FESTIVAL TAKEOVER: This year’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas included a “Hotel EDC” Resorts World takeover. (Ridge Production)
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Vibee is filling a niche for live music fans looking for elevated festival experiences and for artists interested in engaging with their most ardent supporters beyond the typical meet and greet.
Launched in April by Live Nation, Vibee is a music-driven, destination experience company creating events, festival integrations and Las Vegas-style residencies that enhance the fan to artist connection. Vibee has announced partnerships with Electric Daisy Carnival, Lollapalooza, Tortuga Music Festival and Austin City Limits as well as special events with Lionel Richie, Tiësto and U2.
“The one misnomer that most people have is that it needs to be these giant artists playing arenas and stadiums and big festivals to do these types of events when it’s actually not that at all,” said Harvey Cohen, president of Vibee. “You need 1,000, 2,000, 3,000 loyal fans from around the world. We refer to it as convergent events.”
The company works in tandem with artists and their management groups to customize each event to meet specific needs while creating memorable moments for fans. Activations include everything from gourmet dinners and spirits tastings to artist interviews, yoga classes and limited-edition merchandise and memorabilia. Participating artists don’t need to be format superstars.
“Being part of the greater Live Nation ecosystem, we have an unparalleled network of artists and industry partners that we are already working with on the day-to-day,” Cohen said. “This is another line of business that we can bring the artists that the artists are looking for.”
Cohen said it’s about working with artists who have dedicated followers willing to travel and spend money to have a customized experience with an artist they admire in a destination away from the typical concert setting.
“We’re really looking to bring interesting and bespoke experiences to fans, whether they are fans of a given artist, or fans of another genre be that cooking or racing, and putting an exciting, entertainment experience in a beautiful place in the world,” said Christine Rogerson, senior vice president of business operations for Vibee. “So, it’s travel. It’s entertainment. It’s bucket-list opportunities. It’s really memory making.”
One of the first questions asked when a manager calls about working with Vibee on an activation is “How involved do they want to be?”
“Your calendar can only be as full as the artists who are willing to participate in the curation,” said Rogerson.
“These events aren’t about buying a bunch of newspaper ads, radio ads, saying, ‘Hey, come down to the arena tomorrow night and see this band,’” Cohen added. “The artist is speaking to their audience saying, ‘I want you to come and be part of something different.’”
The exclusive partner for Insomniac, Vibee hosts hotel experiences at festivals, which includes accommodations with hotel partners and VIP activities including Hotel EDC, a recent Resorts World takeover during the May 2023 flagship Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. In November, Vibee and Insomniac are offering an electronic dance music cruise, EDSea, which was an immediate sellout.
“You’re obviously seeing some of the post COVID trends of travel coming back and people appreciating the opportunity for experiences and the opportunity to make memories in a different way,” Rogerson said. “The appetite is huge and not waning post COVID.”
Vibee is the exclusive VIP partner for U2’s run of shows at the new, state-of-the-art Sphere in Las Vegas, offering packages that include premium seat selections, a two-night stay at The Venetian or Palazzo Hotels, access to pre- and post-show events and more with the option to extend the experience package.
Upcoming events include a partnership with Insomniac for “Tiësto — Chasing Sunsets,” a weekend in Cabo San Lucas headlined and curated by the popular DJ in November. The event features a lineup of artists joining Tiësto, including Aaron Hibell, Audien, Carola, Deorro, Luis Torres, Max Styler, Nora En Pure, Ship Wrek, Snakehips, Suat, Surf Mesa and Yo Yolie. The weekend’s home base and headline venue will be ME Cabo, the five-star resort located on the beach, near the marina in Cabo.
Selecting resorts that can be transformed into music venues takes time and attention, Rogerson said.
“It’s super important that when we are identifying partner venues and partner resorts that there is a certain level of infrastructure and operational capacity inherent,” said Rogerson. “Whether they have the sound and lighting equipment in-house, whether they have certain infrastructure elements there, it creates a better ease and opportunity for a partnership.”
For “Lionel Richie’s Dancing on the Sand” Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Vibee chose Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
The concert event includes performances by Richie, Sheryl Crow, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Vanessa Carleton, Megan Moroney and Jake Wesley Rogers.
Additional activities include a kick-off party, red carpet, an ‘80s dance party, and a lounge where fans can experience Richie’s candle and furniture line. Participants will have the opportunity to attend a Q&A with Richie, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022. VIP add-ons include spa packages, aquatic activities, golf, private rum tastings and the opportunity to meet Richie.
“My favorite experience is something where I can see little glimpses of that artist’s influence throughout the whole thing,” Rogerson said.
“It’s so much more of a deeper experience than going and seeing someone perform live,” Cohen explained. “It’s incredibly important for the artists to be involved. If someone’s really not into this, if they want to play and go, that’s not what we’re about in the slightest.”