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My favorite piece of Midsommar. The Glamping.

 Yurts for all. 2, 4 and 6 people.

Yurts for all. 2, 4 and 6 people.

Midsommar Weekender is a celebration over three days and two nights. We don’t want you to miss a second so accommodation is on site from start to finish. The festival experience includes your tickets, your bell tent, your breakfast both days as well as a seat at our Midsommar Lunch. Imagine sharing your traditional Midsommar lunch smörgåsbord with a thousand people you’ve just met.

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Absolut Midsummer

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Absolut Midsummer

In Sweden, Midsummer is one of the most important holidays of the year and it's a party only the rest of the world can dream of.

Fueled by Absolut, the event took place in Ahus, Sweden: with one source of the best winter wheat, pure spring water and this one community providing the best vodka in the world.

Traditionally, the event runs all day (there is only an hour of dusky darkness) and encompasses food, games, the Midsummer pole, dancing and "shots" until you think you can actually sing and dance with panache.

So, pick up your Absolut, get your friends together and celebrate the longest day Swedish-style.

If you speak Swedish, you'll know this song which is traditionally sung before the shots:

 Helan går 
Melody: Helan går

Helan går, 
sjung hopp, faderallan lallan lej. 
Helan går, 
sjung hopp, faderallan lej. 
Och den som inte helan tar, 
han heller inte halvan får. 
Helan går! 
Sjung hopp, faderallan lej!

Phonetic transliteration: 
Hal and Gore, 
shun hop, father Alan Lalan ley
Hal and Gore, 
shun hop, father Alan ley. 
Oh handsome in the hell and tar
an’ Hal are in the half and four. 
Hal and Gore! 
Shun hop, father Alan ley!

Translation: 
Now for the First! 
Sing hop, faderallan lallan ley. 
Now for the First, 
sing hop, faderallan ley. 
And those who won’t the First One take
they also Number Two forsake. 
Now for the First! 
Sing hop, faderallan ley!

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CR8 brings Seth Troxler, RUN & Absolut together for an alternative take on Ibiza.

We've been busy putting absolut, Seth Troxler and RUN together to spice things up in Ibiza this year.

On July 7 and 8 Seth Troxler will be taking Ibiza party goers on a journey through time and space to discover art, music, dance, and BBQ.

Partnering with Absolut and muralist RUN, Troxler has created a vision between two worlds of modern technology and ancient mythical civilizations where guests are asked to question our current trajectory.

Tomorrow Today is the latest in a series of Absolut Art Bars highlighting some of the worlds most exciting talent and breaking down boundaries within the arts.

"My approach to curating the Absolut Art Bar was to create a space that emphasizes discovery, participation, and communal interaction.  We wanted to communicate the idea of a found reality, a newly discovered way of life in a world similar to our own, that's undefinable by time, while seeming slightly futuristic. One thing I've found with all my travels is that every culture in the world starts communication and bonding with food, drinks and music. We wanted to create an environment that entices people to step out of their boundaries and into our mini immersive world that is Tomorrow, Today", says Seth Troxler.

The music line up, one-of-kind cocktails and menu, from his Shoreditch restaurant Smokey Tails, are all curated by the master mind Troxler himself.

Street artist RUN (born Giacomo Bufarini) has created a series of murals in his signature style that will be present in the venue throughout the event. His works draw inspiration from anthropology, the human form and his world travels as well as the underground Italian street art community.  Seth Troxler and RUN also collaborated with ATO (Louis Castro) who will create an immersive light installation for Tomorrow Today.

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Corona SunSets 360 Dome in China

The first activation of a Corona SunSet event in a 360 dome in China. We brought in DJ's and drummers, lead by Martin East, from Bali who specialize in sunset shows at the KuDeTa, one of the leading sunset bars in the world.

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The Beach Is A State Of Mind

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The Beach Is A State Of Mind

The on-going Corona SunSets festival set a new milestone recently with it's first winter festival featuring the seminal Giorgio Moroda.

Integrating transparent domes, it shows the spirit of the beach is indeed bigger than the beach itself.

The festival is produced by our good friends at Nachtlab and the crack team led by Rob Loader at SFX.

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Cluetrain Manifesto (1999)

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Cluetrain Manifesto (1999)

Online Markets...

Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations.

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10 free Google Cardboard apps you need to try out

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10 free Google Cardboard apps you need to try out

Hey! We here at CR8 are crazed for all things Virtual Reality. It seems Venture Beat is exploring the nascent technology as well and doing it with the consumer friendly (as in super cheap) Google Cardboard. You can fetch them online and begin exploring the myriad new experiences out there. 

Storied directors, gaming aficionados and newbies are all trying to engage you on a whole new plane of existence. Venture Beat has been kind enough to point out a number of ones they deem worthy. We've actually been cranking on way too much work over here and haven't had the chance to test drive any of these but we will over the weekend for sure! 

