IPM Says! returns with second virtual panel
The second virtual IPM Says! panel took place this morning (2 June), welcoming five international event professionals to discuss the current state of the production sector and a positive way forward from the shutdown.
Joining host Carl AH Martin for “It ain’t all Doom & Gloom!”: The sequel – which followed June’s inaugural IPM Says! session – were Lisa Ryan of EFM Global Logistics, Dutch Music Export’s Marcel Albers, Nick Love of the UK’s Assess All Areas, Sanjin Corovic of Serbia’s Production Pool and Sophie Ridley from Safents Consulting (Ireland).
After referencing today’s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign in the UK, which is calling for government support for the beleaguered live industry, Martin asked to share their own experiences of the past four months, as well as how their local markets have adapted to the coronavirus crisis.
Ryan said the global production sector’s recovery relies on lifting on restrictions on both mass gatherings and border crossings. “The fact that there’s no consistency and no real certainty around who can travel, and whether they have to quarantine when they get there” is preventing the industry getting restarted, she suggested.
Albers praised the Dutch government response in the early days of the crisis, when authorities stepped in to stop production companies from collapsing. However, he said he shares Martin’s concern that many smaller firms may still go under, saying that future aid must be distributed fairly in order to ensure the survival of businesses of all sizes.
“Some events are happening … It’s not much, but it’s something”
In response to a question from Miller’s Martin Goebbels, which asked whether production staff would be willing to work uninsured while Covid-19 is still a threat, Love said crew must decide for themselves. “There will be some who will take the risk, and there’ll be others who want to be cautious about their health and won’t go back to work,” he explained. Love suggested it would be very unlikely for events to be face any legal action as a result of any infection, explaining: “There’s no way to prove the outbreak originated at any one point in time.”
Ridley suggested disclaimers could be the answer to liability concerns, noting she is involved in a television production on which everyone has to sign one. “Whether it holds up, whether it can actually be enforced” is debatable, she said, “but we are having to sign a disclaimer.”
Describing the situation in Serbia, Corovic said events look likely to return later this year. “I’m not thinking as far as next spring; I’m thinking about autumn or winter,” he said. “Some events are happening and I think they’ll generate some kind of income. It’s not much, but it’s something.”
Watch the full discussion back on YouTube above.
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#LetTheMusicPlay: UK biz mobilises to call for aid
The leading lights of Britain’s live music industry – including some of its biggest touring talent – have today (2 July) issued 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 one of the world’s biggest live music markets.
The appeal is centred on a letter to the UK’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, signed by 1,500 artists and bands, including Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, Dua Lipa, Sir Paul McCartney, Skepta, Rita Ora, Coldplay, Eric Clapton, Annie Lennox, Sir Rod Stewart, Liam Gallagher, Florence and the Machine, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Lewis Capaldi and Little Mix.
In the joint letter, the artists say: “UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.
“Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry.”
New research shows the live music sector added £4.5 billion to Britain’s economy in 2019, and supports 210,000 jobs. While the UK is the fourth-largest music market in the world by value of ticket sales – and the second-biggest per capita – the appeal notes that state support for live music lags behind other countries, with other European governments such as France and Germany using public money to kickstart their concert industries post-Covid-19.
“Government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry”
To coincide with the letter, hundreds of artists will today begin posting films and photos of their last live show using the hashtag #LetTheMusicPlay. Fans will also be encouraged to post about the last gig they went to, in a mass show of support for the UK’s on-pause live business.
“It’s incredibly important for artists like myself to speak up and support the live music industry in the UK,” says Dua Lipa. “From the very start, playing live concerts up and down the country has been a cornerstone for my own career. I am proud to have had the chance to play through all the levels: small clubs, then theatres and ballrooms, and into arenas, and, of course, festivals in between each touring cycle.
“But the possibility for other emerging British artists to take the same path is in danger if the industry doesn’t receive much-needed government support in the interim period before all the various venues, festivals and promoters are ready and able to operate independently again.”
