Blockchain, 3LAUd and Clear
The music industry became an almost immediate target in the diversifying crypto space, with more entities looking to disrupt the experience around musical work. Dedicated currencies like Musicoin and platforms such as UJO and dsound look towards reinventing the models of distribution, rewarding artists, protecting creators, and even going so far as to value the listeners. But what about the concert-goer? What about the audiences who cheer for music-makers IRL and support a multi-billion dollar festival industry?
This is where “OMF” comes in – both a new cryptocurrency and acronym for its dedicated event Our Music Festival. DJ 3LAU (pronounced “Blau”), affectionately known as the “DJ that turned down Wall Street,” created the paired concept to establish a new way for engaging with and educating on the new technology. We had a chance to interview DJ 3LAU and get an inside look to the goals and function of the crypto-powered event & event-powered crypto.
The Creative Crypto (CC): Welcome to the magazine 3LAU! Tell us bit about yourself and how you got into blockchain.
I first got interested in this space in 2014. The Winklevoss Twins are buddies of mine and they were building Gemini and I bought a bunch of BTC in the middle of last year when there was a lot of hype. I started to dive way deeper and explore the potential of blockchain applications and music. I realized quickly that the technology itself and the general attitude towards this idea of decentralization had so many applications in music.
I do believe that in the future, the entire entertainment industry will be tokenized in some way, shape, or form. It is really important to connect fans with the artists, and I thought a festival was the most impactful way to start, so that’s where the idea of OMF became reality. With OMF, we were asking ourselves “how can we give fans real ownership in the event that they hold so highly and events that they spend so much time going to in their free time? How do we reward those fans for loyalty? How do we gradually enable them to have more governance over those experiences?” That was the overall concept we wanted to start with.
CC: Can you give us a step-by-step process to how exactly you achieve this, since most people attending your festival will likely not know about blockchain? What does that mean for an average ticket buyer? How do they have more ownership than they have now, and what will your festival stand to disrupt?
In this first year, a lot of things aren’t going to be ready and we knew that going into it, but we still wanted to show the world an existing cause and start building our brand. Since starting, we successfully processed hundreds of crypto payments for tickets and they sold out within 30 minutes, which is insane, and there weren’t any fees on any of those purchases. That was an amazing first step where there is an interested base and people actually know how to send BTH/ETH/LTH to the wallet and pay for a ticket. We thought it would take at least 24 hours for people to get it. But in year 1, a lot of the tech we were building wasn’t ready and we knew that, and we also wanted to take our time because the fan experience is the most important aspect of any kind of festival. If the technology is buggy or doesn’t work properly, then we’re going to have a lot of problems. So in year 1, we were able to do crypto payments for tickets, and whoever attends the festival will get an Ether paper wallet that will interface with our MVP app.
Instead of creating a technology and hoping someone will adopt it, we created a user experience and built a technology around that experience. That’s our vision and one of the biggest things that has been missing in crypto.
For the time being, it’s all ETH-based, and we’re going to be able to process certain crypto-transactions for merch and food at the festival, little basic things that show our mission and our overall vision to start bringing people into our community. In year 2, we’re building this complex ecosystem that enables fans to actually earn tokens by either buying tokens early, telling their friends, and opting in to provide their data, things that they already do now but are not rewarded.
When you buy normal tickets today or use any app, these companies are collecting data on your purchases or activities. Users have no say as to where that data goes or who it is sold to, such as marketing companies and conglomerates. If anything, customers are paying to give their data. Also, a lot of the expenses for concerts and these types of events are simply cash held by intermediaries that can cause prices to rise 20-30%. That’s not something we can easily get away from now since there are a lot of existing agreements between venues and ticketing companies, but we want to start with a real event.
The difference between OMF and any other music-related crypto project is that our platform is poised to do something right away. Instead of creating a technology and hoping someone will adopt it, we created a user experience and built a technology around that experience. That’s our vision and one of the biggest things that has been missing in crypto. You have these amazing projects that are built on this technology, but will never be used and people are just speculating on.
In the long-term, fans will be able to vote on the lineup of festivals. This cures so many inefficiencies concerning festivals. Right now, someone sits behind a desk and decides what artists are going to play and where. They’re curating demand artificially. And fans can’t just vote without any consequences since there is no way to keep them accountable. This is where OMF comes in, where fans can use the currency to do all these things in the ecosystem (buying, selling, promoting) and later on, stake that crypto to vote and make decisions. We’re looking to create more reasons for them to vote and be part of that process. Ideally, we would implement a future structure for payback on the event. For example, if the event creates a large amount of profit and fans helped establish that success, maybe we distribute 15% of the profits back.
That’s where the regulatory concerns came in, and I spent the first 6 months with OMF dealing with regulatory issues. If we want to do this, this isn’t a typical short-term ICO process of creating a coin, getting it listed, pumping it, and eventually losing value and retail investors. OMF is the exact opposite, with a long-term plan. We’re taking our time figuring out what fans really want, how we can iterate this tech along those needs, and how do we protect fans from pump-n-dump schemes. For example, we distribute a paper wallet for OMF that anyone can use whether they know what crypto is or not, connect it to our app, and we can airdrop tokens down the line. So we’re starting with real users with real use cases as we develop further.
CC: We see with a lot of ICO projects and teams that are building out the tokens first, the product becomes almost secondary to the use value. It’s really shooting themselves in the foot as they have to deal with investors and stakeholders, rather than their core audience group
Yea, it’s all catching up to them in this market.