backofhouse

March 9th, 2021

#039

VEGAS DOUBLES DOWN ON SEPTEMBER DATE

Today's read...7 minutes

Las Vegas plans for Life is Beautiful Fest in September; a new COVID-safety training might give you an advantage in securing your next gig; and The Independent thinks event organizers are being “downright irresponsible.”

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HAPPENINGS

While we aren’t quite out of the woods yet, live events are gearing up for their return, and organizers will have to take on a whole new set of protocols to ensure the safety of fans. Check out The Event Ally’s courses in Planning Live Events During COVID-19, featuring modules like What Every Producer Should Know and Hiring, Training, and Managing the COVID-19 Compliance Officer.

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Live Nation’s CEO, Michael Rapino, expects a return to 75% or more capacity for US live events sometime this year and an explosive year of international touring in 2022

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A new, more flexible ticketing-exchange service will be launched by Lyte and their new partner, Mint Talent Group. Fans will be able to use this reservation system that allows buyers to change or cancel their tickets at any time, and artists will have access to demand data from different locations.

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South London will debut a new festival this year called Wide Awake. Hear from the festival director about how they plan to launch a new event during the pandemic and how sustainability is an integral part of their mission.

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Do you think announcing music festivals for 2021 is “absolutely absurd?” Read why The Independent thinks it’s “downright irresponsible that events are getting fans’ hopes up so soon.” 

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125,000 fans came together over six nights this February to see rock band, Six60, at New Zealand’s Sky Stadium. Lead singer calls out, “Welcome to the biggest show on earth!”

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SXSW has partnered with XR company, VRrOOm, to bring downtown Austin to life virtually. Fans can explore this digital platform, see the city’s iconic locations and venues like the Paramount Theatre, and attend virtual parties.

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There has been a lot of conversation surrounding potential vaccine ‘passport’ technologies, but Israel is the first country to activate it, despite the concerns of “unlawful discrimination.” 

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Tokyo considers barring international spectators during the Summer Olympics, citing COVID-19 concerns. Previously, 1 million fans were expected to attend.

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Queen makes their video game debut with Queen: Rock Tour for Android and iOS. The game will allow players to perform historic appearances throughout Queen’s history.

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OPENERS

Restrictions Loosen Across US, but Hesitancy Remains

COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted in some states including New York, Texas, Mississippi, California, and Michigan. On March 10, Texas will no longer have a mask mandate and all businesses, including concert venues, will be allowed to operate at full capacity. Texas’ Ubbi Dubbi Festival confirmed its April dates for 100% capacity. They will require guests to wear masks and will implement the Clear Health Pass, (yes, the same company we go through at airports), and a vaccinated express laneCalifornia health officials announced that outdoor events including concerts and sports are eligible to reopen with capacity and procedural limitations on April 1. IBM has been working with the State of New York to trial the COVID-19 health pass Excelsior Pass for Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center. Governor Cuomo announced that events of 100 guests indoors and 200 guests outdoors will be allowed starting April 2. Since March 5, New York movie theaters have been allowed to operate at limited capacity.

The pandemic has been extremely difficult for the entertainment and arts industries. Jobs for entertainment professionals have fallen 66% over the past year in New York. However, despite the rules loosening up around the virus, many venues are still concerned about safety and remain hesitant to re-open. Help might be on the way for them as the federal government proposed a change that independent venues could now apply to both the Shutted Venue Operations Grant and the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. See the recently updated FAQ for the SVOG program here.

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UK Event Organizers Change Their Mind While Vegas Bets on September

Despite their upcoming in-person concert series covered in our last issue, the Primavera Sound festival has cancelled its 2021 event, postponing their 20th anniversary installment another year. They plan to announce their 2022 lineup on June 2 and will allow current ticketholders to decide at that time if they would like a refund or to attend in 2022. Similarly, the UK’s Download Festival has also cancelled for this year, announcing that their 2022 event will take place June 10-12 and will be headlined by Kiss, Iron Maiden, and Biffy Clyro. Other festivals to announce cancellations for this year include Lightning In a Bottle and Nashville’s CMA Fest. Conversely, Las Vegas’ Life Is Beautiful Festival will return this September in-person. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Australia plans to debut a new live event called Next Exit Festival in Sydney at the end of May.

Event Cancellation Fund Left Out of UK Recovery Budget

UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the country’s budget would include more than £400 million for the arts and culture sector. This much-needed support is welcomed, but industry leaders and organizers are disappointed that their call for a government-backed cancellation insurance scheme for festivals was left unanswered and that the Culture Recovery Fund, which gained £300 million in the budget, was not extended to freelancers. Without insurance support, most events will likely cancel for this year - as several already have. The budget does include an extension of the VAT on ticket sales and an extension of the furlough scheme.

HEADLINER

Jordan Kallman has been known to throw a great party, but his story runs much deeper than its illustrative cover. He has spent his entire life creating intense anticipation, moments of happiness, and lifelong memories for others. He is currently exploring the latest wonders in experience design with a periodic digest that might help you get ready for the coming golden era for gatherings.

Jordan Kallman

Free Drinks, Celeb Influencers, and Other Things that Will Endure for Events in 2021

As a future-oriented thinker and experience designer who has spent his entire creative life focused on changing culture, the majority of my attention gets dedicated to understanding how to take advantage of things that are changing. Yet, we find ourselves in a time when nearly everything for live events has flipped upside down; making sense of the disruption is nearly impossible. 

In chaotic times like these, when the only abundant resource seems to be more time to wait for large-scale gatherings to return, where do we look for opportunity? I would argue, we anchor ourselves back to a steady frame of mind, one rooted in first principles.

Back of House Question Of The Week

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SIDE STAGE

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▶️ The Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit needs a Box Office Manager responsible for programming and monitoring all events, tracking sales, executing account management, and more.

▶️ The Cincinnati Arts Association is looking for a Director of Ticketing Services to oversee all ticketing related customer relations, sales, and financial responsibilities.

▶️ Apply to be the Social and Paid Media Manager with UBS Arena in Elmont, New York to manage the accounts and execute campaigns.

▶️ Record Store Day will take place on both June 12 and July 17 this year!

▶️ NFT’s, or non-fungible tokens, are on the rise. Kings of Leon is the first artist to make them part of their album drop.

▶️ Bayard Rustin: ‘The Greatest Event Planner of All Time,’ remembers the activist organizer behind March on Washington.

▶️ Hear what 13 industry professionals predict for the future of catering.

TUNE IN

March 10: The Show Makers will head to Instagram Live for their Road to Wellness series on putting wellness first in your life. This session will be hosted by Janine Diaz of The Tour Life Podcast. 

March 16: Join Symphonic Distribution and The Mechanical Licensing Collective’s Live Q&A about royalty collection. 

March 31: Music Week’s Virtual Tech Summit will explore how music and technology can work together to help artists, managers, labels and publishers reach new audiences.

April 6: The Vendry is hosting a conversation in Mentorship vs Sponsorship: Why You Need Both in Your Career.

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