October 6th, 2020
STOP THE BLEED FIRST AID AND BYSTANDER INTERVENTION TRAINING
Today's read...10 minutes
Man’s best friend could also become a festival worker’s best friend, event schedules start to show more activity, and you’re sure to go ‘bananas’ over this new Gorillaz tune. This week on Back of House!
Hope is on the horizon for fans that are eager to get back to their favorite festivals (aren’t we all?!), Pollstar’s industry survey says that 36% of music executives believe they will not return in full capacity until the second half of 2021. 30% believe that events will not return to full capacity until 2022.
The Nashville music industry bands together to distribute 60,000 pounds of food to their unemployed colleagues. Volunteers from CMA and Music Health Alliances helped their fellow industry members by providing grocery vouchers and over 1,000 food boxes to local families in need.
Amazon has their eyes set on the live event industry, as their new palm reading technology may offer a contact-free solution for fans to enter stadiums and arenas.
Florida gives the green light to open live music venues to full capacity and Connecticut capacities have been bumped from 25% to 50%. Could we see the return of large concerts and sporting events sooner than we thought?
New Years Eve will look very different this year: the Big Apple’s ball drop will be completely virtual, Paris and other French cities have banned festivals completely, while Sydney is pushing for a “toned-down” version of their world famous fireworks show.
Live Nation Spain helps raise $175,000 for music industry workers and touring staff through the “Crew Nation Presents” concert series in Madrid. The socially distanced events brought in over 7,000 fans and created more than 80 jobs for crew, production, and security.
Step aside Netflix and Hulu, there’s a new streaming service coming to town. Goldstar launches Stellar, a streaming platform focused on bringing live events to fans.
Start with the Gorillaz, add a dash of Elton John, and sprinkle in some 6LACK and what do you get? The latest release, "The Pink Phantom", from Gorillaz audiovisual series - Song Machine.
Pedaling for Relief
On September 30th, event workers around the world held demonstrations for the #WeMakeEvents movement, which urges Congress to provide relief to music industry workers. More than 2,000 venues, landmarks, and residences across the U.S. replaced their lighting with red bulbs to catch the eyes of government officials and “raise the fire-alarm” that the live events industry is in desperate need of help. Event workers are not done yet; professionals from Loud Sound and Proper Productions are doing a Tour de Musica bike race, if you will, to honor the beginning of what would have been touring season. This race will raise money for Backup, a charity supported by #WeMakeEvents. If you want to get involved, donations can be made here.
A Festival-Worker’s Best Friend
The newest member of the event staff is training to help with a sense of smell like no other. Dogs are currently being trained to sniff out COVID! You heard that right! Lab tests have proven that COVID detection dogs can be highly effective, even more so than current tests on the market. Furry friends have proven to help with concert safety and security, and now they might be a vital part of our comeback story.
Don’t Miss Your Chance for Financial Assistance!
Crew Nation has announced their third round of industry grants for freelancers who have lost income due to canceled July, August, and September events! If accepted, you may receive a one time grant of $1,000, but you must apply by October 11th. Apply here and don’t forget to share the link with friends and colleagues that have been affected by concert and festival shutdowns due to COVID-19. Sharing is caring! With plenty of resources out there we want to bring attention to a few action items to do NOW:
Coffee Makes Everything Better
Thank you to everyone who entered our #NationalCoffeeDay giveaway last week. Congratulations to our lucky winners who each received a treat from a local, boutique coffee shop near them, on us. The winners are (drumroll please!): Briana, Erin M, Erin R, Hannah, Claire, Katie, Laura, Patrick, Sharon, Tom.
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, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week's BOH Headliner is written by Allison Fitts, an event professional based in Colorado with 7+ years of experience in the live music industry, whose areas of expertise include site operations, tour production, artist relations, travel logistics and safety & security. After starting out on the venue side of things in college, Fitts moved on to work full-time for festival company KAABOO, LLC, helping put on large scale festivals in San Diego and the Cayman Islands. In non-COVID times, Fitts tours with an internationally-renowned electronic artist and project manages for Los Angeles' new Virgin Fest.
If you have been following along with Back of House throughout the pandemic like I have, then you will know that safety has been a major focus of nearly every issue. It makes sense. The world is dealing with an unprecedented health crisis, while our industry is seeing all-too-well how it will impact us moving forward. Safety for fans, crews and artists alike will also be my focus today, but not as COVID-specific as you may have gotten used to hearing about these past several months.
On October 1, 2017, I was sitting at McCarran International Airport about to board a red-eye flight to the Cayman Islands for the initial site visit of a festival I was helping to organize there. If you recognize that date, you will know the news that our flight and the world woke up to. Fifty-eight people had been killed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. It was beyond devastating and the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Something changed for me that day. The live music industry had been targeted. This was my industry. This was the industry of all my friends who I work with and love. This was the industry that just five months earlier was devastated by the Manchester Arena bombing. This made a mass shooting hit closer to home than ever before. I was personally determined to learn anything and everything I could in regards to public safety at events from then on out.
I have been lucky enough over the last several years to work with some of the leading safety minds in our industry. It is my belief that my particular path to gaining a better understanding of public safety is not the most crucial thing to share with you. Many steps I took and lessons I learned were very specific to the roles I was in and the events I was working. What I do think is crucial, though, is highlighting simple knowledge and skill sets that all of us can learn to better protect ourselves and our events, whether or not the words ‘safety’ or ‘security’ are in our job titles.
Stop the Bleed Training - Developed by the Committee on Trauma and the American College of Surgeons in the wake of Sandy Hook, this often free course focuses on what non-medically trained bystanders can do to slow an injured person’s bleeding until professional help can arrive at the scene. Utilizing these skills in response to a mass shooting at an event is likely your first thought to this training’s usefulness, but consider the wider scope. A fan who slips on that beer-soaked venue floor and hits their head or a crew member who gets pinned under some rigging during load-in would just as readily be benefitted by you being nearby and able to render aid. Find and sign up for a course near you by going to BleedingControl.org. I took the course last month. It took two hours and was offered virtually.
First Aid/CPR/AED Certification - It’s not just for teenagers with summer lifeguarding jobs!
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▶️ You think the VIP Lounge bathrooms are nice? Imagine what they would look like if the festival bathroom budget was $23 million. That’s what NASA just spent on one restroom alone.
▶️ Need something to take your mind off the craziness? How about getting sucked into this online golf game like we did.
October 6: Burning Man Project is coming together to present a town hall on diversity and radical inclusion. Join them and Burners who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) as they share their experiences in Black Rock City.
October 6: Music Biz Live presents a four-day virtual event focused on how the global music industry is working to overcome the disruptions and challenges of 2020.
October 7: Amethyst Collab is presenting a panel on Women in A&R.
October 8: The Brand Summit brings together top brand, agency and industry executives to discuss how innovation and fast action led to partnerships between artists, music companies, and brands during 2020.
October 8: Pro>Sessions (The Recording Academy + Berklee) present: Getting Back to Live: Private Shows, Outdoor Concerts, Alternative Venues & More.
Full event calendar here