March 2nd, 2021
You need this crosseyed Dave grohl drum snare
Today's read...5 minutes
This week’s Headliner tells us what it’s like to work the Super Bowl for the last decade; Burning Man organizers spark a flame of hope, and please excuse us as we try to win an Iron Maiden guitar.
Following the non-socially distanced trial concert using on-site rapid testing we mentioned last month, the Spanish Primavera Sound festival will host a series of in-person shows called ‘Coliseum Nights’ this spring.
The Burning Man festival organizers answer fans’ burning questions, saying their 2021 event is still a possibility. They hope to decide before June, but admit the event will likely be smaller in size.
The Country Music Association is partnering with the Touring Professionals Alliance in supporting a program that provides meals from local chefs to live industry workers in Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, and New York.
Musicians donate one-of-a-kind items to crowdfunding raffles to support UK stage crews who cannot receive government relief. See the raffle items here, including an Iron Maiden guitar, Dave Grohl’s crosseyed drum snare, and a pretty snazzy sofa from the Spice Girls.
Chicago police are prepping for a normal summer of outdoor events - including Lollapalooza - and it’s giving us another glimmer of hope for the return of live events.
The Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban are exploring options to use blockchain to buy game tickets, changing the primary game and potentially the secondary. Tickets purchased using blockchain would enable the team to get a cut on each ticket resold due to the transaction’s identity verification.
Post Malone covers Hootie and the Blowfish’s “Only Wanna Be With You” for Pokemon Festival, and that’s a sentence we never thought we’d write.
Long read: COVID decimated the electronic music industry. Read how Patreon became the saving grace for countless DJs and clubs.
The UK Rush: Why 2021 Festivals are Selling Out
Last month, the UK Prime Minister announced the road map for phasing out COVID-19 restrictions. The plan consists of four steps and relies on the continued decrease in cases and increase in vaccinations. Ideally, the end of the plan is to lift all restrictions, estimated to happen by the end of June. As a result, consumers across the nation rushed to purchase live events tickets, leading to some festivals selling out. Despite the excitement, or perhaps because of it, event organizers are pleading for a government-backed cancellation fund and financial support to survive the remaining months before reopening.
With this news, the Reading and Leeds festival confirmed its August 27-29 dates, and within days, most of the tickets sold out. Live Nation reported selling over 170,000 tickets for UK festivals in just three days after the Prime Minister’s message. Despite the excitement and optimism, the Association of Independent Festivals warns these events are “by no means guaranteed at this point.” Additionally, large-scale festivals have not been approved by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport this year.
COVID Successes Leave New Zealand Artists Alone on Stage
While most of the world’s live entertainment industry has been and continues to be on hold, Australia, to a certain extent, and New Zealand have been experiencing what one might call the ‘post-pandemic life.' However, the pandemic has still greatly impacted their live sectors’ companies and professionals. Travel and safety restrictions have caused the event organizers to turn to local artists instead of international artists in shows. This ‘hyperlocal’ trend has been a great opportunity to invest in their countries’ talent, but is risky for events that thrive off of international acts. While there has certainly been success so far, New Zealand’s local artist market is small as the country typically relies heavily on outside artists to attract guests. New Zealand organizers expressed that the surge of interest from audiences for live shows was not as significant as they expected, though their lockdown had not been as long compared to other countries. As a result, New Zealand event workers have turned to other employment to support their income, leaving organizers without enough hands when trying to plan. The Australian Festivals Association and the Australian Music Industry Network’s survey initiative, called I Lost My Gig Australia, reported that 55% of live professionals are considering switching industries, citing financial uncertainty as a leading factor.
Alex Guessard has been an audio designer and mixer for thirty-five years. He started his career as a freelance mixer around the globe. After developing a strong foundation, he transitioned into the role of Project Manager Designer Mixer ATKaudiotek. He now pursues a new level of his career as the Owner of Elevate Audio Design. We sat down with Alex to learn more about his role in what may be the largest on-stage event this year, the Super Bowl.
What’s It Like to Work the Super Bowl? Surprisingly Chill, According to This Week’s Headliner
Tell us about yourself - where did you grow up, what were you into growing up?
I grew up in the French part of Switzerland, close to the Alps. I had an early interest in audio. My family owned a music store, recording studio, and theatre company. Growing up in that environment, I was able to start mixing bands at the age of 15. I then pursued a musical engineering degree, and once I completed my studies, I jumped feet first into the industry.
Give us your background, what were you doing pre-COVID, how did you get there?
I began my career working for a dance company in Germany. I then moved to Australia to freelance on various tours. Over time, the bands I worked with led me to the United States, where many were based. After several years of touring, I transitioned into the world of television production, where I met individuals from the company ATK, a company I have now worked with for quite some time. ATK is a boutique company specializing in TV events such as American Idol, the Grammys, and the Super Bowl.
How did your work with the Super Bowl begin?
March 3-5: International Live Music Conference, the leading global gathering of live music professionals, reboots to a new virtual reality for 2021.
March 4: Tune in to UTA’s IQ Webinar: Patreon: Behind The Wall.
March 9: The Vendry is hosting How to Become an Entrepreneur in the Event Industry. Shantel Clarke, Martin Solorzano, and Taryn Covrigaru, are sharing the stories of how they built their companies, found success in the events industry, and more with the next generation of event pros.
March 8-11: Quadio Presents hear her, the Womxn+ in Music Summit, discussing what it means to be a Womxn+ in the industry.