There are many admirable bosses, but very few leaders can infuse their actions and behaviors with energy, passion and connection along with a crystal-clear vision, mission and commitment to integrity that guides them in everything they do to improve the world.
One such leader is Colin Fitzpatrick, Co-Founder and CEO of Animal Concerts.
Fitzpatrick has always had a wide variety of passions, namely music and technology, which is perfect for his current line of work. He spent a significant amount of time as a DJ in his 20s, still has a deep love for electronic music and has always been a big technology fan and a bit of a nerd.
When Fitzpatrick discovered cryptocurrency in 2016 and properly understood how blockchain and bitcoin were going to revolutionize the monetary system, he was hooked. He longed to work in the space, but not much was happening in Dublin, and the Zoom culture had not taken off yet. However, when he came to Dubai, the cryptocurrency community there was incredible and really inspired him to explore possibilities.
With 20 years of experience in multinational software companies such as Salesforce, Oracle, HubSpot and Dell across sales, business development, marketing and programs, Fitzpatrick relocated to Dubai when he was given the opportunity to build a new business for Oracle. He had always wanted to run his own company and become an entrepreneur, but he never truly thought it would happen.
The birth of Animal Concerts
When Fitzpatrick first learned about cryptocurrency, he was passionate about the transformational technology and told all his friends and coworkers, who he believed would understand it. Because of this, Fitzpatrick introduced many people into the space, who also became equally fascinated. He had galvanized so many people from the sales floor at Oracle that, at one stage, there was a lot more cryptocurrency trading going on than there was selling software.
“One of the people I introduced, we were discussing the market and spitballing some ideas. It was mid-lockdown, and everything was moving online, including concerts,” he recalls.“It gave us the idea to try to do concerts online with A-list artists to an almost unlimited audience, and also in the metaverse. This was a year before Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook to Meta and solidified with everyone that the metaverse was the future evolution of the internet.
“It was mid-lockdown, and everything was moving online, including concerts. It gave us the idea to try to do concerts online with A-list artists to an almost unlimited audience, and also in the metaverse.”
“Back then, when I was talking about the metaverse, people looked at me like I had two heads,” he continues. “We were also fascinated by the concept of NFTs [non-fungible tokens], but more than just what people see as very expensive monkey JPEGs. More so their ability to solidify ownership of digital assets on the blockchain, and allow membership and access to be part of a special community. With these concepts coming together, Animal Concerts was born.”
Now, Animal Concerts is building the next generation of live events in the metaverse. Fitzpatrick and his team are revolutionizing the music industry for fans and artists worldwide, delivering physical concerts with A-list artists, collaborating on NFT drops, live streaming in the metaverse and tokenizing the entire experience.
They are already working with artists such as Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, Billy Ray Cyrus and Robin Thicke, with many more to be announced this year.
Creating a concert experience
By making concerts accessible to everyone worldwide, Animal Concerts is democratizing the concert experience. No longer is it a matter of luck to be able to see a favorite band in a city close by and score one of the few tickets left; everyone can now enjoy the experience.
Additionally, Fitzpatrick and his team also add value by shooting some concerts in 3D, so everyone can enjoy this immersive experience with friends from all over the world and feel like they are dancing on stage with their favorite musician from the comfort of their own home.
Furthermore, Fitzpatrick and his team help A-list artists navigate the journey into Web3, hand-holding them through the process while giving them full control over their brand and image.
“Content is going to be the most important part of the metaverse, and this is where the real value lies.”
“From what I have seen, everyone in the entertainment industry is getting bombarded by everything Web3 NFT, and metaverse, but these are musicians and artists, not technologists, and they need someone to help them from start to finish,” he says.
“We are also upping the ante as we are creating content and intellectual property with artist partnerships,” he continues, noting his company owns part of the song Hard Working Man by the Avila Brothers featuring Snoop Dogg and Billy Ray Cyrus.
