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Twitter starts to roll out Ticketed Spaces

Twitter has started to roll out Ticketed Spaces, a functionality which will enable some creators to generate revenue from hosting live audio events on the platform.

The new feature follows the launch of Twitter Spaces, a feature that allows users with at least 600 followers to host live audio events.

Artists including Taylor Swift, Nick Jonas and Finneas have already used Twitter Spaces as a way to connect with fans through Q&As and meet-and-greets – combining elements of Clubhouse and Patreon.

Now, with the launch of Ticketed Spaces, artists will have the opportunity to monetise their digital events – which are becoming an increasingly viable revenue stream due to the pandemic.

Back in June, Twitter began accepting applications for Ticketed Spaces as well as Super Follows — which allows users to monetise exclusive and bonus content through monthly subscription fees.

It has now begun rolling out the feature to select iOS users, but the company hopes “to get it to everyone soon.” Among the requirements to host Ticketed Spaces include being over 18 years old, having hosted at least three Spaces within the last 30 days, and having at least 1,000 active followers.

Hosts will be able to sell tickets to their Spaces on the platform and set the price — which can be anywhere from US$1 to $999

Hosts will be able to sell tickets to their Spaces on the platform and set the price, which can be anywhere from US$1 to $999.

Twitter previously stated that it will take a 3% cut of creators’ earnings from Ticketed Spaces. But since the feature is only currently available on iOS, that means that Twitter will be subject to Apple’s 30% in-app purchase fee, so a creator will only see 67% of each ticket sale.

If a creator’s total lifetime earnings on Twitter — including Ticketed Spaces and Super Follows — exceed $50,000, then Twitter will raise its 3% commission to 20%, according to Tech Crunch.

Hosts of Ticketed Spaces will abe able to promote their Spaces by sending notifications to attendees as well as limit the size of their Space, which is not possible with regular Spaces.

Ticketed Spaces would also differentiate Twitter from its live audio competitors, Clubhouse and Instagram, which haven’t enabled advance ticket sales.

More about Ticketed Spaces here.

 


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Tech gives us the chance to create new paradigms

As the world begins to open up at a steady (or not so steady) pace, the questions around technology and how it will impact the live business when we are back in full swing remains.

That being said, the reason we are starting this monthly column is to keep you all informed and up to date as to the changes around technology that may very well become part and parcel of the live industry.

Change is real and although there may be some fatigue around livestreams, which dominated much of 2020, it is vital to remember that this technology in itself will become part of how we structure deals and open up new revenue streams for our artists. We must learn, adapt and look to the future. Nobody wants to be the next dinosaur.

Never before has it been so vital for an industry to get in the middle of this new opportunity – and indeed view it as an opportunity and not a hindrance. Agents and promoters worldwide have a chance to be part of something new, or face losing out.

We must learn, adapt and look to the future. Nobody wants to be the next dinosaur

On a personal level, I see us being at a crossroad and view the impact of technology in the live music industry as a way for us to better ourselves and our business.

The pandemic has been devastating to this sector, to put it lightly, and therefore technology, from livestreams to the new excitement around NFTs, gives us a chance to create new paradigms that I believe can help us give the live industry a cushion should such an event happen again.

This is why I feel so strongly and passionately about it all – we must protect and improve our ecosystem.

In order to make change, we need to do something that is unheard of in the music industry – all be on the same page, putting our individual egos to the side and focusing on how we can create these new models and put live front and centre in artist planning.

This column will look into specific market news on a monthly basis and analyse the impact it will have on our business whilst looking at both the pros and cons around each scenario and aim to problem solve.

[Tech] can help us give the live industry a cushion should such an event [like the pandemic] happen again

Live stream is probably not the term on everyone’s lips right now, but I am glad they are present. Not only have they been an opportunity for artists to have a creative output, but more importantly, as a whole, we have started to shift the conversation forwards when it comes to the public paying for artist content.

There should be no shame in artists charging for content that they put time and effort into in the future, as there is no issue in sports and other sectors that charge for content.

Therefore, with that in mind, the excitement will be working out how we can incorporate an element of livestreaming into our artist touring in the near future.

The live industry has been working on a largely copy/paste model for the last few decades, with artists touring Europe and hitting the “key cities” – but who said this was effective? What if your fans are spread out across a country? How do you reach everyone whilst also building your artists fanbase bigger and truly engaging fans? Geo-locking could be that way forward.

The excitement will be working out how we can incorporate an element of livestreaming into our artist touring

Imagine putting on a tour and playing your shows in the usual cities where you expect most traffic and sales but giving fans located in the nearby regions an opportunity to tune in to that show with their friends and family at home at a discounted rate and also allowing them to engage with the artist in some manner, whether through a pre-show element in the dressing room, Q&A sessions or chat rooms with other fans.

