Insights | May 31, 2024

Tom Brady Shows Why Live Entertainment Captivates Audiences

The clock is winding down. The pressure mounts as Tom Brady takes the stage. He’s been knocked back on his heels for the past three hours—taking hit after hit—but these are the moments that separate the great ones from the rest. This is when Tom Brady performs best. But it’s not what you’re thinking. It’s not the end of a football game. It’s the end of Netflix’s latest venture into live programming, The Roast of Tom Brady, which drew over 2 million live viewers and 18.6 million overall to become Netflix’s most-watched TV show during its week of release.

That’s right. Netflix, the binge-watching behemoth, has been testing the waters of live programming, with Tom Brady’s roast being one of several recent live-streamed events. But why is Netflix streaming live events? Doesn’t that go against their DNA? It’s because even the godfather of on-demand content knows the power of live events, and they’re continuing to expand these efforts. Netflix recently announced they would be airing two marquee NFL games live on Christmas day to which their chief content officer Bela Bajaria stated, “we decided to take a big bet on live—tapping into massive fandoms across comedy, reality TV, sports and more.” 

In today’s digital age, where virtual events and streaming services are ubiquitous, one might assume that live entertainment has lost its allure. However, statistics tell a different story. According to a 2022 report by Eventbrite, 78% of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience over purchasing something material. Additionally, a new survey by Bread Financial and AAA found that approximately three in five Gen Z (65%) and Millennial (58%) respondents confirmed they have traveled in the past 12 months and/or plan to travel in the next 12 months for in-person events that are more than 50 miles from home like live concerts, sporting events, comedy shows, and book readings.

G7 booked David Goggins for Vivint’s Home Opener event where he delivered a motivational speech to a fired-up crowd.

For event planners, this enduring appeal of live entertainment represents a golden opportunity. By booking the right talent, you can not only draw attendees to your events but also leave them with a memorable experience that resonates long after the final act. Watching a recording of David Goggins speak is impressive, but it’s nothing like seeing him live as you chant his name with the crowd while he spontaneously jumps out of his chair to do push ups on stage. Or when Childish Gambino joined Tyler the Creator onstage at Coachella to the surprise of everyone in the crowd. Royal Machines is an all-star cover band that G7 has booked for past events, and they play up the surprise and delight moments that make live events so impactful. Anchored by regular members like Mark McGrath and Dave Navarro, Royal Machines have always had celebrity guests perform with them, but no one knows who the guest artist or artists will be until the lights hit the stage. Past guests have included big names such as Ozzy Osbourne, Cypress Hill, Ludacris, and Billy Idol.  

Mark McGrath (vocals) and Josh Freese (drums) of Royal Machines perform alongside surprise guests Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Macy Gray, and Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit).

The dynamics of a live performance—the spontaneous interactions, the palpable energy, and the collective enjoyment shared among the audience—make live events so impactful. These elements combine to create a sense of community and connection that is difficult to achieve through digital media. Live entertainment also offers a unique form of storytelling, where performers engage directly with the audience, often improvising and responding to the crowd’s energy. This interaction fosters a more immersive and personal experience, making the event truly unforgettable. For event planners, incorporating live entertainment is not just about driving registration and filling seats—it’s about crafting an experience that enriches the lives of attendees.

Tom Brady is as loved as he is hated. During his roast, he showed he still knows how to close when the pressure and spotlight are on him. His roast also showed that live entertainment is alive and well. As you plan your next event, consider the lasting impression that a live performance can leave on your audience. After all, what could be more rewarding than seeing your attendees walk away with memories they will treasure for years to come?