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Virtual event to replace cancelled Burning Man 2020

Burning Man is the latest US festival to be called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, with organisers announcing that the famous Black Rock City will take the form of a “virtual metropolis” instead this year.

The countercultural gathering was set to take place from 30 August to 7 September in Nevada’s Black Rock desert.

“After much listening, discussion, and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision not to build Black Rock City in 2020,” reads a statement on the Burning Man website.

“Given the painful reality of Covid-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do.”

The event, often dubbed as an “anti-festival”, will go ahead online, however, with fans invited to enter the Virtual Black Rock City 2020, in keeping with the event’s 2020 theme, the Multiverse.

“Given the painful reality of Covid-19, one of the greatest global challenges of our lifetimes, we believe this is the right thing to do”

Unsure what form the online gathering will take, the Burning Man team says although it “will likely be messy and awkward with mistakes”, the virtual event will also be “engaging, connective, and fun”.

The first round of Burning Man ticket sales took place last month, with 4,000 tickets prices at $1,400 sold during the ‘FOMO’ ticket sale in March, as well as those sold through Direct Group Sale (DGS). The event’s main ticket sale was postponed earlier this month.

Organisers state they are “committed” to providing refunds to “those who need them”, adding that they hope some “will consider donating all or a portion of your ticket value, and/or making a tax-deductible donation to (non-profit festival organiser) Burning Man Project”.

“Substantial” staff layoffs, pay reductions and other cost-cutting measures will be needed to ensure the organisation remains operational into next year’s event season, say organisers.

Burning Man joins other major US events to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, including South by Southwest, Governors Ball, Boston Calling, Firefly Festival and Ultra Miami, with Coachella, Bonnaroo, BottleRock, New Orleans’ Jazz Fest and Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas all pushed back to later in the year.

Photo: Bureau of Land Management/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)


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Countdown to the Arthur Awards 2020: Herman Schueremans

Individuals and events will be crowned across 11 categories at the Arthur Awards Winners’ Dinner on 5 March, as the music industry’s response to the Oscars returns to the glamorous Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel.

Last year’s 25th anniversary awards saw success for Britannia Row’s Bryan Grant, FKP Scorpio’s Folkert Koopmans, ICM Partners’ Kevin Jergensen and Live Nation’s Selina Emeny, as well as the teams at the Royal Albert Hall, British Summer Time Hyde Park and Mad Cool Festival, among others.

As the Emma Banks-hosted ceremony draws ever closer, IQ chats to some previous winners to find out what receiving an Arthur meant to them and to discover their biggest hopes and dreams for the future.

Up next is Rock Werchter founder and Live Nation Belgium CEO Herman Schueremans, three-time winner of the Promoters’ Promoter prize and 2017’s recipient of the prestigious ILMC Bottle Award.

 


Winning the Bottle Award means a hell of a lot to me as it means you get recognition and appreciation from the people of the live music business who know what they are talking about, such as agents and their staff, managers, tour managers, production managers, suppliers, concert and festival promoters. All of these people are driven and passionate human beings who want to deliver every day on their passionate job. Thank you all.

My Bottle Award is in my office and it is empty as I don’t drink during the working day but enjoy a lovely wine at dinner at the end of the day. All of our other Arthur Awards are on the desks of our team members as they are their awards.

Winning the Bottle Award means a hell of a lot to me

Ed Bicknell and Martin Hopewell, the founder of ILMC; Ian Flooks and many other agents gave me the first chances to book young bands. I learned from Mike Greek that I was the first European to book an act from him. We can all learn from each other – young from older experienced people and older ones from the enthusiasm and creativity of young people.

My prediction for the next ten years is that live music will get more and more important as it brings people from all over the world together in a constructive way. So everyone involved in live music has a common responsibility to contribute every day.

I hope that music will help to build a better and definitely happier world and that youngsters have a future in this business and in general.

 


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