fbpx
x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

#WeMakeEvents: Global Action Day kicks off

The #WeMakeEvents Global Action Day kicked off in the southern hemisphere earlier today as venues in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa were illuminated in red to highlight the urgent support needed for the events sector.

Thousands of venues and places of work across the globe will #LightInRed from 8pm local time in a bid to draw media attention and government support for the industry, which is struggling to survive the Covid-19 crisis.

The #WeMakeEvents/Red Alert protest first launched in the UK in August and has since been adopted internationally, inspiring similar protests in France, the US, the NetherlandsGermanyBelgium and Spain.

Global Action Day will bring together around 20 countries, each campaigning for different resolutions from their respective governments.

While international lighting company Bandit Lites is lobbying for the Restart Act to be part of the next relief bill, Norway’s National Theatre has called for an extension in the compensation scheme, however, all nations will be united today under the red banner with the hope to progress the sector’s crisis.

“We mark the danger the industry is in after the government’s decision to end the compensation scheme for self-employed,” Norway’s National Theatre said in an Instagram post.

“The scheme introduced in April has so far hit well and ensured that independent art and cultural workers have survived the corona crisis until now. If the government does not turn in the decision, large parts of the industry will be eradicated.”

“The Restart Act as part of the next relief bill is the only thing that will save all of the live events industry. No other act will save us all,” Bandit Lites said in an Instagram post.

“We need [the government] to offer financial support to the crews that actually make it all possible”

Emily Eavis, co-organiser of the UK’s Glastonbury festival says: “We need the government to recognise what the performing arts bring to the fabric of this country, and how much it adds to the well-being of so many.”

“We need them to offer financial support not just to the venues and organisations that put together these performances, but also to the crews that actually make it all possible.”

Coldplay are among the many international artists who have backed the campaign, adding: “Emily Eavis said it perfectly. The live music and events industry has been devastated. We urge the UK government to support all crew and staff who have lost their livelihoods.”

While Radiohead said: “What we do on stage is only part of the equation of putting on a good show. Our crew are at the heart of making it happen for all of us, band and audience alike. They’re incredible and that’s why we’re supporting #WeMakeEvents and invite you to do so as well, if possible.”

Yesterday, the UK held a second, silent and socially distanced, protest under the banner Stand As One, in Parliament Square.

It was also announced yesterday that a number of UK industry professionals are planning to cycle over 1,500 km as part of a charity event dubbed The Survival Tour, organised in support of the #WeMakeEvents campaign.

Five professionals from Loud Sound and Proper Productions will cycle from Newcastle to London via over 50 UK venues and festival sites to symbolise what would have been the start of touring season.

All donations from The Survival Tour will go to #WeMakeEvents charity of choice, Backup, which supports people who have worked in the entertainment technology industry for at least five years.

Elsewhere, following Spain’s #WeMakeEvents/Red Alert (Alerta Roja) protest last week, the campaigning group has met with the minister for culture and sports to ask for a package of measures to support the country’s struggling production sector.

The meeting, which took place on Monday (28 September), saw minister José Luis Rodríguez Uribes commit to working in coordination with the relevant ministries, public institutions and the sector to find solutions to the crisis.

More highlights from the Global Action Day to follow.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Danish gov offers subsidies for autumn events

Danish cultural institutions, such as music venues, can apply for substantial subsidies to fund socially-distanced events taking place during September and October.

The Danish government is offering compensation of up to 65% of an event’s cost for organisers of audience-oriented cultural activities such as concerts.

The event(s) must take into account Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines, such as capacity restrictions, and must be completed in the period from and including 1 September to and including 31 October this year.

Applications are open until 31 October and organisations can apply for compensation retroactively.

Organisations can apply for grants for several activities – such as a concert series – in the same application

Organisations can apply for grants for several activities – such as a concert series – in the same application and can request funding for both direct and indirect costs. Grants are capped at DKK 1.5 million per activity.

Applicants must be CVR registered before 1 June 2020 and have an annual turnover of at least DKK 1m.

Institutions that have received grants to present live music in 2020 from at least one of the two Danish Arts Foundation (Statens Kunstfonds) pools, can apply for these grants regardless of their annual turnover.

