#016 Let’s Chat about the COVID Blues

⏯ Let’s Chat About The COVID Blues

Today's read ... 7️⃣ minutes

Join us in celebrating National Coffee Day as we brew up some of the hottest industry highlights of the week and give away FREE COFFEE. From new health monitoring technology developments to learning how you can help to diversify stages. We also discuss the importance of finding your “zen” during these stressful times. The crew cannot espresso how excited we are for you to read this week’s issue!

The industry favorite, SXSW, was one of the first events to go dark in 2020.  This past week, they announced their plan to return in 2021 as a digital festival with “plans for a physical event.” 

In the industry’s latest call to action, eight organizations have joined forces for the #DoNotAbandonUS campaign, urging Congress to pass the RESTART Act before businesses disappear and millions of Americans lose their jobs permanently.

The Metropolitan Opera announced they will be forced to close their doors until late next year, but not without a little hope of what the end of 2021 and 2022 lineup will look like. Will this move from one of New York’s most renowned organizations reflect the fate of all live events in 2021? Or will they follow the sports model for opening arenas?

According to a recent study, 51% of event planners believe a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary for the return of concerts and music festivals. Event Manager’s Blog broke down how a vaccine will impact our industry, in hopes for a universal solution in late 2021.

The Norwegian app MovementPass could become the new industry standard in providing data on a ticketholder’s COVID status. The app aims to support the return of live events by requiring COVID-negative proof to enter a public event and help fans locate COVID-19 vaccines and antibody tests.

Venues are arming themselves with certifications of cleanliness in an effort to make fans feel safe upon the return of live events. The GBAC STAR Accreditation and WELL Health-Safety Rating are the latest seals being obtained by everything from hotels to Yankee Stadium.

Temperature Check introduced their hands-free thermal temperature checking solution that they hope will be the first line of defense in welcoming back in-person events. This infrared technology eliminates another point of close contact between fans and staff.

What if we placed a 360° rotating stage in the middle of a music festival? That’s what the Good Day Sunshine festival in Australia is testing out with a revolutionary venue model that divides the crowd into a game of “four corners”, each with their own entry, exit, and food vendors.

In Germany, a concert picnic series, which ran from July to September, drew more than 30,000 visitors across 30 shows. Last weekend in Bulgaria, two 50% capacity shows sold out. Yet, despite their success, promoters warned the model isn’t “economically viable” in the long term.

Fuel your Tuesday with a chance to win FREE COFFEE on us! 10 lucky Back of House subscribers will win.  Coffee's better with a friend, right? The more you share with your friends, the more opportunities you have to win. Click here to enter.

The Do’s and Don’ts of a COVID-era event

Fall is here and we are beginning to see more events come together. With more events comes more opportunities to learn as we are all trying to figure out the perfect formula in producing an event during a pandemic.  Let's look at the do's and don'ts brought to you by Austria's Now-More-Than-Ever-Festival, the ACMs, and VMAs.


  • Disinfect often.

  • Limit rehearsal and performance times of each artist.

  • Segment staff based on the ability to socially distance. Remember the color method from issue #010? 

  • Showcase cultures from various locations, allowing yourself to highlight several venues by streaming.


  • Include intermissions between performances.

  • Pretend you have an audience if you don’t.

  • Come within the distance of "one baby elephant" of someone.

(Jon Morgan/CBS)

Diversifying the Stage

Noelle Scaggs from Fitz and the Tantrums helps bring awareness to the lack of diversity in the music industry through the Diversify the Stage movement.  Currently, the most common way of hiring vendors, producers, and staff is through personal connections.  To create change in our industry we must break away from this common practice to include underrepresented individuals.  Noelle, along with Jerome Crooks (Nine Inch Nails) and his business partner Damien Nelson (Never Famous) are coming together with the following goals

  • Strengthen the staffing resource - Never Famous, which connects music industry experts in otherwise underrepresented communities with live events opportunities.

  • Promote the next generation of live event professionals through mentorship, workshops and masterclass courses

What can you do? Visit diversifythestage.org to get involved today.

Back of House Guest Posts feature some of our favorite people from across the industry sharing their expertise. If you would like to be featured in a future issue, or know someone who would, email us at [email protected].

Chase Wilkes is an Event Producer who specializes in managing credentials. He has worked in live events for 5 years, starting as a volunteer and working his way up to management level roles. Chase sat down with us to talk about mental health and how he’s staying active during the pandemic.  Make sure to keep reading for BOH's list of helpful health and wellness resources.2020 was gearing up to be a monumental year for Chase, full of credentials! With several opportunities to pursue his passion for events and taking on new management roles, he was eager to take on a busy schedule. He started the year with a few event positions already under his belt when everything came to a sudden halt.The adjustment from a vigorous work schedule to isolation from society was a huge change. With no real end in sight, Chase knew he needed to implement a schedule to keep himself sane.Exercise became an important remedy that he incorporated into his new way of life. While Chase was no stranger to working out, the roadie lifestyle makes it hard at times to stick to a workout routine. With gyms closed, running became his workout of choice. Chase found a few points to be true after running was incorporated into his daily routine:

  • The natural endorphins released during a run help him uphold positive energy. 

  • Achieving small goals increased his motivation to stay active and shifted his focus away from life stressors. One large goal he set his mind towards was completing a half marathon (13.1 miles)!

Though gyms have reopened, Chase still takes time to mix running into his weekly routine.  When events come back in full swing, Chase believes running is something he will incorporate into a travel-based lifestyle. Not to make it sound like we’re reading his dating profile, but long walks on the beach have also brought Chase much joy and a peaceful beginning or end to any day. A socially distanced change in scenery has helped Chase let go of negative thoughts and may help you stay healthy and active during quarantine! To learn more about how running can reduce stress, check out this link.

Have you been physically active during the past few months?  Share with us your favorite form of exercise by replying to this email. 

Last Week's Results:


of BOH subscribers

 would take a flight to nowhere.

▶️ Prime Roots, a plant-based product company, is hiring delivery drivers on the west coast.▶️ Wendy Day is hiring a graphic designer to design single and album covers, social media artwork, and posters.▶️ NTWRK, a video shopping platform, is hiring for multiple roles from Video Editors, Customer Service Associates, and Project Managers.

▶️ There are hundreds of different ways that animals sleep, and some are just plain odd! From spider siestas to dozing dolphins, here are some of the most unusual snoozing creatures.▶️ Watched every episode of every cooking show while waiting out COVID?  How about this tiny cooking show - complete with tiny utensils, tiny ingredients, in a tiny kitchen. 

September 29: Whether you’re skeptical or optimistic, “The Future of Events: 2021 & Beyond” gathers industry experts to explore what events will look like from key technology to jobs.

September 29: MidWay Music Festival + Summit presents various discussions over the course of this week, from working as an Audio Engineer to the lives of Photographers & Videographers.

October 1: The IFEA will talk about finding success through COVID-19, from restructuring to refocusing and renewing an organization in a case study.

October 2: Rave The Vote is a voter registration and fundraising digital event aimed to rally the dance music community around the pillars of change and unity.

October 8: Relieve some stress and take some time for yourself in this upcoming healing workshop.

Full event calendar here

Written while de-stressing to Tash Sultana's "Beyond The Pine"