How to Keep the Live Entertainment Industry Healthy

"Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812." Photo Credit: Chad Batka

“Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.” Photo Credit: Chad Batka

I loved Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. I saw it when it was in the meatpacking district across the street from the Standard Hotel and still included dinner, but I think it’s been just as well received in Midtown Manhattan, where it is today.

So I was excited to hear that the show is launching a Kickstarter campaign to develop a film version. I was skeptical at first, thinking of it as a movie version, because the experiential part is so important to it, but the description makes it sound more unusual. The director of the potential film says it will be “part HD live recording, part concert film, part feature film, and part music video.”

The reason I like this, besides just being a fan of the show, is that finding ways to take great live content and put it in other distribution channels is one of the keys, I believe, to the future health of the live business. There are a number of approaches, including the NT Live model (described here by TEDxBroadway 2013 speaker David Sabel), and the Concert Window approach (which will be discussed by TEDxBroadway 2014 speaker Dan Gurney). But mainly, what I think is important is that people begin to explore and chip away at the issue. Some paths will be limited or completely dead ends. Others could be gold mines of success and popularity.

So if you’ve got an idea about how to move forward in your own organization with getting your live content spread further and faster than it can if it stays inside the four walls, you should do it! Everyone in the industry will benefit from the success and learn from the failures.

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