The UK live music industry is asking for:
- A clear, conditional timeline for reopening venues without social distancing
- A comprehensive business and employment support package and access to finance
- Full VAT exemption on ticket sales
The business and employment support package should include, they say, a government-backed insurance scheme to allow shows to go ahead; an extension of the furlough scheme and help for the self-employed to prevent mass redundancies; rent breaks for venues to allow them to reopen; an extension of business-rate relief to the entire live music supply chain; rolling over fees for single-premises event licences for festivals; and financial support for lost box-office income.
“Every day, literally, I hear of another friend in music losing their job, shutting up shop or switching careers. This pandemic has affected everyone; it has taken many lives and forever changed many more,” says Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons and Venue Group. “Live entertainment has not been the headline, nor do I believe it should’ve been – at least until now.
“We really have to pay some attention to what our cultural landscape is going to look like on the other side of this, and we’re hoping that #LetTheMusicPlay will pull some of this into focus for a minute.”
“If the government doesn’t step up and support the British arts, we really could lose vital aspects of our culture forever”
Other artists to have signed the letter to Dowden include Take That, the Stone Roses, Foals, James Bay, Genesis, the Chemical Brothers, Johnny Marr, Slade, Biffy Clyro, Bastille, Muse, Sir Tom Jones and Manic Street Preachers.
“The UK’s venues, festivals, performers and crew bring so much to this country’s culture and economy, but they are now facing desperate financial challenges,” says Emily Eavis, organiser of Glastonbury Festival. “If the government doesn’t step up and support the British arts, we really could lose vital aspects of our culture forever.”
“July would normally see the UK embarking on a world-famous summer of live music, but this year the lights are switched off and the microphones unplugged,” adds Phil Bowdery, chairman of the Concert Promoters’ Association. “Live music has sought to play its role in helping tackle coronavirus, with many artists providing entertainment for people from their homes. But our shutdown is likely to go on for much longer than most, with many concerts and festivals unable to operate until 2021 at the earliest.
“Without rapid government support, the long-term impact will be devastating, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of highly-skilled jobs and billions of pounds from the UK economy.”
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Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy protection
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, the world’s largest producer of contemporary circus and other touring entertainment shows, has filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada after more than three months of “zero revenues” as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil announced yesterday (29 June) it has applied to restructure its business under Canada’s CCCA (Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act – a process that shields it from creditors, similar to administration in the UK or chapter-11 bankruptcy in the US). Its application will heard today by the Superior Court of Quebec.
The announcement follows a particularly torrid quarter for Cirque, which announced thousands of temporary lay-offs in the early days of the pandemic.
Cirque says it has entered into a court-supervised purchase agreement with shareholders, including Texas-based TPG Capital and China’s Fosun Capital Group, to establish two funds, worth US$20 million, to provide relief to laid-off employees and contractors. (Some 3,480 of the more than 4,500 employees furloughed in March are expected to lose their jobs permanently.)
The ‘sponsors’, which also include state-owned investment company Quebec Deposit and Investment Fund (CDPQ), will additionally inject $300m worth of liquidity in order to restart the restructured business.
“I look forward to rebuilding our operations and coming together once again”
“For the past 36 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a highly successful and profitable organisation. However, with zero revenues since the forced closure of all of our shows due to Covid-19, management had to act decisively to protect the company’s future,” comments Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group.
Subject to the Superior Court’s approval, the sponsors will also serve as the “stalking horse”, or reserve bidders, in a sale and investment solicitation process (‘SISP’) of Cirque’s assets.
“The purchase agreement and SISP provide a path for Cirque to emerge from CCAA protection as a stronger company. The robust commitment from the sponsors – which includes additional funds to support our impacted employees, contractors and critical partners, all of whom are important to Cirque’s return – reflects our mutual belief in the power and long-term potential of our brand,” continues Lamarre.
“I look forward to rebuilding our operations and coming together to once again create the magical spectacle that is Cirque du Soleil for our millions of fans worldwide.”
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Australian biz unites for safe reopening strategy
The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF), a new initiative that aims to to ensure fans can return safely to live events when restrictions on mass gatherings are lifted, has been formed by Australia’s biggest live entertainment companies.
