91 An ILMC Publication AUGUST 2020 | £25 | €25
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IQ91 CONTENTS COVER PHOTO: NICK CAVE ALONE AT ALEXANDRA PALACE © JOEL RYAN
COMMENT AND COLUMNS
06 08 12 16
Index In Brief The main headlines over the last two months Analysis Key stories and news analysis from around the live music world New Signings & Rising Stars A roundup of the latest acts that have found agents during lockdown Unsung Hero D.Live’s Fabian Müller describes some of the challenges of drive-in concerts
Covid Kit Essentials IQ details some of products and services that are helping venues to battle coronavirus concerns Money’s Too Tight to Mention Financial experts talk about how they are planning to get the live music industry back on track, post pandemic The Associates IQ highlights some of the trade bodies and associations who are working so hard to protect and serve the live entertainment sector
Going Local to Meet Demand Judith Clumpas details New Zealand’s return to live events and the opportunities for local talent to cash in on national pride Dance Music is Art Michael Kill believes that the dance music sector should be getting more governmental assistance to help it survive the coronavirus lockdown restrictions Your Shout What’s the funniest practical joke or trick that has been played on you or a colleague? Magazine
NEW DECADE NEW LOOK Over 100,000 professionals read IQâ€™s news, features, and comment each month. Now with more content and more often. iq-mag.net
know we’re only just seven months into the year, but 2020 can officially go and do one. Every week seems like a month and just when you think there’s a reason for optimism, coronavirus manages to find a location where it can spread quickly. Before you know it, authorities are pulling the plug again on the prospect of live events and, in the worst cases, lockdown restrictions are being reinstated. A handful of countries have managed to restart their gig scene, with New Zealand, a bit like its government, taking the current lead as role model for the rest of the world, with arena and even stadium shows back to normal, as Spark Arena’s Judith Clumpas explains on page 14. Elsewhere though, it appears that cautionary phased approaches are being favoured by promoters and venues, with the general consensus internationally being that Q1 2021 is a timescale to work toward, rather than taking major risks while the infection rollercoaster is still to complete its first ride. Another common conversation we’ve been having at IQ lately, from our various living room- and bedroom-based desks, is that many ILMC members around the world are seriously contemplating radical changes to their own permanent office set-ups. Smaller operations in particular have indicated that the overheads of running a workplace will be an immediate saving when operations resume, as the past four months have proven that working remotely is a workable business solution. Talking of solutions, we’ve had a look at some of the numerous concepts that are being rolled out to assist the industry in its recovery. Our Covid Kit Essentials guide (page 18) profiles a number of innovative products and services that are being adopted to make event spaces safe for all – artists, crew, venue staff and, of course, the audience. We’ve also been speaking to some of the industry trade bodies and associations that have been working overtime to support their members throughout the pandemic period, in the hope that it informs some readers about any additional assistance that could boost their business survival strategy (page 32). And with funding being a critical element of survival, we’ve talked to some of the experts the business will look to when it comes to financial planning in the weeks and months that lie ahead (page 26). In these uncertain times, information is one of the key resources that we’re all relying on to navigate our return to normality, which is why you’re receiving the first ever August edition of IQ Magazine. Nobody knows for certain just how long we will all have to endure the restrictive effects of Covid-19, but the IQ team is here to help as best we can. So if you have any news, or tips, that might benefit (or warn) colleagues and peers around the world, then please get in touch with me (email@example.com) or our news editor Jon (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can share your experience.
ISSUE 91 LIVE MUSIC INTELLIGENCE
IQ Magazine Unit 31 Tileyard Road London, N7 9AH email@example.com www.iq-mag.net Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0300 Twitter: @iq_mag Publisher ILMC and Suspicious Marketing Editor Gordon Masson News Editor Jon Chapple Staff Writer Anna Grace Advertising Manager Steve Woollett Design Philip Millard Sub Editor Michael Muldoon Editorial Assistant Ben Delger Contributors Judith Clumpas, Michael Kill Editorial Contact Gordon Masson firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0303 Advertising Contact Steve Woollett email@example.com Tel: +44 (0)20 3743 0304 ISSN 2633-0636
IN BRIEF INDEX The concert business digest
JUNE Live Nation announces a 23-date July-September tour across France, marking the return of live concert touring to the country for the first time since March. Major events that can provide contact tracing and follow hygiene rules will be allowed to take place in Germany from September, despite a new extension to the current event ban until the end of October. Music venues and significant historical buildings in Germany are illuminated red as part of the Night of Light 2020 campaign, which sees the events industry protest against the continuation of its shutdown. Rock Werchter announces plans for Rock Werchter for LIVE2020, an intimate concert event set to take place on the Werchter festival site on 2-5 July, the original dates of the 2020 festival.
Cologne’s 20,000-capacity Lanxess Arena reopens to visitors for the first time in over three months – albeit at 5% of its capacity, allowing 895 socially distanced fans at a time. Christine and the Queens perform to a 2,000-strong, socially distanced crowd at the Accor Arena to kick off the Fête de la Musique celebrations in Paris. Music venues will be permitted to reopen earlier than expected in the Republic of Ireland following revisions to the country’s reopening plan, but the Arts Council warns that audience capacities will be “severely curtailed” due to distancing regulations. Three quarters of respondents to a survey by UK-based Skiddle say they would be happy to attend a socially distanced live music event before the end of the year. The Belgian events industry works with government to develop the Event Risk Model (ERM), an online tool that calculates the best way for promoters and venues to put on shows while adhering to safety guidelines.
K-pop stars BTS and their management company/agency, Big Hit Entertainment, donate $1million (€0.9m) to Live Nation’s Crew Nation fund, matching a donation the band made earlier in the month to the Black Lives Matter movement. A cooperative of UK crew and suppliers launches the Collective Sessions, a fully functional live performance space equipped with full-scale production and Covid-19 safety features. Time for Fun (T4F), South America’s largest live entertainment company, proposes shrinking its board of directors as part of ongoing cost-cutting measures in response to the coronavirus. The Netherlands announces the relaxation of restrictions on gatherings, removing the capacity limit on seated indoor and outdoor events provided fans have undergone health checks before entry. The Australian government dedicates AU$250m (€153m) to help rebuild the country’s entertainment and arts sector over the next year.
Following months of speculation, WME’s worldwide head of music, Marc Geiger, confirms he is leaving the agency after 17 years, as Lucy Dickins becomes co-head. A partnership between Oak View Group and Amazon sees the former KeyArena (now Climate Pledge Arena) in Seattle become the first carbon-neutral venue in the world, powered exclusively by renewable energy sources. The Greek government announces it will allow seated, open-air events of up to 75% of a venue’s capacity to take place from 1 July. Global Citizen raises almost $7billion (€6bn) in pledges from governments, corporations and philanthropists following its Global Goal Live music event and summit. Björk announces a series of shows across three consecutive weekends in August in Iceland, to celebrate the start of her home country’s post-coronavirus reopening.
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, the world’s largest producer of contemporary circus and other touring entertainment shows, files for bankruptcy protection in Canada. Hotels are serving as the stage for live music’s return in Canada, as event software company Showpass and booking agency Livestar Entertainment team up to host shows in hotel pools and courtyards. In news that bodes well for the immediate future of the Italian live industry, nearly a third of live music fans say they have already bought, or are planning to buy, tickets for their first post-lockdown concerts. The team behind Lollapalooza Paris joins forces with Parisian couture house Balmain to host a one-day musical picnic event on 19 July, replacing the cancelled festival. With gross earnings of nearly $90m (€79m), Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road was the biggest tour globally in the first half of 2020, according to Pollstar boxoffice numbers.
JULY The Austrian government is to permit up to 10,000 fans in stadiums from September, culture and sports minister Werner Kogler announces. Montreux Jazz Festival announces Summer of Music, a 16day virtual music festival, to mark what would have been its 54th edition on 3-18 July.
Some of Britain’s biggest stars issue an urgent plea for government aid to the sector, warning that a lack of support and continued uncertainty around reopening is having a “devastating” impact in the UK. An overwhelming majority of German music fans want to attend live events again, with 98% saying they still want to go to shows, research by Ticketmaster Germany reveals. Several UK-based live music businesses, including Live Nation, Ticketmaster and AEG, voluntarily report their most recent gender pay gap statistics. Unity Arena, a new outdoor venue billed as the UK’s first dedicated socially distanced music venue, launches in Newcastle, in the north-east of England. The venue will open in August. French industry associations Prodiss and SMA issue public criticism of France’s largest ticketing platform, France Billet, over its handling of coronavirusrelated refunds. More than four million people worldwide tune in to Lost Horizon, the new virtual festival by the team behind Glastonbury Festival’s Shangri-La, on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 July. The British government announces a rescue package worth £1.57bn (€1.72bn) to help the UK’s arts and culture sector weather the impact of the coronavirus. At least 6,000 concertgoers attend a performance by reggae band L.A.B. at New Zealand’s Spark Arena, in the first major live show to take place since the Covid-19 shutdown.
The Canadian government confirms that organisations operating in the for-profit live music industry can gain access to its CA$20m (€13m) Covid-19 support fund. Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, becomes the latest major live entertainment market to be put back into lockdown amid a surge in new coronavirus cases. The ﬁrst dedicated bike-in arena is ready to open in Mantua, in the Lombardy region of Italy, allowing fans to don their Lycra and experience live music from the comfort of their saddles. The British Government announces that value-added tax (VAT) levied on concert and event tickets will be reduced to 5% for six months from 15 July. Festivals around the world are set to collectively lose almost $17bn (€15bn) due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a report by music data start-up Viberate reveals. Ministers allow up to 5,000 people to gather indoors in Japan, heralding the return of arena-level live shows to the country. Seattle-based concert lighting company R90 hosts a drive-in rave by classifying the event as a religious service in order to evade lockdown laws in the state of Washington. The organisers of Exit Festival, one of the last major events of 2020 still standing, announce the event will not go ahead this year amid a deterioration of the public health situation in Serbia. Records bundled with physical items such as concert tickets and merchandise will no longer count towards chart placings in the United States, Billboard announces.
Concert organisers in Germany are now entitled to a cut of earnings from recordings of their promoted shows, as promoters’ body GWVR signs a landmark master agreement with record label representatives. In light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, this year’s International Festival Forum will be held in an online format, as the first Interactive Festival Forum (iFF), organisers announces. Promoters Live Nation and The Music Republic kick off a new open-air concert series in Spain, as venues including WiZink Center and Ifema prepare to host live shows over the coming months. CTS Eventim acquires a 49% stake in Björn Ulvaeus’s Mamma Mia! The Party, the theatrical and dining experience based on Mamma Mia! the musical. A number of UK venues declare they are closing for good, as VMS Live heads for insolvency, and both Gorilla and The Deaf Institute in Manchester announce permanent closures. After slight growth in 2019, the value of the global electronic music industry is estimated to fall by 56% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest IMS business report reveals. Indoor performances will return to venues across England from 1 August, provided audiences adhere to social distancing measures, prime minister Boris Johnson announces.
