Spotify launches its first ever large-scale live music event in London tonight (November 30) – and says it’s got “massive ambitions” for where it wants to go next in the concert space.
Who We Be, linked to the playlist of the same name, takes place at Alexandra Palace, with a stellar line-up of UK urban artists including Bugzy Malone, Dizzee Rascal, Giggs, J Hus and Stefflon Don.
The sold-out event is the brainchild of Spotify UK Senior Editor Austin Daboh, who joined the streaming service from BBC Radio 1xtra last year.
Daboh is interviewed in an in-depth feature covering Spotify urban music ambitions in the first ever edition of Music Business UK, which is out with physical subscribers today.
“I would argue that at the moment there are two major events which swirl around a young [UK] urban music fan’s head at the start of each year: Notting Hill Carnival and Wireless,” says Daboh of Who We Be’s market opportunity.
“There’s nothing in quarter one or two, and there’s nothing in quarter four. Red Bull Culture Clash is amazing but doesn’t happen every year, and then you have [sporadic] events dotted around the country.”
“We have massive ambitions for what we want to achieve in the live space, especially from an urban point of view.”
Austin Daboh, Spotify
He adds: “We want to create a brand [with Who We Be] that stays in London every single year, at around the same time every single year, which forms the trifecta – the third element in a young person’s calendar alongside Carnival and Wireless.”
The launch of Who We Be follows the arrival of RapCaviar Live in the US, which Spotify hosted this summer in conjunction with Live Nation.
The Who We Be event has been created alongside SJM Concerts.
“We have massive ambitions for what we want to achieve in the live space, especially from an urban point of view,” Daboh tells MBUK.
“We’re already earmarking offshoot events that could happen off the back of this; some that are on the same scale, others that are smaller and designed to help support emerging artists.”