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K-Pop Fans Swoon During East Coast KCON

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K-Pop Fans Swoon During East Coast KCON

The K-Pop phenomenon has truly hit the United States as kids of all races lined up for the East Coast leg of KCON. The fans literally consume the same food as their Korean rock heroes. 

This wave of culture, "Hallyu" is pretty insane as girls go crazy a la The Beatles at Shea Stadium and modern day Bieber. KCON is touring the US and offering a glimpse into a world that the Koreans have known for quite some time. 

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Like YouTube, Snapchat is getting content networks

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Like YouTube, Snapchat is getting content networks

In a move that is not at all surprising, Digiday reports that Snapchat influencers can now lean on Los Angeles-based Naritiv which is focused on a model similar to those of FullScreen, Machinima and other Multi Channel Networks. 

"Naritiv has 120 creators in its network" and that should grow as more brands find success with the right storytellers. Bridging and managing the brand and creator relationships will certainly create a number of interesting partnerships. ABC Family has had strong showings in "Pretty Little Liars" marketing programs as well as Marriott. 

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Adobe offers 15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Mobile Marketing in Ad Age

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Adobe offers 15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Mobile Marketing in Ad Age

Some very interesting statistics from an Adobe sponsored post in Ad Age about mobile marketing. In very short order, thinking in anything other than mobile first will probably be a mistake. It will control more and more of our world, often working seamlessly with existing platforms: TV's, cars, homes, etc. 

Few highlights below but visit the actual story for the full list. 

1. Time spent browsing on mobile devices has exceeded PC usage.

2. Media consumption on mobile is similar to TV and Internet, yet it sees under 10% of ad spend.

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Oculus ‘Toybox’ is a Playground for Touch Controllers and Sets the Bar for Remote Interaction

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Oculus ‘Toybox’ is a Playground for Touch Controllers and Sets the Bar for Remote Interaction

We at CR8 are convinced in the importance of Virtual Reality. The team has been working in the space and we try to learn every nuance of the nascent platform. Oculus is of course at the center of all VR conversations and with good reason. They were the first to market. 

Its beyond that though, as they also continue to push its potential. Road to VR does an excellent job describing Oculus new release, Touch. Take a read and learn about what the writer describes as "a bold illustration of what can be possible with integrated VOIP and a very clever pair of motion tracked hand controllers."

With almost no learning curve, he was able to interact with someone who could have been next to him or 1000 miles away. The child in all of us should be excited!

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Kevin Perlmutter: Facing the Music as a Brand

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Kevin Perlmutter: Facing the Music as a Brand

Kevin Perlmutter of Man Made Music posits some interesting thoughts on the importance of sound in a brand's experience, aka its "Sonic Identity". We couldn't agree more and are excited one of our favorite blogs, PSFK, gave him the space to outline this position. 

In particular he states "Finally, we’ve moved from a communication-focused world to an experience-focused world, and with the right music and sound, we now have a tremendous opportunity to strengthen that connection."

One can see he and Man Made's belief in this with the below diagram. It is only bolstered with his supporting data from The Universal Sense: How Hearing Shapes the Mind, by Seth Horowitz, PhD who says, “in less than fifty milliseconds—still six times faster than the blink of an eye—you’ve already identified the sound and where it’s coming from. In the actual time it takes for you to blink, sonic input gets directed through your auditory cortex to other parts of your brain that control memories and emotions.”

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Bud Light Teams With Mad Decent Block Party on Colorful, Artist-Designed Cans

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Bud Light Teams With Mad Decent Block Party on Colorful, Artist-Designed Cans

Diplo's Mad Decent gives Bud Light cans a nice tweak! 

The limited editions celebrate the "music, culture and artistry" of the parties. Its a natural and fun way to allow the integration of brand, artistic support and general good vibes. 

The collaboration is comprised of 27 different artist-designed labels. The interesting hitch is in how they mixed up the graphics on "each individual design so no two cans are exactly alike".

They are, of course, exclusive to the parties so get out there and hit one of the 18 Mad Decent Block Parties across the US and Canada. Schedule here: 2015 Schedule.

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Open the Music Industry’s Black Box

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Open the Music Industry’s Black Box

THIS should be the greatest time for music in history — more of it is being found, made, distributed and listened to than ever before. That people are willing to pay for digital streaming is good news. In Sweden, where it was founded, Spotify saved a record industry that piracy had gutted.

 

Everyone should be celebrating — but many of us who create, perform and record music are not. Tales of popular artists (as popular as Pharrell Williams) who received paltry royalty checks for songs that streamed thousands or even millions of times (like “Happy”) on Pandora or Spotify are common. Obviously, the situation for less-well-known artists is much more dire. For them, making a living in this new musical landscape seems impossible. I myself am doing O.K., but my concern is for the artists coming up: How will they make a life in music?