LEIF’s mission is to “support the COVIDSafe reactivation of events with live audiences across Australia” when restrictions are eased in July, according to the body. (COVIDSafe is Australia’s coronavirus contact-tracing app.) “LEIF will put in place a comprehensive, flexible, all-of-industry reopening and risk-management strategy that meets the needs of the public, governments, sporting bodies, venues, performers and industry, with safety at its core.”
LEIF comprises all major Australian live businesses, including promoters Live Nation, TEG, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment and AEG; agency WME; venues Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne Olympic Parks and Adelaide Oval; venue operators ASM Global, Venues West and Venues Live; musical producer Michael Cassel Group; and associations Live Performance Australia, Venue Management Association and Australian Festivals Association.
Led by an executive committee headed by former Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland, the forum says 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”.
“I am proud that we stand united to work together”
LEIF will develop measures regarding cleaning and sanitisation, crowd management, physical distancing plans, health monitoring and contact tracing, with the objective of restarting an industry responsible for more than 175,000 Australian jobs. The objective is to safely restart an industry which supports over 175,000 Australian jobs and feeds other sectors hit hard by COVID-19 such as tourism, transport and hospitality.
“This pandemic has brought our industry to a complete standstill. The thousands of cancelled sporting events, concerts, festivals, theatre, family and comedy shows, and all the associated revenues related to them, can never be replaced,” comments Sutherland.
“Our industry was the first to close during Covid-19 and it will be one of the last to fully reopen. The cultural, creative and sports industries supports the livelihoods of around 175,000 Australians, many of whom are casual or part time. The industry also contributes an estimated $150 billion to the Australian economy. Our live events have a huge economic flow on effect: we support jobs in airlines and other transport companies, hotels, pubs, restaurants and retail establishments of all sizes all over Australia.
“We need a clear roadmap to get our industry back to work, while playing a bigger role in the post-Covid-19 economic recovery of our nation. We are committed to working with all states and territories, especially with their chief medical and health officers. We will develop COVIDSafe best practices and a world-leading response to revive our industry, get people back to work and bring fans back together throughout Australia through the unbeatable power of live events.”
“We must put aside our natural competitive instincts so we can all bring large-scale live events back to the Australian people”
“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 to the Australian people safely,” says Geoff Jones, CEO of TEG. “We want to work closely with the federal, state and territory governments to create solutions that get our industry up and running again and help get the many thousands of people who support our industry back to work. We want to bring fans back and jobs back, safely.”
Roger Field, CEO of Live Nation Australasia – who also serves on the executive committee alongside Sutherland and Jones – adds: “Live events and mass gatherings are not solely for recreational purposes – they play a crucial part in the fabric of Australian life.
“Just as sport plays an important role in promoting healthy behaviours, so too do music and the performing arts. The positive impact culture brings to society is not only seen both psychologically and in social wellbeing, but in the fact that the live events industry contributes hundreds of thousands of jobs, which flows on and effects the whole economy.
“I am proud that we stand united to work together to make the return to events a reality and for the people of Australia to enjoy the power of live once again.”
Debut IPM Says! panel highlights live’s resilience
The inaugural virtual ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) panel, IPM Says!, took place last week, with eight live event production professionals coming together to discuss positive ways of moving forward from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
IPM’s Carl A H Martin chaired the panel, entitled It Ain’t All Doom and Gloom, which reflected on the resilience of the industry, the creativity of those within it and the road to recovery.
ITB agent Steve Zapp stressed that different markets were moving at different speeds, with “very little” currently possible in the UK. However, whereas the earlier weeks of the crisis had been characterised by cancellations and postponements, conversation has now turned to recovery.
Andy Lenthall from trade association Production Services Association (PSA) said while members were currently doing little in live events, the organisation has been busy helping them to navigate this “temporary normal” and “helping people to help themselves”.
“I have faith in an industry that is resilient and full of resolve to get back to work,” said Lenthall, who stated he was looking forward to the release of UK government guidance on how to get back to work safely.
For Sarah Hemsley-Cole, company director of Cardiff-based SC Productions, work has not fully come to a halt, with the company getting involved in various products, including helping to set up a makeshift field hospital at the Principality Stadium.