This opens the door to valuable revenue for artists of all levels through livestream ticketing income, exclusive merchandise income, tipping, brand deals, virtual meet and greets and more.

My concern is, that in conversations I sense people feel this would only apply to artists of a certain level, however, I strongly believe that this model will be key for new bands starting out, and those coming from territories such as North America and Australia into Europe for the first time.

As we all know, the pandemic means that most likely touring in the future will become more costly and thus any extra income your act can generate through a few t-shirt sales, live- stream access and so on will be valuable to their bottom line. It is our duty as those that defend artist careers to look at how we can both engage their audiences and increase the revenue streams.

 


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Habbo’s Hotel Hideaway books first ever DJ set

Dutch DJ and producer Luuk van Dijk will be the first-ever DJ to play a live set in Hotel Hideaway, the virtual hangout from the makers of Habbo.

Habbo, formerly known as Habbo Hotel, is a 3D virtual world and social networking site that was created by Finnish developer Sulake and launched in 2000.

Habbo’s free-to-play spinoff game, Hotel Hideaway, boasts more than a million monthly users with an average age between 17 and 25 years old.

This Friday (26 February), Dijk will perform music from his label, Dark Side Of The Sun, in the online world’s virtual concert hall, Tech, with specially designed visuals by Uberkraft studios.

Dijk will perform music from his label, Dark Side Of The Sun, in the online world’s virtual concert hall, Tech

Hotel Hideaway concert visitors and users will have the opportunity to ‘meet and greet’ with the artist ‘backstage’.

The Amsterdam-based DJ follows in the footsteps of artists including Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Gorillaz, and Lady Gaga, who previously appeared in Habbo.

“We can no longer meet each other as before, we cannot all go to a club or a festival,” says Dijk. “Corona makes you realise that making new friendships is more difficult and you see that people are still looking for ways to get together.

Hotel Hideaway is one of the places where more and more peers come together and I also want to be where my fans are in times when I cannot be on stage. It is therefore the perfect place to still have that connection with the public.”

 


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Covid-19: New year, new kit

A number of vaccines to thwart Covid-19 are on the horizon, but with the programmes of immunisation expected to take the best part of a year, live events will still need special kit and systems to operate well into 2021. IQ looks at some of the latest products and services available to venues and event organisers…

 


SafeWatch
Events industry web portal and mobile app specialist VenuIQ has recently released SafeWatch, a wearable device and monitoring solution designed to assist event organisers in creating safe, socially distanced spaces for attendees of exhibitions, conferences, venues and membership groups.

SafeWatch is a fully rechargeable, wearable device providing rapid location tracking and heat-map technology, which ensures organisers have a clear view of who is where at an event, as well as numbers per room. This allows action to be quickly taken to avoid potential crowding situations that may compromise current health and safety requirements.

SafeWatch will also automatically remind attendees when they are within two metres of each other with a gentle nudge by emitting light flashes and vibrations. This also allows organisers to offer a robust track-and-trace facility, providing comfort to delegates, and compliance for local regulations. SafeWatch watches are rechargeable and can be safely disinfected between use. Rental prices start from £4 each per event and can be sourced from VenuIQ.

SafeWatch automatically reminds attendees when they are within two metres of each other

AnyBrand
During the spring lockdown AnyBrand introduced HeiQ Viroblock, a Swiss textile technology that is added to fabric during the final stage of the textile manufacturing process.

The new treatment, which AnyBrand says is scientifically proven to be effective against the virus that causes Covid-19, has been used on face coverings – which are fully brandable – and surface coatings. According to AnyBrand, tests showed its treated face coverings to be 20 times more effective than untreated products, protecting the wearer and those around them.

While the HeiQ surface coating is aimed at keeping venues clean with an antiseptic application effective against the virus, when applied to surfaces from door handles, bars and seats, AnyBrand claims that the coating lasts two months and removes the need for expensive, recurrent deep cleaning.

“We have spent months having conversations about getting back to business safely, with trade associations and leading organisations, spanning music, venues, sports, conferences, and exhibitions,” says AnyBrand co-founder Colin Graham.

“With vaccines set to ease and remove lockdown measures, preparations to re-open doors safely can begin. We hope the One Industry One Voice campaign can galvanise the industry and the government to create safe pathways, with new products and procedures, such as ours, being part of a holistic approach (with testing for example) to effective risk management. We’re ready to be part of reopening venues and stadia safely, with scalable, cost-effective products and support.”

