September 8th, 2020

#013

Event profs inspiration

Today's read...9 minutes

Fans return to venues in the US at limited capacities, and 2021 events continue to sell out. Back of House gets a new look, website, and socials. And this week, we hear from festival professional Malorie Irvin, about how she utilized a hospitality background to build a new and exciting brand.

HAPPENINGS

Ryman Auditorium’s hybrid model is coming to life. On Friday, the venue hosted its first group of in-person guests since March at a Scotty McCreery show. The audience was capped at 125 (5% of normal capacity), and the $85 ticket included a Q&A before the show, a poster, and a bottle of water. Livestream tickets were $10.

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After quickly selling out EDC 2021, Insomniac announced a new, one-day festival dubbed “Day Trip.” The 21+ event on LA’s waterfront (complete with fishbowls and pre-sale merch) sold out in an hour. 

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Pollstar and VenuesNow are teaming up for a survey on the state of the industry and they want to hear from you! Click here to answer a few questions about how you and your teams are strategizing for a strong return.

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Arenas and stadiums across the US are partnering with local election officials to convert their facilities into polling places for the 2020 general election to create “safe in-person voting option[s] for communities vulnerable to COVID."

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It’s an important time to keep an eye on how other events are taking place, whether they’re related to music or not. The most creative COVID-preventative measures have included pre-packaged bento boxes, PPE amenity kits, table-side bar service, socially-distanced group photos, and even some indoor conferences.

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Reading and Leeds Festival will have double mainstages at its 2021 event. Organizer Melvin Benn is excited to debut the festival’s “most epic plan yet.”

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Scottish venues have scored $19.7m, and freelancers $6.5m, through the government’s larger $77.7m relief package for culture and heritage. By injecting this money into the industry, the government hopes to “protect jobs and support the reopening of properties.”

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Virtual events are no strangers to scammers. Recently, online events in the UK have been plagued with phishing scams, where hackers get fans to pay for free livestreams.

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In the Netherlands, a temporary socially-distanced venue inspired by the UK’s Virgin Money Unity Arena will open this fall. It features 129 boxes, separate staircases and walking paths, and “can cater up to 1,050 guests, who will be seated above, below, and next to each other around the stage."

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How tall do fences have to be in order to keep David Blaine from parachuting into 2021 festivals?

OPENERS

Fresh Pizza, Fresh Produce, Fresh Logo

The new Back of House look is here! After carefully designing our vision for the newsletter, the new logo and website have arrived, inspired by a black on black industry wardrobe and road case stencil. ⏯ By bringing you the latest in live every Tuesday morning, we hope to offer a moment of pause during the busy work week to catch you up on news and ideas from the industry, while keeping it short and sweet so you can hit play on the next gig. Follow BOH on Instagram @backofhouse.live. Victoria Mulé is the fabulous designer behind the new logo. Pulling inspiration from her graphic design degree, and taking advantage of the extra time during the event lull, this event producer has also created @via_victoriaa. Show her some love!

A Look Inside the U.S. Open Bubble

Today marks the beginning of the quarter-finals for the U.S. Open of Tennis, though this year's event is a completely different experience compared to years past. What is missing? About 50,000 daily fans are absent in this year's landscape. The lack of fan attendance eliminates the need for concession stands and many sponsorship activations, and in their place are open-air gyms, socially distanced picnic tables, and outdoor games to keep athletes busy while they live in a competition bubble. The venue is not the only thing undergoing changes - athletes were tested twice within the first 48 hours of arrival, and every four days thereafter. Travel has been limited by moving qualifying games to New York as well. Masks and eye shields are required staples in their competition uniform, and capacity rules apply to the locker rooms and throughout the venue. A lot is riding on the outcome of this major sporting event in New York City, a city that was shell-shocked by the devastating effects of COVID. The event’s success will be a testament to whether its safety protocols and contact tracing efforts should be implemented across the industry, especially in sports.

HEADLINER

Back of House Guest Posts feature some of our favorite people from across the industry sharing their expertise. If you would like to be featured in a future issue or know someone who would, let us know at hey@bohlive.com.

Malorie Irvin is an event professional who has been working in live events for 10 years, with a strong specialty in staffing and hospitality. After the recent launch of her outdoor consulting company, NotBad Travels, she sat down and taught us about how she used her unique skill set to build a new brand.

My first event was postponed while I was home in Indiana, taking a quick break between gigs. A few days later, I was no longer going back to Mexico to finish the run of events as they had been cancelled too. All of a sudden, my income and insurance no longer existed, and my career was in question. I spent a few days with my family, upset and scared, but I was grateful to have such wonderful parents who I stay with when I am not on the road. I come from a pretty tough love family, so being told to, “suck it up” or “it could be worse” were common statements throughout the household as I held back tears of uncertainty.

I had bought a Dodge Promaster back in December of 2019, with intentions of having someone turn it into a mobile home for me while I was on the road working. While I was in Mexico, the person I had hired finished one partial wall, the ceiling, solar, floor and bed frame. I brought it back home to work on it some and to have a family friend take over, but then COVID happened.

Suddenly I found myself with finishing nails and a hammer and started putting walls up myself. I decided that without a full-time job I was going to turn my long days of unemployment into long days working on the van. I spent a few years determining what I wanted in a van, and a lot of time on YouTube and other media outlets learning from other Vanlifers. I had no intention of renovating the van myself originally, but was determined to not sit around and sulk while the world felt like it was shattering around me, so I got to work. I found peace during my build and can confidently say I know all the ins and outs of my van, “The Breeze.” I frequented a local hardware store near my parent’s house in southern Indiana, and towards the end of my build the owner would see me walk in and ask, “what are we workin’ on today?”

I spent days sitting in my van wondering how it would work for me and my needs, and I feel like it turned into the little eclectic cabin I had envisioned. I may not have been spending hours on emails and spreadsheets, but I became a plumber, electrician, carpenter and solar expert over the course of 3 months. I was determined, and my father continued to reassure me that this was a blessing and that I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this goal otherwise.

Back of House Question Of The Week

Question of the week data is exclusive to our newsletter subscribers. Subscribe here to get involved and receive insights on where our industry is at on various topics.

SIDE STAGE

  • Elon Musk tells the first people planning to go to Mars there is a “good chance” they’ll die. Um, count me out. But count me in for watching the rest of Hilary Swank’s Netflix series “Away” which premiered last week.

  • Feeling down? Remind yourself of these 16 Reasons why having your life turned upside down makes you infinitely stronger.

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TUNE IN

September 9: The Age of Conversation Summit featuring everything from transitioning to online events and unlocking your inner entrepreneur, to demystifying catering during COVID.

September 9: A Virtual Events Masterclass series on providing measurable value to sponsors at online and hybrid events.

September 9: Women in Music Streaming will share what it takes to work in streaming, with panelists from Apple Music, Atlantic Records, and more.

September 9: An introduction to building audience loyalty through your website, enhancing relationships with your audience, and making your marketing meaningful.

September 10: Join A2IM board and community members for a discussion on what being independent means in 2020.

September 11: A panel discussion on embracing technology in this new world of events, from our friends down under.

September 11: Rave The Vote is a voter registration and digital fundraising event to rally the dance music community around the pillars of change and unity.