#029 2020 Recap

COVID-Killing Robots and Holograms

Today's read ...  5️⃣ minutes

We made it to the final issue of 2020 (WAHOO)! Let's celebrate our favorite performances, the top innovations coming out of the year, and some of the biggest takeaways from our Guest Headliners. Plus, we know the latest Congress bill may have your head spinning, so we broke down some of the most important parts that affect our industry.

There’s a lot to learn about Congress’ new end-of-year relief package. So here are our most important takeaways: You can learn more about how the bill came to be and the immediate impact it will have, and on who. Or review statements from the pertinent organizations involved, such as NIVANITO, and IAVM. Follow Senator Amy Klobuchar as she unpacks the historic Save Our Stages Act

Wisconsin’s Blue Ox Festival plans to return in August 2021, while Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival decides to wait for 2022 in hopes it can replicate the festival at the level fans and followers are accustomed to.

Rock fans - get ready to set sail with Danny Wimmer Presents and Sixthman for their first international event on an immersive 5-day cruise from Miami to a resort-like private island in Belize. This February 2022 event will host 2,500 fans and will hands down be the ultimate vacation of every rocker’s dreams.

As the NHL announces its plans for a 2021 season, we will have another example outside of music to learn the best ways to reopen safely. So far, it plans to remain flexible during unpredictable times and will test minimizing team travel through more regional and local team play.

Die-hard fans of the rock band Steel Panther are unhappy after the band played a series of underground, maskless shows despite drastically high COVID cases. They started in Los Angeles, made their way to Orlando, then St. Petersburg, and finally Fort Meyers.  

Many in our community have been involved in crew catering at an event in some capacity, or at the very least, have eaten some of the meals at it. BizBash highlighted insights from industry hospitality and F&B experts to share their take on the future of catering.

While new research shows that COVID is mainly spread through particles in the air rather than on surfaces, disinfecting high-touch areas in venues and events is still imperative to reducing risk. Will LG’s new COVID-killing robots be the latest staff members hired to help?

The 20,000 European live event associations that comprise the #WeAreLive organization are demanding a unified effort and response from EU officials amid previously underwhelming help. They aim for the events industry to get independent assistance separate from other cultural organizations like tourism.

Lyte’s presence in the festival world continues to grow during the pandemic as they announced their first international partnership with New Zealand’s Ticketspace. Ticketspace aims to leverage Lyte's technology at multiple upcoming festivals.

This man missed buying show tickets (and their fees) so much that he paid Ticketmaster just to feel something again.

2020 Rewind

While the live event community is used to being thrown curveballs of all shapes, sizes, and speeds, this year threw one at us that we could have never expected. However, just like always, our versatile and hard-working industry took this challenge as an opportunity to come together. We at BOH want to take a moment to recognize the significant accomplishments of event professionals worldwide amidst unprecedented and challenging times. We learned how to stick together, work towards solutions, and fight for assistance when we needed it most.

  • First country to bring back live events: New Zealand got the green light and is opening for live entertainment (local acts to start), much earlier than any of us thought.

  • First state to bring back live events: Wyoming and West Virginia were among the first states to resume indoor events, festivals, and amusement parks.

  • Best fundraising event: Global Citizen raised $6.9B with a globally-broadcasted benefit show featuring global artists. All proceeds are funding research, treatments, and vaccines.

  • Most impressive online event: With “3D design, Hollywood-style filming techniques and modern gaming technology,” Tomorrowland Around the World tested the limits of the online live experience and brought in over 1M viewers.

  • Most innovative event type: Latvia’s floating concert was such a success that the format was adapted to bring floating movie theaters to cities around the world, from Israel to the US. The idea centered around entertaining people in natural spaces, instead of in cars, like the drive-in models that have become so popular recently.

  • Safety measures to come out of 2020: The Event Safety Alliance’s industry-wide collaborative got 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's to Come?From venues and festivals to right in your living room, here's how our industry's future is being reimagined:

Industry Giant AEG is making the most out of the empty venues and extra time by pursuing tech projects put on the back burner for years. They will open new venues in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, and London, and old venues will receive a facelift. They plan to reinvent the venues to improve the fan experience and equip them with new tools to make interactions as contactless as possible.

A new technology start-up, BLANK XR, has created a platform where artists can engage with fans through a hologram. The smartphone application will be available to consumers as soon as 2021. The CEO of this new innovative technology is no stranger when it comes to creating memorable experiences. She previously acted as the director of direct-to-consumer technologies for entertainment giant Walt Disney Company. While live streams have voided some gaps, this new way to experience an artist might give the personal touch fans have been missing.

Video games such as Minecraft and Fortnite have acted as the main stage when announcing new songs or allowing artists to engage with fans. While this is not unique to 2020, the familiar concept allowed fans to enjoy some of their favorite artists in a distanced fashion. What can we expect to see in the future? This platform has allowed fans worldwide to get front row views, visit merch tents, and even collect funds to give to charity. Since they've already shown success in pre-pandemic times, it seems like this could be a viable option for event experience in the future.

