Medan, North Sumatra. Japanese online messaging application LINE hosted a concert at the Medan International Convention Center in North Sumatra on Saturday (27/01), drawing around 3,500 people. Saturday's event was a follow-up to LINE's first concert in Surabaya, East Java, last year.
VIP tickets to last weekend's LINE concert sold out within the first week of sales.
LINE senior director of global communications Brian Lee told the Jakarta Globe via email that Medan was chosen as city to host the venue by the service's users.
"In keeping with the LINE concert goal of engaging closely with audiences, we asked LINE users to be involved with the planning process, including choosing the city and deciding the lineup. We asked LINE users through a survey on the LINE concert’s official account. Medan won as the most requested city," Lee said.
He added that the survey was conducted just a few weeks after LINE's concert in Surabaya on Sept. 8.
Involving users in the selection and planning process for LINE's concert buoyed the event's theme, "Closing the Distance."
"We want our users to be involved as much as they can because we want to create a unique concert experience that not only entertains our users, but also feels personal to them," Lee said.
As Lee mentioned, the survey also generated the lineup for LINE Concert Medan, which consisted of pop singer Raisa, boyband Kahitna, alternative rock band Sheila on 7 and R&B singer Glenn Fredly. LINE's concert in Surabaya featured Sheila on 7, Glenn and pop singers Isyana Sarasvati and Tulus.
Duta, the vocalist of Sheila on 7, said the band was happy to play in Medan, home to a regional subsection of Sheila on 7's fanbase, known as the "Sheilagank."
"North Sumatra’s Sheilagank is turning 10 this year, so it’s been there for quite a long time. Not many of our other Sheilaganks are that old," Duta told reporters at a press conference.
He added that sharing the stage with other artists has enabled the band to reach new audiences.
Kahitna’s Yovie Widianto and Hedi Yunus also expressed enthusiasm, saying that in over 31 years of experience, they find Medan’s spectators to be among the loudest, yet most on-pitch during singalongs.
Glenn, on the other hand, touched on making music in the digital era. In an era when music is mainly distributed and enjoyed digitally, he found it interesting that LINE opted for a live show.
"It is an important moment to have an online platform hosting concerts. I hope that in the future, there won’t be just concerts but something that gives more economic impact to the members of the music industry," he said.
LINE does not host any streaming services, and the company has not responded to the Globe’s inquiry whether it will have music-related services in the near future.
However, the company has brought celebrities and fans closer through LINE Official Accounts (LINE OAs). Celebrities with official accounts can post updates, chat with fans and make phone or video calls.
Some of those features were also integrated into the concert. For example, Raisa video-called her fans in a presentation called "Your Raisa" in Jakarta to select a song to be performed live at the Medan concert.
Celebrities can also launch LINE Stickers, which users can download for free or at certain prices.