As the pandemic rages, music venues around the world stand silent and empty. Their spirit, however, rings out loud and clear in this short film from Live Nation, which presents messages of hope and solace displayed on theaters at venues the entertainment company owns or does business with:
TBWA\Chiat\Day New York takes a straightforward approach in the minute-long video. Monochrome images of marquees roll by, big letters thanking first responders, urging patrons to stay home, and reminding everyone that, "After every storm comes a rainbow." Alabama Shakes' "You Ain't Alone" plays under the visuals—a bluesy, ethereal track that stirs mixed emotions in uncertain times.
"Music brings us all together, even when we are apart," the ad says at the end. "Support the backbone of live music while shows are on pause."
That's an appeal for contributions to the company's Crew Nation relief fund assisting laid-off and furloughed venue and tour workers. Live Nation has committed an initial $5 million to the effort, and will match the next $5 million from artists, fans and employees dollar for dollar. On Monday, in a show of solidarity, company CEO Michael Rapino gave up his salary and top executives took pay cuts. In a worst-case scenario, the live-music industry could suffer a $9 billion loss in ticket sales this year.
"When we were given the opportunity to help raise funds for live music crews, it was a fast connection to all the heartfelt and soulful messages we'd been seeing put up on darkened venue marquees across the country," says TBWA\C\D creative chief Chris Beresford-Hill.
In fact, his team "had seen these [marquee] images while researching another project, but kept collecting them," Beresford-Hill says. When the assignment to promote Crew Nation came down, "right away, we began stringing the images together—instantly thought [of presenting the spot in] black-and-white—and the piece started to take shape," he says.
To maximize safety, venue staff already working on site submitted most of the pictures. Others were provided by photographers wearing masks and maintaining the recommended six-foot distance from others.
The film broke across Live Nation and Ticketmaster social channels. It features these venues and messages:
• Observatory North Park, San Diego - "After Every Storm Comes a Rainbow"
• Old National Centre, Washington, D.C. - "Be Kind Stay Healthy"
• T.L.A, Philadelphia - "Yo Philly Stay Home"
• Gramercy, New York - "Stay Healthy NYC"
• Fillmore Theater, New Orleans - "We Love you Nola"
• King's Theater, Brooklyn, N.Y. - "We're In This Together..."
• Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles - "Stay Safe"
• Tower Theater, Philadelphia - "Support Live Music Crews"
• Shoreline Amphitheater, Mountain View, Calif - "This Is Just a Set Break"
• Palace Theatre, Louisville - "Stay Healthy, Stay Safe"
• Varsity Theatre, Minneapolis - "Thank You Drs., Nurses, First Responders..."
• United Artists Theater (Ace Hotel), Los Angeles - "Be Right Back After These Messages"
• August Hall, San Francisco - "The Show Will Go On"
• Wiltern, Los Angeles - "Music Can Change The World...."
Chris Beresford-Hill - Chief Creative Officer
Alexander Holm - Associate Creative Director
Avi Steinbach - Associate Creative Director
John Doris - Head of Integrated Production
Jessica Fiore - Sr. Integrated Producer
Sean Riojas - Associate Producer
Danny Jackson - Producer
Business Affairs Manager
Anne-Camille Charpe - Integrated Business Affairs Manager
Pietra Cangialosi - Producer
Craig Hefler - Editor