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LOBBYING ALLIANCES GATHER PACE INTERNATIONALLY
s the live entertainment industry battles to make its voice heard with governments and other authorities around the world, meaningful alliances are being formed, as even the most bitter rivals join forces for the greater good. At press time, in the UK, multiple trade bodies and organisations were preparing for a second round of the Let The Music Play campaign, which in early July pulled together artists, crew and professionals across the country to play a major role in influencing the UK Government to announce an unprecedented £1.57billion (€1.7bn) culture package to help fund the arts during the Covid pandemic, accompanied by a reduction in VAT to 5%. The second day of Let The Music Play action will go ahead in early August and will highlight the size and scale of the jobs and companies that make up the UK music industry. Despite announcing the funding package, the UK Government has still to decide the distribution mechanism for the support fund, therefore Let The Music Play is determined to underline the scope of individuals and companies that need urgent support. Part two of the campaign is urging artists, crew, venues, agents, promoters and everyone else involved in the live music supply chain to once again unite on a massive social media exercise whereby individuals share a crew photo of a show or tour they have worked on, under the #LetTheMusicPlay banner. Meanwhile, that spirit of collaboration is being mirrored elsewhere as various sectors and genres look to strengthen their collective lobby-
ing powers. For instance, 13 independent metal festivals from around Europe have signed a pact to create the European Metal Festival Alliance (EMFA), which is hosting a virtual event in August to raise money for the independent festival sector. EMFA’S founding members include Alcatraz in Belgium; Romania’s ARTmania; Bloodstock in the UK; Czech Republic’s Brutal Assault; Dynamo and Into The Grave in The Netherlands; Spain’s Leyendas Del Rock and Resurrection; Slovenia’s Metal Days; Midgardsblot in Norway; France’s Motocultor; and Party.San Open Air and Summer Breeze in Germany. The alliance will stage a streaming event from 7–9 August with exclusive live performances from artists chosen by each festival, as well as a selection of interviews. Viewers will be asked for €6.66 for a ‘full festival pass’ to raise funds for the independent festival sector. The pass will give fans access to three days of performances from more than 35 acts, as well as a discount on a EMFA ‘Rebooting for 2021’ t-shirt. In Australia, the nation’s leading live entertainment and sports businesses have formed the Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) in an effort to safely restart the AU$150bn (€91bn)
industry and secure the jobs of more than 175,000 people who work across those sectors. LEIF’s mission is to support the Covid-safe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia as restrictions are eased from July. The organisation’s executive committee includes the bosses of TEG, Live Nation, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment, AEG, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Olympic Parks, Adelaide Oval, ASM Global, Venues West, Venues Live, Michael Cassel Group, Live Performance Australia, Venue Management Association and the Australian Festivals Association. The Forum will work in conjunction with governments, sporting bodies, venues and audiences to build confidence in the industry’s preparedness to operate safely, flexibly and sustainably, and explore how industry can be supported by governments during its gradual return. Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG, sums up the industry’s plight the world over, noting, “Our industry has to work together at this challenging time. We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back… We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.” The formation of new organisations such as LEIF, EMFA and Let The Music Play follows similar alliances made in multiple countries around the world. In North America, a number of independent booking agencies have united to form the National Independent Talent Organisation (NITO) “for the purpose of promoting the welfare and prosperity of its members and their represented artists, as well as for the indirect benefit of those associated with them.” Also in America, the coronavirus response has given birth to the Live Events Coalition, whose membership includes music industry production giants PRG, VER, Detroit’s 360 Event Productions, LA’s Sterling Engagements, and the International Live Events Association. And on the venues front, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) joins a growing list of trade bodies that are lobbying hard to protect grassroots clubs around the world. Similar small venue collaborations include Music Venues Alliance in the UK, Petzi in Switzerland and KeepOn Live in Italy – all of which are working tirelessly to try to save thousands of venues from closure.
“Our industry has to work together. We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back… We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.” Geoff Jones | TEG
CORONAVIRUS SPIKES FORCE SECOND LOCKDOWNS
he precarious nature of controlling the coronavirus has become evident as authorities across the world reinstate lockdown measures in regions that were just beginning to start their long roads to recovery. In the United States, the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, was forced to shut large parts of the state down again after a record surge of nearly 12,000 cases of the virus in just one day. Similar record surges were recorded in Florida and Texas, effectively meaning any return to business for live events will likely be put on hold for the foreseeable future. In New Zealand, the events sector is back up and running, with even stadiums reopened, but
the nation’s success in fighting the virus means that it will still be some time before international artists are allowed to travel to the islands. And in neighbouring Australia, residents of Melbourne were recently told that for the next six weeks, they should only leave home for key reasons such as work, exercise and shopping for food after the state of Victoria recorded a sharp rise in infections. In China, authorities have been placing restrictions on areas that report virulent outbreaks. In late June, a strict lockdown was reintroduced in Hebei province, while some residential areas of Beijing were given a “high risk” status. Meanwhile, across the border in India, the city of Chen-
© JANNICA HONEY
WIDE DAYS SUCCESS PROVES VALUE OF ONLINE CONFERENCES Wide Days used Leith Theatre to host its artist showcases
cotland’s Wide Days music convention surpassed all expectations with its mix of conference sessions, showcase performances and networking opportunities, as organisers shifted the event online for its rescheduled 23-25 July gathering. Originally planned for April, Wide Days fell victim to the country’s pandemic restrictions, although a stand-in Zoom event served as a handy trial for the convention team as they prepared for the three-day affair in July. “We’re really pleased we decided to go ahead with Wide Days, rather than cancelling, which would have been the easier option,” says founder Olaf Furniss. “We had the same number of registrations, 360, as the physical Wide Days in 2019, but we anticipate that will creep closer to 400 as
people around the world play catch-up with the online content over the coming days.” The convention prides itself in giving Scottish artists a platform to showcase their talent to the wider industry, and it seems that the online format worked a treat for those acts. “Normally, we have around 1,000 people attending our showcase gigs, but on the first night alone we had more than 15,000 views of the performance footage on Facebook alone,” says Furniss. The Wide Days team also reports success with its networking programme – a tricky achievement in an online situation. Delegates had signed into one-to-one meetings on more than 250 occasions, with showcasing musicians among those to fully exploit the opportunities. “Most of the networking and one-to-ones were done with-
nai reinstated lockdown just days after the rest of the country came out of its national lockdown. In Europe, a number of countries have had to impose second-spike regional restrictions. At press time, the authorities in Italy were contemplating a second lockdown in Rome, while parts of Spain, including the Catalan capital, Barcelona, have had restrictions reintroduced with nightclubs and bars ordered to close for two weeks in an effort to halt rising infection rates. However, the fact that many countries have been plunged into economic turmoil has prompted a number of leaders to pledge that they will not contemplate a second lockdown of their nations. And thanks to the lobbying efforts of live entertainment trade bodies internationally, many governments have begun actively working with the sector to plot phased returns to business over the coming months.
in our platform, which was a great result, and it’s particularly pleasing to see the way the artists used the networking side of things, while there was also a high level of industry delegates arranging meeting after meeting,” Furniss notes. With ticket prices set at just £30 (€33) for the three-day programme, the virtual attendee list included delegates from 25 countries and Furniss says revelations about the numerous “resourceful and ingenious” creative solutions that people have developed during the pandemic restrictions were among his highlights from Wide Days 2020. “Back in March, none of us had ever used Zoom, so to fast-forward four months and the whole team has pivoted to running a fully fledged virtual event is something that makes me immensely proud of everyone involved,” Furniss tells IQ. “Pre-recording the artist performances – which were the first live showcases staged in Scotland since lockdown – has provided those acts with a far superior asset to use again, and it’s something we’ll assess for future showcases. “But we’ll definitely be utilising live-streaming at the next Wide Days: we had people in Europe joining us from their holidays, and, going forward, people will not be travelling as they used to. Screening panel sessions and allowing people to network remotely opens up a huge untapped audience for us, so the virtual aspect is 100% here to stay and be developed.” Content for the 2020 conference and showcase event can be accessed through the Widedays.com platform for the next four weeks.
VENUES IMPOSE STRICT PROCEDURES TO FACILITATE REOPENING
s governments around the world give venues the green light to open their doors, a number of significant buildings have begun trials to review safety procedures that will need to be implemented in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The UK Government is allowing venues to reopen in August, while other countries are already monitoring shows at concerts taking place in indoor facilities to make sure the gathering of crowds does not prompt any increase in the infection rate. Japan, for instance, is allowing arena-level shows to go ahead, with a maximum capacity of 5,000, with the caveat that indoor venues must operate at no more than 50% capacity. However, that restriction has been criticised by a number of live entertainment executives as being unrealistic, as it effectively means most events won’t make any money. But the Japanese Government has hinted it might lift restrictions altogether if it believes the virus is under control, as soon as the start of August. Elsewhere, a number of German venues have reopened their doors, notably the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, which on 20 June launched its Arena Now! programme, allowing 895 fans – just 5% of the venue’s maximum capacity – to attend events in the hall. Those fans are seated in “cubes” – blocks of four seats located on the arena floor with a distance of 1.5 metres between each. The Arena Now! schedule has included performances from acts including Wincent Weiss, DJ Don Diablo, Kasalla, Beatrice Egli, Nena and Rammstein tribute Völkerball. The Lanxess strategy sees the arena divided into five zones to prevent a build-up of visitors in any one area, with entry points for each visitor selected based on the distance to their event area. Comprehensive hygiene and disinfection measures, distancing rules, mandatory mask wearing
in communal spaces, and the use of contact tracing are among other Arena Now! protocols. In France, the wearing of face masks will be obligatory in all enclosed public spaces, including concert halls, from 1 August, while the mayor of Nice has gone a step further by ruling
NIGHT OF THE LIGHT
that face coverings are compulsory at indoor and outdoor events, where gatherings of more than 5,000 people are still forbidden. Meanwhile, in the UK, the London Palladium welcomed back fans for the first time in four months on 23 July, as singer Beverley Knight performed in a test event designed to persuade authorities that the live events business is ready and able to return. The West End theatre was restricted to 30% capacity for the trial, meaning around 640 fans were able to attend, observing strict social distancing and hygiene rules. Face masks were mandatory; attendees were allotted staggered arrival times and had their temperatures monitored by thermal imaging cameras; everyone was required to fill in medical test-andtrace forms; and drinks had to be ordered in advance for in-seat delivery. Despite the strict guidelines, the event is being hailed as a success and there will be a number of other trials before officials sanction England’s venue sector to restart on 1 August. However, the restart will not apply to venues in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, where local governments have different Covid policies.
London’s Alexandra Palace spectacularly highlighted the #LightItInRed campaign
German events industry campaign to protest the prolonged shutdown has gathered pace internationally, with music venues and significant historical buildings illuminated in “emergency red” to highlight their plight. The Night of Light event on 22 June was organised by Essen-based live and brand communication company LK-AG, and was launched to protest the German government’s decision to extend the ban on large-scale events until the end of October. Inspired by the striking impact the Night of Light had, venues and businesses in the UK conducted a similar operation – #LightItInRed – on 2 July, while thousands of buildings in Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Switzerland and The Netherlands have also been illuminated in red to vividly communicate the message that the live events sector is in desperate need of support.
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LISTEN TO ’S ‘NEW SIGNINGS’ AGENCY PLAYLIST HERE
has partnered with a number of agencies to compile a monthly playlist of new music released by some of the new signings to their rosters. Among the 50 tracks on July’s playlist are submissions from the following acts, represented by Paradigm and CAA.
LYNKS AFRIKKA AGENT Adele Slater
AGENTS Rebecca Nichols &
Chris Ibbs CAA
escribing Lynks Afrikka (aka Elliot Brett), Radio 1’s Jack Saunders states, “As far as I’m concerned, he’s the new hero of Bristol, and perhaps even this country,” suggesting the city should erect a statue of him. “He’s got a new EP out called Smash Hits Vol.1 and it is an exhilarating six tracks of pure madness – you will not find anything more fun or exciting to listen to right now than Lynks Afrikka. Obsessed – absolutely obsessed.” New track, How To Be Successful, is among Paradigm’s submissions on the latest IQ New Signings playlist.
his May saw the release of R&B sensation Tamera’s third single, Flipside, which sees Tamera continue her exploration of life and love, digging into the down times. The single has received significant radio play, featuring on the playlist at Radio 1Xtra, on top of airtime on Radio 1, Capital Xtra & Kiss. Tamera is one of the UK’s most exciting and breath-taking new talents, with a sold-out debut performance supporting Joy Crookes for Annie Mac presents at Oslo in March, her music has been recognised across the board from i-D, PAPER, MILK, Nylon, Complex, Hunger, DJ Target, Giles Peterson and more.
