I have been a part of an audience for many occasions, but one that I remembered most vividly was Childish Gambino’s performance at ‘Field Day’ Music Festival.
I had been a part of his fanbase for a few years so the build-up to this event was exciting to say the least. This was also an experience that I shared with my close friend, who is also a huge fan. We knew that the live experience would be more than memorable and enjoyable compared to watching him perform through a screen, which we had done for many years. Also, this event was a part of the celebration of New Year’s which only added to the buzz.
The whole experience exceeded my expectations and, as we guessed, it was a lot more enjoyable in contrast to being in a digital audience through social media. Being a part of a dancing crowd all chanting every word to all of our favourite songs made it lively. Also, my friend and I had so much fun meeting and making friends with other fans. This most likely wouldn’t have happened without meeting them face-to-face. Overall, the excitement shared with these other fans was more impactful than comments or likes on a post.
In terms of the negatives of the live experience, there were a lot of audience members holding up their phones to record the show; which is expected. Now normally I wouldn’t mind this, but some frustration was built when audience members were holding their phones in the way of my view for majority of the show. But I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t guilty of holding up my phone as well. I had been looking forward to this event for so long, so I found myself getting paranoid about forgetting the experience and wanting to record a few parts of each song.
Reflecting back on the experience I recognise that although technology has come a long way, it hasn’t fully encompassed the same experience as a live show.
This show was an example of how a disperse fanbase can come together to the same place to become a live audience. Though, it is also a scenario was we can question whether it was a full interactive audience. Generally, because we were gathered with hundreds of people sharing the same experience at the same time, we are then considered an audience. But, can we define this as an interactive audience when most members were watching the event through a screen as they tried to capture every second? These members could have then been referred to as a ‘media audience’ if they then shared this experience through posting their videos on social media such as Snapchat or Instagram.
Main stage at Field Day 2017, 2017, image, Weekend Notes, viewed 6 April 2019, <https://www.weekendnotes.com/field-day-new-years-day/>.
rebloggy 2015, get it, bino, online video, 1 February, rebloggy, viewed 5 April 2019, <http://rebloggy.com/post/mygifs-mv-donald-glover-childish-gambino-sober-mvs-gambino-bino-childish-gambino/107862654986>.