AnyBrand’s HeiQ-trated face coverings are scientifically effective against coronavirus

OnePlan
Event planning platform OnePlan has unveiled a suite of social distancing tools and calculators, built in collaboration with crowd management experts, that help venues and events respond to Covid. Used by festivals worldwide, including Glastonbury, as well as sports teams in the Premier League, NBA, and MLB, OnePlan enables festival producers to instantly assess capacity, queueing and space requirements to ensure safe and successful events.

Its Crowd Spacing Calculator measures any area with a set distance between each person, providing data to inform risk assessments and suggestions for site design, while the Arrival Calculator works out the wait time and physical space required to manage queues, based on a predicted attendee arrival profile. The Exit Calculator, meanwhile, estimates the duration of egress based on the number of exits, their widths and number of people.

The company has also just announced the launch of its 3D and 3D+ platform, with realistic views of how an event would look in any scenario. It’s set to reduce the need for site visits, with partners and stakeholders able to collaborate in real time, plotting how all aspects of their event will actually look.

OnePlan enables festival producers to instantly assess capacity, queueing and space requirements

Swallow Events
Swallow Events is offering MHRA- and CE-approved 15-minute (99.68% specificity) pop-up testing facilities conducted by government-approved healthcare professionals on any size and scale, enabling large-scale gatherings to be held in a Covid-secure environment. The company also offers a supply-only option and ships worldwide.

Swallow Events also offers a full consultancy service, covering critical information and advice to enable events in all sectors to open safely and compliantly. The company says its consultancy service is in line with UK government guidelines from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and also in conjunction with any local authority restrictions and necessary health and safety precautions.

“Our rapid testing kits used in conjunction with track-and-trace data collection and other Covid-secure protocols will help event organisers in all sectors from large-scale festivals, concerts, stadia, business conferences and trade shows through to agricultural shows and small boutique festivals,” says Oli Thomas, founder and MD of Swallow Events.

“Our mission is to support and lobby for events of all nature, working in close conjunction with local authorities and ultimately enabling organisers to open in a safe, responsible and Covid-secure environment.”

Swallow Events provides MHRA- and CE-approved 15-minute pop-up testing facilities

Terraplas
With increasing news of viable Covid-19 vaccines, there’s hope on the horizon for a return to some kind of normality in the sports and entertainment industries. Turf protection company Terraplas says that while there is “no magic wand” that can be waved to get spectators and fans back in stadiums, there are measures that can be put in place to facilitate this.

The company has designed a number of health and safety-compatible and financially viable products to meet Covid-19 requirements and help stadiums welcome fans back.

TerraPOD aims to remove the cattle-market appearance of group social distancing and maximise stadium concert attendance in a safe environment. The modular design means the PODs are simple to store and construct, are easy to clean and sanitise (manufactured from HDPE with clear perspex viewing panels) and offer an ideal showcase for sponsorship opportunities.

TerraPOD is designed to be assembled in blocks of six – allowing around 420 PODs per standard-sized stadium pitch, which will provide additional revenue to the organisers through the rental of the PODs to concertgoers. This makes events that utilise pitch space for patrons, financially viable.

In conjunction with a stadium app, the PODs can further facilitate social distancing and eliminate the need for unnecessary movement around the facility, with food and beverages delivered to the POD. However, when it is necessary to leave the POD, for example to use the toilets, the four metre-wide walkways ensure that social distancing is maintained.

Terraplas is also offering an all-in-one virus defence station for spectator arrival at the facility. TerraSAN is a sanitising mist gateway with built-in temperature gauge that tests each patron’s temperature before they walk through the motion-activated, LED-lit, multi-nozzle misting decontamination unit.

With terraSAN units at all entry points, and each unit processing up to 700 people per hour, facilities and venues can deliver safe access for patrons, marshals, concessionaires, employees and others. Organisers can also use terraSAN units in conjunction with a timed ticketing solution that will enable streamlined entry into the facility.

Terraplas hopes that terraPOD combined with terraSAN will facilitate stadiums to take the necessary steps to open up for large-scale populated events in a clear, safe way, sooner rather than later.

Terraplas offers TerraPOD to maximise stadium concert attendance, as well as an all-in-one virus defence station

Virtual Crowd
Launched by Fireplay, in partnership with Production Resource Group and Clair Global, Virtual Crowd is a customisable and scalable multimedia technology that allows artists, speakers, and performers to interact with their fans, employees, or clients in real time with “minimal latency,” the company claims.

Last month, Metallica used the technology to interact with their fans around the world during their performances for the Helping Hands Concert & Auction charity event. The band rocked out while surrounded by walls of video screens displaying faces of their fans, some of whom the band engaged with during breaks in the music using Interview Mode.

