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IQ Focus: The Technology of a Pandemic

The recent pandemic has changed the face of our industry as we know it, almost overnight. Since March 2020 we have seen complete closure of venues, festivals, tours and all live music operations. Overtime we have seen the relaxing of those restrictions and in some countries venues are open, albeit with certain restrictions, and more countries will follow.

However, until powerful anti-virals are in play or ultimately a vaccine, we will need to put into place technology and systems that allow venues to function at their peak with social distancing in mind.

The Covid tech panel looked at these technologies, whether they be software solutions, access control and biometrics or automated disinfecting systems, with individuals presenting various technology across all genres, the panel will present ideas of what can work for your venue or event.

Joining chair Steve Machin of LiveFrom.Events, was Adam Goodyer (Realife Tech), Brigitte Fuss (Megaforce), Joren De Wachter (Seats.io), John Sharkey (ASM Global) and Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems).

IQ & Wide Days: Laura Marling’s Streaming Success

IQ  joined forces with Scottish music convention Wide Days for this virtual IQ Focus session, which shined a light on the team behind Laura Marling’s pioneering live stream shows in London earlier this year.

In June, Laura Marling made history with two, back-to-back shows at London’s Union Chapel, with the first performance livestreamed to Europe and the second exclusively for North America.

Selling over 6,000 tickets, the gigs proved that it’s not just stadium acts that can generate revenue from broadcasting to an online audience. Key figures who helped make Marling’s vision a reality came together on the panel to discuss how the shows can serve as a template for other acts.

Chaired by music industry consultant Tina Hart, panellists included ATC Management’s Ric Salmon, who was a driving force behind the Union Chapel shows and has since set up ticketed livestreaming business, Drift; Amy Oldham of Dice, who provided the ticketing and one of the livestreaming platforms for Marling’s concerts; and award-winning director Giorgio Testi of Pulse Films, who was in charge of filming the shows.

IQ Focus: The Lost Causes.. Campaigners & Advocacy

Before Covid-19, a wide range of advocacy work was centred around live music, from campaigns to improve gender diversity in line-ups and accessibility for disabled customers to environmental projects and drives around recruitment, inclusion and mental health.

But what have experts and practitioners in these areas been doing since live music shut down? And when music events do return, against an uncertain economic backdrop is there a risk that their important work will be diminished?

The first in a new series of ‘Lost Causes’ discussions invited Francine Gorman, outreach coordinator at Keychange; Jacob Sylvester Bilabel of Green Music Initiative; Natalie Wade, founder of Small Green Shoots; Attitude is Everything’s head of volunteering and skills development, Paul Hawkins; Musica Therapy’s Sital Panesar; and chair Adam Webb (FanFair Alliance) to count the broader cost of the business interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

IQ Focus: The State of Independence… Promoters

The State of Independence: Promoters saw independent event organisers from across the globe come together to discuss the specific obstacles facing their business.

Across the touring world, independent promoters are facing a similar challenge when looking ahead to a post Covid-19 business.

While this current period presents many unique challenges for this creative and entrepreneurial sector, it’s one of many pressures they face. So what’s the state of play in Europe, South America and India? And what alternative show formats, and business models are independent promoters adopting to stay ahead?

CAA’s Emma Banks hosted the session to ask, as the industry emerges from its current crisis, where the opportunities might lie?

Joining Banks were DHP Family’s Anton Lockwood, Karsten Janhke Konzertdirektion’s Ben Mitha, DMP UK’s David Messer, Melanie Eselevsky from Argentina’s Move Concerts and Munbir Chawla from the Wild City in India.

IQ Focus: Festival Forum… The Next Stage

Festival Forum: The Next Stage, saw representatives from a handful of European festivals give an update on the state of the sector.

With a number of government support packages in place, and much of this year’s line-ups transplanted to next year, how confident were promoters feeling about 2021, and are artists and audiences ready to return?

IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson hosted this IQ Focus discussion with panellists Cindy Castillo of Spain’s Mad Cool festival; John Giddings of the Isle of Wight Festival and Solo Agency; Stefan Lehmkuhl who promotes Splash, Melt, Superbloom and With Full Force festivals at Germany’s Goodlive; and Codruta Vulcu of Romania’s ARTmania Festival.

