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

Live entertainment giants call for US federal aid

A coalition of some the country’s leading promoters, show producers and venue managers have written to the US federal government to request an aid package specifically for the live entertainment business.

According to Billboard in the US, which has seen a copy of the letter, the 19 signatories – which include the likes of Live Nation, AEG, Feld Entertainment and arena operator VenuWorks – are asking for the Paycheck Protection Program [sic] to be extended to entertainment companies with 500 or fewer employees, as well loans for medium-sized businesses under existing programmes including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Main Street Lending scheme.

“Our businesses were the first to close and will be the last to reopen,” reads the letter, dated April 2020, which is also signed by the Broadway League, Spectra Venue Management and the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).

“Without immediate financial assistance, the future of the public entertainment and event industry is in question. Accordingly, Congress must act now to address the severe impact that governmental closures orders have had on this industry.”

“Congress must act now to address the severe impact that governmental closures orders have had on this industry”

The situation is particularly urgent given that many business are struggling to obtain pay-outs from insurance claims for loss of earnings – a phenomenon also being experienced by their colleagues in France and the UK. “Many insurance carriers have pre-emptively asserted that property damage and event cancellation policies will not provide coverage related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter states.

Insurers and brokers, in partnership with Congress, must therefore establish ‘business recovery fund’ for the entertainment industry, it continues, “modelled on the 9-11 victims fund, to aid the businesses and their employees that were forced to shut down due to Covid-19, and will continue to struggle even after the economy restarts”.

The signatories are also requesting that authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Emergency Management Association establish a working group with members of the entertainment industry “to put forth voluntary guidelines that can be implemented by venues”. Companies that comply with these guidelines “should receive protection from Covid-19-related lawsuits,” they add.

The group is the second live entertainment association to lobby the US Congress for financial assistance, following the newly formed National Independent Venue Association earlier this month.

 


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.

Kid Rock renames tour following Feld lawsuit

Kid Rock has rebranded his upcoming Greatest Show on Earth tour under legal pressure from Feld Entertainment.

Feld, which owns the trademark ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, sued Kid Rock (real name Robert James Richie) and the tour’s promoter, Live Nation, just before Christmas, alleging the name of the tour dilutes and infringes on its “famous trademark”.

As first spotted by Amplify, the tour, which kicks off on 19 January, has since been quietly renamed – one of Feld’s demands – to the American Rock ’n Roll tour, although the question of damages and legal fees has yet to be resolved. Both ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ and ‘American Rock ’n Roll’ are songs from Richie’s latest album, Sweet Southern Sugar.

“While I firmly believe that I am entitled under the First Amendment to name my tour after my song, I have changed the tour name because I do not want this lawsuit to distract me or my fans from focusing on what is important in my upcoming tour – my music,” Richie (pictured) wrote in a declaration to the US district court for middle Florida.

Despite the name change, a spokesperson for Feld – which also demanded Richie/Live Nation turn over any revenue from merchandise featuring the disputed slogan, as well as additional unspecified damages – says the company is still planning to pursue the lawsuit, whose initial hearing is set for 9.30am on 16 January.

 


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.

Feld sues over Kid Rock’s ‘Greatest Show on Earth’

Feld Entertainment, the owner of circus company Ringling Bros, is suing Kid Rock and promoter Live Nation for trademark infringement over the name of the upcoming Greatest Show on Earth tour.

Feld claims the tour, announced in October and due to kick off at Bridgestone Arena (20,000-cap.) in Nashville on 19 January, dilutes and infringes on its “famous trademark”, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.

Its lawsuit, Feld Entertainment, Inc. et al v. Ritchie et al, was filed in the US district court for middle Florida before Christmas, and seeks to force Kid Rock – real name Robert James Richie – and Live Nation to change the name of the tour and turn over any revenue from merchandise featuring the disputed slogan, as well as additional unspecified damages.

According to Feld’s general counsel, Lisa Joiner, the company took the decision to go to the courts after “repeatedly contact[ing] defendants to obtain their cooperation to stop the infringement and [being] ignored”.