Interview Mode allows the client or production team to choose one or two guests and interact with them directly. The company imagines this facilitating an interaction between a fan and a performer, a journalist asking a question at a digital press conference, a remote emcee, or a speaker stepping up to deliver a keynote at a virtual conference. Another feature of Virtual Crowd is Moderation Mode, which ensures that moderators have full control over who participates in the event, as well as how they interact.

Metallica used Virtual Crowd technology to interact with their fans around the world

GSUV UV Air
Goldensea UV, a manufacturer of UV-C disinfection products, has released a new Air range designed to cleanse the air of bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

The Air range employs multi-stage filtration technology that combats the virus in an aerosolised form. Circulating air is taken in and purified before being returned to the room, with tests showing that 99.9% of viruses are inactivated after just one pass through the UV Air unit, which can be used continuously, even whilst events are taking place. Products can be either ceiling or wall mounted for upper air purification, or freestanding for convenience.

The Air range consists of three models, all of which use Philips UVC lamp tubes – the only lamps certified as effective against Covid-19. UVAIR 72 is a compact and stylish mobile model suitable for medium-sized spaces up to 300m³. The UVAIR 216 is designed for disinfecting spaces up to 800m³ and is wheeled for easy transportation, while the UVAIR 300-F is designed for permanent installations in spaces up to 1,000m³. Its features include high-volume air exchange, variable settings, and three-stage filtration, and can be wall or ceiling mounted. All products are CE, ETL and FCC compliant and listed.

Resysten’s anti-microbial coating kills harmful pathogens, including the new coronavirus, on any surface

Resysten
Hungarian start-up Resysten is manufacturing an anti-microbial coating that kills harmful pathogens (including the new coronavirus) on any surface with an effectiveness of 99.9% and a lasting effect of up to one year, according to the company.

Photocatalytic coating means that the sprayed solution, upon contact with light (whether natural or artificial), produces hydrogen peroxide, which prevents the presence of pathogens on any surface. It takes under a minute to monitor the presence of activity on a surface. As a non-biocide solution, it allows surfaces to be cleaned without the product being wiped off.

According to Resysten, its effectiveness has been backed up by public and private sector clients in its native Hungary through extensive testing, including Budapest’s International Airport, the city’s public transport network and the country’s own public health system. The coating is also used in restaurants, shop outlets, shopping malls, offices and many more.

Clients include Philip Morris, T-Mobile, Metro Stores, Audi and Vt-Arriva. The company says it recently quoted a low-cost airline where the cost worked out at nine cents per passenger. The coating was developed in response to the SARS epidemic of 2003 as a way to combat hospital acquired infections (HAIs).

 


Read this feature in its original format in the digital edition of IQ 95.


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

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ILMC launches tech platform PULSE

In collaboration with senior booking agent Mike Malak (Paradigm) and digital entertainment expert Yvan Boudillet (TheLynk), the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) has launched a new industry platform to sit at the intersection of technology and live events.

The first PULSE event will take place within this year’s ILMC on 3 March, comprising a full day of discussion and debate with leading figures from both industries. Companies already confirmed to be taking part include Driift, Moment House, MelodyVR, Maestro, Sansar, Live Nation, The Darkroom, LiveFrom Events and Locomotion.

Beyond its first edition, the PULSE team explain that they expect to host conversations at other events, virtual summits and develop an independent media presence. “Live music and technology are increasingly converging as a partnership, and PULSE will focus on that relationship,” says Malak. “Nothing will ever replace live shows, but the tech space is abundant with both opportunities and pitfalls, and PULSE gives us that platform to discuss as an industry; to remain open minded and informed about the future.”

Topics already slated for the PULSE day at ILMC include The New Fan Experience, considering fan engagement in the plethora of new virtual performance spaces online, with Danny Rukasin and Brandon Goodman (Best Friends Music), Sheri Bryant (Sansar), Ric Salmon (Driift) and Tommas Arnby (Locomotion).

“What’s exciting about PULSE is that it’s a fluid, transportable format”

Pitch sessions, a spiritual successor to ILMC’s popular New Technology panel, see the best new tech and innovation queued up to present with host and longtime tech evangelist Steve Machin (LiveFrom), while The Business of Live Tech looks at emerging business models and new deals around tech and music, with Cheryl Paglierani (United Talent Agency), Justin Lubliner (The Darkroom), Lesley Olenik (Live Nation) and Steven Hancock (MelodyVR).

Sweet Streams: Best in Class invites the leaders in the livestreaming space to share best practice and insight, with Sara Bollwinkel (Paradigm) and Natasha Bent (Mother Agency), and The Livestreamers’ Guide to Live Music collects a line-up of gamers, streamers and platform heads, including Trivium guitarist and vocalist Matt Heafy, to tell the live sector what’s in store.

