How Dropkick Murphys' Historic Concert Reached an Audience of Over 9 Million
For years, Dropkicks Murphys have been exciting audiences with an energetic and defiant mix of working-class Celtic punk. Admired for their loyalty to their hometown of Boston, the band remains a local favorite while drawing crowds overseas and gaining recognition for their Platinum-selling single “I’m Shipping Up To Boston,” featured in the 2006 Academy-Award winning movie “The Departed.” With multiple appearances on the Billboard charts, the band is due to release its 10th album as it continues its busy touring schedule around the world.
A CHANGE IN PLANS
“You know we couldn’t live without ya” is a triumphant line from “Tessie,” just one of the hit songs of Dropkick Murphys. But the band suddenly found itself living without a crowd when the COVID-19 crisis shut down every stadium and concert hall in 2020. While the world may have stopped, Dropkick Murphys wouldn’t let the music stop, and they created a groundbreaking performance that delivered a rousing show to their fans while setting the stage for new thinking on the future role of video in live musical performances.
STREAMING OUTTA FENWAY
As the beloved hometown of Dropkick Murphys, Boston is also where you’ll find Fenway Park™—home to the Boston Red Sox™. Normally filled with 35,000 passionate fans, this now empty stadium was about to make history: It would host the first-ever music event at a major U.S. venue without an in-person audience. Called “Streaming Outta Fenway,” this live streamed concert featured 28 songs from the band plus a special appearance from Bruce Springsteen. Even without a single person in the stands, Dropkick Murphys’ energy and fighting spirit connected with fans around the world who gathered in living rooms, backyards and anywhere a screen could capture the performance. And with a video experience completely powered by Brightcove®, this eager audience was never disappointed by glitches or delays in the streaming performance.
9 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE A FRONT ROW SEAT
Every drum beat, guitar riff, close-up and fly-over had to be crystal clear and without interruption when the concert went live in multiple places: It streamed on Dropkick Murphys’ site along with their YouTube page, Facebook page, Twitter and Twitch feeds. It streamed on the Red Sox home page,YouTube, and Twitter feed, the Liverpool Football Club Twitter feed, MLB.com, the MLB Twitter feed, and XM Sirius Radio. Brightcove powered every single one of these streams. “We were looking at so many different endpoints,” said Sean Dore, Director of Creative & Digital Strategy of Cast Management, representing Dropkick Murphys. “If we weren’t using Brightcove, we would have needed to decide who got the stream, and who didn’t.” The Brightcove Gallery was a key feature for this performance, especially with the Gallery portals that allowed the band to easily launch a branded page. This page was hosted by Brightcove so it didn’t place a strain on the other web servers. The result was a very satisfied audience of over 9 million viewers, with the reliability and scalability of Brightcove technology delivering a best-in-class viewing experience. It was also a successful experience for those behind the scenes responsible for this massive undertaking. “We couldn’t have done it without Brightcove,” said Jeff Castelaz, founder of Cast Management. “We had to be confident there wouldn’t be an outage, or worse. Success is defined by the stream actually working, and working without stopping, slowing, or failing. And we believe we had 100% throughout on every level”
THE FUTURE OF LIVESTREAM VIDEO
“The future is here. The music touring business simply will not revert to the way it was prior to March 1, 2020,” said Castelaz. “For the foreseeable future, live streams are the way rock bands will do world tours: one show, millions of viewers. Sponsors back the band, and fans get the concert for free.” What’s more, live streaming is creating new and bigger audiences for musical groups. For “Streaming Outta Fenway,” there was a high number of viewers in Indonesia—but the band has never toured Indonesia. Explains Castelaz, “Due to copyright and distribution issues, bands have been unable to physically sell their music in many countries. Years ago, audio streaming changed all that, creating a demand. And now, with live video streaming, there’s a brand-new appetite for live performance.”
While livestream video has been ideal for reaching audiences during the health crisis, it also has unrealized potential as strategies shift to offer greater digital experiences to fans. With Brightcove’s reliable, scalable, and high-quality video technology, audiences will experience performances with the sights and sounds that put them in the front row.