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Execs talk talent exodus, sales and no-shows

The live music industry’s staffing shortage, returning customer confidence and no-shows at concerts were high on the agenda in IQ’s latest Recovery Sessions event.

Chaired by the European Arenas Association Olivier Toth, the webinar explored the recovery of the arena market with the help of a heavyweight line-up of executives, including Coralie Berael (Forest National Arena), Tony Goldring (WME), Steve Homer, (AEG Presents), Hans Dhondt (Rock Werchter) and Paul Twomey (Bio Security Systems).

A key issue of debate was the loss of seasoned backstage workers to other industries during the pandemic.

“All venues and festivals are going to come together at some point and try to find their usual people, but a lot of them have left that pool,” said Berael. “We’re going to have to replace people and they’ll need training. They don’t have the necessary experience.

“The loss of talent is quite a concern. I’m not only worried about the quantity of staff, but especially the quality of staff and we are having to start a lot more upfront in finding the right people. Usually, even a week before, you can make a miracle and find the right people, but now you might need to start a lot earlier… It’s a real risk to business continuity and it’s one of the challenges that we’re facing at the moment.”

Homer suggested the issue had been exacerbated in the UK by Brexit.

“We had some issue trying to secure catering companies because they were struggling with staffing,” he said. “We’ve got a double whammy here with Brexit having an influence on people leaving the UK as well.

“There was a severe level of burnout, because we went from literally nothing in venues to almost 80/90%. People had been working for supermarkets or courier services, and then all of a sudden they’re thrown back into working full time in venues, operating as security, or stewarding, or local crew. So it’s been a tough baptism, shall we say, to come back.

“Luckily, the people that are in the industry are determined to make it successful, so a lot of people have gone the extra yard, or the extra mile in a lot of cases, to make sure that events have been happening.”

We’re quite confident for the next few months, but it will take time

Berael reported that, after a slow summer, ticket sales for shows were on the rise, with younger people especially keen to return to live events.

“Since there are a few mass events happening, we can see that the trust is growing again,” she said. “We see that in the curve of the ticket sales. It’s like people were waiting to see whether it went well, and whether there were long queues, etc. So we’re quite confident for the next few months, but it will take time.”

She added: “We communicated probably 500% more with our audience than we used to, just to make sure, in the first instance, that they knew the show was going to happen, to reassure them in a way.

“All the emails about how [the entry system was going to work] came afterwards… explaining to them and educating them about how it was going to work, so that they could already imagine the journey.”

As revealed by IQ last month, promoters have reported the rate of no-shows by ticket-holders at concerts has been far higher than usual.

“At the start of September, we were experiencing quite high levels of no shows – anything between 25% and 35% in some markets,” said Homer. “It does seem to have settled down a bit better this month. The no-show rate is dropping to between 10% and 15%.

“I’ve often equated this whole experience to the feeling of if you go to an outdoor swimming pool. There’s always someone that will go in first, and when that person surfaces, everyone on the side goes, ‘what was it like?’ And I think there’s an element of that that comes along with shows as well.

“It’s all about confidence, and I think the longer we go on without any further restrictions imposed or anything like that, the more comfortable people will be going to shows, going into those indoor environments, with mass audiences.”

With shows that have been announced more recently, you would expect the no-show numbers to be a lot less

Goldring shared an alternative theory for the high no-show level.

“I think we have different situations,” he said. “With a tour that went on sale in 2019 and has been rescheduled a number of times, some people just kind of forget about it, or maybe they’ve lost interest. So I think you’re going to have that scenario.

“With shows that have been announced more recently, you would expect the no-show numbers to be a lot less.”

He continued: “The thing that’s really put a smile on my face is that artists have just loved performing again. They’ve been stuck at home like all of us and, suddenly, they’ve had that interaction with the audience that they haven’t had for so long, and they’ve loved it. So that’s very positive for all of us.”

The Recovery Sessions, supported by ASM Global and Goodtill, is a series of fortnightly webinars designed to keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening. All Recovery Sessions events are free to access for IQ subscribers.

To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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Leading execs to discuss arenas in Recovery Sessions

The line-up has been finalised for the next must-see Recovery Sessions event, which takes place tomorrow (21 October) at 16.00 BST and is free to watch.

Joining chair Olivier Toth (chair of EAA) are Coralie Berael (Forest National Arena), Tony Goldring (William Morris Endeavour), Steve Homer, (AEG Presents) and Paul Twomey (Bio Security Systems), who will be exploring the recovery of the arena market.