“What’s exciting about PULSE is that – just like the fast-evolving technology that it’s obsessed with – it’s a fluid, transportable format,” says Boudillet. “As ILMC is the live music industry’s most prestigious annual event, it made sense to launch PULSE there in March, but we’re excited to see where it goes next.”

Early session details for the first edition of PULSE are available here.

 


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Covid kit: The tech helping fans stay safe at shows

As buildings, venues and public spaces start to tentatively reopen following months of lockdown, savvy businesses and operators are turning to technology to help them boost confidence, both among consumers and staff.

From simply supplying hand-sanitisation facilities at store entrances to sophisticated mobile phone apps, thermal testing and scanning devices, numerous products and systems are being developed to bolster personal protection measures, giving people confidence that they can safely return to the workplace and, ultimately, get back to enjoying live entertainment.

Here, IQ takes a look at just some of the products and services on offer to the live events industry, as venue owners and promoters contemplate how to entice people back to their shows, concerts and festivals…

 


Biosecurity-Systems
Biosecurity-Systems offers a comprehensive range of products, facilities and staff to augment safety procedures that are implemented in buildings and venues. Rather than being in the business of selling kit, the company’s goal is to minimise infection risk and help businesses to protect customers, staff and anyone else who visits their premises.

CEO Paul Twomey observes that while many people view the Covid pandemic as a ‘once in 100 years’ phenomena, those living in Asia and the Pacific rim have a different viewpoint. “It’s a key thing for people to think about: in east Asia there has been Sars, HN1, swine flu, bird flu and now Covid. So there are major viruses every five to six years,” he says.

“In terms of pandemics, this is a bit like a 9/11 moment. There was terrorism before 9/11, but everyone thinks of terrorism differently post 9/11. Covid-19 will probably do the same for pandemics.”

Consequently, Biosecurity-Systems urges clients not to make the mistake of simply bringing in equipment purely to deal with the current coronavirus, but to rather see their actions as a long-term investment to deal with this pandemic, as well as all future pandemics.

Currently working with the likes of airports, airlines and logistics centres, Biosecurity-Systems offers a turnkey solution, as well as bespoke solutions that include disinfection technologies, triage technologies, testing technologies and artificial intelligence, if needed.

The company morphed out of an existing robotics operation in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic and has strategy solutions in place that cover everything from simple health questionnaires and disinfectant misting tunnels to blood oxygen testing and robots that can continuously – and conspicuously – clean the likes of floors in airport terminals (as they do in Hong Kong). The company’s robots can also automatically clean toilets, hence protecting cleaning staff in an environment that is known to be highly virulent for coronavirus infection.

Twomey adds: “Things like temperature testing are not particularly effective for Covid-19, but consumers are demanding it, as it makes them feel secure. However, those same systems are very important in detecting other diseases – ebola, for instance. Meanwhile, blood oxygen testing does have more relevancy for Covid-19. So having such equipment should be seen as a long-term investment that can basically show people that it’s safer to come back to your facilities then those of somebody else.”

“In terms of pandemics, this is a bit like a 9/11 moment”

Seats.io
Ticketing operation Seats.io is using the challenges presented by the coronavirus restrictions to leverage its technology and create opportunities that should help restore consumer confidence when it comes to attending shows and concerts. Seats.io is determined to give venues and event organisers additional tools to help restart the live entertainment sector and begin selling tickets again, as soon as possible.

The company notes a key factor in these transactions will be trust: many surveys indicate that people want to go back to live events, but only if they feel they can trust that they and their loved ones will be safe in doing so.

In an effort to rebuild that trust, Seats.io believes demonstrating at the moment of ticket purchase that people will be safe is the best approach. To achieve that, Seats.io can make sure customers are aware, when they select their seat, that social distancing rules will be applied and respected.

As a result, Seats.io has configured its ticketing system with an option that shows ticket buyers how the seats around theirs will be blocked out, as they select their tickets. For some theatres, the distance required will be one seat, for others two; sometimes aisle seats will always be blocked, sometimes, not. In addition, it is essential that such a system can be integrated into any existing ticketing system, negating the need for a complete overhaul.

Seats.io says its system answers all these needs. Easily integrated, with world-class UX and UI, Seats.io can allow any ticketing platform to offer ticket buyers exactly what they need: the reassurance that they are safe, and that they can trust the event organisers to respect social distancing.

Seats.io believes demonstrating at the moment of ticket purchase that people will be safe is the best approach

Megaforce
Staging company Megaforce has developed a range of products and facilities to help businesses protect staff and customers from the spread of coronavirus, and has already installed its equipment at everything from kindergartens to hardware stores.

Products include biometric fever screening, carried out using a thermal imaging camera, which can rapidly record body temperature with exceptional accuracy, and can thus make a significant contribution to the containment of pandemics.

