backofhouse

February 2nd, 2021

#034

Florida Wants to put an OLYMPIC RING ON IT

Today's read...6 minutes

Coachella, Stagecoach cancel April events, Florida jumps at the chance to host Olympics during a pandemic, and photos of concertgoers attending a show in giant plastic orbs are an amusing reminder of how badly we all miss live music.

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HAPPENINGS

Dozens of plastic bubbles lined the floor at The Flaming Lips’ Oklahoma City concert where attendees watched from inside their plastic spheres.

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SXSW announced the initial lineup of artists for their virtual festival scheduled for March 2021 with passes currently available for $249.

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Venue of the future? Architects claim this new open-air venue design will be “tourable” while featuring balcony-style seating.

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Florida officials cite opening of theme parks as evidence the state can handle the 2021 Summer Olympics if Japan is unable to host.

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Two leaders in live events touring logistics, Rock-it Cargo and Sound Moves, will merge to become Rock-it Global.

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Despite rumors following Glastonbury Festival’s 2021 cancellation, organizer Emily Eavis promises there is no fear of bankruptcy.

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Musicians wanting to livestream small concerts in the UK are forced to pay a new “license fee” which led to outrage and backlash from pretty much everyone.

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The Country Music Association announces plans to provide money to five additional non-profit groups as part of a $3 million COVID relief effort.

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A German event executive working on government-backed “cancellation insurance” breaks down how cancellation funds benefit event organizers.

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Electronic music promoter announces new, uncharted world of virtual live events, combining virtual, gaming, and real life to create new experience.

Music Week

OPENERS

European Organizers Remain Confident for 2021 Festivals. Coachella & Stagecoach, Not So Much. 

Coachella and Stagecoach announce 2021 cancellations. The events were slated for April, and new dates have not been announced. The Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam has announced that the event will be rescheduled to June 2021 from it's original March date. Meanwhile, Serbia’s Exit Festival scheduled for July and Albania’s Unum Festival scheduled for June remain confident that their events will be held on time this year.

Image by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella via Billboard

Event Industry Continues to Lobby US Leaders to Seek Help, Offer COVID Vaccination Distribution.

Following the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, several live entertainment giants including Live Nation, AEG, NIVA, and Oak View Group wrote an open letter to the new Commander in Chief offering the industry’s services for vaccine distribution. With the live events industry almost entirely shut down due to the pandemic, the letter expressed that not only would these venues, parking lots, and workers be available to help, but organizers would be extremely well-equipped and eager to take on this challenge. Separately, there is ongoing discussion that Coachella may serve as a vaccine distribution site according to Goldenvoice and Riverside County government. No word if the Coachella cancellation will affect this plan. The Save Live Events Now coalition has sent a letter to Congressional leaders pushing for more significant support for live entertainment organizations and professionals.

🎵'Started from the Bottom Now We’re Here' 🎵 to 'Allow us to brag for a minute'

We made Symphonic Distribution’s List of Best Music Industry Newsletters to Subscribe to in 2021. Check us out here!

High Hopes or High Risk? -- Event Organizers Worldwide are Weighing COVID Risk Against Safety Measures

With everyone on the lookout for a return to live events, several studies, tests, and theories have come about regarding safety in large numbers. A French study supports the use of masks and ventilation as a promising solution to the risk of indoor transmission. In February, Luxembourg’s Rockhal arena will host the Because Music Matters show that will test the effectiveness of limited capacity, masks, and strict seating social distancing. The results of Primavera Sound’s non-socially distanced concert in December showed no COVID-19 infections with the use of on-site rapid testing. However, some people are not convinced that on-site rapid testing, vaccine passes, Bluetooth contact tracing, or any of the suggested measures could be could be implemented securely enough to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.

HEADLINER

Kelsie Powers is the Event Merchandise Director for Powertex Group based out of Eau Claire, WI. Kelsie has been working music festivals and live events for 15 years, selling event and artist merchandise for her family's business. Her role includes setting up and supporting event and artist merchandise on site, researching demographics to produce line plans that are reviewed and approved by festival management, and engaging guests through marketing channels before, during, and after event. Kelsie has helped Powertex Group grow from their very first music festival to supporting over 20 festivals per season over the course of her time with the business. One of her favorite events to work the merch booth at is Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma.

"There is nothing like the hard rock crowd when it comes to merch and live events, having a passionate crowd is what it’s all about,” says Kelsie.

Kelsie reflects on prior knowledge gained from her years working in the industry, and what she learned from 2020 that she plans to take with her into the future.

Kelsie Powers

Most kids grow up and spend their summers going to the city pool, riding their bikes around town and playing soccer with their friends. My upbringing was a little different. I worked at music festivals every summer from the time I was in elementary school, and had sold merch at more than 100 festivals for my family’s business by the time I turned 18. Today I support the multi-million dollar festival merchandise division for that same company, Powertex Group. I learned at a young age how to harness the passion behind events to drive sales and generate excitement surrounding festival merch and have been able to build on that knowledge over the years.

Then came the year 2020. With the coming of the pandemic everything that I had learned seemed, at first, to get thrown out the window. But in looking back, what seemed an insurmountable blow actually proved to be an opportunity to learn and grow as an organization. They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and 2020 reminded us how important invention and adaptation are.

Our biggest question, in a normal year, has always been “How can we increase average cart size?” and there have been some pieces of conventional wisdom that I have learned over the years that lead to a festival’s success.

Give Guests Their Space. One best practice that continues to prove to be extremely important is allowing an open floor plan for the merchandise area. This lets guests shop around at their leisure and allows for more one-on-one engagement and the opportunity to up-sell. The wait times are more manageable, and guests feel like they are more immersed in an experience rather than just waiting in a line. By allowing for a more open space to merchandise properly, you can turn a normal tent into a full retail space.

Data and Analytics. Offering the right inventory and merchandise mix is another key concept that is important when designing merch for an event, to ensure that the majority of guests can get something they actually want. Demographics, past years’ merch sales, and geographic profiles are all a part of finding the perfect product mix. If guests can come in and find something not just for themselves, but their family and friends as well, that ends up being a win.

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SIDE STAGE

Calm

▶️ Licensing Manager, Calm Music (Remote) - is looking for an experienced licensing manager.

▶️ Marketing Project Manager, Output (Remote) - Output is seeking a Marketing Project Manager to work with their Marketing, Design, and Web Development teams in managing complex timelines, priorities, and creative for campaigns.

▶️ Account & Marketing Coordinator (Bloomington, IN or Chicago, IL) - Secretly Distribution seeks a full time North American Account & Marketing Coordinator.

▶️ Scholarship opportunities - Music Forward and Live Nation partner to award $10,000 scholarships to outstanding college students pursuing careers in the music industry.

▶️ The cast of Freaks and Geeks returns to William McKinley High School as this short-lived fan favorite comes to Hulu with its original soundtrack.

▶️ Miley Cyrus performs Mazzy Star - Miley Cyrus covers Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” at her NPR Tiny Desk Concert at home.

TUNE IN

February 4  - WHO KNEW + Ty: Industry veteran Peggy Dold interviews Ty Stiklorius, entrepreneur and CEO of artist management firm Friends At Work. 

February 4: UTA IQ Webinar: Snapchat: Taking Back the Spotlight. Learn about building an audience and features from Snapchat’s Talent Partnerships Team.

February 8: The Sustainable Events Forum is back! Get motivated by new ideas to take action on environmental and sustainable initiatives for events.

February 8 - 12: Check out these speakers at the 8th annual Digital Entertainment World online conference.

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