🦠 US festivals sue health dept; A&R in the time of Coronavirus; Live Nation shifts risks to artists; Which EU countries are still backing live; Sweden rules vouchers not valid compensation

Daily update for the music business on the coronavirus (June 18)

A&R in the time of Coronavirus: five executives on the records breaking through (Variety)

What was once a normal rollout for a project, has completely changed with a blink of an eye. You’d think the pressure for releasing music would be even harder, but honestly this is the perfect time to believe in your music more than ever. Be as innovative as you can, and don’t hold back the passion for your projects. Because this is our new normal as we know it. WE as the creative community can control the narrative.

US festivals sue health dept as infections hit record high (IQ Mag)

Organisers allege that the ban on events violates the first amendment rights – free speech – of organisers, performers and public and are suing officials Ohio’s former health department director, Dr Amy Acton, and the Stark and Warren county health authorities … The plaintiffs argue that the restrictions are “baseless” and contest the number of infections reported by authorities in Ohio.

Live Nation plans to reduce payments, shift risk to artists for 2021 festivals (Billboard)

“We are in unprecedented times and must adequately account for the shift in market demand,” an unnamed company officials said in a memo sent to talent agencies last week. Now Live Nation is aiming to renegotiate the terms for thousands of shows postponed to 2021, including more than 100 festivals around the world. The changes could mean a fundamental change in the business model, shifting substantially more risk to agents and artists while potentially leveling the playing field for independent promoters and festival owners as they struggle to recover.

Support acts: Which countries are still backing live (IQ Mag)

The level of support from governments is remarkably different between markets. From Germany’s recent mammoth €150m package for live, to some countries – including the UK – still awaiting any sector-specific support, here’s how Europe’s biggest concert markets compare.

Covid-19’s ‘cultural catastrophe’ for UK creative industries (Music Ally)

Within the report, music is grouped with the performing and visual arts, and together they are predicted to lose as much as £11bn in turnover – a 54% drop from 2019’s total – and 60% of jobs. It goes on to claim that last year the music industry specifically produced £5.2bn of ‘GVA’ (Gross Value Added – a measurement of value to the wider economy) but that this could drop by at least £3bn in 2020.

Sweden rules vouchers are not valid form of compensation (IQ Mag)

However, ARN [National Board for Consumer Disputes, ed.) states that offering customers a voucher to attend the same event on a different date is not a valid form of reimbursement, as the chosen date “is usually crucial” to the consumer’s decision to buy the ticket … Despite ARN’s announcement, Joppe Pihlgren, head of Swedish live music association Svensk Live, says many fans “want to support concerts and organisers” and would rather wait until they can attend the event, than get their money back.

Two of Ibiza's biggest music venues just canceled their 2020 seasons. will more be next? (Billboard)

Myriad contingency plans have been proposed to make it possible for club owners to open for the season. Suggestions include dramatically decreased capacity, sanitary precautions and different layouts requiring clubbers to be seated at tables. But according to José Luis Benitez, the director of institutional relations at Palladium Hotel Group, which owns Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel, "social distance cannot be assured, and it has been shown that this is a problem with the virus, and our priority is health."

'There's money to be made': buskers return to Britain's high streets (The Guardian)

On a sunny Monday morning in Manchester, the presence of Wright’s new contactless machine, positioned on a stand safely distanced from him, had not stopped some from throwing a few coins on top of his case. Shoppers said they were appreciative of buskers soundtracking their return to the high street. Chris and Kelly travelled into Manchester specifically to watch Wright. “He improved my day 100%,” said Chris. Wright was glad to be back: “There’s nothing like seeing the whites of people’s eyes, talking to them, and getting a round of applause,” he said. “I’ve missed it.”

Streaming on the rise: Pollstar charts livestreams (Pollstar)

In our May 18 issue, Pollstar unveiled its Livestream Chart, a new feature presenting a weekly breakdown of the top 50 streams, ranked by the number of views, to highlight that artistic creativity in the medium. Each week the chart analyzes streamed musical performances that occur from Tuesday through the following Monday of the week that precedes the issue date of the publication. For example, this issue, dated June 15, features streams that occurred during the seven-day period from June 2-8.

Yo-Yo Ma: goats, rodeos and the power of music (NPR)

We were thinking about how to be useful, basically. How can we be helpful during this time? Who needs a musician? What's the purpose of music during a time like this? And the idea of providing some form of comfort and then of hope.

A path forward for live music? Covid-19 and the future of the DC Arts scene (Washingtonian)

I felt like I was holding a lot of hopes and concerns very close. Every day required the focus and energy of big-problem solving over a long period of time with a great deal of consequence for a lot of people. And I felt that in every bone and cell of my body. I mean, it’s taken a lot of emotional and physical energy. I can’t understate that. No matter how resilient you are as a leader, this tests every fiber.

British band Miro Shot set off on a tour of virtual worlds (Music Ally)

“Technology has changed the way that we make music, and the way that we listen to music, and now it’s changing the way that we experience live music,” said frontman Roman Rappak. “Artists around the world are looking at exciting and engaging new ways to share their music with fans, and this is a hybrid of video game culture, music culture and internet culture to create something that is unlike any performance that has been done before.”


Composed while listening to the new Ralph van Raat album French Piano Rarities, a wonderful collection of solo piano works.

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

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