ARTIST LISTINGS Adult Entertainment (UK) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Aime Simone (FR) Alice Hogg, ATC Live Bad Boy Chiller Crew (UK) Danny Misell, Earth Agency Blanco (UK) Max Lee, Earth Agency Blanketman (UK) Sarah Besnard, ATC Live Chicano Batman (US) Alice Hogg, ATC Live Christian Lee Hutson (US) Colin Keenan & Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live City Morgue (US) Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Conway The Machine (US) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Devon (UK) Steve Zapp, ITB Diamante (US) Scott Mantell, ICM Partners Divino Niño (US) William Church & Sarah Joy, ATC Live Durand Jones & The Indications (US) Alice Hogg, ATC Live Eddie Benjamin (US) Noah Simon, UTA Emotional Oranges (US) Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Faux Real (UK) Sarah Joy, ATC Live Finn Foxell (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Flo Milli (US) Ari Bernstein, ICM Partners Folly Group (UK) Sarah Besnard, ATC Live Full Crate (NL) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Geese (US) Will Church, ATC Live Gena Rose Bruce (AU) Alice Hogg, ATC Live Glows (UK) Sinan Ors, ATC Live Gouge Away (US) Graham Clews, ATC Live HMLTD (UK) Adele Slater, Paradigm
HOTTEST NEW ACTS THIS MONTH 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
LAST MONTH 6 5 26 22 29 35 47 88 57 175 31 143 14 32 105
PREDICTIONS FOR AUGUST 2020
ARTIST DUTCHAVELLI (UK) SMOOVE’L (US) KENNYHOOPLA (US) HOLLY HUMBERSTONE (UK) JOESEF (UK) BIGKLIT (US) REMI WOLF (US) UPSAHL (US) DUKE DEUCE (US) CRACK CLOUD (CA) JEAN DAWSON (US) JAYDA G (CA) REI AMI (US) BRONSON (AU/US) THOMAS HEADON (AU/UK) EGO ELLA MAY (UK), GLASS CAVES (UK), RIC WILSON (US), RAIDER KLAN (US)
Artists not in the current top 15, but growing quickly
Fastest growing artists in terms of music consumption, aggregated across a number of online sources.
India Shawn (US) Ari Bernstein, ICM Partners Jaguar Jonze (AU) Ben Winchester & Charlie Renton, Primary Talent Jamie Webster (UK) Colin Keenan & Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Jane Holiday (US) Colin Keenan and Stuart Kennedy, ATC Live Jelani Aryeh (US) Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners John Carroll Kirby (US) Sinan Ors, ATC Live Jonah Yano (CA) James Masters & Nikos Kazoleas, UTA Kara Marni (UK) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Kate Bollinger (US) Will Marshall & Matt Bates, Primary Talent Katy J Pearson (UK) Sarah Joy, ATC Live Kučka (US) Naomi Palmer, Earth Agency Madison Beer (US) Matt Bates, Primary Talent Malaki (IE) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Marco (AU) Ari Bernstein, ICM Partners Marzz (US) Ari Bernstein, ICM Partners Merk (AU) Alice Hogg, ATC Live Mild Orange (NZ) Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Mitski (US) Matt Pickering-Copley, Primary Talent Molchat Doma (BY) James Masters, Jules de Lattre & Christina Austin, UTA Nation of Language (US) Matt Bates, Chris Smyth & Jamie Spencer, Primary Talent Nava (IT) Tom Manley, ATC Live NoahFinnce (UK) Anna Bewers, Paradigm Odie (CA) Kevin Jergenson, ICM Partners Otzeki (UK) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Panic Shack (UK) Sophie Roberts & Ross Warnock, UTA Peter Sandberg (SE) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY porij (UK) Michael Harvey-Bray & Cris Hearn, Paradigm Private World (UK) Graham Clews, ATC Live PVA (UK) Sarah Besnard, ATC Live R.A.E (UK) Max Lee, Earth Agency Rees (UK) Jason O’Regan, Earth Agency Reuben James (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Richard Walters (UK) Angie Rance, UTA Robert Grace (IE) Alex Hardee, Paradigm S1 (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Samia (US) David Exley, Paradigm Sans Soucis (UK) Alice Hogg & Marlon Burton, ATC Live Sarah Barrios (US) Scott Mantell, ICM Partners Spencer Barnett (US) Ari Bernstein, ICM Partners St Woods (ES) Alice Hogg, ATC Live Suspect (UK) Marlon Burton, ATC Live Tana (UK) Max Lee, Earth Agency Test Dept. (UK) Darren James-Thomas, FMLY Dandy Warhols (US) Caitlin Ballard, ATC Live Tygapaw (US) Lucy Atkinson, Earth Agency VanJess (US) Ari Bernstein, ICM Partners VC Pines (UK) Alice Hogg, ATC Live Vera Sola (CA) William Church & Clemence Renaut, ATC Live Voodoos (UK) Matt Bates, Chris Smyth & Jamie Spencer, Primary Talent Wildermiss (US) Steve Zapp, ITB Wilma Archer (UK) Sinan Ors, ATC Live Wynne (US) Ari Bernstein, ICM Partners Magazine
Going local to meet demand Judith Clumpas, design strategist and special projects consultant at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, details the country’s return to live events and the opportunities for local talent to cash in on national pride.
ew Zealand, the “team of 5 million,” has pulled off a remarkable performance in response to [prime minister] Jacinda Ardern´s rugby vernacular, “we go hard, we go early.” A policy and practice of clear and simple messaging that succeeded; we have had no community cases or transmission of Covid-19 for over 70 days. The handful of recent cases caught at the border remain in quarantine. When a rogue pair of Covid-positive sisters (they drove the eight hours to Wellington after arriving from the UK) were dubbed “Thelma and Disease” by one of the performers at The Tuning Fork last month, a full-capacity venue of shared laughter at shared outrage was a tonic for our collective soul after months of isolation. Alone in our Kiwi bubble, we have to make the best of it with what we have. Having worked in promoting, venues and festivals through the incredible creative explosion of Scottish artists in the 90s, the scene here has always seemed relatively barren to me. But is it? Were we just in thrall to international artists and inhabiting the shadow of our Antipodean cousins? From this side of Covid, we are waking up to what is under our nose, and it smells good! Lockdown was fully lifted in June, when the event and hospitality industries cautiously returned to “normal,” but under our “Level 2” in May, 400-cap venue The Tuning Fork, (reduced to 100 in tables of up to ten), began hosting an eclectic mix of local artists, bands and comedians, and NZ was in the lucky position of finding itself free to open for arena shows soon afterwards. Event staff took time to interpret and design safety measures that worked, and still gave customers a welcoming and convivial experience. Early operations included full contact-tracing ability for every ticket holder, temperature checks on entry, cleaning bathroom stalls after every customer, on-app ordering of food and drinks, one server per group, and copious amounts of hand-sanitiser. While there is still plenty of sanitiser on the go, and customers are asked to scan their Covid app on entry to keep a record of where they have been, relaxing the regulations and allowing crowds of thousands to mix and mingle has been embraced with enthusiasm.
People feel safe, and are hungry for live entertainment. Last Saturday night, NZ was fully back in the game: 6,000 people to see local artists L.A.B., and Troy Kingi at Spark Arena. The drink flowed, hit songs were sung along to, and the locally sourced production was amazing: PA, lights, digital video displays, the lot! The calibre of that production owes a great deal to international touring, which has flourished here in the past decade or so, and the local industry would not be this well equipped without it, but having been a UK promoter in the 80s-2000s, when tours brought a handful of crew, I never cease to be amazed at today’s plethora of touring personnel. Perhaps we will see a future global touring model comprised of a network of locally managed productions, the only moving parts being artists and backline? It would certainly contribute to a greener future for the industry. So are we back to pre-Covid normal here? Nothing like. Right now we have a mandatory, supervised, 14-day quarantine at our border, only allowing New Zealanders in, with very few exceptions. With Melbourne back in lockdown, our hoped-for trans-Tasman bubble looks a way off, and with it any hope of touring artists from further afield. Recent exemptions for cast and crew of the new Avatar and Lord of the Rings productions give hope that soon a handful of artists may be allowed in under similar circumstances. Maybe it’s time for more communication, trust and respect for local talent? Eden Park, home of All Blacks internationals, is now regularly at capacity for regional rugby, and we are experiencing increased support for local artists as our nation becomes more proudly introspective. Local girl Benee debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 under lockdown with platinum-selling Supalonely and, in October, will headline two sold-out nights at Spark Arena, a national tour, then festivals at New Year alongside Six60, Shihad andFat Freddy’s Drop. Emerging artists like Harper Finn and Daffodils are selling out at The Tuning Fork and coming to the notice of new audiences hungry for creative sustenance, and that can only be a good thing. Perhaps, just perhaps, our creatives will come bursting out of this bubble in better shape than they went in?.
Dance music is art Michael Kill, CEO of the UK’s Night Time Industries Association, believes that the dance music sector should be getting more governmental assistance to help it survive the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
ance music has been gradually evolving since the 1970s, embedding its influence across generations. Dance music is continually changing, uniting multiple genres, cultures, nations, and histories to create a single art form. Therefore, not only should electronic music demand its own recognition within the arts, but it should be recognised as the one unique musical art form that acts as a conduit for all other music genres as it constantly reinvents itself. Electronic music does not discriminate, rather it brings together, regardless of age and background. It has long been established that club and festival dance culture is a vital part of British heritage, as well as generating millions of pounds in revenue for the economy, it adds to the ever-growing nightlife tourism figures boasting 300 million visits a year across the UK. Given the investment of many European countries in the arts sector specifically supporting and recognising the value of classic and contemporary art forms, the UK Government has been under immense pressure to follow in the footsteps of their counterparts by properly funding a sector that generates significant revenues for the Exchequer. On 5 July 2020, an announcement was made by the UK culture secretary highlighting a £1.57billion (€1.73bn) arts and culture fund. Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said, “Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the lynchpin of our world-beating and fast-growing creative industries. I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations. Today we are announcing a huge support package of immediate funding to tackle the funding crisis they face. I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment.”
But when asked about potential support for music venues and festivals on the 9 July during Parliament, he announced the fund would “cover grassroots music venues, concert halls and indoor arenas… those wholly or mainly used for performance of live music for the purposes of entertaining an audience,” with no mention of clubs or festivals. Sector trade bodies have continually asked for clarification from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on whether dance music clubs, festivals and events will be included, but the Department has so far failed to provide assurances or clarity, so we await the details of eligibility in the coming weeks. The industry is astounded at the Government´s failure to recognise dance music clubs and events within its narrative as part of arts and culture, and continues to drive a clear message regarding its eligibility to apply for the funding in line with the live sector. What the Government fails to understand is that much of the sector operates venues that house both live and dance/ recorded music events, and in many cases, they survive symbiotically in support of each other with many successful examples within the market place. Electronic music has always been a popular art form that reaches a diverse number of communities, but which now finds itself excluded, even if only by narrative! Surely the Government can recognise the importance of this sector to youth culture, and through the rise of the illegal rave scene recognise the value of professional regulated spaces where people can enjoy themselves and the music safely. The industry has to now drive the agenda, as we see the tide turn between removal of risk to management of risk, it’s time to get the science to work for us. Dance music is the world’s third most popular music genre, with an estimated audience of over 1.5 billion. But, despite the global influence and economic importance of British dance music and culture, Government support and clarity on the future of the sector has so far been very limited.
FABIAN MÜLLER As general manager of Düsseldorf-based venue Castello, Fabian Müller is also the production manager of special projects – a role that has kept him busy of late through organising D.Live’s drive-in concerts.
