- The first-of-its-kind initiative will see 300 digital billboards across Stockholm’s Metro replace advertising with guides directing commuters to the nearest gigs and local music venues.
- With nearly one in four Stockholm inner city music venues having closed in the past five years[i], the initiative from the country’s biggest outdoor company, Clear Channel Sweden, is designed to support local artists and revitalise the underground music scene.
- With the closure of such venues rising across cities worldwide amid gentrification and rising rents, the campaign could be rolled out across other cities to support the global night economy
With the underground music scene under threat in cities across the world, Stockholm is leading the charge to support local artists and music venues with a highly targeted campaign directing Stockholm commuters to nearby shows. Designed to increase footfall at less-visited venues, 300 of Clear Channel Sweden’s digital screens will run a real-time guide to encourage commuters to take advantage of local shows and up-and coming artists performing at smaller music venues.
Clear Channel’s campaign comes amidst the widespread closure of music venues across some of the world’s largest cities and could provide a solution to support the global night economy. In Stockholm, nearly one in four inner city music venues have closed in the past five years, and in London it was reported that 35% of its grassroot music venues closed down between 2007-2017[i]. In Australia, a parliamentary inquiry last year found that Sydney is experiencing a “music venue crisis” following the closure of several sites.
Clear Channel Sweden’s music guide, named Stockholm Underground, will be drawn from a database of upcoming live shows aggregated from online sources such as websites, blogs and Facebook events, with up-and-coming bands and artists also able to add their shows to the database, giving the smallest acts a chance to reach up to one million people. The data will then be used to direct commuters to their nearest local music show in the hours before it is supposed to begin.
Joppe Pihlgren, CEO of Svensk Live, trade organisation for Swedish promoters, commented:
“It is great to see Stockholm’s underground music scene gets this kind of visibility in the streetscape”.
“This initiative comes at a time where we now have less venues for live music in Stockholm than ever before, which is a huge shame for the music scene. The simplest way to support the local music economy, the artists, and the promoters, is to go and see a live show, so we hope this campaign will help support this”.
The campaign will run for three weeks from October 23rd, yet the technology behind the platform can be exported to other cities. Commenting on the initiative, Henriette Zeuchner, CEO Clear Channel Scandinavia said:
“We are a natural part of the urban space and have both the will, and the responsibility, to contribute to making cities dynamic. Stockholm Underground is another example of how we are committed to doing so.
“The response from the music industry has been unanimously positive and in the future we hope we can export this to other cities, or use the platform to promote other art forms.”
The initiative comes as the OOH sector is driving the development of ‘smart cities’ through new technology, allowing billboards to add new functions to serve its residents.
For example, last winter Clear Channel Sweden created an emergency alert system that provided directions to the nearest homeless shelter when the temperature dropped to freezing conditions. Similarly, in the UK, digital billboards have been used to drive individuals to donate blood, while the roof of bus shelters have been transformed into edible gardens to reduce pollution levels.