IQ Focus: Beyond Rhetoric… Race in Live Music

This IQ Focus virtual panel, Beyond Rhetoric: Race in Live Musiclooked at the lack of racial diversity in the live music business, as well as practical steps the industry can take to begin turning the tide.

Hosted by Live Nation International diversity lead David Carrigan, the session welcomed UK Music’s Ammo Talwar, Metropolis Music promoter Kiarn Eslami, ICM agent Yves Pierre, ATC Management’s Sumit Bothra and Earth Agency’s Lucy Atkinson to discuss the overwhelming whiteness of the concert industry, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter and #TheShowMustBePaused campaigns for racial equality.

IQ & The MMF Present: Managing The Crisis

With the bulk of artists dependent on live music revenue and audience connection, the Covid-19 crisis has decimated livelihoods.

But what does it mean for their managers? The individuals thrown into salvaging campaigns, rescheduling tours, interpreting contractual changes and navigating the most uncertain of futures. How are their own businesses faring? And what do they see as the challenges – and hopefully opportunities – ahead for the live sector, in what we are all optimistically calling the “new normal”.

MMF Chair Paul Craig (Nostromo Management) chaired this session which drew on expert global perspectives from managers working across multiple genres, including Kaiya Milan (Off Balance Group / The Sorority House & Co.), Marc Thomas (Red Light Management / Go Artist Management), Meg Symsyk (eOne Management / MMF Canada) and Per Kviman (Versity Music / MMF Sweden / EMMA).

IQ Focus: The Agency Business 3.0

The evolving role of the booking agent, the increasingly crowded 2021 circuit, and the agency sector’s shaky record on diversity were among the topics discussed during the IQ Focus session, The Agency Business 3.0.

Hosted by ILMC MD Greg Parmley, the session – in IQ’s Focus virtual panel series – checked in with CAA’s Maria May, UTA’s Jules de Lattre, Paradigm’s Tom Schroeder and 13 Artists’ Angus Baskerville to see how the business has changed, three months after the world went into lockdown.

Following the events of Black Out Tuesday and the launch of #TheShowMustBePaused, talk turned to racial diversity in the live music industry and (given the panel’s make-up) the agency business specifically.

IQ Focus: Grassroots Music Venues in Crisis

This panel in the IQ Focus series looked at the unique challenges that the Covid-19 crisis poses for grassroots music venues.

Featuring those working on the frontline to protect the world’s smaller venues, the Grassroots Music Venues in Crisis panel looked at what is needed to ensure these vital parts of the live music ecosystem remain in business.

Joining chair Sarah Slater, Ticketmaster UK’s vice president of music and festivals, was Mark Davyd, founder and CEO of grassroots venues charity the Music Venue Trust; Rev. Moose, co-founder of the newly formed National Independent Venue Association; Karsten Schölermann, chairman of German venue association LiveKomm; Lluís Torrents, president of Catalonian venue association Asacc (Associació de sales de concerts de catalunya) and co-director of Barcelona venue Razzmatazz; and Kathy Flück from Swiss venue the Dachstock.

Following a previous IQ Focus discussion on arenas, stadia and other large venues, the conversation turned to grassroots venues which, although among the hardest hit by the shutdown, are likely to reopen earlier than many other parts of the business, bringing a distinct set of opportunities, challenges and questions.

Just what this reopening will look like, and what potential long-term changes can be expected, was at the centre of the panellists’ conversation.

IQ Focus: The Innovation Session

IQ’s popular Focus series of virtual panels turned to the flurry of innovation going on behind the scenes during the halt in concert touring.

The Innovation Session featured insights from a who’s who of music-industry freethinkers and groundbreakers, who discussed with the new ideas and green shoots that are rising from the current situation.

Joining chair Mike Malak, senior agent at Paradigm London, was Sheri Bryant, president of virtual world builder Sansar; Tommas Arnby, CEO of Locomotion Entertainment (Yungblud); Amy Oldham, managing director UK of ticketer-turned-livestreamer Dice; Ben Samuels, North America president of virtual-reality pioneer MelodyVR; and Prajit Gopal, CEO of celebrity video-chat/streaming service Looped.

Expect discussions on livestreaming, 3D venues, tipping, videogaming, virtual worlds and much more.