😷 Bandsintown data on livestreaming; NTIA publishes return-to-live roadmap; Please stop partying; Going to an illegal rave brought 'a bit of normality' to my life; Government grants only go so far

Daily update for the music business on the coronavirus (August 26)

Live music 🎤

NTIA publishes return-to-live roadmap (IQ Mag)

We have now reached a critical point. In the absence of a clear reopening strategy from government, or the promise of financial support, huge numbers of businesses within our industry are facing financial collapse and thousands of job losses. The report we have launched today clearly shows that there is a case for the safe reopening of night-time leisure venues, including nightclubs, late-night bars, live music venues and event spaces. Whilst many of these are large capacity venues, it is important to note that they already have many of the safety protocols in place to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association

[ed. note: The report can be read in full here]

I saw an Eagles tribute band at a drive-in. Is this the future of live music? (The Star)

The drive-in’s owner, Danny Zita, says he’d been exploring this concept for years. “And now is the perfect scenario to try it,” says Zita, who built a big stage below Screen One … Zita, however, is steadfast – with some adjustments, including shying away from the tribute format and focusing on hiring local, original acts. “Where artists can express their own work,” he says. “I’ve been approached by, honestly, about 75 bands. And they’re all eager to play.”

Livestreaming 🎧

Bandsintown releases data report on Live Streaming attitudes amongst Fans & Artists (Bandsintown)

A lot more fans were eager to pay for a live stream experience than artists may realize. A growing number of fans are willing to buy access, give tips, or snap up merch during live streams. 80% of fans surveyed wanted to support live streaming artists this way, up by 15% from April’s survey.

Bandsintown finds unique insights into music live streaming with fan and artist surveys (Broadway World)

Here's an interesting case where responses seem to show that far more people would pay in some way to enjoy live streams than artists might suspect. We at Bandsintown have focused on building tools to make this aspect easier for artists to implement. The market is ripe for a more highly monetized approach to this medium.

Fabrice Sergeant, managing partner Bandsintown

‘I want live music back’: Thomas Jensen on the first digital Wacken World Wide (Pollstar)

The big question will be how to finance these events. "On the sponsoring side, we will probably face times where companies are not willing or able to spend a lot. On the political side, nothing's really changed: it seems like culture, rock and roll, we're always the last ones in the queue when it comes to delivering the cheque. We have to find new income streams to make culture survive," said Jensen, who's encouraged by the 11 million viewers that tuned into Wacken World Wide. If just a fraction of them paid for a ticket, it would solve a lot of questions.

Visible is bringing a stacked lineup to Red Rocks. Will it be worth watching? (5280)

Fans can “move” from “seat to seat” by flipping through three camera angles scattered throughout the venue. And if you miss being able to yell “Freebird” at artists (who all agree that it’s still a hilarious joke that has not and will never get old) between songs, Visible will project viewers’ comments onto Red Rocks for the artist to see. For aspiring stage crew, you’ll also be able to vote to change the color of the light show, vote on the encore and, uh, cue pyrotechnics.

Raving 🎛️

Please Stop Partying (First Floor)

I certainly can’t find much fault with the idea that nobody needs to be DJing parties right now—especially top-tier artists who presumably don’t need the money—but let’s not forget that the folks booking, organizing, promoting and attending these events are also being terribly selfish and irresponsible. Ultimately, that’s what so much of this behavior boils down to—people being selfish and putting their own immediate wants and needs over what’s best for the community. It’s not all that surprising, but it sure is depressing that not even a global pandemic is enough for humanity to curb its worst tendencies.

Going to an illegal rave brought 'bit of normality' to my life (BBC)

From Friday this week, people like Taylor can be fined every time they are caught at a rave - up to a maximum of £3,200. The people who are putting these events on stand to lose a lot more, and they are angry that what they see as "safe" nights out are facing such tough measures. "It's basically groups of people enjoying themselves to some music," says Dan, who's arranged illegal raves, where he says security staff are on hand to manage crowds. "It's no different than a group meeting up on the beach."

"Club culture is being reborn." (ExBerliner)

There’s something special about the residents of clubs. Every club in Berlin has its residents, and they know the crowd best. They not only play there, but also party there. I see it at Berghain on New Year’s Eve, and during the Ostgut Ton night. It’s the best vibe when it’s only residents playing. Even if you spend a lot of money to book a headliner, there’s no guarantee it will be great. You expect something special, but it’s very mediocre. The sense of experimentation is often missing.

nd_baumecker, resident DJ Panorama Bar

Finance 💰

German gov pledges €80m for festivals and concerts (IQ Mag)

For events from October 2020 to the end of August 2021, the current programme provides organisers with funding of between €75,000 and €800,000 of future event costs. Festival organisers can receive up to €250,000. The maximum amount depends on the average number of events and visitors in the years 2017–2019, as well as the average turnover from cultural events within Germany.

135 U.K. indie venues saved, but for how long? (Billboard)

“The money buys us another six weeks of life. It gives us a bit of breathing space,” says Ally Wolf, venue manager at The Clapham Grand. Despite furloughing all its staff, he says the business has continued to rack up large debts throughout lockdown with rent and building insurance alone costing £50,000 ($65,000) a month.

Financial planning: Money’s too tight to mention (IQ Mag)

After the rescheduling rush in the first few weeks of the crisis, [Mike] Skeet [a partner at Skeet Kaye Hopkins] says much of his Covid-era work has revolved around helping many of those smaller artists access sources of funding. “Previously, they would tour almost non-stop and be out every summer for festivals,” he continues. “So now we’ve been doing a lot of work with helping clients look at government schemes and trying, where we can, to get them help.”


Music and some thoughts

All those arguments about illegal raves and changing clubbing and DJ culture have made me think about my own early days at raves and massive parties alike. One moment, around 20 years ago, I was in a field at Dancevalley when a DJ played Trancesetters - Roaches (Peace Division Remix). I had just bought Sasha & John Digweed’s Communicate via an import for the crazy amount of 80 guilders (pre-Euro) and went mental hearing that track used on that record played to me in a field in the sunshine with a pair of those glasses that make fractals from every point of light. There’s nothing underground about Dancevalley, and if anything that moment in time is when business techno began to take hold in some ways with the onset of the superstar DJ. While I loved going to those kinds of parties, and probably still would, I nowadays (pun intended) much rather attend smaller parties with resident DJs playing. Which takes me back to early 2019 at Nowadays in New York with Aurora Halal (this isn’t from that night, but it showcases the experimental nature of the music offered by a resident DJ playing to a crowd she knows with the time to mould the night as she wishes. If we can move towards more local cultures, not just when it comes to raving, to support local talent through local scenes that will be a strong position for a post-pandemic music landscape. And if artists can learn to ask for money because they’ve learned that people will pay (preferably directly) to support them that’s the dream!

In the lyrics of that song Roaches:

Underground will live forever baby. We just like roaches. Never die, always living.


MUSIC x CORONA goes out every weekday and is composed by Bas Grasmayer and Maarten Walraven.

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