March 16th, 2021

#040

Warning  We Talk About Taxes Inside and Its Surprisingly Helpful

Today's read...7 minutes

Let’s talk about tax, baby! No, really -- we interviewed two live events tax pros who helped us understand the most common tax questions for our industry. Plus, an updated list of festival postponements and lineup announcements.

HAPPENINGS

Oklahoma’s Governor announced that there would no longer be restrictions on public gatherings and mask requirements would be easing up, joining a growing list of states to lift restrictions.

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The Bowery Presents will host a series of 30 weekly livestream concerts beginning April 1 through their new partnership with Twitch. Artists to perform include Gus Dapperton, Hamilton Leithauser, Mac Ayres, MICHELLE, Orion Sun, Ritt Momney, and others.

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Austin venues band together to create the Safe in Sound public health code-of-conduct program following recently lifted mask mandate and capacity restrictions in Texas.

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Big Neon, the ticketing startup company founded in 2018, announces closure after succumbing to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and never fully realizing it’s goal of implementing a blockchain-based ticketing system.

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Spanish indie-pop band, Love of Lesbian, will perform at Barcelona’s first non-socailly distanced show of 5,000 fans each required to wear a mask and present a negative COVID-19 test.

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French festival organizers clash with the government over “seated” mandates for live events, citing a study that shows that fans would not attend a seated version of their festivals.

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Italy’s ‘The Last Concert’ campaign led to €50 million of support split between venues, organizers, and performers from their minister for culture.

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New case study outlines how follow-up testing will factor into the return of live events.

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Aspiring rappers can now download Facebook’s TikTok-like app, BARS, for creating and sharing their music with preinstalled voice adjustments and beats.

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UK and Ireland updates: Ireland’s government announced an additional €50 million of support for the live industry. Organizers in Scotland plead for a £9m cancellation insurance fund to plan for the summer. The UK Government is requiring more evidence to consider an insurance scheme.

BOH Clubhouse

OPENERS

You Down With LLC? Yeah, You Know Me!

Well, actually… it depends on a bevy of different circumstances based on what’s best for each person. So we talked to Ryan Shaw, a CPA and live events tax pro, who walked us through the pros, cons, and other details of forming an LLC which he made incredibly easy to understand. 

SOS Received! New COVID Relief Bill Includes Additional Funds for Events Industry

President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion relief package which includes an additional $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). There was also an amendment that allows venue owners to apply for PPP loans while they wait for SVOG to be distributed. The SVOG grant program was already allotted $15 billion in December through the Save Our Stages Act, but the Small Business Association has yet to implement the application website.

Lineups and Let-Downs: See Which Events Are Forging Ahead and Which Are Canceling

Israel has implemented a vaccine pass, called a ‘green pass’ (paywall) which allows up to 1,000 people indoors and 1,500 people outdoors to gather if they are all fully vaccinated. The CDC released their recommendations for fully vaccinated people, saying that they can gather without wearing masks or social distancing. Growing discussion suggests governments should insist festivals require guests to be fully vaccinated to attend. Will this rule be put into action? Either way, decisions about this summer’s slate of festivals continue to be made.

We’ve had some 2021 festival confirmations: 

  1. Life Is Beautiful Festival, scheduled for this September, announces lineup with Billie Eilish, Green Day, and Tame Impala headlining. 

  2. Las Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival’s dates have been confirmed for May by Insomniac Events founder and CEO, Pasquale Rotella. 

  3. All Points East Festival in London announced its event will take place this August instead of its typical May timeslot. The lineup includes Jamie XX, Kano, Arlo Parks, Slowtai, and more. 

  4. Field Day, the London festival partnered with All Points East, just released more tickets increasing capacity to 50,000. 

  5. Love Supreme Jazz Festival will debut its Japan edition this May featuring only Japanese artists, and its UK event will take place this July. 

