When Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt wanted to fulfill his nearly 20-year-old dream of hosting an environmentally-themed concert from inside a volcano, many people thought he was crazy.
Diana Dixon, founder of creative agency DixonCo, was not one of them.
With a resounding “yes, and…” the agency stepped in to help produce video content for the promotion, live event and digital stream of the inaugural Atlantis Concert for Earth.
“If a client has a strong vision, it’s up to us to help realize it,” Dixon said of the agency’s solution-oriented, improv-inspired approach.
The company’s involvement stemmed from Dixon Executive Producer Ashley St. Pierre’s connection with Bettencourt. A conversation about another environmental project DixonCo was working on segued to the Atlantis Concert for Earth, which led to an eventual partnership.
“It’s a passion project for all who were involved,” said St. Pierre.
The concert served as a global fundraiser that used musicians’ voices as a way to amplify the work of environmental and conservation organizations around the world. DixonCo’s mission is to “be good, do good, create good,” and the music festival was a natural fit for the agency, Dixon said.
“It’s about helping people to get inspired to do what they can in their lane, even if it’s something small,” Dixon said. “We all share the same air. We all need drinking water; we all need fresh soil to grow things. We need to be able to take care of our planet because we all need these things to live.”
The concert featured both a live event and a free livestream on Veeps. The strong virtual component was intended to motivate those watching to go out and make a difference in their own communities.
“The big thing they were trying to do was livestream, so they could reach a much broader audience around the world,” Dixon said.
The live event came together on July 22 and 23, when more than 10,000 people gathered for a “zero-to-low emission hybrid” event at the rim of an ancient and inactive volcanic crater in Azores, Portugal. Nestled between two pristine lakes, the walls formed a natural amphitheater for a sold-out show to celebrate the planet through the power of music.
DixonCo marketed the event by leaning into a “rock-star point of view.” The agency focused on tapping into the appeal of a live music festival and showcasing a star-studded lineup that included performances by the Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Nicole Scherzinger, Mod Sun and Girlfriends, as well as virtual performances by Sting, and Queen + Adam Lambert.
Companies involved in bringing the Atlantis Concert for Earth to fruition included Los Angeles-based production and creative team Fortress Entertainment Group as well as Bettencourt’s full-service media and production company Atlantis Entertainment, which also includes co-founders Rene Rigal and Steven Schuurman. The event was made financially possible by Schuurman.
DixonCo used existing marketing materials such as the logo and color palette, “and made it into a world.” From the event trailers, show open and close, to other video and graphic content throughout, the agency collaborated directly with Bettencourt on every line, frame and sound to create both promotional videos and day-of video content for the live event and digital stream.
“We just wanted to get people excited, enthusiastic and make conservation cool for them,” Dixon said. “The music is what got the audience there, but the real stars of the show were the conservationists.”
With that in mind, DixonCo also collaborated with many of the environmental nonprofits involved to produce promo videos for their organizations, which were showcased throughout the festival. Organizations in attendance included Leonardo DiCaprio’s Re:wild, The White Feather Foundation, SeaLegacy, Blue Azores, EarthPercent and more.
DixonCo’s work ranged from creating full productions with little to no assets, to having some materials and building a story from what was provided, to putting the finishing touches on existing content.
“We were there to be sure all video content had a compelling story and felt cohesive to the overall program and the concert mission,” St. Pierre said.
DixonCo also assisted with the flow of the concert itself, breaking the event down into six environmental pillars: oceans, forests, wildlife, food and agriculture, energy and freshwater.
They created videos that aired throughout the day which not only introduced each topic, but humanized the elements to inspire a deeper connection with nature.
“We wrote it from the point of view of the pillars,” said St. Pierre. “So it was the ocean’s voice, to get people to understand all the great things that the ocean does for you.”
“It’s trying to remind people what they give to us, so we can be inspired to give back,” Dixon added.
Giving back has always been an important part of DixonCo. With a goal to “make the world a better place one project at a time,” in the past the agency has volunteered time and energy on projects that involve nonprofits. The Atlantis Concert for Earth aligned with that ideal, and DixonCo charged only a minimal fee.
“We like to bring projects to life and honor them the best way possible,” said Dixon. “Whenever we do get involved in something, we really are bringing our passion and ‘A’ game to the table.”