The system uses state-of-the-art sensor technology to scan up to five people’s faces simultaneously in order to determine body temperatures. If an increased temperature is detected, the system triggers an alarm or can deny access – for example, as part of an automatic access control system. The temperature check also has an automatic mask detection option, so that if the camera detects a person without a mask, the system will politely remind them that they must wear one.

The system is already being used at border controls, airports, trade fairs and events, and is also suitable for protecting healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes; and at entrances to factories, offices, shopping malls, hotels, schools and public authority buildings.

Contactless hand-washing and hygiene stations are available as single, double or triple units with diverse areas of application such as shopping malls, DIY stores, bus stations, car parks, stadia/event locations, public places, wholesale markets etc. In short, anywhere with high footfall where there are too few or no sanitary or hygiene facilities.

Added value is provided by advertising/branding spaces on all sides of the stations with the option of integrating frames or dispensers for brochures etc, making them perfect for promotional campaigns. The stations can be branded accordingly depending on the theme.

Hygiene gates  are gantries/locks based on a chlorinated water solution, much like swimming pools, and can be used for semi-disinfection of equipment and people.

The main area of application is access to work, backstage or production areas. Although it is not possible to ensure 100% disinfection, hygiene gates significantly increase hygiene standards and safety.

The gates are constructed using high-quality stainless steel; they are contactless and can be combined with Megaforce’s fever screening system.

Megaforce has developed a range of products and facilities to help businesses protect staff and customers

Realife Tech
Realife Tech has developed a Covid Safety Hub – a customer-facing technology designed to help events safely relaunch once restrictions on large gatherings are lifted.

The Covid Safety Hub has a range of mobile-based features that will guide fans through new venue policies and procedures, with messaging delivered before, during, and after events. This includes digital ticketing, checklists, location- based directives, an AI Covid assistant (powered by Satisfi Labs), real-time safety tips, and post-event messaging.

At events, the location-based safety alerts share real-time information to help reduce congestion in high-traffic areas such as entrances and exits, and provide facility updates. The assistant also comes with touch-free mobile ticket scanning, as well as contactless ordering and collection of food, beverages, and merchandise. This is a powerful tool as it runs on Realife Tech’s platform, aggregating data from multiple systems at festivals and events. These include apps, ticketing, Wi-Fi, point-of-sale, digital advertising screens and access control points. In addition to the Covid safety features, organisers can capture a single view of the customer across their journey.

The Covid Safety Hub is being deployed across multiple events and will help welcome fans back this summer, as it aims to minimise event attendees´ fear and anxiety about the ‘new normal’ through dedicated messaging, features, and protocols put in place to mitigate risk.

Founded in 2014, with headquarters in London and Los Angeles, Realife Tech is an experience automation platform that unifies data from every event venue system, then analyses the data to provide truly personalised digital experiences. The company works with more than 65 of the world’s biggest venues and events, including The O2, London; Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin, and Outside Lands Festival, California.

Realife Tech is the recipient of three Event Technology Awards for Best Festival Technology, Best Venue Installation, and Best Venue Solution.

Realife’s Covid Safety Hub has a range of mobile-based features that will guide fans through new venue policies and procedures

Grid
Grid claims to be a game-changing new app that enables people to socialise in safe, socially distant and contactless ways. It has already received exceptional feedback from events, such as Kiesgrube’s Stay Wild Moonchild! in Duisburg, Germany.

Grid works by digitalising events and providing a safe way for social gatherings to take place by making ticketing, F&B orders and Covid-19 registration fully digitised – even the cloakroom is handled via the app, all in line with current Covid-19 safety regulations.

Using Grid, long lines and guest lists; cash transactions and face-to-face ordering; lost tickets and wristbands; and smudged morning-after stamps, are no longer an issue. The app can also incorporate loyalty rewards.

Solutions already built by the Grid team pre-pandemic, are now helping to prevent further job losses, as well as allowing economies to thrive again and providing people with the opportunity to go out and socialise whilst prioritising their safety.

Grid works by digitalising events and providing a safe way for social gatherings to take place

Rebuild the Chain
An international consortium led by Dragon Gateway, in collaboration with Accubits Technologies Inc, FutureTech, Nexus and LL Consultancy, has launched a pandemic management solution called Rebuild the Chain (RTC) to try to help the live event sector get back to business.

In brief, RTC Sport and RTC Entertainment create a Covid-free zone around a venue in which no person or surface is Covid infected. The two apps are similar in that they harness the speed, efficiency and accuracy of rapid test kits (98.6% accuracy), a mobile app, appropriate PPE and the security of blockchain technology.