German rapper, Alligatoah, was one of many acts to perform at Düsseldorf’s drive-in venue this year
e studied law but readily admits that he found working in the live entertainment sector far more enjoyable, so he dropped the law degree and underwent training as a specialist in event engineering. “Straight after that I pursued further qualifications to become a master for event engineering,” he tells IQ, while he later added qualifications such as the Professional Certificate in Event Safety & Security Management from the International Training Centre for Crowd & Safety Management (IBIT) to boost his professional credentials. “I basically began working in the live entertainment sector when I was 14. At the time, apart from going to school, I did casual work as a
temporary helper for event [organisers] and wedding DJs. However, I quickly noticed that there was more than just bouncy castles and DJs, and after a short while I began to work as a helper for a local service provider before commencing my studies and training.” Having completed his training, Müller became self-employed and worked as a technician and operator in the lighting trade before kick-starting his career at one of the world’s biggest events: “My first job as freelancer was as a light technician at the Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf,” he reports. His relationship with D.Live started through work at then parent company Düsseldorf Con-
gress Sport & Event GmbH on behalf of a local event organiser and venue operator, meaning his first contact with the company was as a client. “I therefore knew Michael Brill, our CEO,” explains Müller. “When Michael went to D.Live, I was fascinated by the opportunities offered there – a company that operates all event venues of a metropolis is unique in Europe. They also have a team brought together from all over Germany, with each one of them an expert in their own field. However, what was really special for me was the common interests shared by all colleagues – the love of their profession, the love of live music, and the dynamism, which really impressed me right away.”
“To protect local residents from noise during the cinema, we had to ban honking the horn and develop an app that enables interactive clapping, cheering, rejoicing and laughing, and which can be integrated in the transmission sound”
A native of Düsseldorf, Müller’s first concert experience was at the Mitsubishi Electric Halle (then called PhilipsHalle), so coming full circle to putting on shows and concerts in the venue is particularly pleasing. “Each of our venues tells a tale of my personal history,” he says. “As a matter of principle, I put 100% of my efforts into working for D.Live. Nevertheless, you will see me every year with one or two bands as production manager at festivals or on medium-sized tours. I find it extremely important to collect new experiences, to see what other people are doing and to support colleagues. And if we are really honest about it… you can’t and don’t want to completely give up touring.” Müller admits that taking on the seemingly
insurmountable is his favourite aspect of working in production. “My personal highlights have been when I really put my heart and soul into projects, went against the recommendations of others or even had to face up to people who wanted to prevent something, and at the end of the day, the success proved that I had been right,” he says. “One of these highlights was undoubtedly the Horst Festival in Mönchengladbach, which – as an outdoor, free festival – was completely organised and staged by volunteers to enable their fellow citizens to enjoy culture.” He also cites ARAG Big Air, a ski and snowboard event, as another highlight, while the recent drive-in shows in Düsseldorf are another project that he is immensely proud of.
“Every task was a challenge with the drive-in cinema,” he states. “We developed a completely new product and we were the first in the world to stage drive-in concerts. There were no references, experiences or tips that we could have fallen back on. “We had to consider various issues, such as lines of sight from cars, distances between the vehicles and heights of stages. After all, the windscreen of a passenger car always restricts the field of vision. “The whole behaviour of fans travelling to the show was new. Who comes? When do they come? We discovered that the first step taken by guests was going to the toilet, since some of them had already spent hours in their cars. But there were also new learnings with regard to the productions. Here, occupational safety was once again highlighted from another perspective. Issues such as distancing rules and, in particular, measures to protect crews against infection were constantly relevant. One of the great things about our profession, namely sitting together with the crews and drinking a beer after the show, was suddenly forbidden.” Müller and the D.Live team had to persuade the on-stage talent to participate in public announcement tasks. “We had to urge the artists to motivate the guests to stick to the applicable rules… and not lose sight of corona.” And he reveals that fan interaction took on another dimension during the vehicle-centric shows. “There are few possibilities for communication and reaction from inside the car. To protect local residents from noise during the cinema, we had to ban honking the horn and develop an app that enables interactive clapping, cheering, rejoicing and laughing, and which can be integrated in the transmission sound.” Addressing the pandemic situation that led to the necessity for the drive-in shows, Müller notes, “Corona accompanies us everywhere. Unfortunately, that will remain so for a long time and we currently do not expect that the market will be able to settle down by the middle of next year or recover its former strength. “Every event that we are considering is looked at from the perspective of current findings and regulations. The amount of work required has considerably increased, while possible capacities, which I always refer to as ‘our currency,’ have decreased exorbitantly. Despite this burden, my employees perform excellent work. The way my boys and girls put their hearts and souls into implementing the drive-in cinema at lightning speed was incredible. Everyone did everything: nobody regarded themselves as being too good to do something on behalf of the event.” He adds, “The set-up phase particularly reminded me of ‘the good old days.’ It was all just a super experience. And, as a team, the time once again brought us even closer together.” Magazine
Covid Kit Essentials_Feature In Brief
s buildings, venues and public spaces start to tentatively reopen following months of lockdown, savvy businesses and operators are turning to technology to help them boost confidence, both among consumers and staďŹ€. From simply supplying handsanitisation facilities at store entrances, to sophisticated mobile phone apps, thermal testing and scanning devices, numerous products and systems are being developed to bolster personal protection measures, giving people confidence that they can safely return to the workplace and, ultimately, get back to enjoying live entertainment. takes a look at just some Here, of the products and services on oďŹ€er to the live events industry, as venue owners and promoters contemplate how to entice people back to their shows, concerts and festivalsâ€Ś
Feature_Covid Kit Essentials
Biosecurity-Systems Biosecurity-Systems offers a comprehensive range of products, facilities and staff to augment safety procedures that are implemented in buildings and venues. Rather than being in the business of selling kit, the company’s goal is to minimise infection risk and help businesses to protect customers, staff and anyone else who visits their premises. CEO Paul Twomey observes that while many people view the Covid pandemic as a ‘once in 100 years’ phenomena, those living in Asia and the Pacific rim have a different viewpoint. “It’s a key thing for people to think about: in east Asia there has been SARS, HN1, swine flu, bird flu and now Covid. So there are major viruses every five to six years,” he says. “In terms of pandemics, this is a bit like a 9-11 moment. There was terrorism before 9-11, but everyone thinks of terrorism differently post 9-11. Covid-19 will probably do the same for pandemics.” Consequently, Biosecurity-Systems urges clients not to make the mistake of simply bringing in equipment purely to deal with the current coronavirus, but to rather see their actions as a long-term investment to deal with this pandemic, as well as all future pandemics. Currently working with the likes of airports, airlines and logistics centres, Biosecurity-Systems offers a turnkey solution, as well as bespoke solutions that include disinfection technologies, triage technologies, testing technologies and artificial intelligence, if needed. The company morphed out of an existing robotics operation in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic and has strategy solutions in place that cover everything from simple health questionnaires and disinfectant misting tunnels to blood oxygen testing and robots that can continuously – and conspicuously – clean the likes of floors in airport terminals (as they do in
Hong Kong). The company’s robots can also automatically clean toilets, hence protecting cleaning staff in an environment that is known to be highly virulent for coronavirus infection. Twomey adds, “Things like temperature testing are not particularly effective for Covid-19, but consumers are demanding it, as it makes them feel secure. However, those same systems are very important in detecting other diseases – Ebola, for instance. Meanwhile, blood oxygen testing does have more relevancy for Covid-19. So having such equipment should be seen as a long-term investment that can basically show people that it’s safer to come back to your facilities then those of somebody else.” biosecurity-systems.com
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Covid Kit Essentials_Feature In Brief
Seats.io Ticketing operation, Seats.io, is using the challenges presented by the coronavirus restrictions to leverage its technology and create opportunities that should help restore consumer confidence when it comes to attending shows and concerts. Seats.io is determined to give venues and event organisers additional tools to help restart the live entertainment sector and begin selling tickets again, as soon as possible. The company notes a key factor in these transactions will be trust: many surveys indicate that people want to go back to live events, but only if they feel they can trust that they and their loved ones will be safe in doing so. In an effort to rebuild that trust, Seats.io believes demonstrating at the moment of ticket purchase that people will be safe, is the best approach. To achieve that, Seats.io can make sure customers are aware, when they select their seat, that social distancing rules will be applied and respected. As a result, Seats.io has configured its ticketing system with an option that shows ticket buyers how the seats around theirs will be blocked out, as they select their tickets. For some theatres, the distance required will be one seat, for others two; sometimes aisle seats will always be blocked, sometimes, not. In addition, it is essential that such a system can be integrated into any existing ticketing system, negating the need for a complete overhaul. Seats.io says its system answers all these needs. Easily integrated, with world-class UX and UI, Seats.io can allow any ticketing platform to offer ticket buyers exactly what they need: the reassurance that they are safe, and that they can trust the event organisers to respect social distancing. seats.io
Seats.io allows people to see seating availability under social distancing rules
Feature_Covid Kit Essentials
Megaforce Staging company Megaforce has developed a range of products and facilities to help businesses protect staff and customers from the spread of coronavirus, and has already installed its equipment at everything from kindergartens to hardware stores. Products include: Biometric fever screening Fever screening is carried out using a thermal imaging camera, which rapidly records body temperature with exceptional accuracy, and can thus make a significant contribution to the containment of pandemics. The system uses state-of-the-art sensor technology to scan up to five peopleâ€™s faces simultaneously in order to determine body temperatures. If an increased temperature is detected, the system triggers an alarm or can deny access â€“ for example, as part of an automatic access control system. The temperature check also has an automatic mask detection option, so that if the camera detects a person without a mask, the system will politely remind them that they must wear one. The system is already being used at border controls, airports, trade fairs and events, and is also suitable for protecting healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes; and at entrances to factories, offices, shopping malls, hotels, schools and public authority buildings. Contactless hand washing & hygiene stations Hygiene stations are available as single, double or triple units with diverse areas of application such as shopping malls, DIY stores, bus stations, car parks, stadia/event locations, public places, wholesale markets etc. In short, anywhere with high footfall where there are too few or no sanitary or hygiene facilities.
Added value is provided by advertising/branding spaces on all sides of the stations with the option of integrating frames or dispensers for brochures etc, making them perfect for promotional campaigns. The stations can be branded accordingly depending on the theme. Hygiene gates These are gantries/locks based on a chlorinated water solution, much like swimming pools, and can be used for semi-disinfection of equipment and people. The main area of application is access to work, backstage or production areas. Although it is not possible to ensure 100% disinfection, hygiene gates significantly increase hygiene standards and safety. The gates are constructed using high-quality stainless steel; they are contactless and can be combined with Megaforceâ€™s fever screening system.
Covid Kit Essentials_Feature In Brief
Realife Tech Realife Tech has developed a Covid Safety Hub – a customer-facing technology designed to help events safely relaunch once restrictions on large gatherings are lifted. The Covid Safety Hub has a range of mobile-based features that will guide fans through new venue policies and procedures, with messaging delivered before, during, and after events. This includes digital ticketing, checklists, location-based directives, an AI Covid assistant (powered by Satisfi Labs), real-time safety tips, and post-event messaging. At events, the location-based safety alerts share real-time information to help reduce congestion in high-traffic areas such as entrances and exits, and provide facility updates. The assistant also comes with touch-free mobile ticket scanning, as well as contactless ordering and collection of food, beverages, and merchandise. This is a powerful tool as it runs on Realife Tech's platform, aggregating data from multiple systems at festivals and events. These include apps, ticketing, Wi-Fi, point-of-sale, digital advertising screens and access control points. In addition to the Covid safety features, organisers can capture a single view of the customer across their journey. The Covid Safety Hub is being deployed
Covid Safety Hub Let’s bring fans back safely
across multiple events and will help welcome fans back this summer, as it aims to minimise event attendees´ fear and anxiety about the ‘new normal’ through dedicated messaging, features, and protocols put in place to mitigate risk. Founded in 2014, with headquarters in London and Los Angeles, Realife Tech is an experience automation platform that unifies data from every event venue system, then analyses the data
At events, the location-based safety alerts share real-time information to help reduce congestion in high-traffic areas to provide truly personalised digital experiences. The company works with more than 65 of the world's biggest venues and events, including The O2, London; Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, and Outside Lands Festival, California. Realife Tech is the recipient of three Event Technology Awards for Best Festival Technology, Best Venue Installation, and Best Venue Solution. realifetech.com/covid
Feature_Covid Kit Essentials
GRID GRID claims to be a game-changing new app that enables people to socialise in safe, socially distant and contactless ways. It has already received exceptional feedback from events, such as Kiesgrube’s Stay Wild Moonchild! in Duisburg, Germany. GRID works by digitalising events and providing a safe way for social gatherings to take place by making ticketing, f&b orders and Covid-19 registration fully digitised – even the cloakroom is handled via the app, all in line with current Covid-19 safety regulations. Using GRID, long lines and guest lists; cash transactions and face-to-face ordering; lost tickets and wristbands; not to mention smudged morning-after stamps, are no longer an issue. The app can also incorporate loyalty rewards. Solutions already built by the GRID team, pre-pandemic, are now helping to prevent further job losses, as well as allowing economies to thrive again and providing people with the opportunity to go out and socialise whilst prioritising their safety.
