Red Rocks Rocks Again

Today's read ... 8️⃣ minutes

Headliner Anthony currently head bopping to Money on the Table by Belly ft. Benny The Butcher

Bad Bunny sets Ticketmaster record, US event organizers continue to be optimistic about 2021 events, and we talk to five of the best contactless vendors about the necessity of RFID and how it has become more affordable than ever before.

The fastest selling tour on Ticketmaster since 2018 is now Bad Bunny’s “El Último Tour del Mundo 2022.” The site even crashed with the surge of buyers and resale tickets are selling at huge markups. 

The Small Business Administration reopened the Shuttered Venue Operations Grant application portal on April 24th. The portal had previously been closed due to technical issues.

In Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil returns with Mystère at Treasure Island on June 28 and “O” at the Bellagio on July 1.

Danny Wimmer Presents has signed a new, long-term lease of the former Country USA and Rock USA location. They have renamed the site, ‘Ford Park Live’ and hope to revitalize the live music scene in Oshkosh. 

The COVID training for live events pros we mentioned in previous issues of Back of House is now on sale. By reader request, we’ve teamed up with Event Ally to give you $25 off their popular Planning Live Events During COVID-19 Series bundle with code BOHLive. 

New ticketing company, LuvSeats, aims to sell “instant upgrades” to consumers already in seats at events.

Ireland has signed the Sale of Tickets Bill 2020, an anti-touting bill that makes it a legal offense to sell tickets for more than their face value. Amateur sports and fundraising charities are not included.

Live Nation has announced its Green Nation Touring Program, an initiative focused on promoting and guiding sustainable practices in the touring industry. The areas of focus include planning, production, sourcing merch, and improving community engagement. 

The Canadian government’s new proposed budget includes significant support for the live events industry with $50 million from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Music Fund and $200 million assigned through regional development agencies, and another $200 million through Canadian Heritage to support local festivals and community cultural events. Despite this aid, the summer of festivals is starting to look more disappointing.

Speaking of live events returning, we were thrilled to attend Lotus at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO this past weekend. Aside from the mask-wearing and sectioned areas, it felt surprisingly normal. Bathroom and beer lines weren’t even long!

UK Organizers Move Forward with Maskless Events

The Brit Awards will welcome a non-socially distanced, maskless audience of 4,000 on May 11, but everyone will be required to present a negative test prior to entry. Similarly, a pilot festival headlined by Blossoms will be held on May 2 with a 5,000 person capacity, no mask or social distance requirement, but again, proof of negative test required. Finally, event industry leaders have shown support for ‘COVID-status certification’ to expedite the full reopening process.

Summer, Fall Continue to Look Optimistic for US Organizers, Abroad Uncertainty Looms

  • Despite the anticipation, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas will not take place next month as previously announced. The event has been postponed to October 22-24 due to COVID concerns. The new reopening plans require 60% residents to be vaccinated before large-scale events can take place. 

  • Rolling Loud Miami will return this July 23-25 instead of its original May dates, and will be headlined by Travis Scott, A$AP Rocky, and Post Malone.

  • Organizers of Nevada’s Burning Man festival are considering requiring vaccinations to attend their event this year.

  • UK’s Boomtown was forced to cancel for 2021 due to COVID concerns and the lack of government-backed insurance. Their next event will take place in August 2022.

  • Canada’s Boots And Hearts festival has been cancelled for this year, but organizers are looking toward 2022.

  • Sydney, Australia’s Under the Southern Stars festival featuring Cheap Trick, Bush, and Stone Temple Pilots has been postponed until next year.

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How COVID changed the trajectory of the RFID industry

RFID technology isn’t new. Other contactless solutions such as mobile ticketing, mobile ordering, mobile payments aren’t new either. In fact, some events and venues have been using them for years with great success, solving challenges like ingress and ticket fraud, and creating new revenue opportunities. More and more organizations had begun to consider contactless options pre-pandemic, but the incremental costs, infrastructure requirements, and questions around adoption remained high barriers to entry for most. 

Then a global pandemic happened and contactless solutions went from nice-to-have to must-have. If live events were going to come back, they had to find ways to get guests in, for them to transact, and to interact without touching anyone or anything. And that wasn’t just the big guys. Contactless had to be accessible, adaptable, and affordable for events with fewer than 50 people and events with more than 50,000 people alike.

We sat down with some of the best in the contactless business to chat about how the pandemic affected their product development and weren’t surprised to learn that for many of them, roadmaps were accelerated, some detoured, some branched out, and turned back, and others simply maintained their projected course. We asked them about their biggest hurdles, which project were a total fail, and how they view the industry in the immediate future. Here’s what we learned from our conversations with WRSTBND, Intellitix, Connect&Go, Patron Technology, and Appetize:

RFID at festivals: 


81% of BOH readers

support requiring vaccine passports for guests to attend summer festivals.

▶️  Apply to be the Operations + Events Manager at Escape The Routine to take all event information from their sales reps, clients, and partners into one central system.▶️  The Boston Symphony Orchestra is seeking a full-time Associate Marketing Project Manager in Boston, MA to support the Content and Digital Services team in managing the production of multi-channel marketing projects.

▶️  Auburn University’s Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center is in need of a full-time Director of Operations to oversee all front-of-house operations including ticketing functions, patron relations, supervision of staff, and concessions.

▶️  Special release:  For Earth Day, Goth Babe released a 4 EP vinyl compilation through Magnolia Record Club with some proceeds going towards Conservation Lands.▶️  15k+ fans attended a sold-out UFC 261 in Jacksonville, FL; the first indoor, full-capacity event held since the pandemic.▶️  Check out the Show-Ready Mobile by Turtle Transit, the multi-functional vehicle that turns anywhere into a drive-in experience.▶️  “Vertical screenings” could be the new, socially-distanced event. Viewers watch a neighboring 70-foot wide screen from hotel balconies.

April 28: The ON24 Experience is a free virtual conference where you’ll learn how to build, optimize, and execute successful and engaging digital experiences.

April 29: Hybrid Events: Uncovering the Complete Event Life Cycle will explore the convergence of in-person and digital channels for the future of events.May 6Join Back of House for our  Festival ALL CALL for our virtual job fair. Let us help you get hired & GO BACK TO WORK!

May 11-12: The Texas Music Workforce Coalition’s 2021 Production Workshop will be held in person at Germania Insurance Amphitheater inside Circuit of the Americas from approximately 8am-6pm.

May 18-19: The Experiential Marketing Summit will take place virtually for their summer curriculum.

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