With a global network of contacts and suppliers, RTC offers all the latest Covid safety tech such as thermal cameras, sanitiser mist tunnels and so on to ensure the public feels as safe as possible. At events, real-time test kits mean that a consumer’s ‘safe status’ can be uploaded immediately to their smartphone to be checked by stewards at a green zone checkpoint and again as they enter the venue at ticket collection.

With the aim of enabling audiences to safely return to sports, festivals, concerts and even B2B conferences and exhibitions, Dragon Gateway further claims to be in contractual discussions to deploy RTC government across entire nations.

RTC creates a Covid-free zone around a venue in which no person or surface is Covid infected

Bubble Band
Social distancing within the live event industry is an obvious challenge. Static barriers and markers will never work in a fluid environment. However, a cost-effective alternative is already available. The Bubble Band is a simple wearable social distance alarm. Worn as a wristband or on a lanyard, the Bubble Band is ideal for artists and backstage event crew. When two Bubble Bands come within the set proximity to each other they will vibrate or alert the wearers.

Bubble Band settings are managed through an app available on Mac or android mobile devices. Connecting via Bluetooth they are easy to set up and fully rechargeable. Distance and alert settings can be adjusted to meet current government guidelines.

Groups of Bubble Bands can be linked with varying settings: e.g. lighting and rigging set at 1m, backline and catering set at 2m. Available in a range of colours, the bands help to easily distinguish between working teams, as requested in the UK’s Working Safely During Coronavirus guide.

The Bubble Band is a simple wearable social distance alarm, worn as a wristband or on a lanyard

SmartXcan
Production Resource Group (PRG) has designed a temperature scanner that can easily be installed in entertainment venues, convention centres and workplaces. PRG’s SmartXcan is a portable thermal scanner that provides instantaneous feedback on up to 700 people per hour.

“The SmartXcan is much more accurate and faster than other devices that are being modified to meet current needs,” says Mark Peterson of PRG Scenic Technologies. “We use a diagnostic tool that measures temperature in the sinus cavity and behind the eyes in 0.6 seconds.”

The SmartXcan leverages advanced fever-scanning technology developed by Kentix, a German company that develops smart building security. The temperature data is protected and not connected to identifying technology, to meet privacy laws. “We wanted to ensure that people feel comfortable using the SmartXcan, so it does not have facial recognition capabilities,” adds Peterson. “Who you are is not important to us, we are just trying to assist in reopening as safely as possible.”

Portable SmartXcan options include a wheeled pedestal, kiosk, countertop, or built-in turnstiles for automated entry control. The devices can be plugged in or operated using a built-in battery that provides up to 24 hours of continuous use. Each scanner offers hands-free scanning that quickly notifies individuals via a green or red light that they are okay to proceed.

SmartXcan “measures temperature in the sinus cavity and behind the eyes in 0.6 seconds”

London Palladium pilot event suppliers
On 23 July, London’s iconic Palladium venue held a pilot event, featuring singer Beverley Knight, to test the theatre’s readiness to deal with audiences and overall safety, ahead of a mooted return for indoor shows in England in August.

In addition to limiting the venue’s capacity to 30%, attendees were given staggered arrival times and had to pre-order drinks to allow staff to organise in-seat service.

Assisting the Palladium in the trial were:

Purehold has designed a range of hygienic door-handle covers that fit over existing handles

CrowdBlink Protect
CrowdBlink Protect has been used by essential businesses during the shutdown to assess employees daily for symptoms of Covid-19, allowing them to safely continue operating. Now, as economies start operating once again, other organisations are beginning to use the same system to reopen safely.

From construction, manufacturing, and retirement/senior care facilities to childcare centres, office buildings and more, CrowdBlink Protect is an easy, affordable solution to help keep communities safe. The company charges $49 per ‘screener’ per month, with screeners being individuals who assess others, or who can scan QR codes for people who have completed CrowdBlink’s self-assessment procedures.

The CrowdBlink plug-and-play system also allows event organisers to create and sell tickets to their events, scan tickets as people enter, and use CrowdBlink’s point-of-sale facility to sell items during the event.

On the attendee side, fans can use the Patron app to buy tickets, enter the event, add funds to their cashless accounts, make purchases on-site, and even interact with sponsors. Patron allows attendees to use the app if they lose Internet connectivity. And for anyone that doesn’t want attendees using an app, CrowdBlink can run events via NFC or RFID wristbands or even traditional printed tickets.

Screeners can scan QR codes for people who have completed CrowdBlink’s self-assessment procedures

Watch the recent IQ Focus virtual panel featuring Seats.io, Realife Tech, Megaforce and Biosecurity-Systems, The Technology of a Pandemic, back here.


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

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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.”

For more discussion and debate, watch the session back now on YouTube or Facebook.

