#023 Managing In A Pandemic

This Issue is Fyre 🔥😉

Today's read ...  7️⃣ minutes

Hungry event workers across the nation get fed! Though live events might not be on the rise just yet, their stocks sure are. Plus, could boot, scooting, and boogying be the cure to comfort?

The live event sector is not the only industry experiencing change during the pandemic. Streaming patterns have also surged representing the fans' desire to connect with artists. Among those changes, country music has seen a surge in listeners and the first genre to bounce back, believed to be due to its authentic, relatable content that gives comfort.

The Australian event industry starts to show signs of life

as TEG & Live Nation announce Great Southern Nights, which consists of 1,000 shows across New South Wales throughout November. THIS THAT festival also plans to return to the area in 2021 with a focus on COVID safety.   

The Event Safety Alliance’s industry-wide collaborative gets a makeover. Get familiar with the latest guidelines in their Reopening Guide which will allow you to get creative with tech tools to help implement these policies.

What does Music Week think Biden’s presidency means for the music business? (Hint: they are incredibly optimistic about Kamala Harris’ many connections to music industry veterans). For those of you looking for a little more of a ‘bang,’ learn about the firework drones behind Biden’s victory speech.

After 23 years at Summerfest, Harley-Davidson will no longer be the face of the festival giant. Summerfest has announced it will instead feature the Wisconsin-based manufacturer Generac Power Systems as the new sponsor for their three-weekend event in 2021.  

Many companies are currently working with skeleton crews and limited budgets, making virtual production a challenge for event producers. But Bizzabo has released new technology to improve management and communications to “take some of the weight off of the event organizer.

While we prepare for what travel and tourism may look like in a post-pandemic world, we may be able to take a few tips out of Costa Rica’s playbook. Their robust safety-protocols and clear messaging have proven a great success so far!

After months of price drops, live event stocks start to soar following the announced positive results of vaccination testing. This announcement is just 2 of 11 vaccines that are now entering their final stages of testing.

The ‘mastermind’ behind Fyre Fest, Billy McFarland, has a new ‘on location’ business plan.  This time, the site is a prison. Check out his new podcast, recorded behind bars!

Fact vs Fiction

With the industry buzzing about TicketMaster's plan to launch a vaccine "requirement," BOH breaks down the fact vs. fiction. Here's what we do know:

After news of successful vaccine testing was announced, Ticketmaster shared that they were exploring some integrations with third-party healthcare companies. This announcement caused a buzz about a possible vaccine "requirement" to attend their future events, created a lot of confusion. Back of House breaks down the fact vs. fiction surrounding their latest projects.

❌Ticketmaster does not plan to require vaccinations to attend an event or have the power to do so. It is to the discretion of the event producer what the requirements are to participate in the experience.

❌Ticketmaster will not store or have access to any medical records.

✅Ticketmaster is exploring the logistics of verifying if an attendee meets any vaccine or testing requirements that may be set by an event.

✅Ticketmaster is working on the SmartEvent suite, which helps event planners plan for social distancing at events.

You can visit BBC for the full story on the confusion and clarification. 

Soul Food

MusicallyFed is cooking up something good to warm the soul. During Maria Brunner’s almost 40 years in the music industry, she saw many catering foods go to waste post-show. For the past five years, her non-profit organization has repurposed leftover catering from concerts and provided them to communities to feed the homeless and hungry. When the pandemic hit, the same people that used to donate the food were now the ones that needed it: music industry workers. It started in Phoenix with local restaurants providing meals picked up drive-thru style and has since spread to Minneapolis, Nashville, Atlanta, with Los Angeles next on the list starting December 19th. If you’re someone that needs help or is interested in helping, here are some ways you can get involved:

  • With the holidays just around the corner, consider signing up for AmazonSmile and choosing MusicallyFed as your charity and have 0.5% of your eligible order donated to the cause.

  • Donate.

  • Sign up to volunteer.

  • If you need help, call (480) 951-1882 or Email [email protected].

Supporting Local Around the Globe

Thanks to Business Event Perth, you can now virtually plan your business event down under. This interactive event planner will give organizers a convenient way to prepare and promote small businesses in Western Australia. This virtual tool takes you on tour through venues, accommodations, and experiences - making planning a breeze. Join the tour guide, Alan, as he takes users through a hassle-free experience highlighting Australia's best based on the answers you provide. Try it out yourself here.Another way Australia is helping small businesses is with a new platform that showcases Australian products and services. Expertise Events has planned two conferences in November for local vendors to showcase home, business, lifestyle, and food goods. In addition to letting them ‘set up shop,’ they invited many media and influencers to gain even more exposure. You can register to be an exhibitor here. Australia is not the only area providing a centralized hub for creators. The Hawaiian Airlines Made In Maui County Festival has announced they will leave their platform open all year. Check out how they are using technology to boost sales and awareness of locally made products here.

Ashley Brown has been in the industry for over 15 years in festival management and logistics. About three years ago, in addition to festival management, she started tour managing for electronic artist Deadmau5. With experience on both sides of the stage, Ashley has traveled worldwide on tour from Saudi Arabia to Australia and has worked in the live event industry in over 25 countries. In 2016, Ashley and her business partner started CSP (Chris Schroeder Productions) when they left their full-time jobs at React Presents. She has since enjoyed working on projects such as the Indianapolis 500 Concert Series (Carb & Legends Day + Snake Pit), Spring Awakening, Mamby on the Beach, Wakaan Music Festival, and KAABOO Del Mar, to name a few. As a jack of all trades, Ashley specializes in artist relations, ticketing, site operations management, accounting, and travel logistics.

