IQ launches Recovery Sessions webinars
IQ today announces the launch of the Recovery Sessions, a new monthly series of half-day webinars that will keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening.
Starting 13 May, the Recovery Sessions will invite key principals from across the business, as well as science, technology and health and safety professionals, to present the latest advances, updates and information around live music’s post-pandemic recovery.
Topics covered will include the latest Covid-19 mitigation strategies, market comparisons, updates on vaccines and testing, reopening schedules, new technology and recent pilots and tests, while Q&As will feature leading scientists, epidemiologists and other health experts, as well as industry heads.
The Recovery Sessions will run for an initial six sessions and continue as long as there is a need for them. All Recovery Sessions events will be free to access for IQ subscribers, with the webinars taking place here on the IQ site.
“Recovery Sessions will promote an industry-led, coherent approach with joined-up thinking”
“During ILMC in March 2021 it became very clear that there are varying points of view, as well as a degree of difference in the level of approach, to solving the issues that the pandemic has presented,” says IQ editor Gordon Masson, “and with developments happening so quickly, and guidance and protocols being updated so swiftly, there is a need for a regular single reference point that brings everything together.
“Recovery Sessions will promote an industry-led, coherent approach with joined-up thinking that will be so critical to reopening in a functional and efficient manner.”
The first four Recovery Sessions events will take place on 13 May, 17 June, 15 July and 12 August.
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Hots announces IQ Focus and artist showcase live stream
IQ and Hungarian Oncoming Tunes (Hots) will launch the next phase of the partnership by shining a spotlight on the best of the Hungarian market with a special IQ Focus session and a livestreamed gig showcasing the hottest domestic talent.
The hour-long panel, dubbed ‘Hungarian music: In the Hots seat’, will be broadcast live this Thursday (28 January) at 4 pm GMT featuring an all-star cast cherrypicked from all corners of the Hungarian music industry.
Saya Noé (artist), Szonja Ferenczi (manager), Zoltan Jakab (agent at Doomstar Bookings, The Devil’s Trade), Máté Horváth (promoter at New Beat, Dürer Kert, 3S Music Management) and Lucia Nagyova from Hots will make up this Thursday’s panel.
In the meantime, a slate of Hungary’s most promising rising artists will take to the virtual stage for the showcase, Hots Presents, which will broadcast live this Tuesday (26th January) at 4 pm GMT.
Hots Presents will showcase performances from Saya Noé, Deva, The Devil’s Trade and OIEE
Hots Presents will showcase performances from Saya Noé, Deva, The Devil’s Trade and OIEE. Set a reminder for Hots Presents on Facebook.
The partnership with the Hungarian music export office launched last October with a Spotify playlist presenting some of the most promising domestic artists including Platon Karataev (pictured), The Devil’s Trade, Deva, Mongooz and the Magnet, Fran Palermo and more. Listen to the Hots x IQ playlist below:
The Hots playlist was complemented by a feature on the Hungarian market in IQ94, titled Magyar Choice: What’s hot in Hungary.
Since launching 2016, Hots has brought Hungarian acts to festivals including Eurosonic Noorderslag in the Netherlands, Primavera Sound in Spain, Liverpool Sound City in the UK, Tallinn Music Week in Estonia, Zandari Festa in Seoul, and Reeperbahn Festival in Germany.
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SoundCzech reveals panellists for IQ Focus
IQ and SoundCzech are launching the next phase of the partnership with an hour-long IQ Focus session, shining a spotlight on the best of the Czech market.
The partnership with the Czech music export office launched in September with a Spotify playlist featuring a myriad of promising domestic acts, including Cult of Fire, Amelie Siba, The Ghost of You, Chief Bromden, Kalle and more, and was followed by a feature on the Czech market in IQ93.
The panel will be broadcast live this Thursday (10 December) at 4 pm GMT, featuring an all-star lineup from Czech’s music industry.
SoundCzech’s Naray Marton will be joined by Barbora Šubrtová (pictured), Metronome Festival Prague and United Islands of Prague; David Urban, founder of D Smack U Promotion; and Floex, clarinettist, composer and multimedia artist.
Barbora Šubrtová is head of programme at Metronome Festival Prague, an open-air event which takes place annually in Prague at the end of June. Since the first edition in 2016, Šubrtová has booked artists including Iggy Pop, Sting, Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers, David Byrne, Foals, Kasabian, Tom Odell, John Cale, Faithless and DJ Solomun.
Šubrtová has booked artists including Iggy Pop, Sting, Massive Attack, The Chemical Brothers, David Byrne and Foals
She’s also worked for United Islands of Prague festival since 2008, booking artists including Ella Eyre, Aloe Black, Audiobullys, East India Youth and Garden City Movement. Between festivals, she works continuously in production, cultural events services and on promoted Exit Music concert series.
Šubrtová is joined by David Urban, founder of D Smack U Promotion, an agency which has become an integral part of the Czech music scene over the past two decades. D Smack U is responsible for bringing major artists to Czech Republic including Queens of the Stone Age, Editors, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Pixies; organising the legendary Jelení příkop festival; and helping with Rock for People, Rock for Churchill, and Grape festival in Slovakia.
Urban is also behind the Planet Festival project and represents bands such as Skyline and The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, as well as The Subways and Parov Stelar Band in the Czech market. He was awarded Personality of The Year at the Nouvelle Prague Awards three consecutive years.
The panel will be completed by Floex, also known as Tomáš Dvořák, a clarinettist, composer and multimedia artist from Prague. Dvořák’s moniker is a combination of the different worlds ‘float’, ‘flex’ and ‘experiment’ – reflecting his uniquely atmospheric tracks, in which he explores the possibilities of coexistence between electronic and acoustic sound worlds. Floex released his last album under Mercury KX in collaboration with Tom Hodge.
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IQ Focus highlights live music’s Lost Causes
The Lost Causes: Campaigners & Advocacy, the 11th IQ Focus virtual panel and the first following last week’s break, caught up with industry pros whose work advocating for mental health, accessibility and diversity has been put on hold by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chaired by FanFair Alliance’s Adam Webb, yesterday’s discussion – the first in a series of ‘Lost Causes’ panels – welcomed Francine Gorman, outreach coordinator at Keychange; Jacob Sylvester Bilabel of Green Music Initiative; Natalie Wade, founder of Small Green Shoots; Attitude is Everything’s head of volunteering and skills development, Paul Hawkins; and Musica Therapy’s Sital Panesar to find out what they’d been doing during live music’s shutdown – and how their work continues when it returns.
Wade expressed a typical view when she said Small Green Shoots – a charity which aims to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds engage with music and the arts – went from being “on the crest of the wave” at the start of 2020 to “everything being cancelled this summer”, meaning “no one could finish their projects”.
Similarly, said Hawkins, “the aim for 2020 was to be one big 20th-anniversary celebration” for accessibility charity Attitude is Everything. “The one positive we’ve got is that a 21st birthday still sounds like something worth celebrating!” he joked.
Panesar said the worldwide lockdowns in March weighed heavily on the industry’s mental health, as “people lost their coping mechanisms”. “Alongside the additional pressures of being in lockdown, that really compounds difficulties,” she said.
For disabled people, Hawkins added, the pandemic has had a “huge impact on people who don’t like to think of themselves as vulnerable”.
Bilabel said March “felt like a car crash in slow motion”, but the live music industry – and everyone working in it – will ultimately come through the other side
Gorman spoke of the importance of “building back better” when touring and festivals do resume. “Representation is a massive part of that conversation,” she explained. “There are all kinds of voices and they deserved to be sustained in the industry, at every kind of level.”
“We want to make sure that when live music does start again, disabled people have the same opportunities as any other talented people,” Hawkins added.
Bilabel said March “felt like a car crash in slow motion”, but emphasised that the live music industry – and everyone working in it – will ultimately come through the other side.
“Some companies will die, but the people behind them won’t,” he explained. “And the demand for culture – for festivals, for music, for cinema – will be even bigger than it is today.”
The return of live, added Wade, is a chance for “people to say yes” to new opportunities. “It’s so easy to say no, because there’s less work. But I want people to take a chance, to say, ‘Yes, maybe we can help you – let’s get behind it.’”
Lost no more: Campaigners take centre stage as IQ Focus returns
After taking a week off last week, IQ’s popular virtual panel series, IQ Focus, returns this Thursday, inviting six new panellists to shine a light on worthy causes which have taken a back seat during the Covid-19 crisis.
Before Covid-19, a wide range of advocacy work was centred around live music, from campaigns to improve gender diversity in line-ups and accessibility for disabled customers to environmental projects and drives around recruitment, inclusion and mental health.
But what have experts and practitioners in these areas been doing since live music shut down? And when music events do return, against an uncertain economic backdrop is there a risk that their important work will be diminished?
The Lost Causes: Campaigners & Advocacy counts the broader cost of the business interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic
The first in a new series of ‘Lost Causes’ discussions invites Francine Gorman, outreach coordinator at Keychange; Jacob Sylvester Bilabel of Green Music Initiative; Natalie Wade, founder of Small Green Shoots; Attitude is Everything’s head of volunteering and skills development, Paul Hawkins; Musica Therapy’s Sital Panesar; and chair Adam Webb (FanFair Alliance) to counts the broader cost of the business interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
As with previous sessions, The Lost Causes: Campaigners & Advocacy will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. To set a reminder for Thursday 13 August’s session, head to IQ’s Facebook or YouTube pages now.
IQ Focus: The Top 10 sessions so far
Since launching IQ Focus, a weekly series of livestreamed panels that debuted in May, we’ve been inviting heavyweights from the international live music business to discuss issues ranging from the trials and tribulations of a pandemic to the systemic racism brought to light by Blackout Tuesday, and everything in between.
But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. The Innovation Session, for example, heard panellists discuss the flurry of innovation, fledgeling business models, and new ideas that have come out of the coronavirus crisis. Staying Safe & Sane During Covid presented expert opinions on how to protect the mental health and wellbeing of music professionals and artists. What all these sessions have had in common is a sense of optimism, opportunity and determination, as our industry forges ahead into the unknown.
This week we’re taking some time off from IQ Focus, but in the meantime, please enjoy our top ten sessions from the past couple of months and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive notifications about future IQ Focus sessions.
Hosted by ILMC head Greg Parmley, a panel comprising Europe’s festival elite discuss the collapse of this year’s festival season, as well as predictions for the next. Jim King (AEG Presents), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio), Rachael Greenfield (Bloodstock Open Air), Anders Wahren (Roskilde Festival) and Mathieu Jaton (Montreux Jazz Festival) update us on how they’re coping in unprecedented circumstances; what lessons have been learned, which challenges have been faced and crucially, what the road to recovery looks like.
The Covid-19 crisis has presented significant challenges for both multinational agencies and boutique outfits. From juggling investors to dealing with a hiatus from touring, agencies are being forced to reflect on how their companies are structured and seek new opportunities and creative solutions. ILMC head and session chair Greg Parmley asks an all-star panel, what comes next? Guest speakers include Angus Baskerville, (13 Artists) Jules de Lattre (United Talent Agency), Maria May (Creative Artists Agency) and Tom Schroeder (Paradigm Talent Agency).
For IQ‘s third focus session, John Langford, COO of AEG Europe, invites leading venue professionals to discuss strategies for weathering the storm, what the key learnings have been so far, and what emerging from life under lockdown might look like. Guest speakers include Lucy Noble (Royal Albert Hall / National Arena Association – UK), Olivier Toth (Rockhal / European Arena Association – Luxembourg), Oliver Hoppe (Wizard Promotions – Germany), Tom Lynch (ASM Global – UK), Lotta Nibell (GOT Event – Sweden).
While the catastrophic impact of Covid-19 continues to resonate throughout live music, the halt in normal business is seeing a flurry of innovation, fledgeling business models, and new ideas. From an explosion in livestreaming to virtual performances and meet & greets, 3D venues, gaming and tipping, what green shoots are rising from this current situation? Mike Malak, senior agent at Paradigm Talent Agency chairs our fourth IQ Focus session and invites a line-up of free-thinkers and ground-breakers.
Across the touring world, independent promoters face similar challenges when looking ahead to business post-Covid-19. While this current period presents many unique challenges for this creative and entrepreneurial sector, it’s one of many pressures they face. So what’s the state of play in Europe, South America and India? And what alternative show formats, and business models are independent promoters adopting to stay ahead? CAA’s Emma Banks hosts the session to ask, as the industry emerges from its current crisis, where the opportunities might lie?
We’re midway through what would have been this year’s festival season, and it’s a summer like no other. But are we midway through the crisis, or is there still further to go before the festival sector can confidently progress into 2021? With a number of Government support packages in place, and much of this year’s line ups transplanted to next year, how confident are promoters feeling about next year, and are artists and audiences ready to return? IQ editor Gordon Masson hosts this discussion with guest speakers including Cindy Castillo (Mad Cool Festival – ES), John Giddings (Isle of Wight Festival / Solo Agency – UK), Stefan Lehmkuhl (Goodlive – DE), Codruta Vulcu (ARTmania Festival – RO).
One of the hardest-hit areas of the business, grassroots music venues may well also be the first to emerge from the current crisis over the coming weeks and months. Across Europe, the fate of these vital stages on which talent is born and grown, is mixed, with some facing closure. How are our small venues being protected by the organisations and industry around them, and what still needs to be done? And once their doors are open again, how different will gig going be?
Blackout Tuesday brought the industry to a standstill and thrust the topic of diversity in the music business back into view. So just what challenges do black promoters, agents and managers face, and what’s needed to counter systemic racism both within the business, in performance spaces and touring markets? Our next IQ Focus session will ask how changes can be made, and the current momentum can be maintained over the months and years ahead.
With the bulk of artists dependent on live music revenue and audience connection, the Covid-19 crisis has decimated livelihoods. But what does it mean for their managers – the individuals thrown into salvaging campaigns, rescheduling tours, interpreting contractual changes and navigating the most uncertain of futures? How are their own businesses faring? And what do they see as the challenges – and hopefully opportunities – ahead for the live sector, in what we are all optimistically calling the “new normal”.
Staying Safe & Sane During Covid considered how to best protect the mental health and wellbeing of music professionals and artists alike who are juggling disruption to working conditions, employment & financial concerns, a difficult global outlook and more. Chaired by Stacey Pragnell at ATC Live, the conversation featured Lollapalooza Berlin promoter Stefan Lehmkuhl (Goodlive), MITC founder Tamsin Embleton, tour manager Andy Franks (Music Support) and the CEO of mental health and wellbeing festival Getahead, Jenni Cochrane.
IQ Focus: Tech pros chart a way forward for concerts
The most recent edition of IQ Focus brought together representatives from some of live music’s leading technology, production and venue companies to shine a light on the various technological solutions helping to get concerts back on the road while Covid-19 is still a threat.
The Technology of a Pandemic, streamed live at 4pm yesterday (30 June), saw chair Steve Machin (LiveFrom.Events) invite Adam Goodyer of Realife Tech (formerly LiveStyled), Brigitte Fuss of Megaforce, Seats.io’s Joren De Wachter, ASM Global’s John Sharkey and Paul Twomey of Biosecurity Systems to discuss the technologies and systems that will allow venues to function at their peak until a coronavirus vaccine is found.
After a round of introductions, Sharkey showed a video demonstrating the concept behind ASM’s VenueShield hygiene system, as well as its successful trial at ASM’s VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, with an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event on 9 May.
“For us, the key thing is, we need to understand that we do have a viable business to come back to,” he commented, “and that it has to work to generate confidence, not just the back of house and in front of house but with our staff and everybody coming through our buildings.”
That’s especially true, he added, “whenever we are going to be changing to suit the jurisdictions that we operate in, and also the changing state and cycle of where we are in dealing with the virus.”
Moving onto social distancing, Machin suggested that “in seated venues maybe it’s somewhat easier because you can run different seat maps” and other solutions to put space between guests, but “social distancing in [standing] venues is hard.”
“The real challenge, as I see it, is making sure that customers stick to the rules,” he added.
“Regulators all saw things differently after September 11. I think the same thing is true for biosecurity with Covid-19”
For any person involved in producing live events currently, the ability to be flexible is key, said De Wachter. “There are certain things we can’t control: We don’t know when a second wave will hit a particular place, we don’t know what authorities will do… so what you need to do from the technology perspective is have this flexibility that allows you to react quickly to changing situations.”
“Covid-19 is just one of five or six diseases we’ve had which have been epidemics, if not pandemics, over the last 15 to 20 years, and we can expect to see that happen again,” commented Twomey, emphasising that events must prepare for outbreaks of other diseases in future.
“I think that the challenges for events, organisers and facilities is to make the investment now – not just for this infection, but the future ones,” he continued, adding that the coronavirus pandemic is as much of a turning point for venue safety as the events of 11 September 2001.
“The comparison with September 11 is pretty clear: there was terrorism before, there was terrorism after, but the consumers and the governments and the regulators all saw things differently after September 11. I think the same thing is true for biosecurity with Covid-19. Everything is different now, so even after we get some improvement with vaccines, etc., in the next couple years, I think it’s still important people make the investment in the sorts of facilities, equipment and solutions that consumers are going to keep looking for.”
Fuss, who also represents disinfecting company ATDS Europe, revealed that ATDS has a solution to ensure that cases of equipment brought into venues or festivals are Covid-19 free.“We have a hygiene gate which can be placed directly at the truck’s loading dock, so when the cases go out they go directly through this disinfection shower,” she explained.
Fuss also spoke on the track-and-trace system already in operation in Germany, which could be adapted to allow venues to reopen without social distancing, as they already have in places like Korea. In Germany, “we already have small events, and if you go there or if you are on the guest list you have to write down your name, your address and your your phone number or email, so that in case of Covid-19 we can follow you up and see who had contact with you,” she said.
“People want to be able to enjoy events again. If they’re willing to share their data, it’s genuinely a good thing”
Coronavirus aside, said Goodyer, this level of data capture is something venues “should be striving for anyway”. “But the reason to do it has now changed,” he continued, “and people want to be able to enjoy events again. If they’re willing to do that [share their details] – and we’re doing it across all of our portfolio – it’s genuinely a good thing.
“And we’re seeing that fans are happy to do it when it’s clearly explained and that they know their data is being held securely and privately.”
“We have to rebuild trust with people who want to go to events, so that they know that they will be safe,” added De Wachter, “and the same is true for their data and for their whereabouts. I don’t think we can wait for a vaccine, because it’s going be too long: we need to get people back into events and to rebuild that relationship now.”
“I think the way we communicate about all of this is going to be absolutely key,” he concluded. “We need to make sure that people know that they can trust event organisers that the right thing will be done. […] There’s going to be a need for a massive amount of increased transparency, in how ticket buyers are being treated before, after and during the event.
“It’s a human business, and in human businesses, in order to build trust, you need to communicate as much as possible.”
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.
Interactive Festival Forum: IFF goes virtual for 2020
In light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, this year’s International Festival Forum will be held online format as the first Interactive Festival Forum (iFF), organisers have announced.
IFF, the leading global platform for booking agents and festival bookers, is traditionally held in London in early autumn, as conversations about next year’s festival line-ups begin. However, amid continued concern over the spread of Covid-19, the sixth IFF will become the debut iFF, streaming live on 2 and 3 September 2020.
“We’ve left the decision as late as possible, but with ongoing restrictions around Covid-19 in place taking IFF online this year was the only option,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley.
“Fortunately, with so many vital topics to discuss right now, this new format allows more professionals than ever to participate in the conversation.”
The new iFF will invite hundreds of festival and agency professionals from around the world to congregate for two days of discussion, networking and festival booking.
“With so many vital topics to discuss right now, this new format allows more professionals than ever to participate in the conversation”
While attendance at IFF is typically limited by its invitation-only attendance policy and restrictions in physical venue capacity, this year’s virtual edition means colleagues and professionals from around the world can congregate in larger numbers.
The iFF conference programme will cover the breadth of the international festival scene, from artist development and the roles of agents to sector recovery ideas and new income streams. Alongside the discussion and workshops, meanwhile, will sit the ever-popular iFF networking lounge and targeted speedmeetings for new introductions.
The provisional iFF 2020 schedule is online now, with details of all panels, workshops, quickfire Soapbox Sessions, networking events and more.
In order to allow as many people as possible to attend this unique, one-off edition of IFF, tickets are priced at £50 for both festivals and agents. Click here to register or for more information on iFF 2020 tickets.
The sold-out IFF 2019 took place in Camden, London, last 24–26 September.
Tales from Covid: Yves Pierre, ICM Partners
As the coronavirus crisis continues to exert its impact on the live industry, IQ builds on its Tales from Covid series to discuss the opportunities for change that have started to emerge from lockdown life.
Ahead of this week’s IQ Focus session, Beyond Rhetoric: Race in Live Music, IQ catches up with panellist and ICM Partners agent Yves Pierre (Migos, Lil Yachty, Baby Rose, City Girls), to talk about the urgent steps the industry needs to take to tackle systemic racism and the new revenue models and opportunities that have emerged from the coronavirus shutdown.
IQ:It’s been a really tough few months for the live business. What has changed from a business point of view over the past few months?
YP:My role, in its essence, hasn’t really changed. I still offer the same service – looking for new business opportunities and getting creative. It requires the same mindset. Although the format is different, we are still tasked with presenting our clients with the best information possible.
The difference is, obviously, that we are going from live models to the various virtual platforms that are coming out now. We are having to explore different pieces of technology and need to be really well versed in everything to understand what we stand to make and all the different revenue avenues, such as merch packages and other bundles.
What we need is to develop an accurate strategy with those livestreaming companies and work with different promoters on that side of things to work out what we consider the business model to be.
“We need to factor in these [virtual] opportunities as an added piece of income that we never would have normally accessed”
Do you foresee virtual shows becoming a revenue-driver for acts in the long term?
I think there will always be a place for virtual events after this but maybe in not quite so prevalent a way as now. There’s no denying, though, that we need to factor in these opportunities as an added piece of income that we never would have normally accessed.
There’s no perfect model for online events yet. YouTube and Fortnite have been an early frontrunners, but we are going to see everything level up.
I am still figuring out the basics to judge how much people are willing to pay for various online events, how many people certain platforms can withstand, which kinds of formats require large overheads. It’s all still being tweaked and we are certainly not in a position yet to say which is best.
An interesting format I have tried with one of my artists, Lil Yachty, was an online paint and chat with a group at a university. This took him out of his comfort zone and allowed one on one engagement with fans – and it proved really interactive.
When live shows do return, what do you foresee as the main challenges?
I think it is going to be the mental aspect we’re going to have to work around. As an agent, I need to try and think as a consumer and think how comfortable I’d be in enclosed spaces with lots of people.
Mentally, this situation is taking a toll and the fear of there being another wave, and what that will mean, is massive. We are really going to have to step outside of this and look at the perspective of the consumer to figure out whether they’re ready.
There’s also the economic aspect – how much are people going to be able to pay for a show? A lot of people have lost their jobs, or been laid off and furloughed. There is a big economic element to think about, but we will have to deal with the emotional side first.
“Any large struggle and conflict can be the birth of change, and you’re not using your time wisely if this is not the case”
How do you foresee the industry recovering from this?
Sadly, it’s just going to take time. You could implement all the safeguarding measures you want, but time is what we need. I believe we can look this as a chance to reset, rather than view it as a loss. We have to be willing to pivot and try and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
The business absolutely will change after this. We’ve already seen the beginning of Live Nation’s plans for the future, of course. Everyone is going to have to take a step back and reevaluate what things will look like.
We have realised content is king now. More than ever, we have to focus on what the artists are going to go for.
The key will be finding a way to engage with fans that aren’t in a venue. Being there in real life is not the be all and end. There is a world of opportunity online, we’ve realised that you have to look at all possible options.
I’ve certainly found this to be a great opportunity to look at different ways of doing things. Any large struggle and conflict can be the birth of change, and you’re not using your time wisely if this is not the case.
One push for change in the industry has been highlighted in particular in recent weeks, what now needs to be done to tackle racism and increase diversity in the live business?
There is a myriad of things on several levels that must be done. Heads of departments and those with the power in this industry need to partake in actual engagement with community. There is no value in giving money when people have no clue what money is used for. There needs to be real conversations with communities or advocates for those communities to obtain real information on where to donate.
Partnering with local communities will also help people gain the understanding of what it is like to live with discrimination.
“We need to able to hold those in charge accountable, and for them to be willing to be held accountable”
Within the industry there are so many examples of discrimation towards Afro-American clients and workers. For example, the security measures that are taken against hip hop artists would not be implemented for other acts. This is unconscious bias. Some venues ban hip-hop completely – it’s a bias, and allowing that to happen is a bias. There is no sensitivity to what that feels like as an agent and as a client. All these things play a part in the problem.
As well as community engagement, representation of Black people at executive level is needed. Having one Black person on an executive board isn’t enough. It feels like an exception, and that’s not parity. We constantly have to raise ourselves to a diff standard to our non African-American colleagues. We have to commit to making sure there are more of us in a role and that goes for all people of colour in business in general.
We need equity in more than name and, until we get there, then there’s a problem. We are in a position where this is something that has to be led by African-Americans in these spaces, but our colleagues have to work with us. We can demand these things but, at end of the day, they are implemented by someone else. So we need a concrete commitment by these leading companies.
Are you hopeful that now is the time for long-lasting positive change?
I really hope so, but we also have to see more evidence. People have to be putting themselves on the line. This isn’t for us – in the long run, it’s not about us. It’s about the people around us and those coming after us.
We need these things to be implemented now. We need to able to hold those in charge accountable, and for them to be willing to be held accountable. Not wanting to feel guilty is not enough, and we have to be clear that words and stated intentions are not enough.
We need change and we need to be part of the process we are to achieve this.
Living the stream: IQ 90 out now
IQ 90, the latest, fully digital edition of IQ Magazine, focuses on the two biggest issues of the past few months – the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement.
As most people continue to work from home due to the coronavirus crisis, IQ Magazine has moved to digital and will be delivered monthly for the time being, as a response to feedback on the need for more news, analysis and information.
In the midst of the first global pandemic of the 21st century, IQ editor Gordon Masson muses that, perhaps, the decade starting 2020 may be remembered for more noble reasons: the fight to root out and properly tackle systemic racism.
The new issue of the magazine includes analysis and expert commentary on the matter of racism in the music industry, as well as a list of educational resources and relevant organisations to support.
Readers are also reminded of the upcoming IQ Focus panel, Beyond Rhetoric: Race in Live Music, which airs at 4 p.m.BST/5 p.m. CET on Thursday (25 June), which will look at issues of racism within the live business.
IQ 90 focuses on the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement
Although many nations are embarking on tentative reopening plans, live events as we know them have not yet returned and, in a move characteristic of the live industry’s creativity, new kinds of events have started to emerge. IQ 90 takes an in-depth look at Laura Marling’s recent behind-closed-doors concerts to talk about the mechanics, benefits and economics of audience-less gigs.
Other successful shutdown formats analysed in the magazine include BTS’ recent Bang Bang Con: The Live concert, which garnered upwards of 750,000 viewers, making it the most-attended paid virtual concert in history; Lewis Capaldi’s DICE TV home gig and Twitch’s extended-reality broadcast of Dutch DJ duo W&W.
Issue #90 also sees the launch of the Green Guardians Guide, an annual initiative that IQ is developing along with the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) to shine a light on the companies, organisations and individuals working tirelessly to make touring and live entertainment a more sustainable place.
The live market in India is put under the microscope, too, as Adam Woods explains why the country has the greatest potential of any relatively untapped touring market in the world.
The issue also comes filled with some regular features, such as the New Signings page; Unsung Hero section, which looks at Viktor Trifu, technical director of Exit Festival, one of the only major festivals to go ahead this year; and an old favourite, Your Shout, with live event professionals sharing their most bizarre festival moment.
As always, most content from the magazine will appear online in some form over the next few months. However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe now.