Recovery Sessions: Arenas Working Together will look at how these principal touring grounds are working collectively to reignite the live music sector – from new developments in mitigation measures and strategies, to new and more collaborative actions across the venue space.

Beyond Covid-19, with sustainability now a must-tackle issue, and the ongoing race to provide the perfect customer experience, these industry heads will discuss what lies ahead for the arena sector.

The Recovery Sessions, supported by ASM Global and Goodtill, is a series of fortnightly webinars designed to keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening. All Recovery Sessions events are free to access for IQ subscribers.

With sustainability now a must-tackle issue, these industry heads will discuss what lies ahead for the arena sector

The first Recovery Sessions event took place on 13 May, hosting high-level discussions on the issues around vaccine passports, the takeaways from this year’s major pilot events, and the road to recovery from the points of view of industry leaders.

The second edition took place on 17 June, hosting topical debates and discussions on the issues around insurancethe top mitigation measures and the importance of political relationships will be in a post-Covid world.

And the third took place on 22 July, quizzing HR heads about the various challenges they face as key markets reopen for business, as well as the opportunities to ‘build back better’ by spreading the recruitment net as wide as possible to help the industry become more diverse, equal and equitable.

To watch the Recovery Sessions: Arenas Working Together panel live on Thursday (21 October), simply head to the dedicated Recovery Sessions page on the website or IQ‘s Facebook page for 16.00 BST/17.00 CEST.

As with the first three events, the session will be available to watch back on demand for IQ subscribers.

To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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.

Speaker line-up complete for second Recovery Sessions

The line-up has been finalised for the next half-day Recovery Sessions event, which takes place tomorrow (17 June) and is free to all IQ subscribers.

Joining previously announced speakers are the likes of Jessica Koravos (Really Useful Group/OVG), Kim Bloem (Mojo Concerts), Anna Wade (Boomtown Festival), Stephanie Bax (CAA Icon) and Matthias Grischke (Novitas Versicherungsmakler), who will lend their international expertise to can’t-miss virtual discussions on Covid-19 mitigation measures and cancellation insurance.

The panels, scheduled for 14.00 and 15.00 UK time, respectively, at  follow an opening discussion about lessons from the success of live music’s lobbying efforts over the pandemic.

The full schedule, speaker details and session descriptions for tomorrow are as follows:

The Recovery Sessions, supported by ASM Global and Goodtill, is a series of monthly half-day webinars designed to keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening. All Recovery Sessions events are free to access for IQ subscribers.

The first Recovery Sessions event took place on 13 May, hosting high-level discussions on the issues around vaccine passports, the takeaways from this year’s major pilot events, and the road to recovery from the points of view of industry leaders (click the links to watch back on demand). Speakers included Melvin Benn (Festival Republic), Marsha Vlasic (AGI), John Sharkey (ASM Global), Pablo Soler (Primavera Sound), Rosanne Janmaat (ID&T), Maria May (CAA) and Dr Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems).

To watch the Recovery Sessions panels live tomorrow (17 June), simply head to the dedicated Recovery Sessions page on the website for 14.00 BST/15.00 CEST. As with the first event, all sessions will be available to watch back on demand.

To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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.

First speakers announced for Recovery Sessions 2

The first speakers have been announced for IQ’s next half-day Recovery Sessions event, which takes place next Thursday (17 June).

Confirmed for the first session of the afternoon, ‘The Private Sector: Finding a voice’, are Evelyn Richardson from Live Performance Australia, Erin Benjamin of the Canadian Live Music Association, Blakeney Group’s Jonathan Lomax and Reeperbahn Festival’s Alex Schulz, who join host Greg Parmley (ILMC/LIVE) for a discussion about the live’s sector’s successes over the pandemic and what can be learnt from these national lobbying and campaigning efforts.

Joining the second session of the day, ‘The Mitigations Session’, is Jim Digby from the US’s Event Safety Alliance, who will update viewers on the latest Covid-19 mitigation measures, while Tim Thornhill (Tysers) and James Davies (EC3 Insurance) will participate in the final session of the afternoon, ‘Insurance: The missing piece’.

Click here for the full schedule for the 17 June event, which runs from 14.00 to 17.00 BST (15.00–18.00 CEST).

The Recovery Sessions returns in June

The Recovery Sessions is a series of monthly half-day webinars designed to keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening. All Recovery Sessions events are free to access for IQ subscribers.

The second edition of the Recovery Sessions kicks off at 2pm BST (3pm CEST) on 17 June and continues until 5pm, with three hour-long discussions tackling lobbying and industry-government relations, the latest Covid-19-mitigation technologies, and the progress being made towards the return of cancellation insurance for live events.

The final speakers will be announced in the coming week.

The first Recovery Sessions event took place on 13 May, hosting high-level discussions on the issues around vaccine passports, the takeaways from this year’s major pilot events, and the road to recovery from the points of view of industry leaders (click the links to watch back on demand). Speakers included Melvin Benn (Festival Republic), Marsha Vlasic (AGI), John Sharkey (ASM Global), Pablo Soler (Primavera Sound), Rosanne Janmaat (ID&T), Maria May (CAA) and Dr Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems).

For more information about the Recovery Sessions, which are supported by ASM Global and Goodtill, email Chris Prosser at [email protected].

To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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.

The Recovery Sessions returns in June

Details have been announced of IQ’s next half-day Recovery Sessions event, which takes place on the afternoon of Thursday 17 June.

The Recovery Sessions is a series of monthly half-day webinars designed to keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening. All Recovery Sessions events are free to access for IQ subscribers.

The second edition of the Recovery Sessions kicks off at 2pm BST (3pm CEST) on 17 May and continues until 5pm, with three hour-long discussions tackling lobbying and industry-government relations, the latest Covid-19-mitigation technologies, and the progress being made towards the return of cancellation insurance for live events.

The full schedule for 17 June is:

Details of speakers for the Recovery Sessions 2 will be announced soon.

The first Recovery Sessions event took place on 13 May, hosting high-level discussions on the issues around vaccine passports, the takeaways from this year’s major pilot events, and the road to recovery from the points of view of industry leaders (click the links to watch back on demand). Speakers included Melvin Benn (Festival Republic), Marsha Vlasic (AGI), John Sharkey (ASM Global), Pablo Soler (Primavera Sound), Rosanne Janmaat (ID&T), Maria May (CAA) and Dr Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems).

For more information about the Recovery Sessions, supported by ASM Global and Goodtill, email Chris Prosser at [email protected].

To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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.

Recovery Sessions: Industry leaders join IQ webinar

Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn, Artist Group International president Marsha Vlasic, ASM Global Europe EVP John Sharkey and CAA senior agent Maria May are among the confirmed speakers for Thursday’s must-see Recovery Sessions event.

The four industry titans join forces for ‘Industry Heads: Leading the way back’, one of three hour-long discussions forming part of the half-day webinar, which is free to access for all IQ subscribers.

Other newly announced speakers include ID&T COO Rosanne Janmaat, Primavera Sound director Pablo Soler, infectious disease expert Dr Josep Maria Llibre and Festival Republic production manager Luke Cowdell, who will share the lessons learned from pilot events in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, and Dr Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems), Danielle Kennedy-Clark (The O2) and Ruth Khayat (Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality), who consider the ethical, financial and logistical implications of health passports as a means to restarting live entertainment.

Topics and timings announced for first Recovery Sessions

The Recovery Sessions kicks off at 14.00 BST (15.00 CEST) this Thursday, 13 May, here on the IQ site. Subscribers will need to log in and navigate to the dedicated Recovery Sessions page, which will be live from tomorrow.

The Recovery Sessions are kindly supported by ASM Global and POS solution provider goodtill.

To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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.

Topics and timings announced for first Recovery Sessions

Details have been announced of the first IQ Recovery Sessions webinar, which takes place next Thursday (13 May).

Announced last month, the Recovery Sessions is a new monthly series of half-day webinars that will keep the live music industry updated about the international roadmap to reopening. All Recovery Sessions events are free to access for IQ subscribers, taking place here on the IQ site.

The debut Recovery Sessions event kicks off at 2pm BST (3pm CEST) on 13 May and continues until 5pm, with three hour-long discussions tackling the issues around vaccine passports, the takeaways from this year’s major pilot events, and the road to recovery from the points of view of industry leaders.

The full schedule for 13 May is:

Details of speakers will be announced early next week.

After 13 May, Recovery Sessions events will take place on 17 June, 15 July and 12 August, with the series continuing for as long as there is a need for it.

For more information about the Recovery Sessions, or to get involved, email Chris Prosser at [email protected]. To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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.

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.

For more information, or to get involved, email Chris Prosser at [email protected]. To subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month, click here.

 


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.