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Safe & Sound promoter fined $20,000

The promoter of a New York drive-in concert event that went viral for the lack of social distancing among audience members has been handed a US$20,000 fine.

Via the New York department of health, the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, has charged In the Know Experiences with violating public health laws by holding a non-essential gathering and failing to enforce mask wearing at Safe & Sound Hamptons, which took place near Southampton on Saturday 25 July.

The show, headlined by the Chainsmokers, was accused of “egregious social distancing violations” after video from the event showed attendees leaving their cars and dancing in close proximity to one another.

“We will continue to hold people and businesses accountable for their actions”

“The Chainsmokers concert promoter is charged today with violating an executive order and section 16 of the Public Health Law,” says Cuomo. “As I said immediately following reports of this event, it was an egregious violation of the critical public health measures we have had in place since the beginning of this pandemic to protect New Yorkers from Covid-19.

“We will continue to hold people and businesses accountable for their actions and the local governments must enforce the rules or else we will hold them accountable as well.”

Other performers at Safe & Sound, which had space for around 600 cars, included DJ D-Sol, Matt White and a band fronted by Southampton’s town supervisor, Jay Schneiderman. Tickets for the upmarket event cost up to $25,000, with profits going to local charities.

 


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Chainsmokers show investigated for lack of social distancing

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, says the US state’s health authorities will investigate a drive-in concert featuring the Chainsmokers, held last weekend, for alleged social distancing violations.

In the Know Experiences’ Safe & Sound Hamptons, which took place near Southampton, New York, on Saturday 25 July, had capacity for around 600 cars, and also featured performances by DJ D-Sol and Southampton’s town supervisor, Jay Schneiderman’s, band.

While organisers say the show followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, according to Reuters, Cuomo is not convinced, claiming video from the event shows “egregious social distancing violations” on the part of attendees, many of whom appeared to have left their cars:

Cuomo, who says he is “appalled” by the video, has ordered the New York Department of Health to conduct an investigation into the show.

According to In the Know, a luxury travel company, the Hamptons concert is the first in a planned series of drive-in concerts taking place “throughout the USA”.

Tickets for the event cost between US$1,250 and $25,000, with profits going to several local charities.

 


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IMS: Covid-19 set to cost electronic sector $4bn

After slight growth in 2019, the value of the global electronic music industry is estimated to fall by 56% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the latest edition of the annual International Music Summit (IMS) business report has revealed.

The yearly report, which is usually presented at the IMS conference in Ibiza, this year cancelled due to the pandemic, states the value of the electronic is sector is set to fall from $7.3 billion to $3.3bn this year, with dance and electronic clubs and festivals set to lose 75% of their income, equivalent to $3.3bn.

By 20 April, around 350 electronic music festivals had been cancelled or postponed, the majority in Germany, with almost 9 million fans unable to attend. According to event discovery and ticketing platform Skiddle, around 4,000 electronic music events in total have been affected by Covid-19 so far.

In Ibiza alone, 2m club tickets were sold last year, with clubbers spending €260m and contributing €500m to the local economy. Bigger clubs and mid-sized venues (over 300-cap.) on the island are to remain shut this season.

DJ and artist income is predicted to fall by as much as 61%, from $1.1bn in 2019 to $400m in 2020. Earnings of the top-ten electronic artists had increased 4% year-on-year in 2019, with the Chainsmokers ($46m) and Marshmello (40m) coming in as the highest earners.

Despite a bleak outlook for 2020, the IMS report notes that the positive trends that led to growth in 2019 – the first since 2016 – “should help fuel a strong recovery in the coming years”.

“The value of the global electronic music industry is estimated to fall be 56% this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic”

The report also details the sector’s livestreaming success. It it predicted that streaming will grow by 18% in 2020, with continued growth expected to generate around $100m in additional revenue for the dance and electronic sector this year.

In May 2020, seven of the ten most watched music streamers on Twitch were electronic focused, totalling 6m viewer hours. EDM promoter Insomniac racked up 2.6m viewers hours by running virtual versions of their events, including the Electric Daisy Carnival rave-a-thon. The promoter is putting on digital editions of Secret Project, Peekaboo and Awakening festivals later this month.

The IMS report also shows that DJs who performed in the video game Fortnite, following the initial success of Marshmello, saw their Instagram followers grow by ten times during and after the event.

Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 played the launch of the game’s virtual hang-out Party Royale mode, adding a collective 55,000 to their Instagram followers in four days.

Overall, however, it is believed that livestreamed events, as well as other alternatives including drive-in shows and socially distanced club nights, are “unlikely to be commercially viable, with live streams serving predominantly to raise money for good causes and capacities art physical shows greatly reduced.

