Over 3/4 of a million people paid to watch BTS livestream a concert last week

With all of their concerts cancelled for the foreseeable future BTS took to the web to HUGE success.

Over 750,000 people tuned in to watch BTS’s ‘Bang Bang Con The Live’, their livestreamed online performance. That’s a huge amount of people tuning into a digital concert but what makes it even more spectacular is that it was a paid concert!

Every attendee of the South Korean boy band’s gig paid entry – costing around 29k won or $24 for BTS fan club members and more for others. Assuming each attendant paid for entry to the gig that’s at least $18.1 million in ticket sales.

Big Hit Entertainment, BTS’ label said: “This was the largest paid online concert to be held in the world. Even though the performing arts industry is struggling during COVID-19, BTS has opened up new possibilities through this online performance.”

Whilst many artists have taken to the web to perform with gigs off the table for the foreseeable future – BTS have now set a precedent as to what artists can do for their fans through livestreamed concerts.

Coachella and Stagecoach are now offering full refunds for 2020

After 2 of the US’ biggest festivals cancelled any 2020 plans they’re offering customers a ticket to next year or limited time refunds.

Last week festival organisers announced the plans for Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals. The two large US festivals had been on hold with hopes to postpone from their original dates to later this year but they’ve officially stated that both festivals will return next year instead.

They are offering would-be attendees a full refund for their tickets for 30 days from the receiving of an email they should have sent out by now. However, if ticket-holders don’t respond within 30 days from receiving their email they will be automatically have their passes transferred to the 2021 events.

Coachella has been booked next or April 9th to 11th and then April 16th to the 18th for the two-weekend festival. Stagecoach will return next year on April 23rd until April 25th.

It seems that many ticket-holders are going to request a full refund but it raises the question of what will happen to those who don’t see the email within 30 days of receiving it. This is of course hoping that next April we are in a position where we can safely and confidently put on events with large gatherings again as well.

Coachella festival announces plans for a return

Along with Stagecoach Music Festival, Coachella have announced their return after cancelling this years festivals due to COVID-19.

Coachella will be returning next year – at least, that’s the plan for now. They had originally rescheduled the festival from April to October but with the ongoing issues stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic the possibility of any large gatherings are small – at least for those concerned about health and safety.

They announced this week that any plans for 2020 are now officially cancelled. Riverside Public Health Officer, Dr. Cameron Kaiser said: “I am concerned as indications grow that COVID-19 could worsen in the fall. I would not be comfortable moving forward.”

He added: “These decisions are not taken lightly with the knowledge that many people will be impacted. My first priority is the health of the community. My first priority is the health of the community.”

Stagecoach, the country music festival, has also now announced that it won’t be taking place this year and is hoping to return in 2021 instead. It’s the first year since 2000 that Coachella hasn’t taken place and the festival has become notable as one of the largest in the world with one of the most astonishingly large and notable set lists.

Spotify’s tips for artists livestreaming from home

Home concerts are becoming the standard with a lack of real gigs, so make sure yours are good as they can be.

Venues shut and fans stuck at home? That’s not stopping artists around the world playing gigs for their supporters. We live in a connected age which is blessedly keeping us all together through this. If you’re looking to join the home concert hype then make sure you look and sound as great as you can performing from home.

Spotify have shared some great advice for people, getting details from some adept with adapting to this new lack of concerts and festivals.

There are tips how to turn your devices like phones and tablets into external webcams for your computer using OBS Studio. Meaning you can use your audio interface for quality sound whilst adding video if you lack a webcam.

Cloud Cult frontman Craig Minowa shares how he positions microphones to get a good sound that feels personal and comfy. Meanwhile DJ Mel has tips on how to livestream your electronic set from a living room and still drum up the energy and feeling of a set in a club.

Then pianist and songwriter Julian Velard has some advice, from his personal testimony of having to entirely learn livestreaming from scratch when everything kicked off recently. He now provides intimate piano performances and makes the most of the limited equipment to hand.

Find the great tips and advice for musicians and artists streaming at home here.

Ticketmaster listens to disgruntled fans, allows refunds on postponed shows

Ticketmaster have reversed on their policy regarding COVID cancellations after meeting the ire of hundreds-of-thousands of customers.

The live events industry has been hit hard by the current situation, with all concerts, shows, and performances cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future. Whilst we all of course empathise with artists, performers and venues – ticket companies have a reputation for being unfavourable.

Which makes their decisions at this time all the more difficult. Do they try to recoup their business by postponing shows and offering vouchers for future events to respond to the thousands of tickets they’ve sold for now-cancelled shows, surely meeting the angst of ticket-holders who want their money back in these difficult and uncertain times.

