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UK Live Music: At A Cliff Edge – 170K Job Losses By End-of-Year

Proud to announce the release today of the ‘UK Live Music: At A Cliff Edge’ report produced in conjunction with Chris Carey (https://www.linkedin.com/in/cjcarey/) on behalf of LIVE (Live Music Industry Venues & Entertainment).

The live music industry has been devasted by the impact of COVID-19 with the enforced shutdown of concerts, festivals and tours, the suspension of furlough support, little sector-specific support, major operators forced to make redundant hundreds at a time, and thousands of self-employed, freelancers and zero-hours staff losing their livelihoods.


Report findings include:


In 2019 live music supported 210,000 full-time equivalent roles, as well as tens of thousands of freelancers & contributed £4.5 billion to the UK economy


In 2020, revenue in the live music business will fall by 81%, and revenues have been close to zero since March


50% of permanent roles will be lost by the end of the year while temporary and freelance roles have already been decimated, totalling 170,000 job losses across the sector by year-end


Download the report here: https://cdn.iq-mag.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/REPORT_UK-Live-Music-at-a-Cliff-Edge.pdf

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Op-Ed: Who Will Fill Our Arenas Next?

Noted within the Ticketing Business News (https://www.theticketingbusiness.com/2020/08/05/farewell-top-40-will-fill-arenas-next), which artists and events post-COVID will fill the global arena network?

 

***

Farewell to the Top 40: Who will fill our arenas next?

Posted by TheTicketingBusiness

5th August 2020

Image credit @StateFarmStdm

…..

An eventual return to large-scale international live touring in 2021/22 is obviously subject to access to an effective vaccine(s).

Alongside which is the availability of reasonably-priced event and public liability insurance, the re-contracting of touring logistics (event production, equipment and crew – all typically freelance or self-employed and some of whom may not have fiscally survived the COVID-19 interregnum), enhanced Health & Safety protocols with increased requirements for audience identification and monitoring leading to potentially reduced event capacities, and the new show deals potentially exposing artists to greater levels of risk with low-or-no guarantees, will all combine to usher in a new era of live entertainment.

For the live touring sector there has long been some concern regarding the aging group of heritage acts and stadium rockstars – Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Roger Waters, Rolling Stones, The Who etc. as ‘Saint Death’ inevitably takes hostages.

For concert promoters and festival organisers which of the younger generation would combine that mass market appeal, back catalogue and the desire to tour with the necessary theatrical flair for album-based multi-hour spectaculars?

 

Whilst they are generally younger than the artists who first came to popular acclaim in the sixties and seventies, are Coldplay, The Killers, Madonna, Metallica, Pink!, Red Hot Chili Peppers, TakeThat or U2 going to commit to the next twenty-to-thirty years with the rigours of touring, and also have a global audience?

Perhaps the new generation of hip hop / rap / dance crossover: Ariana Grande, Beyonce, Chance The Rapper, Drake, Eminem, JayZ, Justin Timberlake, Kanye West, or Usher with the growing internationalisation of tours expanding into China & the Pacific Rim, South America, and eventually Africa will become the predominate touring culture?

This does not mean that the increasingly niche rock market goes away, it just exists alongside Classical, Jazz, Opera and other ossified musical art forms – supported by historical government funding, advertorial media and the slow-moving record business.

Essentially the global live sector is evolving from white rock’n’roll, to a more contemporary and diverse RnB sound with artists that have also attracted new and different audiences – younger, more culturally diverse, socially engaged via smart phones, and experientially-orientated (as the cost of ownership is typically beyond them with housing, transportation & workspaces via subscription – AirBnb, Lime Scooters, Lyft, Uber, WeWork etc.).

 

The new live music audiences are young, urban and internationalist. They are working longer hours with relatively lower disposable personal income. The digitalisation of content means they experience music via their phones, on the move, or in bars and clubs – the traditional distribution channels of radio, billboard & print has been disrupted.  The new consumers stream music but typically don’t buy the physical product. They applaud individual tunes but don’t need to appreciate longer format releases.

To monetise this audience international tour promoters will target the growing global network of arenas (10k+ capacity) in the world’s top 200 capital cities. Whereas the larger theatres are usually only 3K-5K and are typically orientated towards the performing arts and theatre sector, and so the architecture and facilities tend to reflect those core civic constituencies and associated cultural and service requirement i.e. Founder & Sponsor Hospitality, Orchestra Pits, Acoustic Baffling & signature Architectural design. These lower capacity venues also typically don’t provide sufficient event ticketing ROI to incentivise the touring talent and their international event producers.

