Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Journalism (MA)
What does a medium sized music venue, nearing its centennial in a college town, do when its doors have closed for the first time since a short 2004 renovation, due to the novel Coronavirus Pandemic? George’s Majestic Lounge, the historic live music venue located in the heart of downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas, ceased operation for 134 days, its longest ever closure, and emerged into a climate massively different from what it had entered the pandemic in (Drury, et al. 2021). This venue has stood the test of time; opened in 1927 by George Pappas, it has remained in its railroad-adjacent position on Dickson Street, surviving nearly a century of global events. The venue closed again in March 2020, and unlike many other businesses, specifically live music venues, would successfully emerge out of the height of the pandemic, finding itself in a new world (Hunt & Seman, 2020). Directly related to, and within these global & national events, came an intense shift in the area George’s calls home; Northwest Arkansas has seen a recent population spike-trend comparable to that of Austin, Texas & Nashville, Tennessee (Wood, 2020); and with the University of Arkansas’ largest ever freshman class, the university’s already Vatican-like impact on the region only increased (Thomas, 2021). Just north of Fayetteville, Bentonville has continued to expand in population & relevancy, as have the majority of cities of the region. With this influx of newcomers & students, population growth & urban expansion, George’s had the opportunity to take a massive leap forward, or risk possible stagnation. George’s Majestic Lounge originally opened as a bar & grille, but over the past ninety- five years has shifted into one of the region’s premier live music venues, earning recent accolades such as Idle Magazine’s Black Apple Award for best indie music venue & Wedding Rule’s #1 venue in Northwest Arkansas, all while also hosting private events alongside its 1 regular concert schedule. Management has been successful in embracing this concept of change, and continued with their openness to adaptation as they emerged from their recent hiatus. Being a public gathering space, revenue streams are limited to those of a bar, concert- hall, and the like; however, there is a vast amount of dynamic income forms in this industry (Hill, O’Sullivan & O’Sullivan, 2012) – private events bookings, merchandise sales, etc. The goal of heightening these elements is highly attainable and can be achieved through a successful marketing overhaul – social media tactics could be more effective in engaging segments, sponsor & partnerships could reach new groups, and internal operations could stand to see some improvements. However, all of this must be executed with great care, as not to tarnish the legacy brand, but to build upon it, as done in years past, so that George’s Majestic Lounge can continue to thrive in a post-pandemic Northwest Arkansas. The purpose of this research is to assess what elements of marketing, specifically those showcased via social media, are most effective & should be pursued in order to engage its current customer base.
Walden, G. (2023). Live Music Venue Marketing in a Post-COVID Northwest Arkansas. Graduate Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/4931