Grabbing Audiences By The Wrist!

Theoretically, there are very few reasons to attend a live concert by an international band or artist. The music that the audience is going to hear is freely available, countless videos of the performance are already uploaded across the internet and the experience will probably be captured for a DVD release following the end of the tour. Yet, these concerts attract thousands of audience members, often even tens of thousands of audience members. Why?


Because what works on paper generally doesn’t work in real life!

I was recently shown the DVD that was released after the Coldplay Live tour of 2012 and it clearly highlighted why, despite all these theoretical detractors, these concerts sell out in a matter of minutes.


That is the one thing that these live performances have over all the recorded footage, album tracks and impending DVD release. There is no way to receive this interaction other than paying the ticket price to see the live performance and it adds a special dimension to the experience. Who hasn’t felt goose bumps when a performer has looked at them from the stage? It creates a special memory and involves these consumers in the experience.

There were many moments of genius in the structure of Coldplay’s tour which provided this extra interactive value, but I want to highlight one in particular. The Xylobands.

Xylobands are LED-illuminated wristbands that pulse light at the instruction of a radio signal. Every audience member at the Coldplay concert was given these specially designed fabric bands to wear on their wrist upon entering and were used to pulse light in certain cleverly designed patterns along with the music.

Not only did this provide a cool accessory to take home and show off to all the audience’s friends (it was also branded with #ColdplayFilm advertising the impending DVD release), it also managed to create a sense of community and connect the audience members with the band. This essentially resulted in the audience contributing to the overall experience and involving them in the performance through a human LED display.

Rather than concerning themselves with enforcing out of date rules about mobile phone use to ensure only paying customers gained an understanding of the concert, these live concerts manage to move in the other direction of providing value that cannot be gained by interacting with the brand in any other way. This creates interest. This creates involvement and community. And most of all, it creates an incentive to see live performance!

Check out a video of Coldplay’s Xylobands below: