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Rockhal hosts its biggest pilot concerts yet

Luxembourg’s Rockhal (cap. 6,500) is scaling up its pilot concerts from 100 to 600 people per night as part of the Because Music Matters initiative.

The initiative initially launched in February with five nights of pilot concerts, limited to 100 people each night.

The second round of Because Music Matters launched on Friday 21 May when an audience of 600 tested people watched Luxembourgish artist Serge Tonnar perform in Rockhal’s main hall.

In addition to the sanitary measures in place – which included physical distancing (between groups of up to 4 people) and mandatory wearing of masks – each attendee was required to undergo a PCR or a free antigen test before the concert, as well as a second (PCR) test a few days later.

The venue is once again working with Luxembourg’s Health Inspection and the ministries of culture and health.

“I am hopeful that events like this will help to build towards a model that can be further scaled”

“After more than a year without higher capacity live events, pilot concerts like our Because Music Matters series and other pilot and test events that have been taking place across Europe, are an important and positive step forward in showcasing the safety measures we can employ to support our back to business strategies,” says Olivier Toth, CEO of the Rockhal.

“Building confidence amongst all our stakeholders that live events are a safe environment is so important. It felt great to have our main hall vibrate with the sound of live music and a cheerful crowd. We are grateful for the enthusiasm and participation of both artists and audience, which is a real show of support for our sector.

“As the name of the project suggests, music really does play an essential role in people’s well-being. I am hopeful that events like this, together with other pilot concerts that are taking place throughout Europe, will help to build towards a model that can be further scaled as our industry works towards a safe and sustainable return of live events.”

The second round of Because Music Matters will continue at Rockhal this Friday (4 June) with a performance from Luxembourg’s Remo Cavallini which will take place in the same way as the Serge Tonnar concert.

Pilot projects have taken place in markets including Germany, the UK, Spain, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. See an extensive list of live music experiments here.

 


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Unsung Heroes 2020: #feedourcrew

Unsung Heroes 2020, published in IQ 95 this month, is a tribute to some of the organisations and individuals who have gone above and beyond to help others during a year unlike any other – be that through their efforts to protect the industry, or helping those who were in desperate need.

We turned to the readership and asked you to nominate worthy causes and personalities for consideration as the inaugural members of our Unsung Heroes awards. Now, IQ can reveal the dozen most voted Unsung Heroes of 2020, starting with South Africa’s #feedourcrew.


Established just after lockdown in April 2020, #feedourcrew’s objective is to provide temporary support, through food vouchers, to technical and casual event crew personnel across South Africa. Founding members Tamsyn Strydom (MGG Productions), Kagiso Moima Wa Masimini (Black Motion Productions), Marcia Alves (We Are Boundless) and Daria Higgins (True North Events) wanted to assist the members of their teams who contribute tirelessly towards creating memorable events, but as freelance technical staff were unable to access any form of relief funds or grants.

Almost all 526 freelancers assisted to date are the sole breadwinners in their families and rely heavily on a normally robust industry for their livelihoods. That, however, changed when the strict lockdown rules were introduced in South Africa, leaving hundreds of crew members without any income.

#feedourcrew has raised ZAR344,564 (€18,684) and has paid out ZAR333,500 (€18,084), with 122 applicants still on the waiting list

To date, #feedourcrew has raised ZAR344,564 (€18,684) and has paid out ZAR333,500 (€18,084), with 122 applicants still on the waiting list for help. As the live industry begins to get back to business in SA, #feedourcrew has partnered with organisations such as the Kagiso Education Fund, which provides on-the-job stagehand training for students aged 18-30 through various industry partners. It also develops community arts space for young people, women, and people living with disabilities.

In August, #feedourcrew also gave birth to #flightcasemovement in an effort to unite members from the live events and technical production sectors. On behalf of those working in the business, #flightcasemovement hand-delivered a memorandum of demands to South Africa’s Department of Sports, Arts & Culture (DSAC) in response to the devastating effect that the government’s prohibition on gatherings has had on the live events industry.

Founded by Kagiso Moima Wa Masimini, Tamsyn Strydom, Aubrey Ndaba (Tech Forum), Sizwe Mokoena (Ugqozi Entertainment), and freelance production manager Lefa Tsiane, #flightcasemovement is providing the live events production community with a vehicle to lobby politicians and give a voice to the sector.

“It is not unusual for crews to work up to 36 hours in a row with no rest… we need to change that”

Among its early activities, the organisation was able to participate in and present the findings of a survey conducted by media group Sun Circle, examining the impact Covid-19 has had on the business and the people who depend upon it.

As a result, #flightcasemovement’s memorandum of demands to the government includes:

On the final point, #flightcasemovement is hoping DSAC will help it draw up guidelines for a sustainable plan to best support the industry and to start the process of regulation within the production business. “While we are one of the strictest industries worldwide in terms of health and safety, there is no regulation on the hours worked in South Africa and it is not unusual for crews to work up to 36 hours in a row with no rest,” states Lefa Tsiane. “We need to change that.”

 


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