Rebuild The Chain An international consortium, led by Dragon Gateway in collaboration with Accubits Technologies Inc, FutureTech, Nexus and LL Consultancy, has launched a pandemic management solution called Rebuild The Chain (RTC) to try to help the live event sector get back to business. In brief, RTC Sport and RTC Entertainment create a Covid-free zone around a venue in which no person or surface is Covid infected. The two apps are similar in that they harness the speed, efficiency and accuracy of rapid test kits (98.6% accuracy), a mobile app, appropriate PPE and the security of blockchain technology. With a global network of contacts and suppliers, RTC offers all the latest Covid safety tech such as thermal cameras, sanitiser mist tunnels and so on, to ensure the public feels as safe as possible. At events, real-time test kits mean that a consumer´s ‘safe status’ can be uploaded immediately to their smartphone to be checked by stewards at a green zone checkpoint and again as they enter the venue at ticket collection. With the aim of enabling audiences to safely return to sports, festivals, concerts and even b2b conferences and exhibitions, Dragon Gateway further claims to be in contractual discussions to deploy RTC Government across entire nations.
Bubble Band Social distancing within the live event industry is an obvious challenge. Static barriers and markers will never work in a fluid environment. However, a cost-effective alternative is already available. The Bubble Band is a simple wearable social distance alarm. Worn as a wristband or on a lanyard, the Bubble Band is ideal for artists and backstage event crew. When two Bubble Bands come within the set proximity to each other they will vibrate or alert the wearers. Bubble Band settings are managed through an app available on Mac or android mobile devices. Connecting via Bluetooth they are easy to set up and fully rechargeable. Distance and alert settings can be adjusted to meet current government guidelines. Groups of Bubble Bands can be linked with varying settings: e.g. lighting and rigging set at 1m, backline and catering set at 2m. Available in a range of colours, the bands help to easily distinguish between working teams, as requested in the UK’s newly published Working Safely During Coronavirus guide.
Covid Kit Essentials_Feature In Brief
London Palladium pilot event suppliers
SmartXcan Production Resource Group (PRG) has designed a temperature scanner that can easily be installed in entertainment venues, convention centres and workplaces. PRG’s SmartXcan is a portable thermal scanner that provides instantaneous feedback on up to 700 people per hour. “The SmartXcan is much more accurate and faster than other devices that are being modified to meet current needs,” says Mark Peterson of PRG Scenic Technologies. “We use a diagnostic tool that measures temperature in the sinus cavity and behind the eyes in 0.6 seconds.” The SmartXcan leverages advanced fever-scanning technology developed by Kentix, a German company that develops smart building security. The temperature data is protected and not connected to identifying technology, to meet privacy laws. “We wanted to ensure that people feel comfortable using the SmartXcan, so it does not have facial recognition capabilities,” adds Peterson. “Who you are is not important to us, we are just trying to assist in reopening as safely as possible.” Portable SmartXcan options include a wheeled pedestal, kiosk, countertop, or built-in turnstiles for automated entry control. The devices can be plugged in or operated using a built-in battery that provides up to 24 hours of continuous use. Each scanner offers hands-free scanning that quickly notifies individuals via a green or red light that they are okay to proceed.
On 23 July, London’s iconic Palladium venue held a pilot event, featuring singer Beverley Knight, to test the theatre’s readiness to deal with audiences and overall safety, ahead of a mooted return for indoor shows in England in August. In addition to limiting the venue’s capacity to 30%, attendees were given staggered arrival times and had to pre-order drinks to allow staff to organise in-seat service. Assisting the Palladium in the trial were the following suppliers: Hikvision Hikvision has a range of products and services that can be used by the live events sector to bolster coronavirus safety protocol. These include MinMoe touch-free, temperature-screening terminals; crowd-density control solutions; mask-detection solutions; and thermal-imaging cameras to detect skin surface temperatures. Purehold In addition to developing a room disinfectant system using Ozone gas, Purehold has designed a range of hygienic door-handle covers that fit over existing handles, while its door push plates use a similar silver ion coating that works continuously to combat germs deposited onto the surface by users. MegaHertz MegaHertz uses the latest technology in decontamination fogging and sterilisation, with the chemical involved tested and proven not to be harmful to humans, animals, plants or electrical equipment. The company’s fogging devices distribute the chemical into the air so that it is able to make contact with every part of the decontamination area, killing 99.999% of bacteria and viruses.
CrowdBlink Protect CrowdBlink Protect has been used by essential businesses during the shutdown to assess employees daily for symptoms of Covid-19, allowing them to safely continue operating. Now, as economies start operating once again, other organisations are beginning to use the same system to reopen safely. From construction, manufacturing, and retirement/senior care facilities to childcare centres, office buildings and more – CrowdBlink Protect is an easy, affordable solution to help keep communities safe. The company charges $49 per ´screener´ per month, with screeners being individuals who assess others, or who can scan QR codes for people who have completed CrowdBlink’s self-assessment procedures. The CrowdBlink plug-and-play system also allows event organisers to create and sell tickets to their events, scan tickets as people enter, and use CrowdBlink´s point-of-sale facility to sell items during the event. On the attendee side, fans can use the Patron app to buy tickets, enter the event, add funds to their cashless accounts, make purchases on-site, and even interact with sponsors. Patron allows attendees to use the app if they lose Internet connectivity. And for anyone that doesn’t want attendees using an app, CrowdBlink can run events via NFC or RFID wristbands or even traditional printed tickets.
MONEY’S TOO TIGHT TO MENTION They’re the unsung heroes of the live music industry. And their financial knowhow will be essential if the business is to get back on track quickly in the postCovid age, writes Jon Chapple Illustrations © Visual Generation | Adobe Stock
nless you’ve been living under a rock since early March – in which case, welcome back! You’ve got a lot to catch up on – you’ll no doubt be exhausted from reading about the financial carnage wreaked upon the live entertainment business by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. So spare a thought for the accountants, financial advisers, investment experts, currency specialists and all those who have been on the front line since then, helping the live industry
mitigate the impact of the crisis – and whose expertise will be key to getting live entertainment back on track when the time comes.
Many firms who work with music industry clients have been forced to reinvent their businesses, as well as help their clients boost non-touring-related revenues in the face of the near-total halt in live music globally. “We’re taking a hit because a lot of our artists’ income is reliant on touring,” explains Mike
Skeet, a partner at Skeet Kaye Hopkins (SKH), the London office of US accounting firm Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman. “Our bigger clients can afford to ride things out, but a lot of our smaller artists are concerned they won’t survive.” After the rescheduling rush in the first few weeks of the crisis, Skeet says much of his Covid-era work has revolved around helping many of those smaller artists access sources of funding. “Previously, they would tour almost non-stop and be out every summer for festivals,” he continues. “So now we’ve been doing a lot of work
Financial Planning_Feature ford continues, “each of the senior staff worked thousands of potential new clients, she explains. Lloyd Major of Halo Solutions, an F Word closely with around five or six investers to ensure client, has similarly realigned his business after that a robust survival plan was put in place imagreements to sell the company’s Halo security mediately.” Now, he says, Edition holds “regular system to multiple major international venue update meetings” with those clients “to tweak the clients fell through as a result of coronavirus-era plan and to slowly begin post-Covid discussions as to how the business might bounce back.” purse tightening. “The pandemic shutdown has forced forward Major, CEO of the company formerly known as Crest Planning, says UK-based Halo and dynamic thinking as it relates to communilost six-figures’ worth of business – or 50% of cation and process, where the ‘normal day’ is not turnover – in four weeks in March/April. Now, relevant,” says Steven Wren, tax partner at SRLV Accountants. “As always, though, “we’ve picked up knowing a client’s business open-air cinemas in the inside and out is pivotal East and West Midlands, in providing proactive a contract for NHS [Naadvice, as well as insuring tional Health Service] that we communicate with logistics in Hampshire, clients on a regular basis.” and we’re talking to wellGreenish adds that known artists about beCenttrip has also experihind-closed-doors shows,” enced increased demand he explains. for its prepaid, multicur“While some people rency MasterCard during would say we might as the pandemic. “For us, well just delete the rest a big one we’ve pushed of this year, we’re using right from the beginning the opportunity to look is trying to take any proinwards and build better Serena Humphrey | The F Word duction or tour cashless internal processes and through the card,” he exhave a fresh look at our plains. “It’s hugely popubusiness plans.” International payments and foreign-ex- lar, and those artists who haven’t already taken change specialist, Centtrip, has also been hit by their tour cashless are certainly looking towards the halt in live events, says Freddy Greenish, the it.” The card even makes sense from a hygiene company’s head of music, film and entertainment. “We represent the best part of 600 artists, perspective, he adds: “Even in lockdown we’re and the summer touring and festival season is all using less cash anyway, as no one wants to always a big part of our year, so we’re hurting transmit the disease.” Humphrey comments, “This [Covid-19] is gojust like everybody is,” he comments. “On the flipside, we have clients that earn ing to be in our lives for years now; you’ve got to foreign income from various different streams – focus on where the opportunities are. It’s maknot necessarily just on the live side – and where ing us all realise we can do big things very fast. there’s been quite a bit of market volatility, that This is a lesson in how when you stop running presented great opportunities for clients to sell round like a lunatic and stop to focus, you can dollars and euros and buy pounds, for example. achieve big things.” Wren says he has seen many music busiWhen it all started to collapse around lockdown, nesses take advantage of the various governsterling to dollar went to 1.15 [£1/$1.15]… “So we’ve seen quite a few artists take advan- ment-backed loans available in many countries, tage of that, where the rates have been preferable.” as they are seen “as a great source of cheap fi“In terms of innovation, I do think, strangely, nance, with some enterprises obtaining signifithat the challenges have played well to our skill- cant amounts.” This, he says, demonstrates the set,” says Paul Bedford, partner at Edition Cap- viability of the industry to support such debt.” ital, an investment company specialising in the entertainment and leisure sectors. Solidarity “If you are always making capital of strong While every business IQ spoke to for this feature financial management in a business and some- is weathering the coronavirus storm, many comthing like this comes along, you benefit massive- panies – especially those just starting out, or yet ly from the fact that most of those businesses to find their feet – are not so lucky. already have good habits, such as regularly re“There are going to be so many business failviewing cash flow to ensure that they don’t have ures over the next six months,” observes Humissues lurking in the future, or, if they do, cor- phrey. “So many companies just didn’t have a rective action is taken to remedy the situation.” viable business and never worked out how to As the scale of the crisis became apparent, Bed- make money.”