The Palaces and Culture Agency will be responsible for awarding grants. See full terms and conditions here.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Please don’t let us down, Prime Minister

Dear Boris,

I’m a director of Britannia Row Productions, an audio supply company.

During the past 40 years, we have been privileged to have provided equipment and technicians to many major concert artists, including Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, the Cure, Depeche Mode, Robbie Williams, Simply Red, Mumford and Sons and Harry Styles, and live events such as Her Majesty’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees, Live 8, the Barcelona and London Olympics, the Rugby World Cup and the FA Cup finals.

We currently employ around 70 staff and 100 freelance people, with most of our staff currently on furlough.

As well as providing the most state-of-the-art equipment, we supply audio engineers and technicians, and over the years both our company and many of our people have gained an international reputation for excellence in our field.

I, like most of my colleagues who provide these services, prefer to be in the background and have never sought or received assistance from government in the past, but the current crisis in our industry has compelled me to step forward and make a direct and public plea for you to help the hundreds of thousands of people who work in our industry.

Please don’t lay waste to an industry that brings enormous enjoyment to simply being alive

Boris, when you and your colleagues go to a concert, you expect a visual and audio experience to enhance the performance of your favourite performer, but perhaps don’t give much thought as to how all of these amazing visuals and stirring sounds are achieved. Quite rightly, you simply enjoy the moment.

Well, the reality is that behind the scenes, hundreds of people will have made that show possible. The artists, and their managers and production crew, have worked for months with lighting video and audio designers to produce shows that will thrill their fans and ensure concert spend is boosting the economy.

Promoters have been appointed to provide the venues to accommodate these performances.

Service companies have been chosen to provide the production expertise, the equipment, technicians, stagehands, security, catering, etc., etc., to make these events happen safely and seamlessly, every night, and on time.

The skills involved don’t just happen; they take years of training and experience to acquire.

British technicians are famed throughout the world. These skills will be lost if people leave our industry in desperation

British technicians are famed throughout the world. These skills will be lost if people leave our industry in desperation as they seek other work in order to feed themselves and their families.

I often hear you and your colleagues talk of the ‘hard-working’ people in the UK. Well, the people in my industry do work hard and are essential to a sector which contributes literally billions to our economy.

Please, don’t let them down – support them until we can find a way to bring back our live concerts and events. We don’t live by bread alone, as the old saying goes.

Please don’t lay waste to an industry that brings enormous enjoyment to simply being alive.

Bryan Grant

 


Bryan Grant is co-founder and director of Britannia Row Productions.

Spanish gov commits to supporting events sector

Following last week’s #WeMakeEvents/Red Alert protests in Spain, the campaign group (Alerta Roja) has met with the minister for culture and sports to ask for a package of measures to support the country’s struggling production sector.

The meeting, which took place on Monday (28 September), saw minister José Luis Rodríguez Uribes commit to working in coordination with the relevant ministries, public institutions and the sector to find solutions to the crisis.

The minister pledged to review why professionals in the sector have not yet received benefits and subsidies and to establish financial support for the sector based on what it contributes to the economy, for the approval of general state budgets.

“Almost 3 hours of work with Alerta Roja. We have shared diagnoses and we have agreed on solutions and, above all, we have expressed a common will for dialogue and collaboration. Musicians, public performance artists and technicians need our support and solidarity,” says minister of culture and sports, José Luis Rodríguez Uribes.

The minister has also committed to making progressive steps towards the return to live – in accordance with Covid guidelines and recommendations – and designing a specific plan to support the return of popular culture and festivals.

“We have agreed on ways of solving and, above all, we have expressed a common will for dialogue and collaboration”

Today, he will deliver the conclusions from the meeting to the ministry of labour and the ministry of industry and tourism and organise a meeting with both ministries in the coming days.

The Alerta Roja campaign had previously declined a meeting with the minister of culture and sports, noting that: “We need a meeting with all the ministries involved: culture and sports, labour, industry, tourism, economic affairs and the treasury.”

Monday’s meeting was a result of last Thursday’s protest which saw the Spanish production sector take to the streets to demand “firm, solid and durable foundations” for the future of live events in Spain.

