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The Path to Event and Ticketing Ownership for Black Artists

Read Time 5 mins | March 20, 2024 | Written by: Lyte Crew

BlackLyte @ SXSW Recap

As the dust settles on an unforgettable event, Team Lyte, alongside our partners at 24/7 Artists and Ari Collective Records, are still buzzing with excitement and gratitude. When we first imagined what BlackLyte could be, we dreamt of an event that championed the empowerment of Black artists like never before. An event that could grow into a movement: one that helps artists and promoters truly own their ticketing and event IP, reducing risk and adding flexibility for themselves and their fans.

No moment better captured the BlackLyte ethos of collaboration, creativity and artist ownership better than our headliner Goapele's set. Spontaneously joined onstage by hip hop icon Talib Kweli and celebrated Rolling Stone Top 100 guitarist Robert Randolph, this powerhouse team up underscored the extraordinary experiences that unfold when artists are truly in control of their event.

Fans came out in droves to support the mission, with over 2K attendees selling out the inaugural BlackLyte showcase. More than half of those attendees scanned in with a Returnable Ticket—also making clear that the need for a more flexible live event experience is long overdue. 

 

Centering and Celebrating Black Artists

Goepele x Talib Kweli | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Goepele x Talib Kweli | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Robert Randolph & Goepele | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Robert Randolph & Goepele | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Chris Riggins | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Chris Riggins | BlackLyte @ SXSW
MannyWellz | | BlackLyte @ SXSW
MannyWellz | | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Water Seed | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Water Seed | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Mother Nature | BlackLyte @ SXSW

Mother Nature | BlackLyte @ SXSW

Eyeam | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Eyeam | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Ahmed Kazmi | BlackLyte @ SXSW
Ahmed Kazmi | BlackLyte @ SXSW

Hosted by Comedy Store legend Chris Riggins, the BlackLyte showcase was a love letter to the talent, passion and vibrancy of the artists who are the linchpin to our ecosystem. We couldn’t think of a more powerful closing trio than Goapele, Talib Kweli and Robert Randolph—incredible, genre-spanning artists who came together for a powerhouse performance while also dropping the ladder for up and coming artists like MannyWellz, Water Seed, Eyeam, Mother Nature and Ahmed Kazmi.

 

Resilience, Ownership & The Path Forward

This year’s BlackLyte panels also spotlighted the triumphs of Black entrepreneurship and artistry in the music, events and tech industries. Each discussion set the stage for a new era of ownership and engagement, representing a bright future for live events—one where artists are empowered to truly own and monetize their art and risk is completely eliminated for creators and fans alike.

9-DSC00335

We delved into the journeys of founders Yudu Gray Jr (CEO, 24/7 Artists), Jeron Smith (Co-founder, HEIR) and Chris Holliday (Founder, Swing State Strategies), unpacking their stories of vision, persistence, and success. The discussion highlighted Holliday's advisory roles for President Joe Biden and Former President Barack Obama, Smith's collaboration with NBA star Steph Curry to shape the future of digital culture, and Gray Jr.'s creation of an authenticity-driven artist-centric brand in 24/7 Artists. Their stories left attendees motivated to break down barriers and foster change through communal action. 

4-DSC00385Artists Robert Randolph, MannyWellz, and Lou Hill illuminated the path forward for creators to truly own their event IP and the importance of engaging with fans on a deeper level. From their stories, we learned the secrets of carving out genuine spaces for expression, connection and success and the important role that artist-centric platforms play in doing so. 

 

Returnable Tickets: The Game Changer


We set out with a bold idea: what if buying a ticket wasn’t a gamble? What if you could secure your spot early, with the freedom to change your mind at any time? And what if you could do it in three clicks or less?

That’s what we did with the BlackLyte Returnable Ticket, and the results are nothing short of spectacular. 

Highest in Demand: Returnable Tickets accounted for 55.04% of all ticket sales, proving that fans love flexibility.

Boosted Donations: Returnable Tickets increased donations to The Roots of Music by 113.04%, amplifying our ability to give back to a very noble cause elevating the next generation of Black artistry in the city of New Orleans.

We shared the insights above and more in our Friends of Lyte Lounge. If you missed it, we’d be more than happy to walk you through the numbers personally—just reach out for a deep dive here.

 

Looking Ahead

To everyone who joined us, thank you. Your energy, passion and support fuels our innovation. Together, we’re reimaging a live events ecosystem that we can all be proud to participate in—one that is truly risk-free for artists, fans and event creators. 

Make the experience magical

Curious how a partnership with Lyte could help take your event to the next level? Reach out today.