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3 July 2015

Immersing myself at #UberLIVE

Written by: Jade Beaty, Assistant Account Executive at Edelman

Consumer Trends & Insight, Entertainment

Prior to #UberLIVE, my relationship with the brand didn’t extend further than a couple of late night trips home from Soho. This all changed one fateful Thursday as they announced they would be bringing their hit activation to life once more across the UK.

I arrived home to an empty flat with two options: stay in and watch Coronation Street or attempt to secure one of the hottest tickets in town. Despite both having their pros and cons, I opted for the latter. It was a great decision.

#UberLIVE began at 7:00pm and from 6:45pm onwards, users could swipe right to be in with the chance of securing an UberLIVE vehicle. If successful, a driver would collect you and a friend before taking you to your nearest top secret location for three intimate, never-seen-before, live music performances from rising and established stars.

I was friendless, but decided it was worth a try and within minutes an #UberLIVE car was outside my basement flat in the depths of Clapham South ready to take me to a top secret location. It turned out to be Peckham and three upcoming artists including The Shires.

To make it happen, Uber partnered with Sofar Sounds, an organisation dedicated to bringing the magic back to live music through unusual, secret gigs around the world. That’s exactly what #UberLIVE was about – bringing together curious music lovers in an innovative and intimate location to share a once-in-a-lifetime music experience.

The venue was well equipped with a complementary bar and food area. It didn’t matter that I was on my own, as conversations were flowing between strangers who had been brought together for the night. For the 100 of us, as the lights dimmed, we made our way to the floor, where we sat cross legged and waited for the performances to begin. Simultaneously, other people at #UberLIVE gigs in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Leeds and Dublin did the same.

In the daily papers the next morning, I also came across a double page feature on one of the night’s bands, The Shires, who also performed at Glastonbury last week. Other acts across the country included Bipolar Sunshine, Swim Deep and Fyfe Dangerfield.

Fuelled by the excitement of those in attendance (and many who wished they were), #UberLIVE trended heavily across Twitter all evening. For those of us working in communications industry, it also highlights how brands are using events in new ways to create a fresh type of interaction with consumers. This is the age of intimate, immersive brand experiences that transcend the traditional model of media relations and broadcast advertising.

For our clients, such events are an opportunity to connect with people like never before. Whilst for the public, it’s a chance to enjoy a whole new type of experience – from discovering an unknown part of their city to simply listening to some great music.

After my night at #UberLIVE, that definitely sounds like a win-win situation to me.

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