According to the Alerta Roja campaign group, around 20,000 people turned out in 26 Spanish cities. Prominent buildings and venues were illuminated red to raise awareness of the state’s perceived lack of support for the sector during the coronavirus crisis.

Today, around 20 countries will light buildings red and, where possible, hold socially-distanced demonstrations under the #WeMakeEvents banner for a global day of action.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Mika’s ‘I love Beirut’ concert raises over €1m for charity

Lebanon-born artist Mika has raised over €1 million from his livestreamed charity concert in aid of those affected by last month’s devastating explosion in his home city.

I Love Beirut was livestreamed across four time zones from Mika’s YouTube channel on 19 September and featured performances from himself, Kylie, Rufus Wainwright, Mashrou Leila and others.

More than 100 countries bought tickets to the benefit event – the most recorded on a Ticketmaster event – and 48 countries donated.

The benefit concert raised €1m euros from ticket sales, sponsors and members of the public donating via GoFundMe. The money will be split between the Lebanese Red Cross and Save the Children. Donations can still be made here.

“Thank you to everyone around the world who bought a ticket to the stream, donated to GoFundMe and our sponsors for helping us to raise such an amazing amount of money,” says Mika.

“I also wanted to say how amazing this statement of solidarity for the situation in Beirut has been, with tickets for the stream selling to over 120 different countries around the world.

“This has been a project that was born out of and made possible by love, and a huge amount of collaboration with friends and many new friends made in the process.”

More than 100 countries bought tickets to the benefit event – the most recorded on a Ticketmaster event

Georges Kettaneh, secretary general of the Lebanese Red Cross, said: “We are extremely grateful for this generous support and for the solidarity that has been expressed. These funds will help the Lebanese Red Cross to continue to support Beirut at this time of great need.

“The people of Beirut face a long road to recovery, with this generosity and the continued support we have received from around the globe, we can continue to stand alongside them for as long we are needed.”

Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children UK said: “Save the Children is working around the clock to provide vital support to children and families in Lebanon whose lives have been devastated by the explosion in Beirut. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has come together to raise this incredible total.

“All donations will be going towards our emergency response efforts in Lebanon, which include weatherproofing damaged homes, supporting vulnerable and displaced families with food and cash grants, and providing ongoing psychological support for children and families.”

Mika will also perform at United for Lebanon, a charity event organised by French media conglomerate, Vivendi.

The benefit will take place tomorrow (1 October) in L’Olympia in Paris, featuring artists from Vivendi subsidiary Universal Music Group, including Sting, Clara Luciani, Florent Pagny, Melody Gardot, Soolking and Grand Corps Sick.

The concert will be broadcast live on France 2 and France Inter and a small audience will be present, in compliance with Covid regulations.

Fundraisers For Beirut and The Sound of Beirut took place earlier this month.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

UK: No live music in NI, no music at all in Scotland

Scottish music venues struggling under the weight of restrictions on live events are being further penalised by a draconian ban on all background music, according to the owners of nightlife businesses.

The devolved Scottish government introduced the ban on 14 August, citing an increased risk of Covid-19 transmission when people raise their voices to be heard in venues, pubs and restaurants. However, the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) – which says it believes the ban to be unique in the world, with Scotland the only country to have completely outlawed background music – says the ban lacks scientific evidence and is placing extra pressure on already strained businesses.

Promoter Donald Macleod, of Holdfast Events, says: “The sound of silence is now killing much of Scotland’s hospitality sector and beleaguered night-time economy; don’t let that be our nation’s Covid legacy. In the words of Plato: ‘Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.’”

“The background music ban is the kiss of death to ambience within the hospitality sector,” agrees Andrew Fleming Brown, managing director of Glasgow venue SWG3 (4,000-cap.). “There has not been any scientific evidence presented to support the ban, and, in fact, the only evidence indicates it has the reverse effect.”

In response to the ban – which also extends to the sound of televisions in pubs – the NTIA has announced a campaign, #DontStopTheMusic, which calls on supporters to share their favourite song of all time along with the #DontStopTheMusic hashtag.

“Our already damaged sector is in serious danger of being permanently wiped out”

Michael Grieve, chairman of NTIA Scotland, comments: “The total ban on background music is having a severe effect on many hospitality businesses, leading to completely sterile environments which some have likened to visiting a library.

