Why Spotify Put Music Fans In a Bubble
The music-streaming service united Troye Sivan with some of his biggest fans in an intimate evening of music, deep talks, and vibrant colors.
Atop a hill at sunset with a backdrop of the Los Angeles skyline, Australian-South African singer-songwriter Troye Sivan began a special evening with some of his biggest fans on July 18.
To promote his upcoming album, Bloom, which will be released August 31, Sivan hosted an exclusive listening session of his unreleased songs with 50 fans at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. The event was part of the Spotify Fans First initiative, which identifies an artist’s biggest fans through tracking listening and engagement behavior, and then creates an opportunity for the fans to interact with the artist in an intimate and unique setting.
Produced by Meta, the event centered around an immersive listening session of the album that took place inside a bubble capsule on the edge of the hill. The modular dome was composed of white and translucent inflatable spheres and was produced by design collective Pneuhaus.
The event took three months to plan, and three days to set up. Meta founder Justin Bolognino said the team built the entire experience around the simple creative brief of “Troye wants to play in a bubble” and one reference image.
The team faced changes in temperature and air pressure, which created challenges working with an inflatable structure. In order to fit the aesthetic needs of the event, Pneuhaus designed a new bubble cell that has attach points on it, which meant they could do away with netting to hold the structure together. But the new design was more susceptible to temperature changes than anticipated, which made its cells too flexible. The team ended up using tie points in six spots around the dome to hoist the form into shape.
“For us, any difficulties are just a chance for unexpected creativity,” Bolognino said. “Just like when you mess up in music and have to improvise, it often leads you to create the best stuff. We didn’t stress out over the lack of a perfectly shaped dome. The organic structure that we had for the experience was a product of unexpected creativity.”
Prior to entering the bubble capsule, fans had the chance to take pictures with a floral photo booth and create postcards to send to their loved ones. In theme with the title of the album, fans were given roses and hydrangea, and floral notes and pink- and purple-hued lighting touched many aspects of the decor. Sivan also performed stripped-down versions of four of his hit songs on a small, outdoor stage prior to entering the bubble dome.
Inside the dome, which was decorated with patterned carpets and colorful cushions, Sivan shared anecdotes about his life and his creative process. Studio recordings from the album played as a light show projected images from the album on the dome ceiling.
Meta defines its experiences through technology, design, and storytelling, and Sivan’s event hit the bullseye for all three aspects.
“We’re all about the art of being,” Bolognino said. “We believe that presence is the most powerful thing; especially with everything gone digital now, there’s a real value of just being there.”
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