The last concert I went to was a Black Sabbath reunion at Oz Fest. When Sabbath came on stage lighters flickered in the night and the air was filled with the aroma of oregano incense. The crowd swayed to the music and sang along with the lyrics. Bras flew onstage and television cameras captured the perky woman bouncing on their boy friend’s shoulders. No one there could afford a mobile phone because the crowd had heavily invested in tattoos and leather. Now this old school bacchanalia may be replaced by instant text messaging artists during a concert.
Pocketfuzz announced today the launch of a free new service that allows fans to send instant messages to performers during a concert. This new text-to-screen visualization system brings real time text and picture messaging capabilities that, until now, were only available to the largest acts in the world. At concerts, fans can communicate with their favorite artists, and with each other, using their mobile phones. These messages can be projected onstage or anywhere else in the concert venue.
Pocketfuzz’s new service was demonstrated at the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase in August, and was considered a hit with audience members, artists, record labels and promoters. It engaged hundreds of concertgoers, giving them a chance to interact with each other and provide the artists an easy to maintain archive of show highlights driven on user generated content.
One of the participating record labels, Morning After Records, was
particularly pleased with the service. “We were proud to be the
official beta-tester for PocketFuzz’s Visualizer,” remarked Dan
Rutherford, owner of Morning After Records. “The crowd response was
great and it allowed us to see how the show was received by fans. We
are excited to use this technology at all of our future events.”
A good concert has some level of audience participation, which varies with the type of music being performed. Most Italian Operas don’t have audience members flinging their underwear on stage for the fat lady to sniff. So some concerts may be able to utilize Pocketfuzz to enhance audience participation. But I see this type of service as more of a distraction, not an attraction, to concert going. It’s supposed to be about the music, every thing else should be on the periphery. If I’m busy sending text and pictures to Ozzy, I’ll probably miss that communal experience that a good concert provides.