Mile High Beer Run 🍻

Issue #170 | September 19, 2023Blue Ridge Rock Festival and EZoo aren’t out of the weeds yet, with festival attendees “patiently” waiting for updates, while Phish teases a new festival - or maybe the return of a familiar festival.

Blue Ridge Rock Festival updateGuests who attended the canceled Blue Ridge Rock Festival in Virginia were asked to be patient last Tuesday, while they “work to provide [a] resolution” on refunds and told the fest would address the “overabundance of misinformation circulating.” However, as of Monday evening, they have yet to do either. In the meantime, additional information has surfaced regarding a stagehand strike and health violations.

More EZoo woesWhile EZoo also hasn’t announced a timeline for refunds, they similarly asked the EZoo Fam for “patience”. Parent company Avant Gardner is now facing a class action lawsuit, filed by 2 guests in a NY district court last week. The lawsuit seeks damages on “behalf of all affected patrons who paid for ticket(s) for access or entry to [Electric Zoo] were not granted access.”

Fastest beer run everFans 21+ can now “grab and go” alcoholic beverages at Mile High Stadium in Denver thanks to a partnership between IDmission, Zippin, and Aramark. Zippin has already been powering the stadium’s checkout-free technology, but this year, they’ve added digital age verification to make things even speedier. Fans can enroll at home or on-site by taking a selfie and adding a credit card and valid government ID through the Broncos app. At the venue, they scan their face on a tablet to gain entry to the store, choose which items they want, and run out.

OVG expands east with new JVOak View Group has formed a joint venture with Abu-Dhabi-based Ethera to fuel its expansion into the Middle East. Ethera promotes sports, music, and entertainment properties as well as operates venues such as Etihad Arena, Etihad Park, and Yas Marina Circuit in the UAE.   

Emergency support for Ottawa festivalsThe City of Ottawa and the Ottawa Festival Network are coming together to offer one-time emergency financial support for “marquee festivals in the city with a proven track record of bolstering local tourism.” With festivals in Ontario, Canada still recovering from the pandemic, the city wants to make sure that those that make a significant economic impact don’t lose money and go away as part of the Ottawa Destination Stewardship Plan. 

O2 Academy Brixton cleared to reopen9 months after O2 Academy Brixton in London was shut down after a stampede that killed 2 guests and seriously injured several others, the London venue has been given the ability to reopen as long as it complies with 77 new safety conditions. Venue owner and operator, Academy Music Group has brought in Showsec to oversee security moving forward.

UK music industry pushes for secondary market legislationA UK campaign backed by leading music companies and led by FanFair Alliance is urging the government to introduce new legislation around secondary ticketing. The group proposes 3 measures: making it illegal to resell a ticket for profit; prohibiting platforms like Google and YouTube from promoting scalpers; and promoting capped, consumer-friendly resale.  

Drip/Junk fees in the UKAlso in the UK, a study commissioned by the government found that 93% of ticketing providers force “drip fees” or “junk fees” on purchasers, double the percentage of drip fees charged across the country as a whole (46%). Of these fees, 93% were considered “harmful,” indicating that they were required or were greater than 25% of the product price. Not surprising, the study suggests that greater transparency is needed on these fees.  

Japan as #2 music marketJapan has solidified its position as the world's second-largest music market, despite claiming to be still recovering from Covid. It is largely dominated by domestic operators, but international companies like Live Nation, AEG, and CTS Eventim all have a presence there and want to take advantage of the growing market. While International artists often use Japan as an anchor for Asian tours, there are several challenges for them including venue space and available dates as well as lack of relevancy (though that seems to be changing with the increasing distribution via YouTube and TikTok).  

Summer festival ticket buying trendsSarah Slater, Ticketmaster’s VP of Music and Festivals, shares four key things that led to a 15% bump in festival ticket sales on TM this summer:

  1. Digital tickets leading to reduced fraud

  2. The abundance of festival upsells available through various channels and touchpoints

  3. New ways to reach fans (outside of traditional social media)

  4. Flexible payment options that help workaround cost of living increases

  Kevin Hart’s HARTBEAT is hiring a Head of Live and Experiential to create and implement the media company’s live event strategy in Los Angeles, CA.    Professional Bull Riders is looking for an Event Director, World Finals, based in Fort Worth, TX.      AEG is hiring a Senior Director Merchandise Operations - Goldenvoice Festivals in Los Angeles, CA.

Would you vote for or against making it illegal to resell a ticket for profit?

Last Week's Results:

55% of BOH readers would rather their festival be canceled entirely due to weather, rather than get sued.

Lineups, Festival & Tour Announcements

  • Megan Thee Stallion is out of NYC’s Global Citizen Festival (September 23) due to an “unforeseen scheduling conflict.” 

  • VAGabond Festival in Virginia Beach, VA, originally planned for October 20 - 21, has been canceled due to challenges presented by its “condensed timeline.” 

  • The Disco Biscuits and Cory Wong will headline North Beach Music Festival in Miami Beach, FL, December 1 - 3.

  • Playa Luna Presents announced 2 new events last week: Dead Ahead Festival (January 12 - 15), with several members of Dead & Co, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Goose, and Sturgill Simpson (think Playing in the Sand without all of Dead & Co); and Rock the Bells Resort (Spring 2024), a “premium hip-hop festival”. Both will take place at Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico.

  • Herbie Hancock, John Paul Jones will headline next year’s Big Ears Festival, March 21 - 24 at over 12 venues in Knoxville, TN. 

  • New Orleans Jazz Fest will expand from 7 to 8 days next year, adding an additional day onto weekend 1; April 25 - 28 and May 2 - 5 in New Orleans, LA.

  • Phish announced a new festival, August 15 - 18 at The Woodlands in Dover, DE, the site of Firefly Festival. Last October, Firefly announced they were “taking a year to recharge our lights. We will see you in 2024.” 🤔


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 Spotify’s new tool, Showcase, allows artists to advertise directly in the home feed. You can now buy things directly in TikTok in the US via the TikTok Shop.   Travis Scott discounted his Utopia album from $50 to $5 in order to boost the charts.

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