”Content is going to be the most important part of the metaverse, and this is where the real value lies. I see many people building great technology, but there isn’t much to bring people in. The metaverse needs attractions and utility to bring in the masses and become mainstream,” Fitzpatrick explains.
Credit to the team
Fitzpatrick believes that his team is the main driving force behind Animal Concerts’ success. Many have years of expertise in the music and entertainment business, and the majority of them are from Los Angeles.
Tom Fanning, one of his company’s founders, has been making music videos for 20 years and has collaborated with industry figureheads such as the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Britney Spears and Beyoncé.
Then there is Bernard Alexander, the executive producer of Hard Working Man. He has been in the music industry for 30 years and, during that time, he discovered the Fugees, Akon and produced the album debuts of Nas and 50 Cent. He’s now a close friend of Fitzpatrick and keeps exposing his team to outstanding talent so they can produce more content.
“It’s these amazing people and their connections that lead us to being able to secure deals with Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and Robin Thicke, and we have so much more to announce this year, including legacy artists who we will be bringing back to life in the metaverse,” Fitzpatrick says.
In addition to obvious qualities like hard work, passion, strategic thinking and adaptability, Fitzpatrick believes that being likable is an underappreciated quality in business. He thinks his team is a nice, cool and likable bunch. People notice this and say it a lot, he claims, and they want to work with them as a result.
Likability comes on top of a foundation of competence and the capacity for action, but people do business with other people, so it is crucial for teams to function harmoniously. Fitzpatrick says he and his team have declined lucrative business possibilities simply because they didn’t enjoy working with those involved.
When asked to share the defining moments in his life that caused him to focus on personal development, Fitzpatrick credits his father for encouraging him to read all the best-selling books, which sparked his interest in personal development.
When he started his job and faced the obstacles of working in huge corporations, Fitzpatrick began to explore deeper and embarked on a journey of personal development and discovery that aided him in evolving and becoming the person he is today.
Fitzpatrick also found it beneficial to gain confidence in his abilities and dived headfirst into coaching, presenting and speaking. That has served him well, having to present at conferences and events all over the world, but also conducting a roadshow and presenting to hundreds of investors where he was successful raising money for the business.
“Take the plunge, take the risk and do something different, because nothing great ever happened from doing the same thing every day.”
Under his leadership, the Animal Concerts team is launching its first NFT Drop on OpenSea called A Hard Working Man featuring Snoop Dogg and Cyrus. Snoop Dogg just tweeted his support for Fitzpatrick, his team and this project, which Fitzpatrick says is an amazing feeling.
They will also be doing a metaverse concert with Thicke, an NFT drop with Keys and a metaverse fashion show with Balenciaga.
They are also releasing their app, which is a video on-demand platform with a watch to earn built in – think TikTok meets Netflix for music – where people can earn ‘animal tokens’ for engaging with the content. They will be announcing their metaverse technology, which enables them to host a concert in their metaverse or any other – including live events transformed into the metaverse with motion capture in real time. And Animal Concerts might also expand into sports, movies and comedy.
Projects in the pipeline
Fitzpatrick recently started a podcast, the Web3 Leaders Podcast, and invited key people in the industry to get their opinions on topics such as NFTs and the metaverse. They were a hit, so he decided to do more.
“At an event in Miami, I was on a panel with Scott Page, who was a band member of Pink Floyd, Toto and Supertramp,” Fitzpatrick says. ”A veteran of the rock ‘n’ roll industry, he’s incredibly knowledgeable about NFTs. He spoke about NFTs being about storytelling and digital freedom. The community loved it.”
Fitzpatrick has already secured the support from founders and executives from other companies including Sandbox, OpenSea, Decentraland, Somnium Space, Blocktopia and Gala Games, as well as Web3 leaders from established companies such as Google, Coca-Cola, Accenture, Cap Gemini and others.
Now a seasoned entrepreneur, Fitzpatrick offers some advice.
“Whether you are still in school or just in a rut with your career, just do it,” he says. “Take the plunge, take the risk and do something different, because nothing great ever happened from doing the same thing every day.”