“It’s making us all realise we can do big things very fast. This is a lesson in how when you stop running round like a lunatic and stop to focus, you can achieve big things.”
with helping clients look at government schemes and trying, where we can, to get them help.” Serena Humphrey, a former accountant who runs the UK-based financial coaching company The F Word, tells IQ she is using lockdown to launch The F Word Academy, a ‘finance school for small businesses’ that has been five years in the making and builds on a popular coronavirus business support group she started on Facebook. Whereas, “at the moment, my team and I can work with 15 to 20 people,” the launch of the online academy scales The F Word business to reach
Feature_Financial Planning In times of crisis, IQ wonders, do those companies who are thriving – or at least surviving – have a responsibility to help those less well off? Yes, says Major: “We are all in this together, so you should help when you can. Kindness is a lost commodity in business.” He adds that his biggest clients – “big stadia, clubs who are paying millions [of pounds] in wages” – are generally among the slowest to pay invoices; testament to the fact that the financial impact of the pause in live events is also affecting those at the top end of the business. Bedford says Edition Capital had a number of investment deals closing just as the full impact of Covid-19 began to be felt but that the company “felt honour-bound to close those deals on the terms agreed and not try to take short-term advantage of a situation that was of nobody’s making. I’m very proud that this was a unanimous decision within the team.” Humphrey, meanwhile, is making The F Word Academy free to all for three months. “I do think anyone who can help, who can add anything to the mix, should,” she says. “It’s the small
“We are all in this together, so you should help when you can. Kindness is a lost commodity in business.” Lloyd Major | Halo Solutions
things we can do that will make a big difference.” “The crucial thing, as has been said many times already, is that everyone supports everyone else,” concurs Bedford. “In live, for instance, promoters have to protect the myriad smaller operators who play such a massive role in the success of the industry but, by the nature of their roles, are not employed by any one business. “It is also crucial that agents and the artists they represent take a pragmatic view to fees going forward and are able to agree to sensible and flexible deal structures wherever possible.” Many of SKH’s larger clients, Skeet adds, are ensuring that long-standing crew members are looked after while touring is on hold. “Artists can’t be expected to keep paying out costs as if they were touring, but equally they want to make sure that their crew are taken care of and that they’re ready when things get back to normal.”
As the live music industry gears up for its impending recovery, it’s key that all players – even the few companies that will make it through the crisis relatively unscathed – use the current
downturn to take stock and ensure their business’s financial health, says Humphrey. “So many companies don’t have any money in the bank, and most of those that do, don’t have enough to cover three months’ worth of overheads,” she comments. “Others are overtrading, having been too focused on expansion at the expense of the financial basics.” Those basics, she says, are “completely timeless” and apply to any business, large or small. “Being clear where you’re going, knowing your
route to market, building up your buffer cash, especially if you rely on one or two key customers… You’ve got to build the financial basics if you want to protect your business.” “We have banged on forever and a day about the need for businesses in this space to be properly capitalised, but, unfortunately, only a few have taken heed, and many have tended to continue to run on a hand-to-mouth basis,” echoes Bedford. “We always said that they should have ‘rainy day’ money, as it does rain from time to time –
PAUL BEDFORD | EDITION CAPITAL FREDDY GREENISH | CENTTRIP SERENA HUMPHREY | THE F WORD LLOYD MAJOR | HALO SOLUTIONS MIKE SKEET | SKEET KAYE HOPKINS
though not even we anticipated this monsoon…” Greenish says he sees Centtrip’s role in the industry’s recovery becoming more apparent when the live business is a bit “further out of the woods” with regards to the coronavirus. “We’ve got clients that still have a regular flow in various different currencies, so we’re still busy with them,” he comments. “But with touring, at the moment it’s still very much wait and see. “When clients start to have an idea of touring schedules, then currency strategy will be impor-
tant for them: they want to make sure that if they’re earning in various different currencies, they’re getting the most value when converting it back to pounds, for example,” he continues. “That’s where we – particularly with bigger artists with chunkier fees, where things like hedging are key – become really important.” Skeet says he is working toward the assumption that live music will largely have returned to normality by the 2021 festival season. In the meantime, he says, SKH is helping clients to
maximise other incomes, such as royalties, as well as looking at the budgets for emerging live formats such as paid streams and drive-in shows. “A lot of us are, I think, waiting to see if there is a second wave of the virus and what happens if there is,” says Skeet. “At the moment, we’re taking each day as it comes, and working to a plan of there being no live music this year, but with the assumption it will start up again in the first quarter of 2021. If we can kick off as normal with Coachella in April, we’ll all be breathing a sigh of relief.” Bedford emphasises the importance of continued government support for live entertainment, as well as business more broadly, as being key to a strong recovery. “People need to understand that funding such as furlough, CBILS [the UK’s coronavirus business interruption loan scheme], bounce back loans, grants, rates holidays, etc., are really just survival funds. The effectiveness of [these schemes] will largely come to naught if the support isn’t only very gradually withdrawn as businesses are able to properly trade – and with both live and hospitality, that doesn’t mean in a strange and largely ineffective, socially distanced manner. “If the [British] government were shaken by the recent unemployment figures, then they will be a mere drop in the ocean if they drop the ball on this.” “It’s going to be challenging for a number of years,” adds Humphrey, returning to her theme of looking after the financial basics. “If you don’t take this chance to shore up your business and replenish what you have, you can expect to keep struggling.” Magazine
COVID-19 has impacted every business sector around the world, but with live entertainment likely to be one of the last industries to return, given social distancing regulations, the associations that represent its millions of employees have never been more important. In the UK, for instance, many trade bodies recently collaborated to secure a ÂŁ1.57 billion government funding package for the arts. And, as restrictions in many countries enter yet another finds out more about some month, of our association partners and discovers just what they are doing to help their members navigate and survive. 32
ASSOCIATION OF FESTIVAL ORGANISERS (UK)
ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT FESTIVALS (UK)
The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) was formed in 1987 when just six organisers came together to exchange ideas, discuss the growing festival calendar and offer support to each other. Now, there are more than 250 members, over 150 of which are festivals, with the rest of the membership made up of associated supply services. The AFO supports its members by engaging with UK government, local authorities, trade/industry, UK Music, and many other organisations, supplying them with information and a voice that enables them to stand up for their corner of the outdoor events industry. Membership fees are kept as low as possible because they believe that the organisers that need help and advice the most are the ones with the smallest budgets. A festival, for example, can join for £100 (€112) per year; an associate will be more like £200 (€224), depending on size; while individuals pay around £40 (€45). During the pandemic, AFO has provided members with information and guidance, and offered one-on-one Zoom calls for any member that needed more detailed attention. The association has posted 26 items of Covid-19 news on its website and sent out numerous blogs and newsletters, along with surveys and general questionnaires to keep up to speed with the devastating situation the virus has brought to the industry.
The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is one of the UK’s leading festival representative bodies. Founded in 2008, the combined attendance of AIF’s 65 member events exceeds 820,000 each year, with members contributing an estimated £386m (€433m) to the UK economy annually. AIF provides a vital support network for independent festival promoters through members meetings; public facing campaigns and lobbying; producing conferences and training events; and providing business support services to members. AIF’s member events range from 500- to 70,000-capacity and include some of the most successful and innovative festivals in the UK: Boomtown Fair, Shambala, Boardmasters, End of the Road, Bluedot and many more. Member fees range between £500£5,000 (€560-5,600) and are calculated based on licensed capacity. Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, AIF’s work representing members has been extensive and far-reaching, including proactively lobbying and presenting evidence and data to support measures that will alleviate the sector to both the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Her Majesty’s Treasury. These include producing numerous impact surveys and lobbying on issues such as temporary extensions to consumer refund periods; VAT holidays; extending the coronavirus job retention scheme; making a distinction between retail and seasonal businesses; and clarity on the eligibility of festivals for grants and loans. These efforts have resulted in discussions at ministerial level about the festival industry’s issues.
BDKV (GERMANY) The Federal German Association for the Promoters and Event Business (BDKV) membership includes about 450 promoters and agents across all sectors of the live entertainment business. Membership fees depend on the size of the member company or organisation and range from €750 to €2,500 per year. During the pandemic, the BDKV successfully lobbied for legislation that gives promoters the right to offer ticketholders (for shows that were/are unable to go ahead due to the coronavirus) a voucher instead of a reimbursement, as well as for any presale expenses. The voucher scheme is unique, according to BDKV, as it completely reverses existing German law. However, the association convinced policy makers that the vouchers were vital for German promoters whose businesses would have been in jeopardy if they had been forced to reimburse ticket holders. In addition to its voucher campaign, BDKV has been instrumental in establishing a task force for all German associations involved in the music business, which has created a detailed damage claim for the business, amounting to €582m, including around €420m for the live sector. BDKV, alongside its task force partners, is currently awaiting an answer from German government regarding this claim.
BRITISH PHONOGRAPHIC INDUSTRY (UK) The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) champions the UK’s recorded music business, safeguarding the rights of its members and of the artists, performers and label members of collecting body PPL. Membership consists of more than 400 independent labels and the UK’s three majors, which together account for 85% of legitimate domestic music consumption and one in nine albums sold around the world. Membership costs £120 (€135) per year plus 3.5% of UK domestic PPL revenues. During lockdown, BPI has been working with other music industry partners to pressure government into introducing measures to support the music industry, including the artist community and retail sector. As part of this initiative, the BPI has written to the chancellor to ask that VAT on physical music goods be zero-rated for an initial 12-month period. The BPI has co-ordinated a donation of £1.5m (€1.69m) by UK record companies, The BRIT Awards, Amazon Music and PPL that will go towards Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund and to other initiatives that are supporting artists. The majority of the donation (£1.25m [€1.4m]) has gone directly to Help Musicians, enabling the organisation to reach a further 2,500 musicians in need of immediate financial help. In addition to this, £250,000 has also been set aside to support musicians through other channels, including other musicians’ wellbeing charities and support to the grassroots live sector. BPI hopes that further donations will be announced. Magazine
CANADIAN LIVE MUSIC ASSOCIATION
DANSK LIVE (DENMARK)
The Canadian Live Music Association (CLMA) is the voice of the country’s live industry, advancing and promoting its many economic, social and cultural benefits. CLMA’s more than 235 members include concert promoters, festivals, talent agencies, presenters, venues, ticketing companies, industry associations and suppliers. Membership fees range from C$250500 (€165-330) for associate members (depending on annual budget), to C$2,500 (€1,650) for full membership. Associations or presenters pay annual fees of C$250-1,500 (€165-990), while suppliers are split into three categories, depending on annual revenues, accruing fees of C$1,250 (€825), C$2,500 (€1,650) or C$5,000 (€3,300). The CLMA was one of the first associations to quantify and share the impact of Covid-19 with government, recommending and helping to shape relief measures that would respond to the diversity of needs found within the live sector. The association advocated for – and secured – historic changes to the Business Development Bank of Canada practice regarding access to loans for live music venues and other arts organisations. Among its other lockdown successes, CLMA encouraged (and is now seeing) funding agencies flow grants quickly to clients, with flexible terms; it has championed sector-specific relief efforts that will recognise the breadth, role and value of the live sector; and it has organised a quick and efficient convening and response system for members and the live music sector, providing ongoing resources and information, and bringing the community together.
Dansk Live is the business organisation for Danish venues and festivals. In Denmark, venues do the majority of domestic programming directly, so there aren’t a lot of independent promoters, and the typical venue member is a venue with a small staff that operates in the local area. Festival members include large festivals such as Northside, Roskilde, Copenhell and Smukfest, and also smaller festivals, often organised by people in their spare time. Denmark’s live entertainment scene relies on volunteers, both at venues and at festivals. The association lobbies on behalf of its members; provides counselling; arranges industry conferences and meetings; and also compiles statistics about the live industry in Denmark. The association currently has 120 members, including 37 festivals, while the majority are venues. Membership fees are based on the size of the venue or festival and are approximately DKK7,500-42,000 (€1,000-5,630) per annum. During the coronavirus pandemic, Dansk Live has stepped up its lobbying activities and has managed to secure help for the country’s venues and festivals, albeit some Danish venues are still not receiving sufficient assistance. As elsewhere, Dansk Live staff members have been learning a lot about videoconferencing, as well as compiling pandemic-related information and helping members share knowledge on how to cope with the crisis.
EUROPEAN ARENAS ASSOCIATION Representing 33 arenas across 20 countries, the aim of the European Arenas Association (EAA) is to provide consistency, support, best practice and networking opportunities for its members, to allow and encourage them to share experiences and common ground. Membership usually costs €4,000 per year. The arena industry has been hit particularly hard in the pandemic, so support for the EEA membership during these challenging times has included: ● Surveys to establish the different protocols and procedures followed in the initial stages of the outbreak. ● Discussion platforms to allow all members to have direct contact with each other and share concerns/questions. ● Cancellation of 2020 membership fees to alleviate financial pressure. ● Lobbying the EU via the EU sub-group network.