Managing During a Pandemic…. 

It’s been a weird year. Shows look a little different than they used to, and our industry has been decimated. I have been lucky enough to be part of a new company during this trying time, At The Drive Inn (ATDI), with partners that I trust and appreciate, and who challenge me on a daily basis to become a better partner, manager, organizer, and person. Our company is made up of talent buyers, tour and logistics managers, and production directors that meld extremely well together, utilizing everyone’s individual strengths to become a very well-rounded team. We’ve been able to put people back to work and find a way to bring some sense of “normalcy” back to an uncertain, unprecedented time. Our first show began back in July with Big Gigantic & NGHTMRE, and since then we’ve branched across all genres with an artist lineup that included Billy Strings, Jeff Tweedy, Trampled by Turtles, Deadmau5, Quinn XCII & Chelsea Cutler, Adventure Club, Rezz, Ganja White Night, and Gramatik. We produced shows at two very different venues – from the traditional drive-in movie theatre in McHenry, IL to a blank-slate parking lot at SeatGeek Stadium just outside of Chicago.

Here are a four things I’ve learned over the past 23 drive-in shows we’ve produced since July:

  • Set the rules, and lead by example: 2020 has been the year of rules – the good, bad, and ugly. If you want to survive (in more ways than one), it’s important to understand there will be some additional guidelines that we have never thought about, or even considered in the live event industry. Taking temperatures upon arrival at staff check-in? The new normal. Face masks at all times on-site, even if you’re more than 6 feet away from the nearest person? Required. Purchasing enough hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and disposable masks to cover an army? Check. The first thing we do when arriving on-site is a check-in with our labor coordinator and COVID compliance officer, fill out a wellness form, and submit a temperature check. Everyone does it – from the stagehands to the parking staff, to upper management. We were lucky with our team and patrons in Illinois, the state has had a mask mandate since early May and has actually been enforcing it. It’s been easy for us to follow these guidelines, and for our patrons to follow them because it’s become a way of life. Other markets aren’t so lucky. We had a “production only” contract at an event in Indiana recently, and it was quickly decided by the venue management team that mask enforcement was just not going to happen – they had to decide between altercations and fist-fights between guests and security or just allowing people in their parking spots to hangout uncovered. The most important thing we’ve done as ATDI is lead by example – if the guests see proper mask-wearing employees from the moment they enter the venue, to the moment of departure, it’s much easier to enforce. 

  • Hire a team you trust, and that trusts you: It’s not a secret that margins are small with drive-ins – we don’t have concessions, there’s definitely no alcohol sales at the moment, and artists are working door deals the majority of the time. Department sizes are smaller, and managers are working with less staff than you would typically see at a similar event pre-pandemic. I have personally found success by surrounding myself with amazing leaders that don’t need to be micromanaged and are immediately ready to jump in and assist other departments the moment the flag is raised. Parking need a few extra bodies? Our production manager is in the front row assisting until the rush has ended. Artist Hospitality has an urgent request and no runner available? The assistant event manager is in the car immediately to help. I am so grateful to have a team that asks, “what can I do?” instead of “that’s not my department.”Those types of personalities don’t last long around here – my favorite response when people ask what my title is would be “glorified trash picker-upper.” We are all so grateful and happy to be working, and it’s important to me to make sure our team feels empowered to make decisions and give advice and recommendations on how we can all continue to make events like this happen. Events look a bit different these days, but it still takes a small army to pull them off safely and professionally.

Are there any particular topics you want to learn more about?

A majority of BOH Subscribers

▶️ Pollen is looking for a live event professional in Las Vegas to serve as a Destination Lead by using their knowledge and relationships of the city to build the perfect experience for some of the most prominent music artists in the world.

▶️ Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is hiring event interns for its Award-Winning Flower Show.

▶️ Become a part of The Digilogue’s Directory (for free), so their Music Careers Team can work to find you jobs based on your individual experiences and expertise.  

▶️ People are getting creative with ways to make money during the pandemic, including vending machine ownership. But just how lucrative is the business? Find out from these 20+ operators.


Live events aren’t the only ones with new tech toys. Find out how scientists are trying to save thousands of endangered species by analyzing their poo with Scatological Science.


The range of size in the Universe, from the tiniest particles to the epic galaxies - is expansive. It’s hard to picture by just reading. That’s why Universe, in a nutshell, lets you explore all of the comparisons in a single swipe.

November 17: Join the Innovative Institute for Fan Experience for their 2-day conference, focused on innovative pathways to the future of live entertainment, including best practices and solutions.

November 17: This year’s Ticketing Business Forum will highlight more than ticketing, now encompassing the entire ticketing ecosystem from digital marketing and discovery through to pricing, CRM, data and analytics.

November 17: The Institute for Sustainable Events is hosting a weekly Q&A to talk about all things sustainable events, including zero-waste, climate responsible events, and more.

November 18: Join us as music industry legend and tech pioneer Jac Holzman talks about the founding of Elektra Records 70 years ago. And, learn more about Jac's life beyond Elektra as an executive, adviser, and technologist.

November 18: Join BizBash to get the inside scoop on secrets to structuring your 2021 event program. Learn how to realign your event framework, set up your organization with the right mindset and skills for successful events, and how to structure a flexible, agile tech stack that allows you to execute and capture value no matter the event type.

This week Headliner Ashley Brown has been listening to Cannons' "Fire for You."

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