“It seems completely disproportionate relative to other settings – and while our industry is totally committed to the serious public health imperatives which the Scottish government is focused on, our already damaged sector is in serious danger of being permanently wiped out unless this ban is removed.”

Like in the rest of Great Britain, pubs, clubs and other indoor spaces are Scotland are currently subject to a 10pm curfew, with only concert venues and theatres exempt if a performance has already started.

Elsewhere in the UK, authorities in Northern Ireland have confirmed that new restrictions introduced on 23 September include a total ban on live music.

In a summary of the new legal requirements for venues where alcohol is served, the Northern Irish tourist board, in a section on ‘entertainment and noise’, reveals that live music is “not permitted”, along with recorded music “for the purposes of dancing (ie DJs)”.

Recorded background music is still allowed in the country, though businesses are required to ensure they keep background music and televised sport at a volume where patrons do not need to raise their voices to speak.

“We call for the government to engage with our sector before imposing seemingly arbitrary decisions on an already struggling industry”

Northern Ireland does, however, have a slightly later curfew for hospitality businesses than in Great Britain: 11pm, as opposed to ten.

Colin Neill from industry group Hospitality Ulster describes the announcement today of a curfew as “another blow to our industry”.

“The sector is going to lose hours, it’s losing staff and it has lost live music, and needs to be given a fighting chance,” he says.

Alan Simms, founder of legendary dance music brand Shine and director of Belfast venue Limelight, says he has seen “no medical, scientific or behavioural evidence in favour of such curfews”, and that ejecting patrons at 11pm will push them “out of safe premises with social distancing measures into the streets en masse, and drive substantially higher footfall to unregulated environments, as has been observed in England at the weekend.”

“Furthermore, we believe we can deliver, and have already delivered, live music events safely within government guidelines, and call for the [Northern Ireland] Executive to engage with our sector before imposing seemingly arbitrary decisions on an already struggling industry,” he adds.

Along with their colleagues in England, Wales and Scotland, Northern Irish crew and touring staff took to the streets in recent days as part of the #WeMakeEvents campaign.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Mad Zoo unveils its biggest Minecraft festival yet

Mad Zoo, a startup specialising in virtual live festival experiences, has announced the line-up for Stratosfest, an event taking place within the best-selling video game of all time, Minecraft.

Stratosfest will take place on 23 and 24 October, featuring exclusive sets from Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten, Ilan Bluestone, Tritonal, Gabriel & Dresden, Darude, Qrion, Attlas and Mad Zoo founder, producer and DJ, Mat Zo.

The immersive event will feature a “never-before-seen” skybound Minecraft realm, live Video Jockey-controlled visuals, and interactive mini-games.

The startup has already produced three Minecraft festivals including Mat Zo and Friends, Hospitality: In The Void, and Mad Zoo: In The Void.

“Every event we put on is a step up from the last, but Stratosfest is by far the biggest step up we’ve taken so far”

“Pure luck brought our team together. Everyone’s unique skill sets and experiences have amounted to the dream team. We’re all perfectly suited for this, as artists, gamers, programmers and fans. It all feels like it was meant to be,” says head of Mad Zoo, Mat Zo.

“After producing three successful Minecraft festivals, it feels really great to be able to go bigger than I ever dreamt for the fourth edition. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to work with such a skilled team, and with artists who I admire.

“Every event we put on is a step up from the last, but Stratosfest is by far the biggest step up we’ve taken so far. I can’t wait to share what we have in store for everyone.”

Minecraft first hosted a music event in 2016, and has since provided the setting for virtual festival Fire Festival; produced charity events Block By Blockwest, featuring Pussy Riot, Idles and Sports Team, and Square Garden, with 100 Gecs and Charli XCX; and organised dance music festival Electric Blockaloo, featuring Diplo, Maceo Plex and Tokimonsta.

Selling more than 200 million copies since being released in 2011, Minecraft has over 40% more monthly users than free-to-play online shooter Fortnite (78.3m), which has hosted record-breaking concerts by rapper Travis Scott and EDM star Marshemello, indicating a potential to draw yet more viewers (although fans did not need to pay to attend the Fortnite shows).

