Black Spirit Group (BSG), a professional organization comprised of African American entertainment promoters and businessmen, is poised to begin a national community awareness campaign to educate African American concert goers on their buying power and the inequities in the concert industry that prevent their spending from impacting their communities. Specifically, BSG will highlight the systemic discriminatory practices of such concert promoters as Live Nation Worldwide, Inc., and Anshutz Entertainment Group (AEG).
Nielsen data indicates that more than 32% of African Americans bought admission to live music concerts in 2016. “Despite this financial windfall African Americans are locked out of participating in the multi-billion dollar concert industry other than purchasing tickets,” stated Dan Williams, BSG president. His group asserts that the number of African Americans attending concerts could increase exponentially if African American entertainment promoters were engaged in their cities. Therefore, the BSG campaign will be two-pronged. “Our first goal is to create jobs and wealth within communities of color. And, our second goal not only feeds into the first; it also benefits the big boys. BSG promoters possess the power to increase concert revenue – provided that we benefit from the increase.”
“Throughout economic booms and busts, African Americans have consistently valued and been consumers of live entertainment,” Williams posits. “However, very little of the hard-earned money we spend purchasing tickets to support Black artists in predominantly Black cities gets recycled within our Black communities,” he laments.
BSG wants Live Nation and AEG to launch and participate in supplier diversity initiatives that would result in BSG business participation, employment, internships and collaborative partnerships. William explained BSG’s goals by stating, “If private corporations and governmental agencies can create diversity programs and set asides designed to ensure that those in communities fueling the economy are also benefitting from it, so can these big league concert promoters.”
According to pollstar data, US concerts generated more than $9 billion in revenue in 2016. BSG believes, “At the very least, our people should be cashing in on the ancillary spending on parking, merchandise and other value-added extras.”