fbpx

PROFILE

MY SUBSCRIPTION

LOGOUT

x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

French study shows positive effects of proper mask-wearing

There is a “very limited risk” of spreading coronavirus in indoor venues such as concert halls when all attendees are wearing tight-fitting face masks, according to a new study by French software company Dassault Systèmes.

The CAD specialist is working with the Paris Philharmonic to prepare the the venue for reopening when restrictions are lifted. By creating a 3D model of the Philharmonie’s main concert hall, the 2,400-seat Grande Salle Pierre Boulez, Dassault Systèmes was able to simulate the flow of air around a seated concertgoer in three different scenarios: with no face covering, wearing a loose-fitting face mask, and wearing a properly fitted face mask.

As can be seen in the video above, the infected concertgoer poses the greatest risk to his neighbours sans masque, as expected. With a loose mask (masque lâche), the transmission of infected particles is reduced; with a fitted mask (masque ajusté) the spread of the virus is prevented even further.

While it should be noted that the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez has a sophisticated ventilation system that limits the lateral movement of air, directing it behind the audience and orchestra, the study is nonetheless proof that masks, when worn correctly, play a “major role in reducing the volume of particles emitted into the air, as well as in the speed of the spread”, according to Dassault Systèmes.

The combination of proper mask wearing with a fresh-air supply gives the concert hall a similar profile to an outdoor space

The experiment additionally found that the combination of proper mask wearing with a fresh-air supply built in to every seat gives the concert hall a similar profile to that of an outdoor space, “with a very limited risk of spread from one side [of the venue] to the other”, despite being completely enclosed.

“Our collaboration with the Philharmonie de Paris is part of our daily efforts to help companies simulate, visualise and analyse existing conditions, assess the effect of hypothetical scenarios, and identify solutions allowing to reopen and operate safely,” comments Dassault Systèmes’ Florence Verzelen.

“At a time when the real world is doing everything it can to get out of confinement, virtual worlds make it possible to carry out experiments that reveal many unknowns,” Verzelen adds.

The study also simulated airflow at the entrance to the venue, finding that the existing preventative measures – mask wearing and social distancing – are sufficient outside the Grande Salle itself.

“The safety of the public, our artists and our staff is non-negotiable. This is why we have decided to partner with Dassault Systèmes,” adds Laurent Bayle, director of the Paris Philharmonic. “Thanks to their state-of-the-art simulation technology, we are ready to reopen our concert hall under the best possible conditions.”

 


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

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

AI-powered screens detect mask wearing at venue

A North Carolina stadium is using artificial-intelligence (AI) technology to monitor for Covid-compliant public behaviour, such as social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, among fans arriving at the venue.

The 50,500-capacity Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, which is primarily used for American football, has installed ‘Health Greeter Kiosks’ to encourage anyone passing to wear masks and practice social distancing. The AI – specifically machine learning and computer vision – uses real-time data from a depth-sensing camera to detect if someone is wearing a mask and whether there is proper spacing between individuals. As people walk by the screens, a large display alerts them to either correct or continue their behaviour.

The technology was developed by the University of North Carolina’s Reese Innovation Lab, with support from Lenovo North America, and first deployed for an American football match (University of North Carolina vs Virginia Tech) on 10 October. The kiosks, which were placed at locations such as entrances, bag-check queues and ticket offices, “worked as intended, tracking and encouraging safe behaviour”, according to Lenovo.

“These kiosks will help us better understand human behaviour and encourage safe behaviour”

“We needed real innovation to meet this unprecedented challenge, and pushing the limits of technology is at the core of our lab’s mission,” says Steven King, chief innovation officer of Reese Innovation Lab. “Engineering a technological response to Covid-19 and event-attendance restarting is a real and rewarding challenge, [and] I’m grateful for the support of UNC-Chapel Hill leadership, our exceptional and inventive students and Lenovo.”

The kiosks, which use fully anonymised data, with no images saved or transmitted, may help shape safety protocol and provide insight on how crowds behave during the coronavirus pandemic, adds King.

