Digital Concert Experience

About the Project

In the past years, various concert halls, festivals, and private providers have developed audiovisual (live) streaming services. Originally, the motivation for these new services was to overcome the “crisis” of the classical concert or to launch new business models. Often, the main assumption was that digital offers could attract a new and younger audience that would not have attended a ‘conventional’ live concert. Through and during the current pandemic, however, this view is changing: Digital formats are currently the only way for cultural institutions to reach out to and hold their audience’s attention. Out of necessity, a variety of additional streaming services have emerged.

However, which of these offers is affective in what way, and which ones could actually be promising for the future is an almost unexplored question. Further, how the concert business can continue to assert itself as a cultural form and social forum under the rapid pressure of digital change is a current and essential question for musicians and concert houses as well as for cultural policy. With The Digital Concert Experience (DCE), which is a seamless extension of and complement to the Volkswagen Foundation’s Experimental Concert Research (ECR) project, an interdisciplinary working group will test the effects of various streaming concert formats. This way, the effect of digital concert formats (DCE) can later be contrasted with the effect of analog concert formats (ECR). DCE and ECR creates an internationally unique data set to understand the concert as a cultural form and its digital transformation.