Arenas provide a controlled environment where the architecture and operations of the event space have been highly commoditised and producers everywhere know how to create, organise, and execute successfully. Load-In/Out, Stage Width & Access, Hang-Points & Overhead Clearance, Power Supply, Dressing Rooms, Parking and VIP Meet’n’Greet Facilities are all increasingly standardized within climate-controlled, concrete concourses and padded seats enabling the bling-conscious middle-class of Bangalore, Bogota or Bucharest to all experience the latest concert, theatrical or movie experience.

 

So, post-COVID whilst there will be fewer blockbuster stadium tours by aging artists celebrating their forty-year careers, it is likely that – because of the new economic and hygiene constraints but aided by the growth of arenas – there will be many more touring artists, albeit possibly only enjoying a four-year career reflecting their pop career, hit-tune, TV spectacular background, or other fleeting breakthrough-moment.

***

For further details please review at Ticketing Business News (https://www.theticketingbusiness.com/2020/08/05/farewell-top-40-will-fill-arenas-next/)

***

 

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Live Nation Entertainment Has Received Approx. $60M In COVID-19 Payroll State Aid, Thus Far

 

Noted within the Live Nation Entertainment Inc. Q2 2020 Results:

Cost and Cash Management Programs

Given the uncertainty associated with the duration of current conditions globally, we have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce fixed costs and conserve cash. As part of these cost reduction efforts, we have implemented salary reductions for most of our employees, with salaries for senior executives reduced by up to 50%. Additional cost reduction efforts include hiring freezes, reduction in the use of contractors, rent re-negotiations, furloughs, and reduction or elimination of other discretionary spending, including, among other things, travel and entertainment, repairs and maintenance, and marketing.

We are also making full use of government support programs globally. In most European and Asian markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Australia, there are robust payroll support programs to mitigate a substantial portion of employee costs. Additionally, in the United States, we have filed for payroll support under the Employee Retention Credit program established as part of the 2020 CARES Act and expect to receive additional support in the second half of the year. Finally, the CARES Act also provides for deferred payment of the employer portion of social security taxes through the end of 2020, with 50% of the deferred amount due December 31, 2021 and the remaining 50% due December 31, 2022.

Form 10-Q (https://investors.livenationentertainment.com/sec-filings/all-sec-filings/content/0001335258-20-000150/0001335258-20-000150.pdf), Page 12.

Specifically:

The company’s $432 million adjusted operating income (AOI) loss for the quarter was driven primarily by operational fixed costs of approximately $334 million, inclusive of approximately $60 million in benefits from various government payroll funding programs.

Live Nation Entertainment, Supplemental Operational & Financial Information (https://d1io3yog0oux5.cloudfront.net/_d6ab90581b6763b6c69e24e9b9d8513d/livenationentertainment/db/670/6151/supplemental_operational_and_financial_information/Q2+2020+Supplemental+Operational+and+Financial+Information%5B4%5D.pdf), Page 1.

 

***

 

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US Ticket Resale Borrows $77.5M

Noted within the Ticketing Business News (https://www.theticketingbusiness.com/2020/07/17/us-secondary-ticketing-sector-loans-77-5m-ppp-remain-afloat/) a number of US ticket resale companies have borrowed $77.5M from the Government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as of July 2020.

The US secondary ticketing sector is borrowing up to $77.5m via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to remain afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the live events industry to a complete standstill for four months ……’

***

Until there are new onsales for new events, at scale, ticket retail companies are living on borrowed time, and for postponed events on consumers cash.

 

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#LetTheMusicPlay

Live Music & Theatre Research (June 2020)

Delighted to have been able to assist Chris Carey (https://www.linkedin.com/in/cjcarey/) noted data scientist, conference organizer, cricket-obsessive and Head of Marketing at TicketSwap (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ticketswap/), in the recent ‘Valuation of the UK Live Entertainment Industries’ research project.


At short notice, we were requested to produce a model of the UK live music and theatre sectors detailing Gross Value Added, Revenues & Employment etc. impacting the UK national economy.

The key findings were then used within the recent #LetTheMusicPlay campaign and also supported the wider live entertainment submission to the DCMS in the campaign for financial support from the UK Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/157-billion-investment-to-protect-britains-world-class-cultural-arts-and-heritage-institutions.