“I have faith in an industry that is resilient and full of resolve to get back to work”
Vatiswa Gilivane, business development manager at the 20,000-capacity Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, said her team has also found alternative ways of working, with events still prohibited in South Africa.
“We had to change the way we think,” said Gilivane. “We could no longer rely on others to bring us opportunities, but had to use our own expertise and start creating our own content.”
Máté Horváth from Hungary’s DDW Music said things are opening up in the country for open-air shows, with some venues now also beginning to open up in different ways, acting as beer gardens, for example, in order to generate some revenue.
The ban on large-scale events in Hungary expires on 15 August, said Horváth , “so there could be some major festivals going ahead after this date, with a line-up of domestic acts”.
In general, shows are being moved to 2021, added Horvath, and although this may be a less optimistic scenario, “it is much more secure” and likely to be better for the industry in the long run.
Alberto Artese from Italian industry organisation Assomusica said that live shows will be permitted again in Italy in the next week “but there will be many rules”. From 15 June, 1,000 fans will be allowed at open-air shows and 200 people – including staff and artists – at indoor shows.
“We could no longer rely on others to bring us opportunities, but had to use our own expertise and start creating our own content”
The viability of capacity limits and social distancing measures was a talking point for panellists, with many stressing the importance of proper collaboration between the industry and national governments.
ASM Global’s Paul Sergeant OBE spoke of the newly formed Live Entertainment Industry Forum in Australia, which acts as a conduit between the live industry and the government, developing a way to safely reopen events.
Neighbouring New Zealand is lifting all restrictions on live events this week, focusing on contact tracing to prevent outbreaks of the virus, rather than relying on social distancing measures. “We’d like to think Australia might follow suit in the not too distant future,” said Sergeant.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the UK has similarly asked for industry input on how to reopen safely, said Lenthall.
“Every government around the world sees the value of live events, but we are going to be the last to reopen as we are the most challenging environment.”
Lenthall stressed that social distancing cannot be a financially viable solution for live events. “Globally, we will see a different approach that doesn’t include distancing.”
“Every government around the world sees the value of live events, but we are going to be the last to reopen as we are the most challenging environment”
For Zapp, one of the most encouraging things throughout the crisis has been the “incredibly low” number of refund requests, which indicates that fans are keen to get back to events and has helped to avoid “massive problems” with cash flow.
Chrissy Uerlings of Germany’s CU Production Gmbh summed up much of what had been said, pointing out that problem solving and coming up with creative solutions had become key, something that the live industry has always excelled at.
“We have to be smart and it was clear that, for many of us as freelancers, we had to do this on our own.
“If you let loose, then you have two hands free – and that makes you creative.”
Neustart Kultur: Germany pledges €150m for live music
The German federal government has pledged €150 million for the live music industry as part of a €1 billion package to revive Germany’s coronavirus-crippled creative sector.
The 12-month Neustart Kultur (‘Restart Culture’) programme will make available €150m for live music – ie “music venues, festivals, [concert] organisers and agents”, according to a government press release – alongside new funding for theatre and dance (also €150m), cinemas and the film sector (€120m), radio broadcasters (€20m), and galleries, book publishers and other “socio-cultural centres” (€30m), among others.
A total of €450m is also available to make “cultural institutions fit for reopening”. Intended for organisations which don’t already receive public funding, the grant will finance “new hygiene concepts”, such as paper-free ticketing or improved ventilation systems in venues.
Karsten Schoelermann, head of German venue association LiveKomm, who appeared on yesterday’s IQ Focus panel, Grassroots Music Venues in Crisis, says he hopes a significant portion of the scheme will be directed to grassroots music venues. “We must now find out how we can keep our [small] music stages alive, and get them ready for a new start,” he explains.
“We will support cinemas and music clubs … to reopen their doors as soon as possible”
Monika Grütters, Germany’s federal commissioner for culture and the media, says the aid should be matched by “concrete steps for reopening” on the part of those receiving it. “Culture is not a luxury that you can only afford in good times,” she adds.
