We launched our Partner Spotlight series to get up close and personal with the people behind your favorite events. We’re criss-crossing the country, putting some of the smartest, most creative, and most successful people in the industry in the hot seat to talk about everything from why they got into the business, to how technology has changed the industry, to the best acts they’ve ever seen.
Today, we sat down with Jesse Mann, Chief Strategic Officer of Dayglo Ventures, a holding company that owns the equity in Brooklyn Bowl, Capitol Theatre, Lockn’ Festival and Relix Magazine, among others. Six years ago, Jesse traded in his corporate job at Yahoo! to work alongside the savvy talent buys and marketers at The Bowery Presents to build a digital platform that would engage fans coming through its NY-based venues. Read on to hear what excites Jesse most about the live event experience — from his first show (The Temptations) to creating perfect sightlines for fans at Dayglo venues.
What kinds of venues do you guys work with?
We have three Brooklyn Bowls, in London, NYC, Vegas, and one in Chicago coming soon. It’s a unique melting pot of a true concert venue, with bowling lanes that run alongside the actual concert venue and a restaurant experience with great food. You can have an extended evening of fun in any direction, whether you buy a ticket to stand in the back of the room and have a beer, or get there two hours early, bowl, watch the show and stick around afterwards for a DJ.
Then there’s the Capitol Theatre, which was completely revised from scratch about two years ago. It’s a very famous “rock palace” where The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Rolling Stones and a ton of different bands played. It became a catering hall for about 15 years before Peter Shapiro bought the entire building to recreate that rock palace again. It has a general admissions floor, seated floor, new concessions area — it’s just become a fantastic location for artists to play.
We also have a festival called Lockn’ in Virginia for four days every year in September. It’s a roots rock festival that focuses on traditional rock. It’s a little bit different than other festivals out there — two stages right next to each other, once one band ends, the next begins playing immediately. It’s a seamless transition; you really don’t miss anything. It’s also located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is a gorgeous location for an event.
What is it about live music experiences that keeps you excited?
Live music experiences are here and now — you’re so present at that moment, whether your friends are there or you’re having your own individual experience. It takes you away for a moment from the day-to-day. Anytime there’s a recession or depression in the economy — live entertainment tends to grow a little bit, which I suppose is to help people forget everything else that’s going on. It’s your moment to be there and forget everything else.
What were some of your favorite live event experiences?
LCD Soundsystem’s last show ever at Madison Square Garden — anytime you get to experience the last time a band will be together creates a special energy; my first concert ever with my parents was the Temptations & the Four Tops at Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore; anything at JazzFest tends to resonate for me; and my first show with The Grateful Dead in 1990 at the Capital Centre in DC — there’s been a host of great ones; I’m lucky.
What makes the experience at Dayglo Venues so unique?
The patron is first in mind for anything we do. We try to develop something with perfect sightlines and amazing sound. It’s important to have an end-to-end amazing experience.
How has technology improved the way you’re able to reach fans?
Technology has given promoters the ability to reach patrons in new ways. Streaming is a technology experience that’s brought fans where it hasn’t before. If you live in Omaha, Nebraska and only get to see a couple concerts a year based on what comes through your town, streaming technology has given you the opportunity to have a live experience on your couch, which you might not have had before for a sold out show.
Any real-time communication through social media at a concert has changed the game, too. You’re getting photographs, texts, tweets, everything to feel like you’re part of this community that’s at the show. Even after the show you’re getting real details around what happened.
Using technology, you can be more efficient with earned media than ever in the past. Whether it’s pushing people to subscribe to your mailing list so users feel like they’re getting information before everyone else, or the social media data you’re collecting to market to them across those platforms, instead of spending money on paid media. Technology has allowed concert promoters to engage with fans in a more inexpensive yet more efficient way than before.
How does Ticketfly’s platform help you create great experiences for your customers?
Brooklyn Bowl NY actually sold Ticketly’s first ticket; we were the first client and that’s something we’re proud of. The platform was unique in that it gave concert promoters exactly what they needed at the time: the ability to build a website and web events related to the shows efficiently and cleanly while integrating the actual transaction of the ticket process. That didn’t exist before. The Ticketfly platform has great integrated marketing tools in how it syndicates the data out to all the different websites. I’ve been using it for about six years now, and it’s as good as I’ve ever seen. Their team is receptive to our suggested changes, and understands there’s a two-way street between the software developer and the concert promoter.
It’s also a seamless and easy process for the consumer. The transaction process is very simple. We pride ourselves on our low fees, which is a wonderful experience for consumers, and it helps for booking shows with agents and managers.
When you build an event on Ticketfly, it immediately goes out to Bandsintown, Flavorpill, Brooklyn Vegan, and other platforms. Instant event promotion, which makes your marketing situation easier. Finally, Ticketfly Pulse [launched last year] has really helped us as well. Anyone can see real time ticket counts, drop counts, and gross amounts, and share those details very quickly with agents and managers when they ask.