“We see this as the starting point of wider deployment, with opportunities to refine and customise the technology,” he explains. “From campus hallways to outdoor events, these kiosks will help us better understand human behaviour and encourage safe behaviour, and I’m excited to see how we evolve and adapt this AI-powered solution.”

 


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

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Transparent face masks let fans read lips

A number of new face-covering concepts that would allow deaf concertgoers to read the lips of masked singers have come to market in recent months.

The jury is still out on whether singing increases the risk of spreading Covid-19, but requiring artists to wear masks has been suggested as a way of reducing transmission of the virus at live performances such as concerts and rehearsals.

While transparent face masks are primarily designed for conversations, they could also allow concert attendees to read the lips of artists who are wearing a face covering. Lip reading is one of the ways deaf fans experience live music, along with reading closed captions and feeling the vibrations.

One of the new solutions is Air, a Daft Punk-like clear helmet whose manufacturer, US firm MicroClimate, says filters out 99.7% of aerosol particles.

Targeted towards air travellers, Air seals around the neck, rather than the face, and contains a battery powered fan to ensure a continuous flow of fresh air to the wearer.

“There’s no reason why the solution can’t be elegant and attractive”

According to MicroClimate founder Michael Hall, the helmets’ “unique technology [make] it feel like there is nothing in front of you while you are wearing it. This makes the experience of wearing it very comfortable.”

Air is priced at US$199 and is available to order now, with the first deliveries starting in mid-October.

A more traditional transparent face covering is being produced by Vuzair (h/t MGB), a French start-up which partnered with renowned Italian design house Pininfarina to produce a ‘Covid shield mask’ which also has the backing of the French Interministerial Committee for Disability.

Vuzair’s shield also includes a fan to draw in fresh air and expel CO2 (charging is via USB), and the device can connect to smartphones so users can make calls without having to take it off.

It is designed to be comfortable enough to wear all day, with Vuzair suggesting its main use will be in “restricted and regulated areas that must meet disability requirements, as well as in shops, museums, concert halls, restaurants, educational settings, paramedical settings and individual and collective transportation”.

Apple and the NHS have ordered transparent face coverings from ClearMask

The mask is awaiting European certification, though designers hope to have the product branded and manufactured this year.

“The world is facing a serious health concern and innovative designs need to be incorporated into the global response,” says Silvio Angori, CEO of Pininfarina. “Our challenge is to make this equipment socially acceptable to ensure no one is excluded in this new world, and to quickly, but safely, revive the entire economy.

“Vuzair understood that health and safety need to be the primary concerns in any design of this type, of course, but there’s no reason why the solution can’t be elegant and attractive.”

Other solutions include Vyzr Technologies’ BioVyzr – similar to Air, but significantly larger, forming a seal around the wearer’s chest – and Covidisor, a larger, bubble-like helmet straight out of a ’50s science-fiction film.

But for those who don’t need a built-in fan or Italian design, a number of basic clear plastic mouth coverings are also available. Companies including Apple and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) have ordered face coverings from ClearMask, a US company which in July received US Food and Drug Administration approval for the world’s first fully transparent surgical mask.

 


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

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Masks obligatory at indoor events in France

The wearing of face masks will be obligatory in all enclosed public spaces in France, including concert halls, from 1 August, as the mayor of the southern French city of Nice makes face coverings compulsory at indoor and outdoor events

Yesterday (16 July), newly appointed French prime minster Jean Castex announced that the wearing of masks will be obligatory in all enclosed public spaces, including concert halls, from the start of August.

The decision comes days after a group of doctors wrote in the newspaper Le Parisien, urging the government to increase the obligatory use of masks in the country. Masks were previously only compulsory on public transport and in some shops.

The ruling also comes after Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, mandated the compulsory wearing of face masks at all events in the city and called on the wider government to do the same, following the fallout from a perceived lack of distancing at a recent concert in the city.