 


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

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Gaming platform Roblox steps up interest in music

Game creation platform Roblox has announced a partnership with Marshmello label Monstercat and appointed a global head of music, as the company makes moves in the music space.

In April, Roblox, a tween-friendly virtual gaming/social media platform, became the latest gaming platform to create a virtual concert venue, hosting an in-game live stream of the Lady Gaga-curated benefit concert One World: Together at Home.

Roblox users could complete quests based on the concert and wear free virtual merchandise, such as a caps, headphones and rucksacks, to show support for the event.

The virtual concert was part of Roblox’s growing interaction with the music business, as Jon Vlassopulos, a former director of business development at BMG and founder of Tinder-style swiping music discovery app Fab.fm, heads up music strategy at the company.

The partnership gives Roblox developers access to a new library of music content to use when making games for the platform

Roblox has also recently joined social virtual-reality platform Sansar and video game developer Psyonix in partnering with Canadian indie label Monstercat, which also has its own licensing subscription service to allow game streamers to use its music on YouTube and Twitch.

The partnership gives Roblox developers access to a new library of music content to use when making games for the platform, which is comprised of millions of games built by professional developers and the Roblox user community.

“Proudly announcing our new partnership with Roblox,” reads a post on the Monstercat Twitter page. “Our mission to empower creators continues with access to over 50 tracks, with more music added soon. Can’t wait to see your creations in-game!”

As well as “empowering creators”, the partnership aims to allow artists to use the site as a promotional outlet, targeting Roblox’s 150 million active monthly users.

The potential for crossover between gaming and live music has been exemplified recently by events such as Travis Scott’s ‘Astronomical’ in Fortnite Battle Royale, which drew 27.7m viewers, and Marshmello’s famous record-breaking 2019 in-game appearance, also in Fortnite, with IQ calculating that gamers could represent 750m new live music fans.

 


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Covid essentials: IQ 91 out now

IQ 91, the second fully digital edition of IQ Magazine, shines a light on those helping the live industry through its toughest times yet, paving the way for a safe and, hopefully, swift reopening.

The third edition of the magazine to be released since the coronavirus event shutdown, IQ 91 showcases the innovative products, services and technology being adopted to make event spaces safer for all. From disinfecting robots to safety-focused mobile apps, hygiene gates to wearable social distancing alarms, the Covid kit essentials feature lays out a variety of solutions for event organisers and venue operators alike.

Another vital asset during coronavirus times has been the many industry trade bodies and associations that have been working overtime to support their members and lobby for the assistance they need. The new issue lays out the assistance on offer during this period, with the aim of informing readers of any additional measures that could boost their business survival strategy.

With funding becoming an ever more critical element of survival, further advice comes in the form of the financial planning feature, as IQ’s news editor Jon Chapple talks to the industry’s accountants, financial advisers, investment experts and currency specialists, who make suggestions and forecasts for the weeks and month ahead.

Elsewhere, the magazine offers an inside look at New Zealand’s Spark Arena, one of the world’s first major venues to return to large-scale live events; analyses the success of online conferences; and looks at the power of the live industry to make itself heard.

Issue #91 also comes filled with some regular features, such as the New Signings page; Unsung Hero section, which looks at Fabian Müller, the production manager for D.Live’s popular drive-in shows; and an old favourite, Your Shout, which offers some light relief from the current times as live professionals share their funniest practical joke-related anecdotes.

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.


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IQ Focus to spotlight the technology of a pandemic

This week’s IQ Focus virtual panel will shine a light on the various technological solutions helping to get live back on the road and enabling venues and events to operate within coronavirus-related restrictions.

The panel, The Technology of a Pandemic, will be available to watch on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday 30 July at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET.

The recent pandemic has changed the face of our industry as we know it, almost overnight. Since March we have seen complete closure of venues, festivals, tours and all live music operations. Overtime we have seen the relaxing of those restrictions and in some countries venues are open, albeit with certain restrictions, and more countries will follow.

However, until powerful anti-virals are in play or ultimately a vaccine, we will need to put into place technology and systems that allow venues to function at their peak with social distancing in mind.

The Covid tech panel looks at these technologies, whether they be software solutions, access control and biometrics or automated disinfecting systems, with individuals presenting various technology across all genres, the panel will present ideas of what can work for your venue or event.

Joining chair Steve Machin of LiveFrom.Events, is Adam Goodyer (Realife Tech), Brigitte Fuss (Megaforce), Joren De Wachter (Seats.io), John Sharkey (ASM Global) and Paul Twomey (Biosecurity Systems).

To set a reminder for The Technology of a Pandemic panel on Thursday head to the IQ Magazine page on Facebook or YouTube.

 


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