January 19th, 2021
Netflix wants to pay you to eat 🍕
Today's read...5 minutes
Security measures increase while entry times decrease, Governor Cuomo gives NY hope for concerts to return soon. Simultaneously, the Netherlands feel they have a perfect plan for producing a COVID-free event and Dr. Fauci has different thoughts for events in the US. Plus, find out how you can get paid to stuff your face with pizza while binging Netflix.
Green Day and The 1975 may have canceled their 2021 tour dates, but the Country Cadillac Tour still plans to roll through the Deep South. The tour will be led by Randy Houser and Jamey Johnson and plans to be socially distanced and have other safety protocols in place.
Even with enhanced safety measures and staggered entry times, sporting venues have found a way to speed up the ingress process significantly with new tech. The main factor for this success? Contactless metal detectors equipped with artificial intelligence.
New Dutch festival, Frontier, is one of the first to be granted a permit for this coming summer. Organizers are confident that through testing or vaccination certificates, not allowing international attendees and many more measures, they will have a COVID-proof event.
While the Danish government can't guarantee that they can provide a festival cancellation fund, which would take away a lot of the financial risk for events, other countries eagerly wait to hear if they will follow Germany and Austria's footsteps, which have begun implementing this fund.
New York's Governor Cuomo recently gave his state a glimpse of hopefulness when he announced that he believes with rapid testing, concerts could come back as soon as February. NY also plans to start testing COVID transmission at indoor events, modeled after the recent German studies.
Dr. Fauci has a different take on the German indoor concert studies, stating that he believes shows won't be able to safely return until the fall when 70-85% of the population is vaccinated and recommends audience members still wear masks.
NIVA partners with FestivalPass to add subscription tiers to its service, in which a portion of proceeds will directly benefit independent venues. The service allows people to receive monthly credits to redeem for tickets to concerts, film screenings, food and wine events, and more.
We can all agree that data is an important factor for events, but how can it help event organizers plan better events? BizBash breaks down how to best implement data to improve your event.
The Dutch test shows that were scheduled for later this month have been postponed due to an extended lockdown in the country.
If you've been eating pizza and watching Netflix for free, then STOP! Because you could be getting paid to do it! Find out how to add professional binge-watcher to your resume.
Passport to COVID Free
Poland has been the latest European country to promote the idea of COVID 'passports.' A unique QR code will be issued to individuals who receive the vaccine. Similar procedures were put in place in the UK after vaccinations became available in December. The government does not plan to implement these means post-trial. Other European countries such as Switzerland are on board and believe such documentation will prove beneficial not only to the event industry but also to serve value when traveling. The idea of passports was raised to the European Commission. However, mass adoption seems unlikely due to skepticism surrounding the vaccine.
If passports are to be put in place, what will the new check-in or ticket purchasing experience look like moving forward? As previously mentioned by Ticketmaster, it is the promoter’s decision of what criteria grants access into an event. As events start to come back, we watch closely to see which procedures are put in place at successfully executed events.
Venue Support Update
Venues continue to need support from federal and state governments into 2021. Here is what you need to know about the most recent relief efforts:
Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program will give eligible concert halls $400,000 worth of funding up to $3.5 million.
Maryland has funded a total of $30 million to promoters, concert halls, venues, and movie theaters in need.
NIVA continues working hard with the Save Our Stages Act to provide $15 billion in federal aid. At times aid is hard to find, but NIVA breaks down their act and offers more eligibility information.
We must work together to stress the importance of relief funding. A list of permanently closed venues has been made in order to shed light on how many venues have been impacted by the pandemic.
Destination Event Planning With a Twist
Niagara Falls is the newest location to begin providing an insider's perspective to conference halls and venues through an innovative platform. Destination Niagara USA now provides a 360-degree video series to be used by event planners when planning site layouts and experiences. As we begin looking into the future of festivals and tours, efficient video tours will become an even greater tool for event planners, production managers, tour managers, and more to planning successful events and reducing the amount of in-person site visits.
Mike Mauer is a marketing and ticketing pro of 12+ years who has helped events across North America achieve unprecedented revenue growth and break attendance records. He's been featured in Billboard, Pollstar and has earned recognition from FlyCon as the "Most Data Driven Marketer." We sat down to chat with Mike to find out what he thinks the 2021 event landscape will look like. Below is a snippet of our conversation, be sure to click the link at the end for the full interview.
What is your 2021 outlook?
The feeling I have right now is the same one I get on opening day at a music festival. Everything that could go wrong did, and you spend the entire day just trying to duct tape it all together and keep yourself sane. That was 2020.
Now it's the end of the day, and we're figuring out how to rebuild and improve things for Day 2. That's where we're at.
Moving forward, we're going to have to work really hard to get it right.
Going back to the festival metaphor, we need to hustle through the entire night to rebuild and hope we get it all done by the time Day 2 gates open. There are no shortcuts here, just tireless effort.
Long-term, I'm very optimistic. I think most would agree 2019 was a promising year, and we'll eventually get back to that point. I'm also really hopeful that any permanent changes will net out to be positive.
What are the biggest aspects of events that will change?
There's a lot of interesting dynamics happening right now that I think will have a profound impact on the industry:
First, liquidity is drying up. This is particularly important for large festivals, which have historically been launched through private equity. It turns out that festivals can be incredibly risky...who would've thought? Coming out of COVID, the risk/reward profile won't be there for investors and will lead to the death of the mega-festival model.
To that point, we'll see a lot more niched, smaller events pop up. They will either serve a specific geography (e.g., less national festivals, more regional ones) or a particular community of people (e.g., less multi-genre fests, more specific genres ones). We'll also see more hybrid events pop up that blend music with other aspects like food, gaming, etc. Festivals will enter an exciting creative period moving forward as producers and promoters experiment.
Independent venues and promoters have a fighting chance, thanks in large part to NIVA and Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn for their work on the $15B Save Our Stages Act (side note: indie festivals do qualify as well). It was honestly utterly hopeless to expect them to survive without federal assistance. Even with the grant money in place and concerts back on track, it's going to take a long time for them to reach their 2019 staffing levels again (shameless plug: this is a large part of why I launched Sparrow). I suspect we'll, unfortunately, see venues continue to fold well into 2021.
Then there are the things that I hope will happen, but who knows -- First, I hope ticket prices rise. Our industry has historically been one of the worst at getting its pricing right, especially venues. That's a whole other can of worms on why that is.
Second, I really hope artist fees fall across the board, but particularly for festivals. High fees create an unsustainable situation for independent producers, contribute to a toxic promoter/agent relationship, and create an uncompetitive business environment that favors corporations like Live Nation and AEG.
Every Monday: They’re back! Tour Mgmt 101 just announced their new spring program! They’re going to be teaching the nuts & bolts of touring, in addition to new segments and focus areas. If you’re interested in Tour Management, we highly recommend tuning in!
January 19: Believe in Music Week is the global gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world, is happening now through Friday, January 22, and is FREE online. It features a mix of comprehensive programming and professional education at BelieveinMusic.tv (including several panels in partnership with our friends at Show Makers), as well as an interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers – all designed to elevate the innovation and inspiration found across the industry while offering support for those most deeply affected by COVID.