The Open Door Ahead of Us

What happens when you open a door?

Some people worry that an Open Door is an invitation to trouble, exposure to new and potentially dangerous things.

Others worry that an Open Door means you're going to lose what you have, because the only thing keeping it safe is a lock.

There's an Open Door ahead of us now as an industry, and we should see it as an invitation to the future. A few organizations have already been successfully using virtual live events for nearly a decade. They've learned that this tool, this new combination of technologies, is one of the most attractive methods yet for growing a following in the live entertainment business.

The pandemic has kicked open the door to this possibility because at the moment in-person events are mostly impossible. Necessity is the mother of invention, and online live events are happening right now because we need them. At this moment, online live events are crucial to the survival of many of the institutions in our industry, but that’s just the start.

The door has been kicked open, but it's up to us to walk through it.

The live entertainment and arts business in the United States alone is worth between 50 and 100 billion dollars a year in ticket sales. If online live events can grow those numbers by 10 or 20 or 25%, the impact will be incredible. It could make live entertainment and arts a permanently profitable and stable industry. It would put money and resources in the hands of the people and organizations performing the vital service of enriching people's lives and entertaining them in ways that are irreplaceable.

But even that’s a modest goal compared to what online live events could possibly do. They could extend the reach of those institutions and artists and craftspeople ten or a hundred times more than they ever imagined possible. They can bring together communities of interest in this brilliant creative work that simply couldn't exist before or that were only available to people in specific places at specific times, usually limited to people with money.

Online live events won’t just expand who can participate. They’ll create a space where the more people that participate, the better it gets. Those who currently support Broadway with high price ticket purchases, for example, will keep doing that. The millions of potential online fans and supporters will only add resources and energy to the ecosystem, making Broadway better. Big-ticket concert goers will still pay the bills, and adding online fans who can’t get to the arena will make it easier for artists to not just survive, but thrive. The added revenue can be reinvested in more great music and spectacular shows.

Imagine a building. it's got four walls and a roof, but it's also got doors. With an in-person event, the people who paid to be there come in and the doors are eventually closed. Whatever happens inside the building happens only for the people behind that closed door.

But the door’s open now. The opportunity to evolve as a live entertainment and arts industry is right here.

If you believe in what this industry does, the value of what it produces and the importance of that work in people’s lives. If you believe that even more Innovative forms are possible. If you believe the reach of this work should be extended as far as it can go. If you believe that the people who do this work deserve success, they deserve to make a good living as they deliver this special gift to the world around them.

If you believe all that, this is the moment you've been waiting for.

The door’s open. Let's walk through together.

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