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Live DMA estimates €1.2bn loss for member venues

Live DMA, a European live music network comprising 16 member countries, has released a new report which estimates a €1.2 billion loss in audience income for the 2,600 music venues it represents.

The new report, which gives an overview on the impact of Covid-19 has had on its member venues, estimates that 664,000 artist performances will not take place in the venues, because 284,000 music events are cancelled or postponed this year.

This is only 30% (a 70% decline) of the number of music events and artist performances that took place last year.

Therefore, a 76% decline in audience visits is expected –53 million less compared to last year. This leads to the €1.2bn loss in audience income for the venues.

The loss in audience income consists of an estimated: €496m less income from ticket sales; €521m less income from food & beverages sales; €172m less other income.

Audience income makes up 84% of the €1.8 bn+ income the venues were expected to generate in 2020

According to Live DMA, audience income makes up 84% of the €1.8bn+ income the venues were expected to generate in 2020.

Among Live DMA’s worst affected venues are the 48% that have a private commercial structure. These venues and clubs lost almost 100% of their total income, which consists almost solely of income generated by their audiences (ticket sales, beverage, food, etc.).

According to the report, without this income source, the 1,250 venues and clubs cannot fulfil their financial obligations and are relying solely on their own reserves, cutbacks and financial support from governments to survive.

The full report can be viewed here.

Live DMA’s members include the Music Venue Trust (UK); Live Komm (Germany); Svensk Live (Sweden), and Dansk Live (Denmark).

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

UK industry pros plan #WeMakeEvents charity cycle

A number of UK industry professionals are planning to cycle over 1,500 km as part of a charity event dubbed The Survival Tour, organised in support of the #WeMakeEvents campaign.

Five professionals from Loud Sound and Proper Productions will cycle from Newcastle to London via over 50 UK venues and festival sites to symbolise what would have been the start of touring season.

All donations from The Survival Tour will go to #WeMakeEvents charity of choice, Backup, which supports people who have worked in the entertainment technology industry for at least five years.

The ride will commence in Newcastle on 3 October and take place over two weeks, concluding on 18 October in London.

The route is split up into daily stages ranging from 60km to 100km and cyclists will stop off at each venue to encourage media attention.

The cyclists will be followed by a tour bus, sponsored by Crossland, which the team will sleep in each night.

All donations from The Survival Tour will go to #WeMakeEvents charity of choice, Backup

The general public has been invited to ride with the professionals or join them at a venue or the finishing line.

Donations can be made here. Over £4,000 has been raised so far.

The #WeMakeEvents/Red Alert protests launched in the UK in August in a bid to draw attention to the struggling freelancers who work across the live events and entertainment sector.

Similar demonstrations have taken place in France, the US, the NetherlandsGermanyBelgium and Spain.

Today the UK is gearing up for round two of its campaign, Stand As One; a silent socially distanced protest which will take place in Parliament Square at 12:30 pm.

Tomorrow (30 September), around 20 countries will light buildings red and, where possible, hold socially-distanced demonstrations under the #WeMakeEvents banner for a global day of action.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Netherlands introduces slate of new restrictions

The Dutch government has introduced a range of new measures, including a new 10 pm curfew, to control a second wave virus.

Establishments serving food and drink will now be required to close by 10 pm – a move that echoes other European countries including the UK, Spain and France which have introduced similar earlier closing times.

The capacity for indoor activities is limited to 30 people and outdoor activities are limited to 40. However indoor gatherings that are “necessary to ensure the continued daily operations of institutions, businesses and other organisations,” can accept up to 100 people.

The new restrictions, announced during a national press conference on Monday, came into effect yesterday (28 September) and will be in force for at least the next three weeks.

During the conference, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte explained that the situation in the country’s three largest cities – Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague – had become “serious” and required urgent action.

The Netherlands embraced the idea of group or herd immunity and, until now, avoided strict measures

Residents have been advised to avoid non-essential travel between the three cities.

For the first time, the government has advised Dutch residents to wear masks inside shops as well as on public transport – which was already compulsory.

People have also been advised to work from home now; social gatherings inside people’s homes must not exceed three people, and fans will no longer be allowed to attend sports events.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Netherlands embraced the idea of group or herd immunity and, until now, avoided the strict measures employed by its neighbouring countries.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.