March 29th, 2021

#042

growing optimism  more fests forge on

Today's read...6 minutes

Thanks to everyone who tuned into BOH's Festival ALL CALL on Clubhouse last week. Stay tuned for updates on the next one! Hope for AEG and Live Nation’s furloughed workers this summer, we’re excited to “sea” Rock Boat Fest return this fall, and our headliner details what it’s really like to be on a multi-city tour during a pandemic.

HAPPENINGS

The first group of AEG’s furloughed workers will be returning to work on April 1. According to CEO Dan Beckerman, the company plans to have all affected staff back with full pay this fall. Live Nation continues to bring back employees in an effort that unofficially began in January.

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Facebook is expanding its ticketed livestream platform to 24 additional countries. Since its debut in August 2020, Facebook has not collected any revenue from this platform, allowing all proceeds to go to the creators, and will continue to do so until the end of August 2021.

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Barcelona hosts 5,000-person concert after using same-day COVID testing. See the incredible photos that documented the testing process and end result.

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The live event industry in Australia is receiving more support from their government, with $125 million added to the RISE fund supporting arts organizations and $10 million added to charity, Support Act, that offers crisis relief to artists, crew, and music workers. Many have looked to Australia and New Zealand as successfully handling the pandemic, but new theories test the Catch-22 of a zero COVID-19 policy.

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The 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will officially not be allowing overseas spectators to attend, and these ticketholders will be refunded.

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RBC Bluesfest and Ottawa Tourism are planning a hotel concert and comedy series called The Room Service Concert Series. Attendees will rent a room at a local, participating hotel and have access to exclusive performances from Lennon Stella, Third Eye Blind, Pete Davidson and Alex Moffat of SNL, and many more.

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New York launches a new COVID app that tracks vaccinations and test results for event attendees. 

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As in-person events are gearing up for their return, event tech will play a major role in facilitating safety practices. Read what features tech providers are developing for fighting COVID-19. 

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Ready to set sail! Festivals at sea are following right behind their counterparts on land as Sixthman's sold-out Rock Boat Festival plans to depart Miami in November, making stops in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

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Paisley Park to host an event for the 5th anniversary of Prince’s death.

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ICYMI: President Biden’s American Rescue Plan includes relief requested in the Save Our Stages Act. Here’s what that means for the music industry.

OPENERS

Growing Optimism: More Fests Forge On, Cancellation Insurance Grows Across Europe

  • Festival bosses in the UK and Europe discuss how they expect COVID-19 to impact their lineups with overseas artists.

  • Despite Glastonbury’s cancellation, festival organizers hope to plan a one-off concert this September and a ‘family-friendly’ campsite during the summer.

  • The Tanglewood classical music festival will be returning in-person on July 9 - August 16 this year in Massachusetts.

  • UK’s Wireless Festival has moved to a new date and new location this year. The event will take place at South London’s Crystal Palace Park on September 10-12. Manchester’s Parklife is scheduled for September 11-12. Both events sold out in record time.

  • The Isle of Wight Festival, scheduled for September 16-19 of this year, has announced their lineup which includes Liam Gallagher, Snow Patrol, David Guetta, and Duran Duran as headliners.

  • Set for September 17-19, Georgia’s Imagine Festival recently announced their lineup featuring Excision, Kaskade, Illenium, and GRiZ.

  • All Points East announced the lineup for their Bank Holiday Monday edition on August 30. Foals will be headlining, and other performers include Bombay Bicycle Club, Whitney, Jade Bird, and more.

  • One of Barcelona’s three major international festivals, Sónar Festival, has been called off this year. Organizers are planning two new in-person festivals for this fall.

  • The governor of West Virginia announced that fairs and festivals would be returning starting May 1.

  • The Public Health Director of Montreal feels ‘optimistic’ that some cultural events will take place this summer, but not the large festivals with thousands of people. 

  • The Japanese government has changed their cancellation insurance plan to include domestic shows from foreign artists (paywall).