Or do they save face with their customers, maintaining or even bolstering their reputation, and offer full refunds for tickets as many are requesting but at the cost of millions or more in their own revenue which will challenge their ability to continue in these uncertain and devoid-of-profit times.

Well the renowned (for many reasons…) ticketing company Ticketmaster have changed tack from the first position to offer refunds. Originally they told fans who had bought tickets for events using their company that unless their show was outright cancelled they couldn’t get a refund. In fact, they sneakily changed their policy so that refunds only applied to cancelled shows.

Roughly 20,000 shows that would have taken place through to July have been postponed rather than cancelled. This left a huge number of ticketholders with tickets they no longer wanted or didn’t know if they could attend with Ticketmaster refusing to refund them.

Of course, people rallied together and, with the backing of members in the U.S. Congress and hundreds of thousands of furious fans, Ticketmaster have announced they will now offer refunds for postponed shows as well. However, the policy hasn’t changed for shows from August 1st for which they want to wait until a nearer date before confirming anything.

Ticketmaster are likely hoping that they’ll avoid the fate that met StubHub earlier this month, who are facing a lawsuit for refusing to refund tickets. Elsewhere, live events companies are rushing to cut costs and recoup their losses with months of inactivity and no business.

Live Nation are looking to cut $250 million in expenses and their CEO has taken a 100% pay cut for the year to help achieve that. It all now depends on just how long these lockdown measures need to remain in place as to what the next moves these businesses take, and if they’re able to survive the fallout of this global pandemic.

Live Nation’s boss gives up his $3m salary to help the company cut costs

Not all bosses and big earners are bad, as Live Nation’s CEO & President has proved as the company aims to slash $500m in costs for the year.

Live Nation, as a purveyor of live entertainment and events, have had to look at their business quite seriously for the year. With gigs, festivals, and nearly all un-essential things shut down for at least a few months the company is looking to reduce its costs by $500 million.

Michael Rapino, the company’s CEO and president, has offered to give up his $3 million annual salary this year to help cut costs. It’s a valiant move but unfortunately leaves a lot still to cut. Thankfully, on $3 million a year Rapino should be comfortable for the year assuming he’s put some of that huge pay packet away for a rainy day/global pandemic.

It was less than 2 months ago that Live Nation’s President Joe Berchtold told investors that, beyond China and Italy, there was “no pullback in fan demand or ticket buying”. In the earnings call they even revealed how they had just sold out a festival in Australia whilst Coronavirus began to make headlines around the world.

At the time, Rapino said: “We’re going to take this cautiously as we watch the markets and assume a hotspot will flare up and a show will be cancelled here and there. But we’re confident, long-term, the show will happen; the revenue will flow and the fan will show up.”

Innocent times – those merry, ignorant days back in February. Live Nation have begun to announce a series of actions they will take to reduce $500 million in costs to keep them stable through a lack of business this year. A new $120 million credit facility will help the company reach its goals.

There will be salary reductions across the boards with senior executives taking a cut of up to 50%. Of course Rapino is taking the largest cut as a great show of solidarity. Berchtold is taking a cut from $1.3 million to $650,000.

Other cost cutting will come in the shape of “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”. Mostly, presumably, simple moves considering little to no business for the foreseeable future.

It’s an uncertain time for lots of people and companies. Acts like that of Rapino will be a saving grace in many cases as the wealthy make sacrifices for the wider good.

The live events industry could lose over $8 billion this year

It’s impossible to ignore the effects Coronavirus is having on the world and the temporary death of the live industry is a grave one.

Countries around the world have been going into lockdown for the past few months, major events and meetups for the year have nearly all been cancelled or postponed, and cites and towns around the world look barren.

Many musicians and venues have been feeling the serious effects of concert and event cancellations. For many it can be a primary source of income and has meant major losses with varying degrees of recuperation depending on their country and affiliates.

Reports are now suggesting that losses could reach $8.9 billion if the effects of Coronavirus last until the end of the year. It comes as a dramatic blow especially after 2019 broke the record for the amount of revenue generated from live events.

Pollstar, who have made the predictions, said that based on 2020 Q1 “the year’s box office would have reached $12.2 billion”. There are still hopes that at least some, though likely not all, venues and events will be able to return later in the year but Pollstar are predicting what might happen in the worst-case scenario.

They continue: “Estimating what might have been lost obviously depends on when the business rebounds, but if the rest of the year is dark – which is a worst-case scenario and certainly not expected – the potential $12.2 billion yearly worldwide estimate minus the grosses from all the shows completed before cancellations and postponements places potential losses for the remainder of the year right at $8.9 billion.”

