February 23rd, 2021
Why France Wants COVID Positive Event Attendees
Today's read...7 minutes
France wants COVID-positive guests to attend events; drama unfolds with Colorado live events grants; plus, this week’s Headliner explains how NBA bubbles led the way to a fan-forward approach at future sporting events.
France plans to test safety protocols by allowing COVID-positive guests to attend test events with as many as 5,000 participants.
Colorado art agency distributes $7.4 million in grants, then receives a wave of complaints about some recipients being employed by live events powerhouse, AEG Presents.
Celebratory high-fives and hugs are strictly forbidden at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics as the Olympic Committee releases playbooks for safety procedures.
German study suggests theatres and museums may have lower risk of COVID infection than schools and offices.
Two independent venues in Bristol, England have found a collaborative way to fundraise by using a Patreon page that allows supporters to donate monthly in exchange for rewards like free gigs.
Following their virtual conference, the Arena Resilience Alliance has announced its four-part action plan for returning to live events entitled the Rationale for a Resilient Return.
The Vancouver Mural Festival has adopted AR technology to show their exhibits. Upon downloading their app, users can travel to the 17 locations around the city to scan the codes and see the 3D artwork come to life on their devices!
The NFL security chief believes that the contactless and biometric technology introduced during the pandemic will likely stick around to heighten safety and ease for the customer's experience at future events.
Music Mogul Irving Azoff is privately funding a $250 million arena in Southern California to be completed in about 18 months, just in time for the expected return to live music and what he predicts will be ‘the Roaring Twenties.”
Festival Updates from Around the Globe
This summer’s festival landscape is looking different for everyone:
The two recently announced Back to Live ‘test’ festivals to take place in The Netherlands in March already have over 60,000 people applying to attend with only 1500 tickets available per event.
In addition to the previously announced NOK 305 million cancellation fund for festival organizers planning for the 2021 season, the Norwegian government distributed the latest 2020 compensation scheme of over NOK 120 million to Live Nation Norway and other organizers.
After announcing cancellation, Ultra Music Festival told their ticketholders via email that the 2022 event will take place March 25-27. Ticketholders will not have the option for a refund, they can only upgrade or exchange for the following year’s event.
Australia's Byron Bay Bluesfest’s safety plan has been approved. The festival will take place during the first week of April with 50% capacity and will not require guests to wear masks.
The French minister of culture announced their festival framework and €30 million fund to compensate organizers for possible financial losses. However, many organizers find this plan insufficient, lacking detail, and unrealistic. Their Hellfest Open Air Festival announced its cancellation citing safety and government regulations as prohibitory to putting on a consistent event.
The Flemish government has allocated €60 million to supporting 2021 festival organizers through repayable advances and a COVID-proofing subsidy.
Still waiting for financial and strategic support from the government, the live event association in Finland predicts up to 2300 of their companies will permanently close if help does not come quickly.
The €60 million government support plan in Ireland is met with concerns and dissatisfaction from their live event industry representatives.
Meet the Startup Paying 3,000+ Artists to Perform
Sofar Sounds, the global community that puts on intimate concerts in nontraditional venues, has been hosting a Listening Room Series of weekly livestreams where artists earn an average of $450 per show. Along with paying out more than 3000 artists for cancelled concerts over the past year, this series is an effort to continue to support musicians as they await the return of in-person events. They have also recently acquired the ticketing company, Seated, which provides direct-to-fan services and VIP ticketing for artists, and powers livestreams using Shopify to increase revenue to artists by 35%. These companies have united in the goal to support independent artists financially and empower them to make connections with their fans. Together, these companies have paid $3 million to artists during the pandemic. Job Alert: Sofar Sounds is now hiring. Check out open positions here.
Music industry workers showed up and put their production skills to work during a multi-day supply distribution in Austin, Texas. As a result of their efforts, over 2000 plus households have been served. Check out the Texas Music Work Force Coalition to learn more about the on-going community outreach and its mission. If you are local to the area, volunteers are still needed. There are multiple ways that you can help out Texas communities during this time. Check out this link to learn more.
Sam Raymond has been an Account Executive with the Brooklyn Nets for more than three years. With a focus on new sales and b2b event planning, he has consistently exceeded goals, while delivering high-quality event experiences to clients. After a tumultuous year in sports, he sat down and explained the mindset of a professional in a sports sales position.
How NBA Bubbles Burst the Status-Quo For Industry Pros in the Wake of COVID
March 10th, 2020, and we’re shuffling about in our downtown Brooklyn office managing through another Monday. The front office overlooks the Statue of Liberty and pulses with the Brooklyn Nets practice court one floor above us. With a home game two nights prior, these office hours pass by drudgingly. We are in for another week of late nights at the arena entertaining prospective ticket membership buyers in suits we most likely spent our entire day in, feet aching from running around a 17,000 seat arena. Game night step counts are counted like points on a scoreboard, shared amongst each other with pride. Days without games are brief vacations, where the monotony of routine is welcomed with remaining excitement. We look forward to being able to decompress somewhere away from basketball, but this idea never actualizes.
It is regular season basketball, and as ticket sellers, we are immersed in everything to do with the sport. Even on off-nights, we are tuned in to basketball news on ESPN and Twitter; news can make or break our season. High-paying ticket holders are here for the stars on court, so injuries and/or trades can cost the same off the court as they can on it. It’s on this March afternoon when we settle back in from another coffee run, fueling the final stretch before the commute back home to the couch, that our attention shifts as a segment from the Utah Jazz’s press conference plays on overhead TV monitors. A video clip would show Utah Jazz star basketball player Rudy Gobert playfully wiping his enormous hands on microphones used for all other NBA players speaking to reporters. This was in response to questions raised over the growing fear of a new virus that was spreading fast. While at the time, this moment was minor, one that none of us figured would be given a second thought, it was a minute of video that would be heavily scrutinized by those both inside and outside the league. Two days later, this video would be shared world-wide as Gobert became the first North American professional athlete to publically test positive for COVID-19.
Changes to NBA protocol after that moment were just the beginning of the shake-up.
February 23: FEP Presents: Industry Insights is a regular podcast that dives into specific event and festival production areas. The show is hosted by Mike Hanley, a 20 year veteran of the industry.
February 23: #TheShowMustBePaused presents the From Books to the Boardroom Career series to celebrate Black Education and Excellence for college students.
February 25: The Association of Independent Music Publishers is hosting a webinar about the details of live streaming from rights to types of content to services and monetization.
February 26: Check out the next House of Blues Music Forward Foundation’s office hours series on career and artist development.
March 12: The Recording Academy presents the Music on a Mission virtual concert to support their MusiCares program.
April 6 - 27: The ‘Virtual’ Severe Weather Summit by the Event Safety Alliance is absolutely free for ESA members.