FEATURED ARTISTS COALITION (UK) The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) is the UK trade body representing the specific rights and interests of music artists. It is a not-for-profit organisation, serving a diverse, global membership of creators at all stages of their careers. The FAC was formed by artists, for artists, and places this ethos at the centre of all it does. It advocates, educates, collaborates and researches on behalf of artists, coming together to provide a strong collective voice within the industry and to governments domestically and abroad. Formed in 2009, by seminal artists including Billy Bragg and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, the FAC’s board still represents some of the most recognised names in the music world with current artists in residence that include Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, Imogen Heap, Katie Melua, Sandie Shaw, Howard Jones, Fran Healy (Travis) and Blur’s David Rowntree. There are around 3,500 FAC members, whose fees are £5 (€5.60) monthly or £50 (€56) per year. During the pandemic, the FAC has focused on different areas at different times (as is the nature of the impact). It moved quickly to survey members to assess the immediate impact of the lockdown. That data hugely supported its lobbying efforts both within the industry and to government. FAC’s Covid-19 Directory has been keeping members up to date, while the organisation’s events have moved online to boost the community aspects of their work
Iceland Music is an information agency and music export office. It does not have a membership system, but provides all sorts of information and support to the music community in Iceland, and promotes Icelandic music abroad. The organisation runs Icelandmusic.com (in English) which offers a portal into the country’s diverse music scene, and Uton.is (in Icelandic), which provides a large range of tools, news and information for the local music community. Iceland Music also administers the Music Export Fund, which distributes travel grants monthly and marketing grants quarterly. It also runs projects like Record in Iceland, which is a programme offering a 25% refund for projects that are recorded in Icelandic studios; and Firestarter Accelerator, which provides support for small businesses within the music community. During the pandemic, the organisation has been lobbying government to get funds into the system to assist with the drop in revenue for musicians and promoters, venues, record stores and related operators. Iceland Music has also been updating its educational materials, creating webinars, podcasts and educational videos that enable those working in the industry to learn more about the business.
IMPALA represents music companies across Europe, most of which are micro-, small- or medium-sized businesses (99% of the music industry in Europe is made up of small- to medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] or are self-releasing artists). Known as the “independents,” the companies represented by IMAPALA are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists. Independents account for more than 80% of all new releases and 80% of the sector’s jobs. Currently, IMPALA has almost 5,000 members, comprising a mix of associations of independent companies and direct members. Membership fees start from €100 per year and increase to thousands of euros per annum for associations and larger companies. As part of its pandemic work, IMPALA created a task force and a mapping tool to help address the effects of the crisis on the independent sector in Europe. On 25 March, IMPALA’s task force published a crisis plan seeking urgent action at EU-, national- and sector-level to try to secure a co-ordinated approach across Europe to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on the independent music sector. On 29 April, IMPALA also released a proposed ten-step roadmap that includes a timeline and which sets out financial and non-financial tools to help increase liquidity in the music and broader cultural industries.
INTERNATIONAL TICKETING ASSOCIATION
LIVE DMA (EUROPE)
The International Ticketing Association (INTIX) is a non-profit membership organisation that connects entertainment professionals with the education, visionary thinking, innovation, tools, and relationships they need to ignite and sustain success while delivering optimal customer experiences. More than 1,400 people attended the latest INTIX conference in January 2020 in New York City. INTIX members represent organisations from across the United States, Canada and 25 other countries. INTIX has stepped up as a community to do whatever it can to support live entertainment ticketing professionals and the industry during this global pandemic. INTIX has opened and un-gated areas that were traditionally only available to its members, and has added a new pandemic resource page that is augmented daily to keep abreast of changing information; creating an open forum for the sharing of information, ideas, and resources; and holds a weekly virtual Wednesday Wisdom meeting that is open to all, for support, information, and resource sharing. INTIX is at the forefront of US national and federal relief programmes, lending its voice and expertise to advocacy for the industry. It has also established the INTIX Member COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has raised more than $40,000 (€36,500). Current INTIX members can apply for a one-time $100 (€91) assistance award for whatever they may need – from groceries or a prescription to help paying a bill.
The Live DMA network spans 16 countries, with members that are typically national or regional associations representing the interests of live music venues, clubs and/or festivals. Live DMA also welcomes associate members, thus supporting the structure of regional and national associations in countries where the live music sector lacks a representative body. Membership fees range from €1,650-2,300 per year, while an associate membership is fixed at an annual €600. During the pandemic, Live DMA has provided a range of support mechanisms for its members: ● Resources – Live DMA collects and provides resources to support members on a national level. These include compilations of advo cacy approaches, overviews of support policies in different coun tries, information digests relating to EU decisions, and the sharing of inspiring initiatives. ● Members’ meetings & working groups – Live DMA organises in formal online meetings to allow members to share information on the challenges they are facing, to share best practice, and to co-op erate on a variety of levels in order to help venues, clubs, and festi vals through the crisis. ● Support on data collection – Live DMA organises webinars and individual meetings for its membership, in order to assist with gath ering data and to help evaluate the impact the pandemic has had on them. ● Advocacy – Live DMA has joined forces with other organisations from music, culture and creative sectors in Europe, to call for adapt ed measures to get through this crisis. Magazine
MUSIC MANAGERS FORUM
Liveurope is a one-of-a-kind initiative that supports concert venues in their efforts to promote emerging European music. Created in 2014, the platform counts 16 iconic European music venues, including Ancienne Belgique (Belgium), Sala Apolo (Spain), A38 (Hungary) and Village Underground (UK), as its members. The mission of Liveurope is to support music venues that are committed to European diversity in order to create lasting effects in terms of cross-border circulation of European repertoire. Thanks to funding provided by Creative Europe, Liveurope has already supported over 200 acts from 40 countries. This represents a 63% increase in the number of emerging European artists booked on average per venue since the launch of the platform. The Liveurope platform was designed to provide financial support in order to encourage music venues to take risks by programming new acts from uncharted territories. Though these concerts are currently suspended, the financial support the organisation provides to its member venues also acts as a safety net during the crisis. While artists can no longer cross borders physically, Liveurope has joined forces with its member venues through a digital tour project, which is allowing participating venues to continue presenting new European acts to their audiences via social media. As it depends on European funding programmes for culture, Liveurope has also been engaging in joint efforts with organisations from across music and cultural sectors to call for ambitious budgetary measures to help get through the crisis.
The Music Managers Forum (MMF) is the world’s largest professional community of music managers. Representing more than 850 members, it advocates for their interests; provides training and education; and operates a successful associate programme that fosters ties with a wide range of artist-focussed music businesses and services. Membership fees range from £60 (€67) per annum (plus VAT) for those under 30, to £120 (€135) per annum (plus VAT). MMF’s campaigning initiatives include the long-running series of Dissecting The Digital Dollar publications that promote greater transparency around online streaming, and the FanFair Alliance, which has successfully reformed secondary ticketing in the UK. The Forum’s groundbreaking Accelerator Programme for Music Managers, launched in partnership with YouTube Music, Arts Council England and the Scottish Music Industry Association, is helping a new generation of music entrepreneurs. Since mid-March, the MMF has worked hard to assist members, providing dedicated information on financial support, and utilising evidence from an online questionnaire to lobby government for support packages – as well as working extensively through UK Music and the Creative Industries Federation. MMF has strived to bring members together throughout the Covid-19 crisis – hosting daily Zoom calls to share information and experiences on everything from live-streaming to event rescheduling, and running weekly, themed management meet-ups (with up to 150 participants) with guests including Amazon Music, YouTube, Facebook and Songtrust.
MUSIC VENUE TRUST (UK) Music Venue Trust (MVT) is a registered charity created to protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues (GMVs) across the UK. Founded in 2014, the trust also established the Music Venues Alliance (MVA) – a membership body on whose behalf MVT acts to fundraise, lobby, share good practice and ensure that these vital venues are represented as cultural, social and economic assets. Membership of the MVA is free and has seen a significant boost in numbers during the pandemic. Six months ago, there were 580 members, but at press time the number had increased to more than 780. It is inevitable that MVT will need to introduce a paid membership model to make the support it offers sustainable, but this is very hard to do in such a challenging time for the venues it protects. MVT has been offering sector support for GMVs to try and sustain them through the impacts of the pandemic. This takes five forms: 1. Surveys MVT gathered data between 9 March and 26 March (six different national data sets) from MVA members about the financial impacts of venue closure, to best inform governments about the support needed to ensure they are sustained through this crisis and able to reopen. This data enables them to speak authoritatively and factually about the financial needs of GMVs. 2. Information sharing ● MVT continues to bring together and disseminate to MVA members the most current information about what they must do and what they can do to try and sustain their venue.
● MVT feeds into the international music industry picture and keeps track of trends.
3. Representation ● MVT makes sure that the needs of GMVs are raised as part of all music industry and cultural sector approaches for support from the govern ments of the UK. ● MVT sits on a range of working groups tackling venue reopening, including the UK Government Taskforce for reopening music. ● As the largest GMV membership body in Europe (Live DMA), MVT feeds into European information collecting and sharing. 4. Fundraising ● To support the entire sector, MVT launched the Grassroots Music Venue Crisis Fund, created to raise money from corporate giving and high-net worth individuals. ● On 27 April, we launched the #saveourvenues campaign: both a central fundraising campaign and individual crowd-funding for member venues. In the first three weeks, £1.5million (€1.7m) was raised through donations. The campaign is ongoing. 5. Individual support for every MVA member ● Since the start of the crisis, MVT has grown its team, appointing regional and national co-ordinators to work with the core team and reach out to every venue across the UK. MVA co-ordinators work through all of the potential avenues of support for venues, offering advice on how best to secure every venue’s finances (and listening to their concerns). ● If these measures fail to secure the venue then they apply to the GMV Crisis Service for specialist expert advice and support.
NATIONAL ARENAS ASSOCIATION (UK & IRELAND)
The National Arenas Association (NAA) represents 23 UK- and Ireland-based arenas, all of which have a capacity of 5,000 or more. The organisation focuses on best practice, networking, and achieving consistency across the arena network. The NAA also offers comprehensive training courses with a variety of modules for those working in the industry. Membership fees are £1,400 (€1,570) per year, plus a contribution to the NAA training programme Throughout the pandemic situation, the NAA has been engaging with its members as much as possible through email, video meetings and regular steering committee meetings. The chair of the NAA also sits on the board of the UK Live Music Group, which has been instrumental during this period, allowing arena operators to provide input to UK Music as a whole, which is continuously lobbying government on pertinent issues regarding venues and the live entertainment sector. Along with the Concert Promoters Association and the British Association of Concert Halls, the NAA has also formed a working group to focus on the reopening of venues. The chair of the association is there to answer questions from any members of the NAA.
PLASA is the lead membership body for those who supply technologies and services to the event and entertainment industries. Its members represent global manufacturers and distributors; production specialists; iconic venues; regional rental houses; and freelancers. PLASA members work across the complete spectrum of events and entertainment, with involvement in concerts and touring; festivals; performing arts; film and TV; and major sporting projects. It’s all about pro-audio, all kinds of lighting, pyrotechnics, lasers, smoke machines, massive screens, special effects, set and staging, and most importantly, creative people who love what they do. PLASA currently has 425 company and individual members from all sectors of the industry. Business membership costs £350-1,100 (€390-1240). Organisations such as industry bodies and education institutes can join for £200 (€225), and Individuals can join for only £95 (€106). As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, PLASA stepped up, lobbying the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Department for International Trade, to secure the same valuable support available to other sectors. Recently, PLASA collaborated with like-minded associations in the entertainment sector to launch the #EventsForTheFuture initiative with the collective aim of amplifying that voice. The association has conducted two member surveys looking at the short-term and predicted long-term impacts of the pandemic, and experiences of accessing government support. The results of both have since been published and shared with government.
R T P O S S P A
UR O O T BACK
S T O RO Big Artists. Small Gigs. Making a Huge Diﬀerence.