Of course, staying home and staying safe for the meantime is without a doubt better than seeing a gig. But as I’m sure many of you are, we are missing live music a lot. Thankfully people have been coming together online in various ways – including loads of live-streamed gigs. From the Hamilton performers to a Backstreet Boys reunion, check and see if your favourite artists or local performers are doing anything online to sate your live performance palette.

For those of you who are performers yourselves, we wish you all of the best and hope you’re finding the support you need.

If you are finding yourself with more free time and in-need of some creative relief we’ve been compiling all the free software, apps, plugins and more that companies have been releasing in a regularly updated post you can find here.

StubHub refuse to refund tickets resulting in a lawsuit

Refusing to refund tickets for the hundreds of events that are now cancelled has left buyers furious at StubHub.

Many of the years events have been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak from gigs to festivals, the theatre to comedy. This has left many people with tickets for something they obviously can’t attend, but in the case of StubHub-bought tickets they can’t even refund them.

Digital Music News reported last month that the ticketing company weren’t offering refunds for events cancelled by COVID-19. The company instead iterated that instead of refunds they will be able to receive a discount of 120% the price of their ticket for other events. Considering these discounts only last 12 months many are furious at what seems like escaping the responsibility of paying back disappointed ticket-buyers.

One ticket-buyer is so unhappy with the company’s response that he is taking StubHub to court with a legal team. He is filing a class-action lawsuit, stating the company “sought to surreptitiously shift their losses onto their innocent customers, furthering the financial hardship endured by people across the country”.

The matter will reportedly be taken to the Western District Court as the case involves customers from all over the US and the payment will exceed $5,000,000. StubHub haven’t yet addressed the lawsuit or the slew of criticism that followed their ‘voucher’ announcement.

This is sure to be an interesting case to follow over the coming months.

Track whether festivals are cancelled with ‘Sick Festivals’

We’re seeing many of the world’s biggest festivals get cancelled or put on hold as Coronavirus grips the world. So many it can be hard to track.

Thankfully, music data company Viberate have launched a brand website that keeps track of roughly 5,000 festivals and whether or not they’re cancelled. ‘Sick Festivals’ monitors the festivals so that they can immediately mark them as cancelled or postponed whenever the status changes.

They say that over 300 festivals have already been cancelled or postponed and that number is likely to only increase over the next few months. Just today Live Nation had to announce the cancellation of their second major UK festival Download after Glastonbury was postponed for a year last week.

The idea was birthed last week when techno DJ UMEK, who helped found the startup, faced an onslaught of gig cancellations. He said: “Just a week ago, I played on the Resistance stage at Ultra in Melbourne and Sydney, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

“When I landed back home and turned my phone back on, most of my upcoming gigs had already disappeared from my calendar. That was when I realised how serious this outbreak had become in a matter of days. It feels eerily dystopian.”

To help both artists and fans who are in the same boat around the world he launched Sick Festivals with Slovenia-based company Viberate. He adds: “Now it’s up to us to do whatever we can to manage the damage.

“At Viberate, we quickly put together a service that we hope will help people see what’s going on with the festival they had been planning to visit, and shed a light onto the industry professionals’ income loss, which is no laughing matter.”

Head to the site for daily updates on the status of festivals: www.sickfestivals.com

Bandsintown are live streaming concerts on Twitch all day, every day

If you’re like us you’re already missing getting out and seeing a gig whilst self-isolating, but Bandsintown have you covered with their new livestream channel.

As we’re all well aware, Coronavirus is having a destructive effect on gigs and concerts around the world. Performers are being hit hard by this and so are people who love live music and are facing months without seeing music played live.

Bandsintown are famously a concert sharing platform and as such have been left with little they can do for a while. So in response, they’ve set up a Twitch channel to live stream live music all day every day for week so artists can play and fans can tune in to gigs.

On their Twitch channel ‘Bandsintown Live‘ they will also be streaming concerts themselves every day throughout the day so that there is never a shortage of live music to tune in to. Their marathon is running all week and will raise money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

530,000 of Bandsintown’s registered artists can promote their live-streamed shows on their new WATCH LIVE feature connecting fans and artists. The feature allows artists to share on Facebook, Instagram and other sites when they will be going live to stream concerts online.

WATCH LIVE is being rolled out to Bandsintown artists for free on ‘Bandsintown For Artists‘. The Bandsintown live music marathon starts today and will carry on for the next week, head there now:
twitch.tv/bandsintown/