“We are calling on the state to review the decree governing major events in order to impose the wearing of masks, even outdoors”

Photos from the concert, which saw French producer the Avener perform from the famous Castle Hill (la Colline du château) in Nice, sparked criticism as thousands were seen to gather together in the streets without respecting social distancing rules.

Although Estrosi confirmed that the government’s 5,000-person capacity limit had been maintained (in a space that usually caters for 36,000), he posted on Twitter that he “regretted” that distancing rules “had not been sufficiently respected”.

“We are calling on the state to review the decree governing major events in order to impose the wearing of masks, even outdoors,” wrote Estrosi, adding that mask wearing will be “obligatory from now on” at all events in the city.

Barely an hour later, French health minister Olivier Véran took to the platform to say that barrier measures, such as social distancing, “are not an option”.

“Do not hesitate to wear a mask in every situation, especially if you are not certain you can keep one metre away from others,” posted Véran, without making specific reference to the events in Nice. “It it through the good civic actions of individuals that we maintain the health of all.”

Outside of Nice, the wearing of masks will only be obligatory in indoor spaces. Events of over 5,000 people remain banned in the country.

Photo: Joao Pedro Correia/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Masks for Music aims to help cash-strapped companies

Music for Music, a new initiative that enables music professionals to market and sell face coverings, has launched to the global music industry.

Described as an affiliate solution that offers “all global music industry professionals a way to help relieve pandemic financial insecurity”, Masks for Music – the initiative of electronic music veteran Lindi Delight and partners –allows individuals, venues, artists, agencies and other music-biz customers to register for a link to sell one of three different packs of masks to their network.

The seller keeps 50% of the proceeds, with 40% (21% for packaging/production costs and 19% for “operational costs”) going to Masks for Music and 10% to music-industry charities.

“Wearing a protective mask in public is set to become more widely adopted and potentially a requirement for future music event attendees. It is great to see the Masks for Music initiative presenting a new potential income opportunity for music artists and those in the industry who wish to engage,” says Greg Marshall of the Association for Electronic Music, which has endorsed Masks for Music.

“It makes sense to buy masks in a way which supports a specific music club, artist, business or individual”

“As so many people will be purchasing protective masks over the coming months, it makes sense to buy them in a way which supports a specific music club, artist, business or individual who may be in need of financial assistance. Masks For Music’s innovative approach presents the opportunity to do just that while also supporting a number of charity options.”

Face masks and coverings have become a new revenue stream for artists and labels amid the coronavirus pandemic, with many selling branded versions featuring their logos and artwork.

“In difficult times, new ideas are what the music industry needs to survive,” says spokesperson for the Alberta Electronic Music Conference, a Masks for Music partner.

“This project is a win for artists, fans and society as a whole. We are happy to support any idea that can allow the world to flatten the curve faster, while supporting artists and music brands during this difficult time.”

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Face masks: The ticket of the future?

A French designer has come up with a novel dual-purpose for face coverings, creating the ‘Madge’, a face mask acting as a ticket for live shows and a name tag, or badge, for those running events and exhibitions.

“Given that we will all have to adapt our future events to fit new health and safety rules, let’s transform our masks and use them in useful and creative ways,” reads a post on designer Nicolas Olive’s blog.

Recent event reopening guides published by industry organisations in the US and Germany have advised the use of face coverings for all those working at and attending live events when they reopen.

“Let’s transform our masks and use them in useful and creative ways”

Each mask would be printed with a scannable bar code for contactless entry and would be colour coded to easily identify the function of the wearer, or the kind of ticket they possess.

Olive states that certain “technical and sanitary constraints” such as the printing method and re-sterilisation after printing, are still being worked out.

The designer is not the only one to explore the integration of face masks with live. Universal Music Group’s merchandising company Bravado recently released a range of charitable face coverings for acts including Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Black Sabbath, with artists such as My Chemical Romance, Korn and Megadeth also adding face masks to their merch offerings.