PRODISS (FRANCE) Prodiss is the principal organisation representing the live music industry (promoters, festivals and venues) in France. Its 400 member companies account for 80% of the turnover of the French live sector. Prodiss acts as an ambassador for its members, providing a united voice when dealing with public, national and European institutions, in order to defend their interests and lobby for a legislative and regulatory framework that is favourable to live industry development. The organisation encompasses complementary activities that provide its members with practical and essential services (such as legal, economical, etc.) that accelerate and strengthen their competitiveness. Prodiss is managed by Malika Séguineau, and its board of directors is chaired by Corida promoter Olivier Darbois. Prodiss has estimated that the loss of revenue for its member companies throughout the coronavirus pandemic is around €1.8billion. At the start of the crisis, they set up a strategic action unit, both for its members and to form the communication chain with the government. Crisis management has included daily individual legal support for members; monitoring of legislative and economical developments related to Covid-19; situation analysis at economical level; and crisis exit scenarios. The trade body has also organised numerous working groups related to the issues of ticketing, insurance, health protocols, and economic support.
SVENSK LIVE (SWEDEN) Svensk Live is a non-profit organisation with about 250 members, which include the likes of festivals, clubs, concert promoters, non-profit grassroots venues, amusement parks and booking agencies (provided they organise gigs in Sweden). Fees are based on annual revenue, with the largest organisations paying up to €5,000. During the pandemic, Svensk Live has been focusing on three elements: 1 Securing state support. This campaign has led to a scheme that covers around half of the losses between 12 March and 31 May, while the organisation is currently lobbying for an extension until 31 August. 2 Securing a timeframe for planning. In Sweden, the government is yet to announce key dates for pandemic restrictions. Svensk Live is working together with sporting and tourism organisations to try and change this. 3 Securing an official recommendation from government to persuade ticket buyers to retain their tickets for postponed events. Outside of the pandemic measures, Svensk Live is engaged in a major project called Dare to Care, which centres around consent in sexual relations, and last year won a prize for the best crime prevention project in Sweden. Svensk Live CEO Joppe Pihlgren is happy to share details of this initiative with other live music organisations.
PRODUCTION SERVICES ASSOCIATION (UK) The Production Services Association (PSA) is the UK trade body for companies and individuals that provide and operate live event technology, representing their interests with anyone that indirectly affects their business. In February, when it paused counting, the PSA had about 2,300 paid members with annual fees ranging from £100 (€112) to £500 (€560). The Association’s members started to feel the effects of the pandemic long before the UK Government began to introduce support measures. Companies went into survival mode very quickly, and PSA did its level best to add to industry calls for support. When the cavalry arrived, it was a case of pointing people in the direction of help, and taking feedback back to government on where improved measures were needed. With everyone thrust into an alien world of loans, grants, job retention schemes and benefits, real-world feedback from people who were plugged into the various systems gave the PSA resources to share and the organisation has been busy collecting evidence to back up sector calls for continued support. During the pandemic, lobbying has been a key part of PSA’s work and because of its membership of UK Music, doors that others may have had to knock on were already open.
SYNDICAT DES MUSIQUES ACTUELLES (FRANCE) The Syndicat des Musiques Actuelles (SMA) is an organisation consisting of 450 members including venues, festivals, concert producers, phonographic editors, radio stations, federations, schools and training centres. These independent companies share a common goal of promoting diversity, in particular by supporting the expression of artists and advocating equal access to culture. The role of the SMA is to inform and advise its membership on legal, social and tax matters. It also represents them in numerous professional bodies and defends the interests of the music sector with public authorities and politicians. The annual fee for access to the services provided by the SMA depends on budget and ranges from €65 to nearly €1,500 for the largest companies. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the SMA has been supporting its members through different actions, including gathering and communicating information about governmental assistance; providing daily updates on how to manage business activities; making legal experts available for consultations; encouraging cross-sector communication to identify common issues; and actively lobbying local authorities and politicians in an effort to ensure that no company disappears because of the crisis.
TESDER (TURKEY) The remit of the Turkish Live Music Association (TESDER) is to increase the value and credibility of the sector by creating and maintaining business standards for its members, who are typically concert promoters, venues and ticketing companies. TESDER has around 50 members, which account for around 80% of the revenue in the local live music industry. Membership fees are equivalent to about €250 per annum, plus a registration fee of approximately €350. TESDER works on a volunteer basis, and therefore relies on the ten leading companies in Turkey to dedicate members of staff to the association when needed. As part of its measures during the pandemic, TESDER has helped to organise a government-financed digital concert series that included around 200 shows, thus helping both acts and their crews, as well as sound/ lighting companies and other service providers to generate money. The pandemic has allowed TESDER to effectively lobby politicians, and the organisation is currently working to achieve a 20% tax reduction on concert tickets (10% VAT reduction and 10% entertainment tax reduction), which will, in time, help remedy proposed new regulations on decreased show capacities. TESDER is also working on a general Turkish live music sector insurance, which could involve partial government financing, like the country´s already compulsory earthquake insurance.
THE ENTERTAINMENT AGENTS’ ASSOCIATION LTD (UK) The Entertainment Agents’ Association Ltd (TEAA) promotes and protects the interests of its 250 members throughout Great Britain, all of whom provide talent for the entertainment industry. The annual fee for membership is £265 (€297) plus VAT, and all applications are reviewed by the Association’s National Council to ensure that they adhere to the required criteria and codes of practice. TEAA’s affiliate scheme costs £99.95 (€112.00) plus VAT per year. Membership includes access to approved artist and sole agency contracts; suggested terms of business; information on compliance and GDPR; and regular updates that ensure agents continue to trade according to current legislation. Since lockdown, all TEAA meetings have taken place virtually and the workload for councillors, all of whom are volunteers, has significantly increased as they ensure that members are up to date with government announcements, and national and regional initiatives as they happen. The Association has introduced regular Zoom calls so that members can talk directly to council members and to one another. Virtual calls have included the Association’s accountant providing advice on what funding options are available to help members’ businesses survive. The calls also help the Association identify areas where it needs to offer additional support, as well as helping to accumulate experiences first hand regarding problems as they happen relating to accessing loans or grants, or issues with contracts. This information can then be fed back to government.
UK Music is an umbrella body that represents the commercial music industry and the 190,000 people who work in the sector nationally. Set up in 2008, it ensures that the collective voice of the industry is heard by government and other key stakeholders. It fights on behalf of its members for changes of benefit to the sector and its talent pipeline. UK Music publishes widely respected research that outlines the £5.2billion (€58bn) annual contribution the industry makes to the UK economy. Its members are: AIM, The Ivors Academy, BPI, FAC, MMF, MPA, MPG, The Musicians’ Union, PPL, PRS for Music, and UK Live Music Group. UK Music is in constant dialogue with government to help the industry through the coronavirus crisis. It has successfully lobbied for a task force to help the sector combat the crisis’s impact; for an extension of the furloughing scheme; and for detailed talks about restarting the live industry. UK Music has also helped co-ordinate a multimillion-pound network of hardship support schemes for those hardest hit by the pandemic. It is co-ordinating working groups, including a Next Steps Group, to draw up a road map to help the industry emerge from the crisis.
What’s the funniest practical joke or trick that has been played on you or a colleague?
In 2016, we promoted Iceland’s biggest ever shows when Justin Bieber sold 38,000 tickets for back-to-back shows at Kórinn, which is a large sports hall, and one of his requests included that we have a hot tub backstage. The gigs were very successful but very tiring and they took us a couple of days to load out, so when our production crew asked me if I wanted to join them at their wrap party, it was such a historic occasion, I thought: What the hell! Why not? Everybody was very happy and having a great time; I was drinking vodka and sparkling water, and the drinks were kept out on the patio of the crew chief’s house to keep them cold, so I just kept going out to help myself – I had quite a few. Then the crew told me they had a surprise gift for me: Bieber’s hot tub water. But by that point I had drunk about half a litre of it with my vodka. Naturally, they were horrified by my mistake, but they were also rolling about the floor laughing. We later found out that the story about the Icelandic promoter drinking the dirty bath water got voted the funniest thing to happen on the tour by Justin Bieber and his crew. Ísleifur Þórhallsson, Sena Events 40
This is something I thought was a joke… Back in 2010, I had Paul McCartney and Pink playing the final day of Isle of Wight Festival. I was walking through the site when I got a phone call from Barrie Marshall asking me if I had anyone who could do acrylic nails. I suspected it was Barrie just trying to wind me up and get me to run round like a blue arsed fly, but I said I’d see what I could do and to be on the safe side, I asked our concessions lady. She said she knew what acrylic nails were, but she didn’t have the equipment to do them, so I started to believe that the request
Be careful where you park your quad bike at Czech festivals...
might be genuine. I got hold of the Yellow Pages and found a women in Cowes who said she could do it, so we brought her in, with me thinking it would either be for Pink or one of the backing singers. However, when Barrie and the artists arrived, it turned out it was for Paul McCartney, because the process apparently strengthens your nails for playing the guitar. Anyway, McCartney was so nice to this lady that they ended up having dinner in his dressing room before the show – and I was pretty glad that I hadn’t told Barrie to fuck
off when he first called me. John Giddings, Isle of Wight Festival
Many years ago, The Who were playing at Hammersmith Odeon. During rehearsal I was leaning on a Marshall amp, watching, when Keith Moon came over to talk to me with his drum tech. The next thing I knew I was handcuffed to the amp. The band went off and I was left for about 40 mins… handcuffed to the amp. Moon and crew came back on stage and surrounded me laughing. The drum tech had the keys and was unlocking the handcuffs. Relief, I thought. However, as they crowded around me I suddenly realised that in fact whilst they had undone the handcuffs, at the same time they had hooked me up to a harness – Kirby’s Flying Ballet Harness. The next thing I knew was that I was flying in the air just below the lighting truss. Off they went again and left me flying until the house opened for the public. Thank goodness I have a sense of humour. Harvey Goldsmith
One of our team members celebrated his birthday during the Rock for People festival in the backstage bar. Someone had the idea of stealing our head of security’s quad bike, so they took it, put it on the tables, upgraded it a little bit with chairs and a ladder, and wrapped it in plastic. I am sure, when she came backstage for breakfast, she didn’t expect what she saw. David Nguyen, Rock for People
Way back in 1984, I was managing a band called Wire Train and we were on our first ‘big’ tour opening for Big Country, who where enjoying a hit at the time in the US. On the final night of the tour, the house lights go down and our drummer mounts the kit, only to discover his sticks had been glued together with super glue and his spares mysteriously absent. Well, needless to say, the show started a little rough! After the show, we were loading our gear into the van that we were travelling in (no sleeper coach!). Big Country’s crew had paid a visit to the local pet shop and purchased a couple dozen mice, and while we were doing the gig, they let
them loose in the van. We spent ages pulling out all our gear and personal stuff to extract the mice. On the drive that night, mice would dart out now and again and freak us out. I wonder what the next person renting that van might have experienced... Tom Chauncey, Partisan Arts
Back in the good old days, there were so many tricks and pranks played on crew and bands – some we cannot even mention. But I do remember on a Mötley Crüe tour we had Y&T as our support. On their last night, the Crüe crew started to strip their equipment while Y&T were playing and, at the end, all that was left was a snare drum. They were great sports about it and they finished their set with both bands and both crews laughing on stage, and the audience wondering what the fuck was going on. And I also remember they got their own back by letting some chickens loose on stage when the Crüe were playing. Jake Berry, production manager
I was complaining to a company about some trainers that I’d ordered as the tracking said that they’d been signed for, but I hadn’t received them. Little did I know that Solo had intercepted and hidden them. They sent me on a wild goose chase and I had to follow written instructions that were planted around Fulham Green. To top it off, whilst on the hunt, I was told to wear John [Giddings]’s car racing helmet in order to make me look like a plank! I ended up back at my desk, only to find them on my chair. Turns out they were too small anyway so had to go back… Flo Petri, Solo Agency Magazine
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