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2021 Festival Recap 🎊

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Happy Holidays from Back of House! For the last issue of the year, read up on Congress’s recent involvement with Astroworld, learn about 2021’s top music festivals, and of course, look through some Covid updates.

Congress Gets InvolvedCongress is getting involved in the Astroworld Fest investigations, with the bi-partisan Committee on Oversight and Reform leading the search for more information regarding the tragic deaths of 10 attendees, and countless others who were injured.

Trademark Indringement Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival has been granted a temporary restraining order against Live Nation and Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians' “Coachella Day One 22” Festival, due to trademark infringement and misleading associations between the events. The restraining order calls for the website host, Bluehost, and Ticketmaster to stop promotions and ticket sales for the event.  

A Festival Expansion In an attempt to cover their $28 million revenue loss after two years of Covid-related cancellations, Belgian mega-festival Tomorrowland has been given permission to expand from two weekends to three for their July 2022 event. If you’re the type who procrastinates, you can skip weeks one and two and still tell yourself going to Tomorrowland is a “tomorrow” task.

NYE CancelationsRock band Phish has called off their New Year’s Eve performances at Madison Square Garden over Omicron concerns. They were scheduled to play nightly from December 29-January 1, but have now pushed the shows to April 20-23. After returning to tour this past July, the band has been met with concerns regarding Covid safety among their online Phish communities. 

Omicron in the WayPhish is not the only rock band canceling their New Year’s events. This past Thursday, My Morning Jacket announced the difficult decision to cancel their Denver concert run due to Omicron concerns. Originally scheduled for Dec. 29-31, refunds will be automatically given to ticket holders. 

New ProtocolSundance Film Festival, which runs from January 20-30 of next year, is updating its Covid protocols. All in-person attendees will be required to be fully vaccinated and boosted (for those who are eligible), and there will be no eating or drinking allowed in theaters. Hybrid online viewing options will also be available. 

Restrictions AbroadIn Scotland, restrictions for live events have also been updated, with a capacity limit of 200 for indoor seated events and 100 for standing, with outdoor events limited to 500 people. These restrictions are set until at least January 11, and the government has presented a support package of about $497 million to help impacted businesses. 

700,000 Attendee EventSaudi Arabia’s MDLBeast Soundstorm music festival gathered over 700,000 attendees at the four-day event. In an attempt to diversify the economy, the country is investing in tourism, entertainment, and sports. However, many are disapproving of Saudi Arabia’s new endeavors, claiming the entertainment is an attempt to whitewash the country’s human rights violations. 

Tune InBelieve in Music 2022 is taking place January 20-21, a live-streamed event featuring interactive brand pages, global music, interviews, and entertainment, along with educational content for all audiences. Register now!

People NewsChris Donohue has been named General Manager of Front Gate Tickets, Ticketmaster’s North American festival ticketing platform. Donohue has previously held senior leadership roles with numerous ticketing and festival operators, and artist management companies. With over two decades of experience, Chris will oversee global strategic initiatives throughout the company.

Have people news to share with us? Send it to [email protected].

 NYU is hiring a full-time Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Business. They will begin the role on September 1, 2022, responsible for teaching music and advanced technology, music management, marketing models, and more. The Women in Music Internship Program is looking for applicants, with the goal of securing diverse and meaningful internship positions within companies across the music industry. Live Nation is seeking a Client Operations Manager in Austin, TX, to manage, consult and advise clients’ ticketing and event needs. 

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Last Week's Results:

40% of BOH readers

have traveled abroad to attend a music festival.

The United Kingdom’s live event industry is again facing tough times with the rise of Omicron, as warned by independent venue advocacy group Music Venue Trust (MVT). British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the enactment of their Covid Plan B, complete with enforced restrictions and a Covid-19 pass demonstrating vaccination proof - with other UK nations implementing similar restrictions. MVT reports that 53% of canceled events have been caused by members of touring parties testing positive for Covid, and last week, show attendance dropped by 23%. The music and arts sector as a whole is unfortunately once again dealing with severe losses.Omicron is certainly making its way around, now present in 77 countries and moving faster than any previous strain. Throughout the US, numerous events have been forced to shut down or postpone due to the new variant. On the bright side, Moderna has reported data of their booster shot showing neutralizing antibody rates that are 37 times higher than pre-boost levels.

This week's spotlight is on ...  Festivals of 2021 🔦

Credit: Roc Nation 

For every bump in the road that the live music industry faced this year, there were some key successes. Topped by Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival, here is a ranking of 2021’s most popular music festivals.

  Cloudflare’s Year In Review has reported that in 2021, TikTok has unseated Google as the number one most visited site on the internet. Read up on more internet traffic trends from this year!

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