  • Live Entertainment and Theatre generates £11.25 Billion in Gross Added Value (GVA) in each year
  • Theatre contributes £4.8 Billion GVA, supporting 290,000 jobs
  • Music contributes £4.5 Billion GVA with £2.74 Billion GVA from Concerts and £1.76 Billion GVA from Festivals
  • Music supports 210,000 FTE jobs with 125,000 through Concerts and 85,000 through Festivals
  • Other Entertainment contributes £1.95 Billion GVA contributing another 100,000 jobs

 

Under the time constraint it was not possible to commission new lengthy assessments, so instead the approach was to take existing published insights combined with sector expertise and private data from various industry sources to best represent the sectors on a consistent basis. 

We attempted to harmonize definitions, avoid any double-counting of revenues by the differing sector service providers (for example, collection agencies and ticketing), whilst modelling additional contributions from organisations representing artists, concert promoters, festivals, and grassroots music venues to produce a coherent structure for sector definition.

We also developed a methodology for defining ancillary services and incremental spend around events, to provide a clear understanding of the total live entertainment activities and economic impact.

The figures for live music were largely built by aggregating various sector reports including UK Music’s (https://www.linkedin.com/company/uk-music-ltd/) long-established ’Music By Numbers’ analysis, the National Arenas Association (NAA) and the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) annual reports, with other contributions including work by the British Association of Concert Halls (BACH) and the Music Venue Trust (MVT).

For the theatre sector we utilised the invaluable Society of London Theatre / UK Theatre annual reports, as well as data received from the Really Useful Group which utilised pre-existing Arts Council methodology.

We are grateful to all organisations and individuals for their support of this cross industry effort, but especially ILMC (https://www.linkedin.com/company/international-live-music-conference-ilmc-/) / IQ Magazine (https://www.linkedin.com/company/iq-magazine/), Really Useful Group, and UK Music.

Further enquiries regarding the research are directed to: chris@mediainsightconsulting.com

 

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Now to the gangster shit: Ticket fees.

Noted within the Testset (https://testset.io/) article:

Live Nation Canceled Bonnaroo 2020 Today, ACL is Next?
by testset June 25, 2020

…..

Now to the gangster shit: Ticket fees.

Ticketmaster, a wholly owned subsidiary of Live Nation, argues that when they sell you a ticket, they are rendering a service. Hence, all of the fees they add to tickets are non-refundable. This includes service fees, facility fees, taxes, etc. Then, when you go to buy a ticket to the refunded, postponed and now rescheduled event, you pay those fees all over again. This is a comical dance and it’s absurdity is not lost on other commentators. Tim Chambers (https://www.theticketingbusiness.com/2020/05/07/debate-booking-fees-refunded/) an expert on the concert industry and ticketing, does a great job of articulating this problem:

“From the perspective of the disappointed fan, patron or supporter, the response is immediate and clear, if an event is cancelled, they would expect a refund in full i.e. the price they paid. Assuming they bought via a primary source (how would the consumer know any differently?) and after excitedly waiting several months since the OnSale, during which they confirm their identity, contact details, payment and agreement to receiving follow-up marketing messages from the artist / promoter / venue / sponsor / ticket retailer, it’s disappointment enough that the event is not happening. But to add insult to injury ticket retailers then routinely expect that consumers will accept that a partial service has been provided, and therefore only part-refund will take place ‘*as specified in the original (small-print) 30-point Terms & Conditions’. The argument being that as the now invalid tickets (whether physical or digital) have been delivered in advance, and that a part-service has been provided, this must therefore be paid for, by the disappointed ticket-buyer.”

The retailer then typically informs the consumer that refunds for the original ticket face-value may be further delayed whilst they retrieve revenues advanced to the event organiser (as per their internal supply-side agreement) and that it may take up to 30 days to process their refund request – comparing somewhat less favourably from the micro-seconds it took to take payment all those months ago.”

***

For further details: https://testset.io/2020/06/25/live-nation-canceled-bonnaroo-2020-today-acl-is-next/

And thanks to Testset.

 

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Examining COVID-19’s Impact on Britain’s Live and Recorded Music Industries

Delighted to have been able to assist noted economist Will Page (https://www.linkedin.com/in/wpage/) in his examination of the impact COVID-19 has on the UK Live and Recorded Music industries.