Neustart Kultur is the latest package of support measures for the German creative industries during the Covid-19 pandemic, following a €50bn “rescue umbrella” of grants and loans in late March and the introduction of a ticket voucher scheme to protect promoters’ cash flow early the following month.
“With an additional one billion euros, we support the restarting of cultural life in Germany and set the course for the future,” comments Grütters. “I am proud to say that this is almost exactly half of our annual budget, which has grown significantly over the past few years.
“We will support cinemas and music clubs, memorials and museums, theatres and festivals, and many other cultural institutions to reopen their doors as soon as possible. For us, maintaining and securing Germany’s cultural infrastructure is the key to creating job opportunities for artists across the country once more.”
US firm finds bumper solution to social distancing rules
A Baltimore-based event design and production company has come up with a novel way for businesses to bounce back without bumping heads with social distancing regulations.
Revolution Event Design and Production has invented a number of social distancing event solutions, including the bumper table, or “social distancing cocktail table”.
Bumper tables – a bit like people-powered bumper cars, or dodgems – are round tables on wheels, with circular cut-outs in the centre and inflatable tubes around the outer edge, allowing those standing within them to move freely, socialise and drink bumpers of beer, without any danger of breaking social distancing rules.
The Covid-proof tables made their debut at the Fish Tales Bar & Grill in Ocean City, Maryland earlier this week, where employees tested out the new contraptions in the restaurant’s 270-square-metre car park.
Not ones to wheel out the same thing every time, the Revolution Event Design team can customise bumper tables with company logos or event graphics.
A Baltimore-based company has come up with a novel way for businesses to bounce back without bumping heads with social distancing regulations
It costs US$150 to rent a table for a day and $400 to purchase an unbranded table, with branded bumpers costing $500 each.
Among the company’s other “out-of-box” coronavirus solutions are plexi table dividers – conjoined pieces of transparent plastic which span out from the centre of a table to create a shield between each of those sitting around it – and customisable social distancing cushions, to act as an alternative to signage.
The production company also manufactures personal protective equipment (PPE), including face shields, face masks, gowns and free standing “sneeze shields”, as well as air purifiers, a range of hand-sanitising stations and signage.
Read about innovative solutions from other event production suppliers and staging companies here.
La Morada: Top artists back Move CO aid for laid-off crew
Move Concerts has partnered with Spin Agency, an advertising and branding company, to launch La Morada, a new online entertainment hub designed to raise money for Colombia’s chinomatics, or production crews, during the coronavirus epidemic.
La Morada (which means both a home and the colour purple in Spanish) is a ‘virtual house’ made up of ‘rooms’ each containing specific content, such as live music, comedy, yoga, psychology, meditation, fitness classes, cooking and video games. Launched on 17 April, over 300 hours of free content has been created for the initial lifespan of the project, which was originally programmed to run for one month, until 17 May, but has been extended to 17 June.
Artists who appear in La Morada – which include Latin music stars such as J Balvin, Juanes, Fonseca and Carlos Vives – have donated their time for free, providing performance footage or exclusive interviews. Other content includes virtual PlayStation football matches (Colombia vs Peru is a recent highlight), and production masterclasses with Teo Echevarria and guests.
While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a cesta basica (‘basic basket’) containing essential groceries for a family, including food and hygiene products, for the chinomatics and their loved ones.
Nicolas Martinez, marketing director for Move Concerts Colombia and director/partner at Spin Agency, recalls Covid-19 first hitting Colombia: “As the reality sunk in, fear was all that I felt. Twenty twenty was supposed to be our best year ever. We had a calendar filled with brand events and concerts. Our budget goals were already accomplished and then, out of the blue, our world froze.
“Then I started thinking about our office in Bogota, which operates with 32 people, plus hundreds of direct and indirect hires around events: producers, stagehands, roadies, security, sound and light engineers, riggers, tour managers, and other jobs that are the real foundation of our business – the chinomatics.”
