The impact caused by the pandemic in the cultural sector goes far beyond the restrictions. In March 2020, the attention shifted to the digital space, where artists, producers and organisations found a way to respond to what was happening. Almost two years later, we look into the future intrigued by the following question: how will people consume culture? That was one of the motivations behind Eventual, a platform that is changing the model of live events by providing more power to audience members. On a mission to diversify and democratise the arts and entertainment industry, Eventual allows anyone to create, curate and support the events they really want to see in their local areas. In a time where the industry is getting back to in-person events, do we want to return exactly in the same way?
Reimagining the future of live events sounds even more challenging. The audience's lack of trust affects ticket sales, venues need to be operating according to the latest safety and security measures, and artists are constantly dealing with last-minute cancellations. Finding order in the chaos seems an impossible task. Yet, current trends indicate a possible route to get through the pandemic times and find exciting opportunities to move forward. Once the pandemic is here to stay, it is crucial to respond to the future in brand new ways, creating bold, cutting-edge experiences for shows and exhibitions. How? Firstly, by accepting that the world will never be the same anymore. According to this article on Forbes, A New Era For Live Events: Bringing Brand Experiences To A Post-Covid World, we are entering the 21st Century’s exciting Roaring ‘20s, where people have new values, which demand an ecosystem able to listen to their needs.
For Miia and Uzair Khan, founders of Eventual, this business model was a solution for the current challenges of the events industry, not only for artists but also for audiences: “As members of the crowd and live events enthusiasts, we were always feeling that we were not connected with the cultural field, like if it was a different entity separated from the crowd” - says Miia - “We have always felt that we would like to be part of it and express our interests. That was when Uzair started doing that, by suggesting what artists should be performing in the clubs in Helsinki. He was always asking can you bring this DJ? or who’s coming here next month?”. That was the starting point of Eventual, which turns the events model upside down to make crowds the ultimate decision-makers of the events they want to support and attend.
The model of the platform allows users to build up their events from the early stages until the premiere date, as it includes a crowdfunding feature, ticketing system and a venue booking tool. Through crowdfunding, artists and promoters can reduce the risks, once they find a crowd to back up their events in advance. After a successful campaign, culture-makers can also release their own ticketing via Eventual and even use the venue booking tool. Miia reinforces that this model hopes to reduce the risks of live events, by providing a space where the break-even point can be achieved in advance and cover all the production costs - “We started to think that we needed to find a way to tackle the risk, in a more sustainable way. We also wanted the city to be as rich as possible and have all kinds of mind-blowing concepts”, she concludes, “Most of the time, what happens with live events is that it’s too risky to produce an event. People are used to buying tickets at the doors, so they don’t decide in advance that they want to support a specific event. By changing the model and making the crowd support an event in advance, it’s possible to minimize this risk. For artists, promoters and venues, this is a tool that makes the process more sustainable. For the audience, they become part of the creation, which makes them closer to the artists”.
In the next decade, what do we want to experience? The answer points to the importance of facilitating human-to-human interaction, according to Forbes' argument that "we should look at them as spaces for consumers to meet, share and bond over their interests. That means curating content that aligns with the audience’s cultural values and amplifying diverse talent at the forefront of culture”. Finding a community that shares your interests was never so important and we aim to keep prioritising the power of community-driven events, replacing the traditional gatekeepers with a process where the audience supports the artists and the shows they want to attend.
Movements such as Black Lives Matter reinforce that the Roaring ‘20s call for a more diverse and inclusive society, which should also be present on and off the stage. Eventual developed a platform that provides a safe space where underrepresented voices can find their crowd and support, creating an atmosphere where accessibility, diverse ideas and stories are a priority. Encouraging diversity to exist side-by-side is one of the ultimate goals to redefine the events industry of the future. Without relying only on gatekeepers, artists, promoters and events enthusiasts can change their local culture landscape and make new and unconventional acts happen.
Inspired by bringing people together and using technology to support the live event experience, Eventual is available worldwide and you can discover more on the platform.