Ventura Barba, the “patron” of the famous Sonar Festival and Tom Raftery, global vice president of SAP, respond from the ISE digital stage, in different forms but with an eye to the future.
Digital art, technological innovation, and the latest musical frontiers: the host of the first ISE Digital keynote, on Tuesday 1st June, came from the world of large live events, or rather from an ecosystem of the AV market particularly affected by the pandemic. I did not know the story of him, I have never attended his festival, but I was pleasantly surprised by the vision of Ventura Barba.
Executive Director and partner of Advanced Music, as well as father of the Sonar Festival of Barcelona and its brothers (Sónar + D, OFF Sónar, SónarKids, etc.), the Spanish entrepreneur talked about the past, present and future of entertainment “Avant-garde.” Electronic music is only a small slice of a path of exploration of technologies and experiences, of issues related to digitisation, machine learning and artificial intelligence applied to this fertile and lively niche.
“We faced the first wave of March 2020 with optimism, thinking that everything would be fine and we could reschedule the festival in the summer, but we had to change our minds pretty quickly. Hence the drive to get out of despair to change and optimise new hybrid proposals. If online today is the norm and physical presence is instead an exception, musical events had to find a usability key capable of involving and thrilling people anyway”. Ventura told us. His recipe is realistic: transforming the online component into another stage of the festival, bearing in mind that the interaction with this ‘sofa’ audience requires different strategies. The watchword was therefore to learn from 2020 to explore innovative solutions, combine creativity and technologies by implementing the digital level in a ‘permanent’ way, to be combined with physicality. In short, space for multi-channelling with all the appropriate tools (AR, VR, and other methods of digital engagement) to rethink the sector in a winning key.
The second macro-theme of ISE Digital, in the keynote held on the 2nd June concerned sustainability. An exceptional speaker addressed this: Tom Raftery, SAP Global Vice President, lecturer at the Instituto Internacional San Telmo, successful podcaster and board advisor in numerous start-ups. Also in this case, although it was not a topic strictly connected to the AV world, the stimuli turned out to be extremely interesting.
“Making a company sustainable is not just a question of ethics. There are market pressures, consumer behaviour and employee attitudes. You need to act quickly to adapt your business to decarbonisation policies and international regulations to achieve the goals of the climate agreement. Not joining seriously and strategically in this circle of investments (renewables, efficiency, circular economy) means becoming less attractive on the market and losing competitiveness.” explained Raftery. There are important variables such as the management of incentives, investments, actions to be taken, but above all the communication of the achieved goals. This is why the trend of the future will be to make CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) an integral part of the financial results of a company, not just simple reporting linked to marketing strategies.
In short, there is work to be done in all areas!
This post is also available in: Italian