While all content is available for free, viewers have the option to donate money to provide a ‘basic basket’ containing essential groceries
He continues: “I found out that Teo Echevarria, our head of production and Maluma’s production manager, was linked to an association, IPEE [Industria de Produccion de Eventos y Espectaculos, a union for production personnel), that was compiling a database of all the chinomatics who were going through a difficult time, and who were not even able to purchase basic food products for themselves and their families.
“To date, the database has a listing of more than 3,000 people.”
Using IPEE’s data, the Move and Spin teams came up with a project that would keep staff busy while generating some basic assistance for crew and their families.
Fernando Escobar, talent director for Move Concerts Colombia, who is also general manager for La Morada, adds: “We are essentially running a TV station that airs on a digital platform and social media with a programming grid that extends 7am to 11pm daily. This is non-stop.”
To date, La Morada, which is sponsored by Aval Group, has donated over 900 food baskets (out of a goal of 1,500 before the project ends) and been viewed by 600,000 viewers across all platforms (web plus Instagram and social media).
UK industry calls for clarity, timetable for reopenings
Nearly a billion pounds will be wiped off the value of the UK music industry without immediate government action to support the live sector, industry leaders have warned.
Thousands of jobs will be lost and the British music business – which formerly contributed £5.2bn a year to the UK economy – will suffer £900 million (€1bn) in losses from the impact of coronavirus without urgent state support, the UK Live Music Group has said.
The group, which sits within trade body UK Music as the collective voice of promoters, festivals, agents, venues and production services, is calling for, among other measures, clarity on when live events will be allowed to return – as has already happened in many European countries, including the Netherlands, Norway and Spain – as well as any social-distancing protocols that will need to remain place when they do.
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, three quarters of the industry’s workforce is furloughed, with little certainty about when their jobs might return.
“We’ll need more support from government to survive”
In addition to job losses, the impact of Covid-19 means that further government support is also necessary to prevent more than 550 grassroots music venues going under, according to the group. Additionally, a recent Association of Independent Festivals survey found that 92% of its members, chiefly small and mid-sized summer events, are facing imminent collapse.
The group has identified the following areas in which government help is needed:
- A continuation of all existing employment schemes and business support packages until the live music industry recovers
- Value-added tax (VAT) breaks on ticket sales for a minimum of 18 months (to give festivals, concerts and live events time to see the results)
- Additional financial support to ensure that landlords provide rent-free periods to music-venue tenants
- Extension of business rate relief to the entire live music supply chain, include service companies and sound and lighting suppliers
- Clear guidance about when professionally run, licensed events can resume, in order to allow operators to properly plan a recovery
- Clarity around social distancing which takes into account the range of different venue sizes, some of whom may not be able to reopen until measures are further relaxed
Newly appointed UK Music chair Tom Watson says: “The music industry is really hurting. Parts of the sector are effectively on life support and will need a sustained package of help from the government to survive.
“The support for our world-leading industry must continue”
“The music industry has joined forces and is doing its best to look after its people through a fantastic network of hardship funds. As the world slowly emerges from the international lockdown, the UK cannot afford to leave behind its economy-boosting music industry. We’ll need more support from government to survive and remain a long-term contributor to the economy.
“If we are to nurture the next generation of British stars like Adele, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran, we need the government to listen and act to ensure our music industry remains the envy of the world.”
“The government must not abandon the music industry, which is such a vital part of our economy, culture and social fabric,” adds Lucy Noble, artistic and commercial director of the Royal Albert Hall and chair of the National Arenas Association.
“The support for our world-leading industry must continue until we have a chance to get back on our feet.”
LN video series goes Backstage with Crew Nation
To promote Crew Nation, its US$10m coronavirus relief fund for out-of-work touring crew, Live Nation has has launched Backstage with Crew Nation, a new video series focusing on the relationships between touring artists and their backstage staff.
Debuting on its Live from Home platform, the first video follows Jon Russell, of indie-folk band the Head and the Heart, in conversation with the group’s front-of-house engineer, Tim Smiley. The pair discuss a range of topics, including how they’ve continued to work together during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The series will feature “natural conversations over video call between artists and members of their crews, highlighting the voices that make up the resilient live music community”, according to LN.
Watch the first episode of Backstage with Crew Nation above.