#021 Photography

Guess what today is ... Tuesday

Today's read ...  6️⃣  minutes

We are traveling around the globe on this... uneventful Tuesday, to take a little break from things in the U.S. Super Mario Kart hits the big screen in the UK, Harry Styles invests in the largest indoor music arena in Manchester, and then head back to the States to hear from Nashville photographer, Keith Griner, who has refocused his business to become a leader in live stream.

Aussies love their rugby, yet last week’s Grand Finals attendance was the lowest since 1917, during WWI. While in the virtual world, Amsterdam Dance Event reached over 35 million people globally and featured keynotes from Martin Garrix, James Blake, and more.

Harry Styles invests in the largest indoor music arena to hit the UK. The all-new 23,500 capacity Manchester arena is expected to open in 2023.

Governments provide live industry relief as the second wave of lockdowns hits Europe. France pledges €55 million for live music venues while Austria gives €300 million to cover costs for cancellations due to new restrictions.

Despite the uncertainty of live events on a global level, new venue construction and festival announcements give hope to our industry's future. Creation Day, Unlocked Festival, and One Out are among many brand new 2021 events set to launch in the UK next year.

Glastonbury Festival is expected to return in 2021! When the 2020 event was canceled, refund requests were non-existent, and “massive testing arrangements” have been in talks for reopening the infamous event.

Without sweaty, crowded dance floors to unleash their mind onto, many club-goers and ravers have turned to running to maintain their connection to electronic music. “The same pulsating energy that once fueled peak-time dance marathons now carries me over the next hill, through the next mile, toward the next goal.” Just like our headliner from a couple of issues back who cured COVID-blues with running!

London soccer fans rejoice! Arsenal Football Club’s new loyalty card will help fans upgrade memberships, store game tickets, and redeem rewards with “money can’t buy” experiences for all Arsenal games.

Despite current restrictions in South Africa, events have shown to be quite resilient. Since theatres and outdoor events are only allowed with limited capacity, they have successfully reimagined possibilities online to reach new audiences "who may not otherwise have been able to come to the live Festival."

Super Mario Kart is coming to the Big Screen! In a near-genius pivot, UK movie theatres are now renting out their larger-than-life screens to gamers and private groups for the ultimate split-screen experience.

There’s a Gorilla on the loose in Animal Crossing! Oh no, that’s just the Gorillaz vocalist teaming up with Beck to put on an in-game performance!

Music Venues' New Superhero

The headlines say it all: 

Former WME Music Chief Marc Geiger is proving himself a hero to the industry by launching a $75 million partnership to assist U.S. music venues impacted by the pandemic. After the first round of investments, Geiger plans to put money into small venues while creating a touring network through the initiative SaveLive. Along with partner John Fogelman, they plan to purchase 51% equity for dozens of small venues across the U.S. and expand once concerts return in full, which they believe will be 2022. 

Get Your Tickets Here! Or There?!

Adaptivity is the name of the game for ticketing companies' response during the current climate of the events industry. With so much to wrap your head around, we broke down some of the latest ticketing updates for you.

  • See Tickets - socially distanced seat maps, limited capacity time slots, contactless access control, and contact tracing and car registration capture.

  • Ticketmaster - more efficient access & safer seating, timed entry, entry rate monitoring contactless (box office, scanners, payment, mobile ordering, and in-venue experiences), contact tracing, and Secure Ticket Transfer. 

  • SecuTix - organic social distancing seating, tickets on sale now seats later concept, monetization of virtual events, mass-refund, mass-cancellation, automatic refund email, and entrance time slots

  • AudienceView - touchless scanners, self-serve ticket return, virtual event support, mass-refund, text notifications to enhance fan communication, and gift certificates.

What feature is most important to you in a pandemic-impacted event? Have you worked with any of these or other companies that are making changes? We want to know; start a conversation with us at [email protected].

Just The Kind Of Positive Test We Were Looking For

We've eagerly waited for the outcome of Germany's RESTART-19 experiment, and the results are finally here! (If you're not up to date on the test, you can learn more from issue #09 before we spoil it for you). Dr. Stefan Moritz, the head of the operation, describes the concert as "a great success!" Here's a couple of the key takeaways from the tests:

  • Long-lasting contact during events is not as common as expected.

  • Hand sanitizing procedures and masks did help keep interactions safer.

  • 90% of fans in attendance were not discouraged from attending other events when masks were required.

  • The largest takeaway (drumroll please) proper venue ventilation is essential to limiting guest risk.

Hopefully, with the scientific results now in that events can take place, more government support will be on the rise!