  6. Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Beach is set for April 21-25

  7. Barcelona’s Cruïlla Festival will go ahead with its 2021 event set for July

  8. Chicago’s City Council committee has approved the traditional summer festival plans, but more details will be coming soon.

We’ve also had more 2021 festival cancellations.

  • Several of Germany’s major festivals have officially been canceled, including Hurricane, Southside, and Rock am Ring, so CTS Eventim’s ‘Summer of Reunion will be pushed to 2022. 

  • Both the Lisbon and Brazil editions of Rock In Rio 2021 have been canceled and are looking to return in June of 2022.

  • Cincinnati Music Festival, formerly known as the Cincinnati Jazz Festival, has also canceled for this year with plans to return in 2022 with the artists slated to perform in 2021.

  • Both the Lisbon and Brazil editions of Rock In Rio 2021 have been canceled and are looking to return in June of 2022.

  • Detroit's Mo Pop decides the summer of 2021 is still too soon for a safe return and marks their calendars for July of 2022.

Meanwhile, SXSW already announced their decision to go fully online this year, but here’s a little more on what to expect.

HEADLINER

Miguel Williams is an Accountant who specializes in the live entertainment and sports industries. He has been working in sports and entertainment for over 10 years, with specific interests in individual/business taxes, financial reporting, and hospitality. He has played major roles in college bowl games, concerts, and festivals during his tenure in the industry. He launched his own accounting firm in 2013 and sat down to chat about navigating the tax world in the midst of the pandemic as a gig worker.

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” -- Benjamin Franklin

Turns out, Ben was right. Even in our new normal world amidst unprecedented times, taxes are still certain. And they still suck. Luckily, we found Miguel Williams of Williams & Associates, a tax preparer extraordinaire who specializes in taxes for live event workers, and he helped answer some of our tax questions. (Thanks KC & KG!) Born and raised in New Orleans, Miguel has always been around the entertainment industry and started his accounting career working under the Live Nation umbrella at the House of Blues New Orleans. He’s been preparing taxes since 2010 while attending Xavier University of Louisiana as an undergrad accounting student, and has worked with numerous individuals and small businesses around the country for more than a decade.

As we entered another tax season, we chatted with Miguel about the types of taxes live events professionals are most likely to encounter. If we didn’t hit on your specific question or if you want Miguel to help you prepare your taxes, feel free to reach out to him directly.

Here’s what we learned:

Back of House Question Of The Week

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SIDE STAGE

▶️ SPONSORED: Bauer Entertainment Marketing is seeking an Account Manager to implement and maintain data-driven marketing campaigns for music, sports, and entertainment client companies.

▶️ Apply to be the Director of Ticket Operations for SoFi Stadium and oversee the ticketing functions of the Performance Venue and its ongoing management of event operations on behalf of its tenants and events in Los Angeles.

▶️ Sub Pop Records is hiring a full-time Digital Operations Specialist to work remotely now but in Seattle eventually.

▶️ Listen to Brittany Howard’s cover of “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher” by Jackie Wilson on Amazon Music.

▶️ The ticketing and livestream platform, DICE, has introduced a direct-to-fan merchandise service.

▶️ Paul McCartney just shared a single with Dominic Fike and announced collaborations with St. Vincent, Phoebe Bridgers, Beck, Blood Orange, Anderson Paak, and others for his reimagined McCartney III!

TUNE IN

March 25Join us for Back of House’s first Festival ALL CALL on Clubhouse featuring festival pros from Danny Wimmer Presents, Insomniac, WE Fest, and Live Night Events.

March 25: TuneCore has partnered with renowned technology and media analysis firm MIDiA Research to provide a deep dive on the disparity between female-identifying and male-identifying artists within the music industry. 

March 30-31: The Experiential Marketing Summit for creators of the brand experience.

April 13-15: The second #NEXTGEN_NOW Virtual Summit will once again bring together young music business professionals to discuss personal & professional development, perseverance, entrepreneurship, and how their new innovative ideas are influencing, impacting & transforming our industry.

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