It’s easy to blame new technologies like streaming services for the drastic reduction in musicians’ income. But on closer inspection we see that it is a bit more complicated. Even as the musical audience has grown, ways have been found to siphon off a greater percentage than ever of the money that customers and music fans pay for recorded music. Many streaming services are at the mercy of the record labels (especially the big three: Sony, Universal and Warner), and nondisclosure agreements keep all parties from being more transparent.

Perhaps the biggest problem artists face today is that lack of transparency. I’ve asked basic questions of both the digital services and the music labels and been stonewalled. For example, I asked YouTube how ad revenue from videos that contain music is shared (which should be an incredibly basic question). They responded that they didn’t share exact numbers, but said that YouTube’s cut was “less than half.” An industry source (who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the information) told me that the breakdown is roughly 50 percent to YouTube, 35 percent to the owner of the master recording and 15 percent to the publisher.

Before musicians and their advocates can move to enact a fairer system of pay, we need to know exactly what’s going on. We need information from both labels and streaming services on how they share the wealth generated by music. Taylor Swift, when she forced Apple to back off a plan not to pay royalties during the three-month free trial period for its new streaming service, Apple Music, made some small progress on this count — but we still don’t know how much Apple agreed to pay, or how they will determine the rate.

Putting together a picture of where listeners’ money goes when we pay for a streaming service subscription is notoriously complicated. Here is some of what we do know: About 70 percent of the money a listener pays to Spotify (which, to its credit, has tried to illuminate the opaque payment system) goes to the rights holders, usually the labels, which play the largest role in determining how much artists are paid. (A recently leaked 2011 contract between Sony and Spotify showed that the service had agreed to pay the label more than $40 million in advances over three years. But it doesn’t say what Sony was to do with the money.)

The labels then pay artists a percentage (often 15 percent or so) of their share. This might make sense if streaming music included manufacturing, breakage and other physical costs for the label to recoup, but it does not. When compared with vinyl and CD production, streaming gives the labels incredibly high margins, but the labels act as though nothing has changed.

Consider the unanswered questions in the Swift-Apple dispute. Why didn’t the major labels take issue with Apple’s trial period? Is it because they were offered a better deal than the smaller, independent labels? Is it because they own the rights to a vast music library with no production or distribution costs, without which no streaming service could operate?

The answer, it seems, is mainly the latter — the major labels have their hefty catalogs and they can ride out the three-month dry spell. (The major labels are focused on the long game: some 40 percent to 60 percent of “freemium” customers join the pay version after a trial period.)

I asked Apple Music to explain the calculation of royalties for the trial period. They said they disclosed that only to copyright owners (that is, the labels). I have my own label and own the copyright on some of my albums, but when I turned to my distributor, the response was, “You can’t see the deal, but you could have your lawyer call our lawyer and we might answer some questions.”

It gets worse. One industry source told me that the major labels assigned the income they got from streaming services on a seemingly arbitrary basis to the artists in their catalog. Here’s a hypothetical example: Let’s say in January Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” accounted for 5 percent of the total revenue that Spotify paid to Universal Music for its catalog. Universal is not obligated to take the gross revenue it received and assign that same 5 percent to Sam Smith’s account. They might give him 3 percent — or 10 percent. What’s to stop them?

The labels also get money from three other sources, all of which are hidden from artists: They get advances from the streaming services, catalog service payments for old songs and equity in the streaming services themselves.

Musicians are entrepreneurs. We are essentially partners with the labels, and should be treated that way. Artists and labels have many common interests — both are appalled, for instance, by the oddly meager payments from YouTube (more people globally listen to music free on YouTube than anywhere else). With shared data on how, where, why and when our audience listens, we can all expand our reach. This would benefit YouTube, the labels and us as well. With cooperation and transparency the industry can grow to three times its current size, Willard Ahdritz, the head of Kobalt, an independent music and publishing collection service, told me.

There is cause for hope. I recently spent two days on Capitol Hill, with the help of Sound Exchange, a nonprofit digital royalty collection and distribution organization, to discuss fairer compensation for artists via the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, which would force AM and FM stations to pay musicians when their recordings are broadcast, as most of the world does.

Rethink Music, an initiative of the Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, released a report last month that recommends making music deals and transactions more transparent; simplifying the flow of money and improving the shared use of technology to connect with fans.

Some of these ideas regarding openness are radical — “disruptive” is the word Silicon Valley might use — but that’s what’s needed. It’s not just about the labels either. By opening the Black Box, the whole music industry, all of it, can flourish. There is a rising tide of dissatisfaction, but we can work together to make fundamental changes that will be good for all.

A musician and artist and the author of “How Music Works.”

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