“We have authorised licensees for Ringling Bros and The Greatest Show On Earth, but Kid Rock is not one of them”

“We have authorised licensees for Ringling Bros and The Greatest Show On Earth, but Kid Rock is not one of them,” she adds.

“This historic trademark has been an important part of Ringling Bros for the past century, and it is recognised as a trusted and iconic brand of family-friendly entertainment,” says Kenneth Feld, Feld Entertainment’s chairman and CEO. “The Greatest Show on Earth continues to live on and will do so well into the future. We have no intention of surrendering the trademark or allowing it to be tarnished.”

An initial hearing is set for 9.30am on 16 January – three days before the start of the tour – with judge Mary S. Scriven presiding.

IQ celebrated Feld’s 50 years in the family entertainment spotlight with an anniversary feature in issue 70.

 


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.

Feld Entertainment: 50 years in the spotlight

The canonic view of 1967 is that it represented the high water mark of counterculture, starting with the Human Be-In in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in January and reaching its peak in June as The Beatles’ freshly minted Sgt Pepper soundtracked the Summer of Love.

Amid this cultural tumult, Feld Entertainment was born, with a focus not on the generation gap but rather on the enduring power and appeal of family entertainment. In November that year, Irvin Feld acquired circus companies Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey to set up his new entertainment company. Feld had cut his teeth in the live music business in the 1950s and managed Paul Anka for the first decade of his career, as well as touring with Bill Haley & His Comets, Chuck Berry and others. He, however, saw a different wind of opportunity blowing through America – and the world – in the 1960s.

“He had started so early in the music business and he saw that there was a big shift around 1963/1964 with the ‘British invasion’ – The Beatles, The Stones, Herman’s Hermits – and he ended up promoting all of them, but the business model had changed dramatically and the promoters [were squeezed] so the margins were less and less,” explains son Kenneth, who joined the company in 1970 and took over the running of it when his father passed away in 1984.

“He thought if he got into the family entertainment business, that children were born every year and were going to want to see these styles of entertainment”

“He thought if he got into the family entertainment business, that children were born every year and were going to want to see these styles of entertainment. So he moved out of the music business and into the circus business.”

Irvin had started promoting Ringling Bros in 1957 and ran this concurrently with his promotion of pop music – but, when the opportunity to buy Ringling a decade later appeared, he went full-time into family-centric events. “At that time, I was a student at Boston University and my summer jobs were touring, primarily in Europe in 1968 and 1969, looking for circus talent,” says Kenneth of how he joined the family firm. “When I graduated in 1970, I went to work with my father full-time.”

While many might idly joke about running away with the circus, that is what Kenneth literally did – but it was the fact that it was working for his father that was the main draw. “If he was selling shoes or something else, I would be in that business today instead of this one as I just wanted to work with him,” he says. “We had a wonderful relationship and he was a fabulous teacher. He was very patient and liked to listen to some young kid’s crazy ideas. He thought that [family entertainment] was the way to go and I think he was right.”

 


Read the rest of this feature in issue 70 of IQ Magazine


. To subscribe, click here.

Calling all sleuths: ILMC 29 is a go

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) will for the first time move to a midweek format when it returns for the 29th year next March.

The invitation-only conference, which, following last year’s classic videogame theme, will next year be a murder mystery-styled event, will take place from Tuesday 7 to Friday 10 March at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London.

The change of dates comes after a poll of ILMC members earlier this year showed overwhelming support for moving to a midweek format. “We’ve used the opportunity to expand the number of panels and workshops we can run, add more events and revamp the networking areas in the hotel to allow for more private meeting space,” says conference head Greg Parmley.

“We’ve used the opportunity to expand the number of panels and workshops we can run, add more events and revamp the networking areas in the hotel to allow for more private meeting space”

Other events to orbit the main conference include the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) and Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), both of which take place on Tuesday 7 March, and the Arthur Awards – the live music industry’s equivalent of the Oscars – which will be presented during a Gala Dinner at new venue 8Northumberland on Thursday 8 March.

ILMC 29 event partners include Live Nation, Ticketmaster, CTS Eventim, Amazon Tickets, Intellitix, Malaysia Major Events, Feld Entertainment, Showsec, .tickets and Buma Cultuur.

The new ILMC 29 website is live now.

 


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.