Keith Griner is a music photographer based in Nashville, Tennessee. He's worked for tours like Dead and Company, Hootie and the Blowfish, Maren Morris, and more. His company Phierce Photography is the exception to average live music photography. His images are dynamic, remarkable, and some of the most marketable images in the industry and the reason why tours and festivals around the country look to Phierce Photography for marketing expertise. With years of music industry experience, Phierce can tailor work based on each artist or festival's individual needs with one goal: Exceeding the expectations every time. For tours looking to have comprehensive coverage, we offer both photography and videography. We were lucky enough to sit down with Keith (virtually) and learn how he used his passion for artist photography to become a live steam leader.I never had any aspirations to be a photographer. If you told 15-year-old me that one day I would work alongside the surviving members of Grateful Dead or be on tour with Hootie and the Blowfish, I would have laughed at you. I’m just a small-town guy from Indiana.

My first introduction to photography was when a friend of mine started to buy professional cameras and lenses. I remember thinking, “that was how much I paid for my last car!” I thought he was nuts.  It wasn’t until I was 32 that I picked up my first camera. A few years later, photography transformed my life from never traveling more than a few hours outside of my hometown to catching flights every week for concerts and music festivals around the country.

    I had just relocated to Nashville and thought this would be my breakout year now that I'm in Music City. But when COVID hit, everything in my life changed. Within 14 days of the pandemic, every single contract that I had for the year was canceled. Being new to Music City and not having a set client base at the beginning of the pandemic was extremely challenging. Imagine knocking on doors to an industry that was just forced to take a spring and summer vacation.

    With tours and festivals predicted to not return until at least 2021, I decided to shift my focus to live streams. I had watched live stream concerts for years, from Dead and Company to Phish to Umphrey's McGee. It made me think, "what better way to help bring fans to a live performance while we are all isolated in our homes?"While learning how to use the equipment and programs involved in shooting live streams has been difficult, being in Nashville has made the transition easier. Nashville has been the single most significant factor in my company's success. There are just so many artists in town wanting to connect with their fans with new music and social media! Right now, we're working three to six days a week producing live stream content for artists and producers across the country.

    Things like touring with Hootie and the Blowfish in 2019 have turned into lead singer Darius Rucker having my team produce his at-home live streams. Just two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to photograph several Umphrey's McGee drive-in shows in Chicago. It is incredible to be back at it and hear the roar of the live crowd. After so many years in the industry, I started to take that for granted. I began to overlook how special it is to work in live events, but live streaming has allowed me to rediscover the joys of working live shows after having it taken away.

    So what's next? I hope the connections I have made through live stream events will open doors to new photo opportunities when the world opens again. I have also found love for directing while working on these live stream projects and hope to land a chance to document a major artist's journey, both on and off tour. I want to show that there's so much more that happens in a musician's life than just what is broadcast on stage.

    My advice to aspiring photographers:

    Keep shooting! I shot multiple nights a week at local bars to capture anything and everything because I was chasing my passion (and I wanted to take it somewhere).Photos courtesy of Phierce Photo by Keith Griner

    Last Week's Results:70% of BOH Subscribers dressed up this year for Halloween.

    ▶️ City Winery in Nashville is looking for a new Marketing Manager to help them reimagine the future of live music and hospitality.

    ▶️ Zoom is looking to hire an audiovisual expert to be their AV Consultant for Pro Events in Austin.

    ▶️ A Freelance, Part-Time Event Coordinator, is needed at The Experiential Group LLC in Brooklyn.

    ▶️ Rockstar Games is looking for a Freelance Set Builder in New York City.

    ▶️ This newly approved spiral emoji is the perfect depiction of how we’ve been feeling this year.

    ▶️ Have you taken up reading to help unwind? Check out this library of beautiful poems from across places, era, and cultures.▶️ Step back in time with Radiooooo, an extraordinary musical time machine.▶️ Take some time to de-stress with some Color by Number.

    November 4: The MW:M20 convention will include the innovative use and development of digital tools, the economic stagnation of the live music industry, and the growing need for distant socializing in times of social distancing - all brought together with their theme of #Togetherness.November 7: ACCESS ALL AREAS: Impact is a new up close and personal music seminar, industry networking event, and artist showcase that aims to be your "Triple-A Pass To The Music Industry".November 10: Join The Vendry for a discussion on how event pros can build attractive virtual sponsorship packages, source interested sponsors, and more.November 11: More and more businesses, local authorities, and countries are making commitments to reach net-zero emissions. Vision 2025 takes a closer look at why 'net zero' matters and how we translate the idea meaningfully for the outdoor events sector.November 12: This free webinar discusses "Using Data to Inform Crowd Management" This webinar will present a proof-of-concept tool for data-informed crowd management and decision support, highlighting the collection, analysis, visualization, and reporting of crowd movement to inform near real-time crowd management strategies.

    Written while chilling out to "Like This" by Dekleyn

    Love getting Back of House newsletter to your inbox every Tuesday? Don't miss out on an issue. Move your emails from [email protected] to your primary inbox today!