  • The Dutch government confirmed details of their festival cancellation fund including €385 million to cover events scheduled for the second half of this year.

  • The UK government has given £1 million to the Edinburgh festival market to help broadcast their events digitally this summer.

  • The Swiss government will contribute to the cancellation insurance program for events scheduled between June 1, 2021 and April 30, 2022.

SXSW Went All Digital, But How’d It Really Go?

Just days after their virtual event, SXSW announced that next year’s event will be live and in person from March 11-20, 2022. This year’s online edition was a five-day virtual event with speakers, music performances, films, and more. Hear BizBash’s and Austin360’s takes on the highs and lows of the virtual conference. Notably, Austin’s hospitality sector and the local businesses downtown are facing extreme financial challenges after having missed out on two consecutive years of profits generated by the hundreds of thousands of festival visitors that normally come to the city. Business owners and tourism pros are hopeful that an in-person event next year will bring much-needed revenue back to Austin.

HEADLINER

Cole Kegans is an event professional who has been working in the live events industry for eight years, specializing in lighting design and production management. Cole's company, Blink Lites, has designed and provided gear for a wide array of concerts and corporate events ranging from small backyard shows to sold-out shows at Red Rocks. After taking a position on a national tour during a pandemic we wanted to sit down and ask Cole a few questions.

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Touring during COVID -- What’s protocol like for this multi-city tour?

With today’s uncertainty in the live events industry, visualizing what the future looks like is perhaps the most difficult task for even the most experienced production crew. The pandemic has impacted not only how many of us plan for the future, but also how we anticipate building the foreground for a sustainable industry moving forward. In the production industry, we are accustomed to and even invigorated by a world dominated by moving parts, but nothing compares to the kind of unpredictability and lack of room for error ascribed to tour life during a pandemic.

Working multiple roles in production has trained me to expect the worst and prepare accordingly. But nothing like what the entertainment and events world experienced in March of 2020 could be expected and prepared for. Working with Fortune 500 companies where I held positions as lighting design to master electrician feels strangely forgotten compared to the mandated system of operations now. When I received the invitation to go on tour in October 2020, I was of course excited to finally work again, but the anxiety of traveling the country through the midst of a pandemic soon set in. 

Back of House Question Of The Week

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SIDE STAGE

▶️ NEXT Music is looking for a Remote Event Manager to design, plan, and execute virtual events for their Rising Artists.

▶️ Contract role: UpStaged Entertainment Group is hiring a Senior Entertainment Event Manager in New York, NY for their upcoming Collegiate Livestreaming DJ Competition. 

▶️ Apply to be the full-time Assistant to the Pop/Rock Digital Marketing Operations of Warner Music Group in New York, NY.

▶️ Need some creative inspiration? Here are 24 women-hosted podcasts to round out women’s history month.

▶️ The 6th issue of international crowd safety magazine, The Crowd, is out now.

▶️ Sony Music Group’s new initiative, Beyond the Instrument, is designed to stimulate creativity, advance educational resources and promote career development within the music industry led by Noah Cyrus (yeah, that’s Miley’s sis).

TUNE IN

April 1: UTA’s IQ Webinar: NFTs: Beyond the Hype. They’ll discuss what NFTs are (because we still have no idea), how you should be thinking about them, and how to launch them successfully.

April 7: Event Marketer is hosting the 2021 Partner Imperative: 5 Reasons Why DIY Events Won’t Cut It This Year. When budgets and resources are tight, many organizations bring virtual event management fully in-house. In this webinar, we will explain when you should call in a partner for all or portions of your event.

April 8: The Vendry is hosting How Media Companies Are Shifting Event Strategies. Join senior executives from VICE, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal for a conversation about how they've evolved their event strategies in the wake of the pandemic.

April 6 - 27: Don’t forget the ‘Virtual’ Severe Weather Summit is absolutely free for ESA members ($25 membership).

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