of the biggest rock bands in Denmark, just by working together.”