(c) Will Page / Billboard / PRS / ERA 

For further details please review:

https://www.billboard.com/articles/business/9407455/covid-19-impact-britain-live-recorded-music-industries


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Point de vue

Via Printzblog https://printzblog.com/

With thanks to Patrick Printz

 

30th May 2020

Point de vue: Le coronavirus représente une menace existentielle pour le modèle économique établi de l’industrie du spectacle

De T.J. Chambers sur son blog (en anglais): https://tjchambers.com/2020/05/21/clear-and-present-danger/

Le carnage économique et culturel de la pandémie de coronavirus, avec l’annulation de concerts et de festivals, la fermeture de sites, les permissions de sortie des agences d’artistes, des promoteurs/producteurs et le report d’événements jusqu’à je ne sais quand, marque une période de repli fondamental pour l’industrie du spectacle vivant telle qu’elle se présente actuellement.

La suspension des événements et des divertissements en présence d’un public n’est pas due à un changement dans le désir fondamental d’une expérience commune et partagée des performances culturelles, mais plutôt aux restrictions globales de sécurité sanitaire et de bien-être social concernant la sécurité des rassemblements et des voyages publics.

Toutefois, le verrouillage a révélé de manière flagrante la fragilité du modèle économique actuel du secteur du spectacle vivant (Artiste > Promoteur > Lieu > Sponsor > Billetterie > Consommateur), qui repose essentiellement sur le consommateur final pour financer à l’avance les opérations du secteur.

For further details: https://printzblog.com/2020/05/30/point-de-vue-le-coronavirus-represente-une-menace-existentielle-pour-le-modele-economique-etabli-de-lindustrie-du-spectacle-vivant/

***

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Should #Ticket Sellers Refund Booking Fees If Events Are Cancelled?

Via Ticketing Business: https://www.theticketingbusiness.com/

Debate: Should booking fees be refunded?

7th May 2020

 

With TJChambers, Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive, Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), and Steve Lee, President, Fair Ticketing Alliance

‘The issue, which has vexed ticketholders and left them out of pocket, has been hotly debated on social media and fans have taken to Twitter and other platforms to complain: Should ticket sellers refund booking fees if events are cancelled?

For further details:

https://www.theticketingbusiness.com/2020/05/07/debate-booking-fees-refunded/

 

 

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#GeorgeFloydWasMurdered

Because there isn’t already enough to deal with amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, in the US cops continue to kill black men with impunity.

The community quickly responded with marches and impassioned pleas for arrests of the peace officers and the ending of institutional racism.  But the mood of protest quickly got uglier when the President Donald J. Trump violated Twitter Rules for glorifying violence.

When revealed the Tweet reads:

(c) Twitter

 

As noted by the New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/29/technology/trump-twitter-minneapolis-george-floyd.html) this phrase appears to quote Walter E. Headley, the Miami police chief whose aggressive policies historically caused unrest in the black community.  At a news conference in December 1967, as tensions simmered in response to months of police brutality, Headley threatened violent reprisals if the situation escalated: “We haven’t had any serious problems with civil uprising and looting, because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

In August, the following year as Richard Nixon was addressing the GOP convention across the city, a three-day riot erupted during which the Miami police using shotguns and dogs killing three people and left 18 wounded.

 

 

In 2020 the Minneapolis demonstrations and others in major US cities, have splintered when the public assemblies were met with pepper spray, teargas, batons and police armoured vehicles driven into the crowds.

Journalists and media observers also found themselves targeted victims of police abuse, rubber bullets and false arrest, arguably a by-product of the multi-year ‘fake news’ and ‘enemy of the people’ MAGA campaign.

In the ensuing chaos when opportunistic looting, graffiti, damage to various buildings or the burning of vehicles inevitably occurred, these incidents were met with an increasingly aggressive police and state troopers in riot gear: helmets, face masks, body armour, arm & knee pads etc. (No shortage of PPE for riot police unlike front line health workers battling Coronavirus.) 

It is noticeable that where protesters have been met with SWAT, American cities have burned, but where there was dialogue between the communities and officials there is more typically a calm.  And despite the counter-reaction by some police forces, peaceful protests continue to spread across America, with solidarity demonstrations also taking place in many international cities.

However, rather then statesmanlike appeals for calm from the US leadership, instead we have found wise counsel from Killer Mike (https://twitter.com/KillerMike): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy9io6VEt58, with agitprop reportage from numerous citizen-journalists as well as Don Winslow (https://twitter.com/donwinslow) and John Cusack (https://twitter.com/johncusack).

Amerika in 2020, is like some weird feverish alt-reality that is ‘The Watchmen’, TV Series II (not yet broadcast), except real-life is stranger.

 

Postscript:

Words fail ….

 

31.05.20