Some platforms have started to adapt to paid-for models, the report notes, with Soundcloud introudincing a ‘support link’ button for fan contributions; TikTok launching ‘donation stickers’ for good causes; and Festicket allowing the sale of merchandise. Brands including Coca-Cola, Amazon and Henieken have also sponsored DJ live streams.

The full report is available to download here.

 


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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Record attendance for Ukraine’s Atlas Weekend

The fifth edition of Kiev-based Atlas Weekend festival saw more visitors than ever before, with 538,000 festivalgoers from 75 different countries attending the six-day festival.

The festival, which took place from 9 to 14 July, featured performances from the Chainsmokers, Black Eyed Peas, the Vaccines, Liam Gallagher and Russian rock group Splean.

“We are really happy with how the 2019 edition went,” Atlas Weekend owner and chief executive Dmytro Sydorenko tells IQ. “It was our best festival yet.”

159,710 people attended the free-to-enter opening day of the festival, breaking the event’s daily attendance record.

“The point of the first day is to showcase Ukrainian music to the widest audience possible,” explains Sydorenko, stating that the number of attendees also marked a new daily attendance record for festival venue Ukrainian Expo Centre, “in all 61 years of its existence”.

“One of our main goals is to develop music tourism in Ukraine and also make the festival more prominent in markets outside of our country,” says Sydorenko. “We work closely with government departments to ease planning for foreign visitors – both artists and fans – and make sure they have the best time possible during their stay in Kiev.”

Over 250 acts from 20 different countries made up the festival’s most international line-up yet, with 30 acts performing in Ukraine for the first time.

“One of our main goals is to make the festival more prominent in markets outside of Ukraine”

Asap Rocky, who was billed to headline Atlas Weekend’s Saturday night, was detained in Sweden for suspected assault shortly before the event, leading to the cancellation of remaining tour dates.

The absence of the headliner was much talked about on social media and in the Ukrainian press, says the Atlas chief executive, admitting that “there was a lot of tension involved”.

“We have never had to deal with a headliner replacement before, especially not one that urgent,” Sydorenko tells IQ, “but we are happy that we managed to find a suitable replacement both for Asap Rocky’s fans and our festivalgoers.”

Fellow Asap Mob member Asap Ferg filled the headline slot, in a performance that “almost didn’t happen due to flight delays”.

A key goal for the 2019 festival was to be “as inclusive and accessible as possible.” Through its Mastercard Vibes initiative, festival sponsor Mastercard provided sign language interpretation at the main stage, as well as setting up a lounge area with visual and tactile installations.

“We believe in inclusivity and take pride in our efforts to make our festival a place for everyone to have a good time and enjoy music,” says Sydorenko.

The festival was held in partnership with Music Conference Ukraine, which was organised by the country’s music export office.

 


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200k fans attend biggest Exit Festival yet

The 2019 edition of Serbia’s Exit Festival broke its previous attendance records, hosting more than 200,000 festivalgoers over the four-day event.

The festival, which took place from 4 to 7 July in a disused fortress, broke its existing daily attendance record of 55,000 on the opening day. Over the four days, attendance surpassed 2018’s total of 198,000.

The record comes ahead of next year’s special celebratory edition, Exit 2.0, which marks the festival’s 20th anniversary of the festival.

Performances across the weekend came from the Cure, Greta van Fleet, the Chainsmokers, Carl Cox and Chase and Status.

Over the four days, attendance surpassed 2018’s total of 198,000

Techno DJ Amelie Lens closed the 25,000-capacity mts Dance Arena on Monday morning. Lens ended the festival with the Prodigy track ‘Firestarter’, paying homage to the band’s late frontman Keith Flint. The Prodigy headlined Exit four times, in 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2016.

The festival also featured video messaged from Yoko Ono and Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, who has teamed up with Exit to develop preschool education in Serbia.

Exit organises four other events across south-east Europe: Sea Dance festival in Montenegro, Sea Star in Croatia, Revolution Festival in Romania and No Sleep Festival in Serbia.

 


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5 Singapore debuts at September grand prix

Five major international acts will play their maiden shows in Singapore this September, joining Duran Duran and OneRepublic for after-race concerts at the Singaporean grand prix.

Race promoter Singapore GP yesterday announced the first wave of artists for this year’s shows – a tradition of Singaporean grands prix since the race’s revival in 2008 – bringing The Chainsmokers, Ariana Grande, Seal, Lianne La Havas and British rapper George the Poet for their debut performances in the city-state over three days in late September.

Duran Duran, who played their last Singaporean show in 2012, will perform on both Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September, with the other acts playing a single day apiece. More performers are set to be announced in future.

Liberty Media, which holds a significant minority stake in Live Nation, acquired grand prix organiser Formula 1 last September.

 


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