Perhaps more than any other sector, the music and events industry has been hit very hard by the impact of covid restrictions. And so, many musicians have been looking for new ways to get adapt there performances to create a bigger impact online. In June of 2020 we had the pleasure of working with the Nottingham Chamber Music Festival Director Carmen Flores to transform this vibrant annual festival into an online series of events that would not only reach out to its loyal fanbase but also bring in new audiences from around the world.
We began this process by a series of zoom calls (how else!?) discussing how and where these performances could be filmed and what the key messages were. It was critical to Festival Director Carmen Flores that as well as the music being captured in high fidelity sound and visuals that the various venues and communities of Nottingham that had supported the festival were also highlighted.
It was important to her that even though people couldn't get to these popular venues anymore we would still showcase them, their acoustics and also give voice to the staff working there and their experiences of a post-covid world.
How did we support the Nottingham Chamber Music Festival to adapt and still harness their strengths?
4 key things that helped adapt the festival to a powerful online offering
1. Quality production and thoughtful venue location There is A LOT of musicians now putting content online. In order to let your audience know what they are watching is of value and worthy of their time it needs to instantly look a cut above the ubiquitous split-sceen iphone videos out there. The venues also need to be well lit and have some sense of rationale behind them.
2. Tell a story even when the focus is on the musician Another benefit of video is the ability to tell stories and give a deeper context that really engages the viewer. In this case the story was the effect of the Covid lockdown - on both the festival and its locations. Carmen was very passionate about showing the great relationship the festival has with Nottingham City venues and that hasn't stopped just because of the restrictions of the pandemic. Watching the excellence of Carmen's performance is undoubtably impressive and the story behind the locations she has chosen adds another layer to this experience.
3. Make social media count Create a bank of social media assets highlighting the key messages of your performance / project and continually emphasise those points that make your production distinct.
4. Collaborate with key influencers and supporters Lastly, live music is all about connecting with the audience and reaching as many fans as possible. Carmen was very well connected in this regard and we were able to get coverage in local TV, BBC news and key industry publications. Through local PR agents and loyal festival promoters the message of the festival's series of film events was shared further than any year previously.
Continual Adaption and online community building
We were really pleased to have been able to support the Nottingham Chamber Music Festival in transforming how they engaged with their audience this year. By involving their audience in every stage of the process through social media, engaging key influencers and creating a quality end product they have been able to widen their influence and audience reach at a time when physical music events still seem a long way off.
We're excited to see what this brilliant organisation does next! For more information on this project and to view all of the 6 videos visit: https://nottchamberfest.com/nottingham-stories/