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Pepsi Center agrees to open captioning for concerts

Pepsi Center, the Denver arena sued last year over its lack of scoreboard captions for the hard of hearing, has agreed to demands to provide open captioning of all aural content at sports matches and concerts.

In a proposed consent decree submitted to the US district court for Colorado, arena owner/operator Kroenke Arena Company agreed to provide open – or always-on – captioning for all content spoken over the arena’s PA system, whether live or pre-recorded.

The class-action lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, deaf woman Kirstin Kurlander, claims the lack of captioning on the 18,000-cap. Pepsi Center’s scoreboards is not in compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Arena operators can be reasonably certain that the settlement will prompt deaf fans at other venues to request more open captioning”

According to Ogletree Deakins disability lawyer David Raizman, the consent degree, which is still awaiting final approval, requires the arena to provide open captioning for “all aural (spoken or heard) content at games played and concerts held at the arena”.

Writing on the Ogletree website, Raizman says that while “the idea that aural content must be effectively communicated to arena fans is not new, “the novelty in this proposed consent decree is that it requires open captioning (in four locations in the corners of the arena) as a required means of providing such communication, and that it covers all aural content, including, for example, lyrics to prerecorded songs.”

The agreement could potential set a precedent for other US arenas who do not provide open captioning, writes Raizman. “[A]rena operators can be reasonably certain that the settlement will prompt deaf fans at other venues to request more open captioning, and perhaps even a few legal claims for the failure to provide such open captioning,” he says.

 


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FKP partners with Warner, Kobalt for management venture

Promoter FKP Scorpio has partnered with Umbrella Artist Productions (UAP), an artist management collective launched at Reeperbahn Festival earlier this month, to provide live support to the new venture.

The German-based, pan-European concert and festival promoter will lend its live expertise to UAP, whose founding managers are Ulysses Huppauff (Odyssey Music Management, Germany), Markus Hartmann (Celsius Management, Germany) and James Cassidy and Barry Campbell (Jaba Music Management, UK).

FKP joins Warner ADA, which provides label services and digital marketing, and Kobalt Music, which focuses on publishing, licensing and synchronisation (synch), creating a touring/recording/publishing troika focused on breaking new artists across Europe.

UAP, which has offices in London and Berlin, will work “closely throughout Europe with the FKP Scorpio live concerts and festival business, with particular focus on the UK and German markets”, according to a launch statement.

“UAP will provide an excellent platform to launch talented young artists”

“UAP will provide an excellent platform to launch talented young artists,” comments Freddie de Wall, who joined CTS Eventim-owned FKP as COO as in April. “With the expertise of well-respected managers in various countries, combined with our know-how at FKP Scorpio as a pan-European promoter, we have the opportunity to develop the careers of promising artists from scratch.

“We are very excited about this unique set-up and are looking forward to working with our network of managers and their artists.”

Campbell adds: “UAP puts live performance top of the priority list to kickstart a new band’s career, with release and promotion schedules enhancing the touring – and the ever more important festival plot.”

 


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