Issue #199

One hundred ninety-nine issues of Back of House in your inbox, one hundred ninety-nine issues of BOH, take one down, pass it around… 

Excuse us. Festival season has officially kicked off and spring-like weather is finally making an appearance, so we’re doing a little dancing over here.

Credit: TIME

Weekend One

If weekend 1 of Coachella officially marks the start of festival season, then it’s go time! Despite slower than anticipated sales for the annual event in Indio, CA, Coachella’s first weekend eventually sold out and was full of surprise guest performances. (No Taylor wasn’t one of them, but she and Travis did make an appearance.) With weekend 2 GA and VIP passes still available, many are questioning the future of festivals.

Maryland passes ticketing bill

The Maryland legislature passed SB 539, a bill that bans speculative ticketing - with substantial fines - requires all-in pricing, and classifies a ticket as a license, not property. It does not include a 10% cap on resale pricing as originally passed by the house. The bill now sits on the governor’s desk, with the anticipation that it will be signed into law.

In Arizona, HB 2040, also known as the “Taylor Swift Bill,” passed in the house. This bill prohibits the use of bots to “purchase tickets in excess of the posted limit for an online ticket sale” and is similar to the federal BOTS Act which was passed in 2016. It’s worth noting that Arizona’s bill doesn’t prevent bots completely, just prevents them from buying many tickets and bypassing security features. This bill will move to the legislature next.

The UK’s Music Venues Trust (MVT) is advocating for a £1 “Taylor Swift tax” on stadium and arena concert tickets in order to save its small venues and “protect the pipeline.” While many agree that the smaller venues need help and are an integral part of the developing music scene, not all are on board with the proposed levy arguing that there are other options. AEG plans to introduce optional donations when purchasing tickets to shows at O2 Arena, with the funds going to the trust.

Palm Tree Crew invested in Medium Rare, giving the experiential agency a boost of capital to expand and pursue bigger projects. The amount of the investment was not disclosed, however with the investment, Medium Rare is now valued at $50 million. Palm Tree Crew is an event and artist management company run by Kygo and Myles Shear, who also invests in organizations that complement its core initiatives.

Live Nation has been sued by the families of Brandy Escamilla and Josilyn Ruiz, two women who were shot and killed at Beyond Wonderland last year. Insomniac Holdings and several security companies were also named in the wrongful death lawsuit that aims to hold the parties accountable for their “deficient conduct and lax security protocols.”

After going on an European acquisition spree to grow its festival business over the past few years, live entertainment investment company Superstruct Entertainment is reportedly up for sale itself. Sziget (Hungary), Wacken Open Air (Germany), Mysteryland (Netherlands), Hideout (Croatia), Sonar (Spain), and Flow (Finland) are among the major events in Superstruct’s portfolio, which “could be valued at as much as £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) in a sale.”

Maggie Rogers has announced her first headlining arena tour, “Don’t Forget Me Tour, Part II” and if you want tickets, you’ll have to go old-school to get them. In order to reduce fees and combat ticket bots, Maggie is holding “box office week” where tickets will be available at the box office at each venue from April 13 - 20. Also during that week, Maggie will step into the box office and sell tickets herself in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, followed by intimate shows in those cities. 

On Monday, Travis Scott asked a judge to dismiss him from a civil lawsuit from Astroworld. Last week, Drake, who also claims to have had no involvement in the planning or security of the tragic festival, was dismissed from the case. Meanwhile, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has been ordered by a judge to sit for a deposition, despite his attempts to push back. 

Jelly Roll, the singer and rapper, has been sued by Jellyroll, the Pennsylvania-based dance band, over trademark infringement. The popular wedding band no longer appears in the first page(s) of online searches due to Jelly Roll’s "recent rise in notoriety".

Morgan Wallen was arrested for allegedly throwing a chair from the 6th floor of Eric Church’s new bar in Nashville. He was charged with three counts of reckless endangerment and one of disorderly conduct.

Colt Ford continues to improve after suffering a heart attack following a performance at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row bar in Arizona.

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65% of BOH readers think MLB’s “Go-Ahead Entry” technology will reach the concert / festival world in 2-4 years.

Headliners, Lineups, and Festival Announcements 

  • Bear Shadow festival announced JJ Grey & Mofro, Black Pumas, and North Mississippi Allstars, May 11 - 12 in Highlands, NC.

  • The punk and emo festival series, Is For Lovers, will host seven one-day festivals across the US this summer: June 22 in Lake Tahoe, NV with The All-American Rejects; July 13 in Charleston, WV with Underoath; July 20 in Manteo, NC with Motion City Soundtrack; July 27 in Sauget, IL with Hawthorne Heights; August 24 in Council Bluffs, IA with Yellowcard; August 31 in Los Angeles, CA with Hawthorne Heights; and the finale, September 7 in Cincinnati, OH with Hawthorne Heights.

  • Missy Elliott announced her first-ever headlining tour, “Out of This World - The Missy Elliott Experience''. The tour starts July 4 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC and wraps up on August 22 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. 

  • Rolling Loud Europe announced Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj and Playboi Carti, July 5 - 7 at Magna Racino in Ebreichsdorf, near Vienna, Austria.

  • André 3000, Nile Rodgers & Chic, and Elvis Costello will headline the 70th anniversary edition of the Newport Jazz Festival, August 2 - 4 at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, RI. 

  • Another Planet Entertainment plans to continue the party at Golden Gate Park the weekend after Outside Lands with the first of potentially many, Golden Gate Concerts. The one-night event will feature System Of A Down & Deftones on August 17 and has already sold out of 50,000 tickets. 

  • Aerosmith is resuming their farewell “Peace Out” tour this fall starting with a few new dates in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA in September. The tour, which was postponed due to Steven Tyler’s vocal cord issues, will finish in Buffalo, NY in February 2025.

  • Little Big Town will celebrate 25 years with its “Take Me Home” tour along with Sugarland, kicking off October 24 in Greenville, SC and ending December 13 in Nashville, TN. 


  • Skull & Roses festival was canceled less than 10 days out due to “the financial devastation of the 2023 show.” Organizers will not be offering refunds: “While tickets and hotels were sold on a non-refundable basis, we sincerely wish that funds were available to refund all purchases. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case at this time.” 

  • While rumors are swirling around the cancellation of the Texas Eclipse Festival  mid-event, organizers assert that it was weather related, not due to insurance money, and the event will lose money. Refunds for the canceled days are TBD. The event was originally scheduled to last through Wednesday, but was canceled on Monday, April 8 prior to the eclipse.

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