Last week the call went out: OMD were planning a livestream concert, and unlike the one they had earlier this year, [which was a stream of an earlier show they had ready to show] this one will be live, as it happens from the Indigo @ the O2 in London. The why of the show is interesting. Their road crew has had no income since February, with all dates cancelled indefinitely. OMD have royalties and merch sales to rely on as an additional income stream. Their crew? Not so much. They get paid to make the live set happen. The band and their manager, Mirelle Davis, thought that their steadfast crew should get some relief, so the notion of a one-off show, with all profits being split among the band’s crew came up as a solution to the problem.Additionally, the venue staff, lighting crew, and all of the people who make a gig happen beyond the road crew, will also get their income. It looks like some strong collective action to mitigate the failures of Capitalism in the face of a pandemic. So, let’s have three cheers for OMD for talking the talk and walking the walk. The show is said to lean heavily on their classic “Architecture + Morality” so I wouldn’t expect too many deep cuts since this is effectively a fund raiser. The band have four tiers of buy-in for the fans:
- Live Stream the event – £10/$14
- Live Stream the event/Pre-sale access – £15/$20 Those with this access get early access to the best seats on future OMD shows [when they happen].
- Live Stream the event/Zoom audience – £25/$33 Those with this access get access to a Zoom video call to be part of a virtual audience at the actual event where their images will be visible to the band and on the stage in between songs, plus a chance to join the Qjam meet and greet with the band.
- Attend the event @ Indigo @ O2/London – Semi-blind auction There are 200 socially distanced seats in the Indigo venue in the balcony where winners may actually attend the show.
As it turns out, my wife has already gifted me with the second tier of attendance as an early birthday present, so I will be viewing the show and will have best access to any US Tour dates [if/when they should ever happen]. I find the “virtual audience” of tier three fascinating. And if your pockets are very deep, and you live near London, then the notion of bidding on a pair of tickets to actually attend in person will do a world of good to the intended recipients of this largess. The top 96 bids will all win a pair of tickets but you won’t know if you’ve won until the auction closes on Sept. 24th at noon GMT. They said the top bid will be visible and the last time I looked it was £800, but that was the highest bid. #2 might be half that, and so on down the line. The top 96 [a wider field] will all count as winners.
The auction for actual tickets closes in 70 hours, so don’t dawdle.
As with the last time they streamed a show, this will be live, no stopping or “pausing” so just watch as if you were at a live gig. Bathroom breaks are on you. And of course, there is a selection of special “You Me & OMD” merch to further their cause. The T-shirt has the names of the band members and road crew on the back for a personal touch. And the cell phone charger/powerbank with the artwork for the cover of their “Electricity” branded on it, is a case of form and functional perfection. All of the merch sales also go into the pot for the benefit of the crew, so one can only concur that working for OMD is not without wider benefits. If you agree and want to enjoy a new, live OMD gig for the crazy year of 2020, then click that button below.
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What a wonderful thing to do for their crew! They Might Be Giants did something similar for their crew, it’s a great idea and I hope other bands would consider doing the same.
I think that t-shirt is in my future!
This is a nice idea. However it raises a concern I have re future gigs, namely the idea of auctioning the few actual tickets. I can see this potentially happening in the future where tickets for socially distanced gigs are limited. But of course it won’t just be to benefit unpaid staff, it may be a necessity to make gigs viable or just a cash grab for some. It concerns me that gigs may become the preserve of those with deep pockets. I hope this doesn’t happen but I do wonder.
SimonH – Well, that’s a very rational concern! Seeing as how gigs are already the concern of those with deep pockets, given the trends leading up to this point. Everything about the marketing of music as anything but a streaming service in the last 20 years has pointed to music merketing to an elite audience.
In June New Order already ”released” a special shirt with all the proceeds going to their road crew.
But a special show is also a great idea!
Fred – Everything helps while bands are not able to pay their support crew. That is a great looking shirt.
I have bought a ticket for this because it is OMD live after all. Indeed, I added the top-up of presale access to future promised gigs, presumably in 2022, of which the two Royal Albert Hall gigs are sensibly carved into March quite nicely. 2021 is going to be a bit of washout too and they do have their retro-fests already booked for the summer of 2021 anyway.
I also bought a branded mug because band mugs are totally cool. As for the auction, nope, sorry but I have vowed not to attend any live gigs in person for the rest of 2020. I will see what happens in spring 2021. Right now, all my gigs for 2020 which I have tickets are being slowly postponed or cancelled as it becomes increasingly clear that they cannot take place without spreading the virus through the crowd.
I will not risk it, not even for an OMD gig
Duncan Watson – For those who do not know Duncan Watson as well as I do let me state that his live gig calendar is something that is mind-boggling to me. We met on the late, lamented OMD forum where were were the last two standing before the curtain fell. Duncan would publish lists of his tickets bought and it was more gigs that my mind could fathom. Some times two in one night… In differing cities!!! So covid-19 is definitely hitting him right in his lifestyle. On my end I might have four shows in a particularly intense month followed by months of no gigs at all. I have not seen a live show in a year now and only the last seven months have been under the umbrella of covid-19. I’m happy not to be in crowds again until there is no longer a threat.