A Festival for Everyone

Issue #167 | August 29, 2023We wish everyone returning to the classroom a wonderful school year full of learning and new experiences. Best of luck and please share BOH with your classmates and colleagues.

Speaking of luck, congratulations to Rachael, Jean, Andy, and Jeannette; copies of The Efficient Hustle are heading your way! Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway.

Credit: Rocky Montano PhotographyMLB pilots "Go-Ahead" facial recognition entry systemMLB debuted its new facial-recognition entry program, “Go-Ahead Entry”, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia last week. Fans can opt-in by taking a selfie, which is then converted into a token - or numerical code - tied to their account and any tickets within it. When they walk through the dedicated lane, a camera scans their face and matches it to the token stored in their account. The pilot program enables fans to just walk into the stadium without stopping or getting their phones out.  

Shine Music Festival: A festival for everyoneDenver’s Shine Music Festival took place last weekend and was truly a festival for everyone, including the approximately 30% of guests with visible or known disabilities. The festival, founded by Shawn Satterfield, “endeavors to engage the disabled with live music in an immersive way, going above and beyond the minimal ADA requirements that often sequester people rather than include them.” Some unique features include devices that allow guests to feel the music, glasses with real-time captions on the lenses, festival merch in Braille and neurodiverse backpacks.

Dice raises $65 millionAfter announcing a round of layoffs a few weeks ago, Dice has some good news to share: a $65 million investment round that will enable them to expand their presence across the US and the globe. The round was led by investment company, Music, and its founder, ​​Matt Pincus, will join the board. Additionally, Dice has appointed Ali Byrd as CFO as it continues to focus on strategic hires.

EU festival struggle with new sustainability lawsAs the EU pushes to cut back on packaging waste, some festivals are struggling to incorporate the new laws, which include banning the use of single-use plastic cups and are asking for exemptions. Smaller festivals don’t seem to be concerned about the rules, but the bigger festivals, like Belgium's Rock Werchter festival say they are “not yet ready for a major multi-day festival to run entirely on reusable cups."

The Weeknd Stagehand sues Live NationA stagehand working The Weeknd show last August at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, TX has sued Live Nation, C3 Presents, David Weise & Associates, and Cowboys Stadium, LP after allegedly being run over by a forklift. The suit claims that the stagehand suffered “severe, excruciatingly painful and permanently disabling injuries to his leg.” Additionally it alleges that the defendants “failed and refused to provide qualified forklift drivers and adequate staff as agreed in their respective contracts.”

An economy built around concertsIt’s well-known - and often used to the advantage of event producers - that festivals and events can have a significant economic impact to their surrounding areas. But one-off concerts haven’t typically seen the same impact - until now. Enter mega-stars Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, who are expected to generate $4.5 billion each in not just their concerts, but all of the other activities surrounding the shows, including travel, new outfit purchases, associated parties, and of course, friendship bracelets. And local businesses are capitalizing on it, as they should.

Introducing CCURRENTTLive Nation and Chinese entertainment company, Twenty Eight Group, are launching CCURRENTT, “the world’s first multi-city contemporary Chinese music and arts festival.” CCURRENTT will make stops in London, UK (October 15), Los Angeles, CA (October 28), and Sydney, Australia (November 26) and will feature C-pop, Chinese hip-hop and Chinese rock artists such as Jolin Tsai, BEAUZ, Digi Ghetto (Mac Ova Seas, Mula Sakee, Thomeboydontkill), DXX, GALI, and The Life Journey. 

Sphere Entertainment reports lossesFollowing its spin-off from MSG Entertainment, Sphere Entertainment has revealed an operating loss of $273 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. The company attributes the increased loss (up $107.3 million from prior year) to the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the entertainment industry - including reduced attendance and cancellations - and the costs associated with the spin-off itself. Despite the losses, Sphere Entertainment remains optimistic about its future prospects, citing its focus on digital innovation and a diverse range of live experiences as key factors that could drive growth moving forward.  

Rock in Japan cracks down on mosh pitsJapanese 5-day rock festival, Rock in Japan Fes. 2023, issued warnings to festival-goers after 4 guests suffered fractured ribs in mosh circles on August 6. Festival organizers removed guests they thought were responsible for starting the mosh pits, but injuries continued to occur prompting them to put new rules and security measures in place to mitigate risks and ensure a safer environment for all participants. 

The end of sponsorship as we know it?According to Lively’s Mike White, traditional event sponsorship is on the decline and instead, marketers need to pivot to a partnership-oriented model, in which the relationship between brands and events is more collaborative and integrated. Partnerships that focus on shared values, authentic engagement, and meaningful experiences for the audience will forge stronger connections, enhance brand perception, and yield more substantial and lasting results in the realm of event engagement and promotion.

  SXSW is hiring an entry-level Associate Music Fest Programmer focusing on Latin music on-site in Austin, TX.   Translation (UnitedMasters) is hiring a Director, Events (hybrid role) in Brooklyn, NY. Salary range: $170,000 - 190,000.     School of Rock is looking for a hybrid Marketing Director, Events & Partnerships in Culver City, CA. Salary range: $106,000 - 120,000.

How long until the US zones in on legislations (like the EU is doing) to rid of single use packaging waste and requiring reusable products?

Last Week's Results:

90% of BOH readers are betting on Fyre Fest 2 to flop.

Lineups, Festival & Tour Announcements

  • After canceling several recent shows, including Zurich Openair and Rock en Seine festivals, Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine revealed that she had to have emergency surgery that saved her life. She plans to be back on stage Friday, September 1 to finish out the Dance Fever tour.

  • Trippie Redd canceled his performances at both Reading and Leeds Festivals last-minute on Friday. Additionally British DJ Andy C had one of his planned 2 sets canceled due to capacity issues at Leeds Festival over the weekend.

  • Due to unforeseen circumstances,” H.E.R.’s 2023 Lights On Festival, originally scheduled for September 16 - 17 at Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA has been canceled

  • The National Celebration of Hip Hop at West Potomac Park in Washington, DC, October 6 - 7 with Public Enemy and ICE-T as headliners in celebration of Hip Hop’s 50th year. Tickets are FREE, but you must register here.

  • Bob Dylan’s “Rough and Rowdy Ways” Tour will make stops in North America this fall, starting October 1 in Kansas City, MO. More dates will be added soon. 

  • Noname is going out on tour for the first time in 4 years this fall. The 22-show run kicks off October 11 in Chicago, IL.

  • Ms. Lauryn Hill has announced a world tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” The Fugees will co-headline each of the 11 US and Canadian dates, starting on October 17 in Newark, NJ.

  • The Weeknd expands his “After Hours till Dark” Tour to the South Pacific, with a run of shows in Australia and New Zealand, starting November 20 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in Australia. 

  • Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival announced its 2024 dates (May 16-19) at Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus, OH; as well as the addition of a 4th stage.


A glossary of essential terms to know for budding festival producers.


Check out the world’s tallest DJ set by Armin van Buuren on the 149th floor of the Burj Khalifa in promotion of the upcoming UNTOLD Dubai music festival.

 Bob Barker dies at 99; coming as close as possible to, but not over, $1.00. New York City is cracking down on Airbnb rentals. 

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