As 2020 comes to a close we want to take a moment to thank all of those who took the time to share their wisdom with the BOH community this year. Below are just a few of the ‘performances’ we featured this year that we think are really important takeaways for 2021. If you want to check out the full list click here.

Leading With CompassionGuest Feature: Mike Hanley

When you’re letting empathy in, shame gets shut out – the two can’t exist simultaneously. This means you’re more capable of avoiding low-level, ego-centric behaviors like blaming, gossiping, complaining, comparison, and bragging and instead focusing on holding space, listening, understanding, being compassionate, and additional others-focused behavior. Imagine a festival where leadership on down takes the time to listen in times of conflict instead of quickly assigning blame; this helps encourage a high-morale environment where everyone feels heard and respected.

It’s in our DNA to be social beings and to communicate and interact with one other. In taking advantage of safe ways we can stay in touch with each other right now and not feel so alone, such as this newsletter, group texts, and video chats, we help eliminate shame, increase empathy and compassion, and help each other not only cope, but thrive during this time.

Reinventing OurselvesGuest Feature: Jen CarusoWhere we are and where we can go from here is as much about perspective as it is a transformation of skill set. Many people are still out of work and feeling stuck, this is not something people in our industry are used to. We are problem solvers, firefighters, and sometimes magicians. We carry a tool bag of ingenuity that is not commonly found in the workforce.Call in backup if you need, reach out to a former colleague or mentor, chances are they are as much in need of a good brainstorming session as you are.

I’m not saying I’m happy quarantine lockdowns have happened - many people have lost their loved ones or endured extreme personal loss in their lives - however, I am grateful for the time it’s given me to reflect on how much our work does in fact mean to me, see how much it means to my colleagues, and for the personal growth I’ve found navigating what to do with myself during what I call the “corona-coaster” of the last eight months.

I don’t have all the answers, but what I do believe to be capital T True is this; the most important thing for any of us (in events, touring, or artist management) is to connect with our colleagues, now more than ever.

One of the World's First 360º Drive-In StagesGuest Feature: Matt MuddeMatt was originally given a 3-D rendering of the stage itself and the core structure of the deck with overhead only 15 days before show day. The first question was how the team would make a stationary experience dynamic."There is a misconception of how to build a network. It’s not just people, it’s valuable people." Entertainment won’t go away. It’s in our blood. There are always going to be opportunities, they are more than just the marquee opportunities, there’s always something else out there. Keep expanding your knowledge, building your network.

Managing In A PandemicGuest Feature: Ashley BrownThe biggest tip I have for anyone tackling a drive-in (or any event for that matter) is build in extra time.My favorite saying is – “if we aren’t getting any better and learning from each event, then what are we even doing?” You’re not always going to get it right the first time, especially in a climate where mandates, advisories, health guidelines, etc are changing on a daily basis. It’s important to be flexible, be open, take a look at what your partners and other markets are doing, and adjust accordingly. 

Are you setting goals for 2021?

If you feel like sharing, we would love to hear what kind of goals you’ve set for yourself in the upcoming year! Big or small we’d love to hear them all!

▶️ Female-founded company Modern Health in San Francisco is looking for a Head of Events. You’ll be responsible for a marketing budget and for managing, planning, developing, and executing their hosted events, as well as their participation and sponsorship of all third-party events and conferences.▶️ Six Flags is hiring an Activation & Events Coordinator at the Darien Lake location with 1-2 years of experience to manage all facets of planning and coordination of events and activations sold and developed by Marketing, Sales & Partnership Teams.▶️ Facebook’s Creative Experience Team needs an Events & Experiences Lead in LA to work with marketers to influence and develop events & experiential roadmaps and creative for respective apps that align to brand and cultural moments.

▶️ Watched all of your favorite holiday movies multiple times already? Here are 45 great music documentaries to keep you busy instead.▶️ Still need plans for New Years? Check out Abracadabra, a virtual fest featuring John Legend, Kaskade, Major Lazer and many more.▶️ During a time of social-distancing, many had to rethink how they operate their businesses. Check out how these creatives facilitated virtual photoshoots.▶️ Can’t quite find the words to describe 2020? Here’s a whole glossary full of terms that define our time and culture, as well as help point us to what may be ahead.

January 13th: The Inspired To Grow Webinar allows you to connect and network with the NW events community, colleagues and industry experts. Listen to a Q&A with the #EventProfs, a collective of experienced and insightful leaders, keeping you INSPIRED and ready to GROW in 2021.January 14th: VenuesNow and Pollstar recently announced Live Week: Reviving Live!, which will combine the VenuesNow Conference, Pollstar Live! And Production Live!Recorded: Back of House x LinkedIn’s “Rock Your Profile”. Learn how to revamp your LinkedIn profile to stand out within the live events industry, network, and ultimately find new jobs.Recorded: Concert Business Basics is a virtual workshop series designed for those starting their career in the concert industry and those interested in expanding beyond their existing areas of expertise.Recorded: Tour Management just wrapped up their second semester. Check out their impressive catalog of Tour Management discussions and classes to brush up or dive headfirst into everything there is to know about Tour Management.

Here's your friendly reminder to "Eat Them Apples" in 2021. No matter how much things have changed this year, an apple a day still keeps the doctor away.

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