Photo: Nicolas Olive (CC BY 4.0) (cropped)

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Bravado launches charitable face mask range

Universal Music Group-owned merchandising company Bravado has launched a range of face masks to raise money for charity partners including MusiCares and Help Musicians UK.

As reported by IQ earlier this week, face masks are becoming must-have merchandise for music fans, with bands including My Chemical Romance and Korn added branded face coverings to their merch offerings.

Now, UMG’s merchandising arm, Bravado, has unveiled its own range of reusable, washable cloth face masks. Available on the new We’ve Got You Covered e-commerce site, Bravado’s masks feature designs for artists including the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Blackpink, Billie Eilish and the Weeknd.

Starting today (24 April), fans can purchase Bravado’s face masks for US$15. All net proceeds – no less than $8 per product sold – go towards charities supporting the music industry through the coronavirus crisis.

“This initiative will continue to grow and evolve thanks to the hard work from everyone here at Bravado and UMG along with our artists across the globe”

“I’m humbled and grateful to work with artists and partners who are passionate and driven to deliver a program that supports those that need it most during this unprecedented time,” comments Bravado CEO, Mat Vlasic.

“This initiative will continue to grow and evolve thanks to the hard work from everyone here at Bravado and UMG along with our artists across the globe.”

All UMG employees have been offered free face masks through the We’ve Got You Covered programme.

The company will also contribute 50,000 masks to those serving communities across the US including workers in food banks, school lunch programmes, homeless shelters and other community service providers.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Face masks become must-have music merch

Music and sports brands are capitalising on the growing popularity of face masks, with bands including My Chemical Romance, Korn and Megadeth, and the US’s National Basketball Association (NBA), among those to have begun producing their own cloth face coverings.

Though the WHO says face masks only need be worn by those symptomatic with Covid-19, or caring for those who are, many countries, including the US, are now recommending non-medical face coverings be worn in public. Among those responding to the demand are the NBA and its sister league, the Women’s NBA (WNBA), which announced on Friday it would donate all proceeds from its new masks to charities Feeding America (US) and Second Harvest (Canada).

“As a global community, we can all play a role in reducing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic by following the CDC [Centers for Disease Control]’s recommendation to cover our nose and mouth while in public,” explains Kathy Behrens, the NBA’s president of social responsibility and player programmes. “Through this new product offering, NBA and WNBA fans can adhere to these guidelines while joining in the league’s efforts to aid those who have been directly affected by Covid-19.”

In the music world, thrash metal act Megadeth are sending their fans face masks featuring the band’s Vic Rattlehead mascot, while post-hardcore band Thursday are repurposing existing merch to create masks, the sales of which will go towards making more. Nu-metallers Korn, meanwhile, created masks featuring their logo in early March, which quickly sold out. Fans can now pre-order a new batch set for release on 8 May.

According to trade body Licensing International, the NBA “opened the licensing floodgates” to branded face masks

Recently reformed emo heroes My Chemical Romance will release their masks – originally created for a show in the desert that never materialised – on 29 May, donating all proceeds to the Covid-19 relief fund established by Grammys charity MusiCares.

“We are living in strange times, alienating times, scary times,” reads a statement from the band. “These masks were the brainchild of our beloved Lauren Valencia, who died before this madness, not of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the older evil that is cancer. We had these masks made to keep you dust-free in the desert, a show that never happened, never will – a protection that then seemed timeworn.

“And here we are, with these masks, as though Lauren was prescient or we were unknowingly waiting for the right time…”

Valencia, the band’s longtime manager, died last year.

According to US trade body Licensing International (LIMA), the NBA/WNBA masks – along with the launch of MaskClub.com, featuring masks with the Batman logo, Hello Kitty, Care Bears, Scooby-Doo and others – “opened the licensing floodgates” to branded face masks, with more launches expected in the near future.

LIMA’s Global Licensing Survey 2019 found music merchandise sales were worth nearly US$3.5bn worldwide last year.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.