About the talk
2020 was a year of catastrophic impact for the live music industry as the pandemic brought the industry to a screeching halt. A year later, this session brings together independent venue perspectives from across the US. How have they been able to support developing talent? What’s ahead for their establishment and how they can get back to supporting a full schedule of acts?
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Welcome everybody, thank you for joining us for today, South by Southwest featured session. We have a baller panel for today's sessions called live music and venues. What's now, they are three Ballers surrounding me are Grace Blake, she's an artist relations and promotions at iridium since 2011, also called executive director of my good producer, front and center entertainment. Welcome Grace. We have a Magic Valley from Troubadour in house fire for an LA's iconic venue for the past five years. She
also has work in Seattle can see, one real Pearl, Jam Q Prime and the billions Corporation agency. Welcome Amy, glad to have your well-rounded perspective here. I am laughing at least Dana Frank president, CEO of First Avenue Productions, whose Holdings include 17 entry the Turf Club, Fitzgerald first Avenue main room of the Palace Theater, plus the depot Tavern. She's also, the need to board president National independent venue, Association of, which, all of these venue owners are a part of her
employees as they may be. And you are also recently named to the board, right? Not for sale, but Grace and Amy. Congratulations, I'm so bored getting to where we're going in the future. I just want to backtrack a little as I said earlier Neva is something is going to be studied for years. What you all accomplished this year is mind-boggling. Nobody nobody gets funding. No one gets. Was it 15 billion? I mean, How the heck did and all hell broke loose General your venues were doing it right before that Grayson start with you. How is iridium doing that
first quarter of 2020? And previously? Well, I'll back up a little bit before I get into the gym and Phantom of the first quarter of 2020 and 2019 Stellar year. It was absolutely incredible so far out in advance of looking forward to celebrating its 25th anniversary. Ryne Dobson play artist through 2019 with it's an annual residency that we do with Macy Gray. And I'm going into 2020 are getting ready to launch a few programs and then floor, you know, and it was, it was Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's all we see.
Is that the you have the grossest, we're getting higher attendance has we're going up like it was going gangbusters really our entire industry, Amy and Jana what you saying, just in general for your businesses before the pandemic, they are doing well. Yeah, we're at the mall to get message through the door, looking at a really good 2020 until things stopped on March 11th. Yeah, yeah. And Danny you as well. We went from, you know, to venues. I don't know, 2632 months of the night. So we were really finding our groove able to service artist in Minneapolis-Saint. Paul, I get every
step of their career, all of 2019 planning our 50th Anniversary, which was April 3rd 2020. So, you know, we were Partnerships throughout the entire under flames and we're really looking forward to kicking that off and felt like it was going to be You know, you were doing this, is happening during South by Southwest for this panel is and I think nothing may have hit us more in the gut. Maybe the first Salvo was Subway, Surfers, canceling. And I know a lot of people really felt. I know old red happen, the week before and then cook shall, I think may have happened just
before as well, but it was all just really dark Forces were gathered so to speak. And I know that that's what have led to the formation of Neva, really? If we're going to make the full circle, hear what I saw was after stop by self was canceled, the Reverend moose, who does the independent venue Association, had a meeting like the 6th or something, like right around the same time. And that led eventually to Nevis formation, correct? Maybe so Reverend moose gathered everybody in our
conference room just like trying to take in as much information as we possibly could talk later on in the March, the conversation until we should be a lot longer and harder than we were thinking, is he Yeah. I mean, I wanted to get involved in the steering committee and then there were directions. We can spend this whole panel talking about the success of Me by which I would love to do, but really, we're looking to the future, but I just want to go broke. If you like it is
amazing. What happened? That the billion-dollar bill got past that is on her, but it is so mind-bogglingly impressive that it happened and working a Polestar. I know that never before have, I felt the value in love live? Then I have this year, what were the four ways from whatever, whatever you can hitch to whatever that guy's last government policy. Alcorn, what did you learn from this year, Grace? What's your take on, on the success? That Neva had this year Well, first of all I I just wanted you to stay to do you
know how to bring up to Unity of like-minded? The new operators and championing in Longford for so long. Now it's just not an eye on island. Where can you you know, you know, you know, you know, I ask one thing I think I've talked to Dan about this before 2 is that Did the venue industry people have no idea. That's really what they do. They put on shows and then you know, we get the tickets and we get the money and then we're done. But it's so much more than that. There's
marketing local politicians and they can do anything. And this may be the greatest, personification of that board members could do. Like, let's build an amusement park has a small City on that. Yeah, I think that's what Grace said. We learned about the power of community, and how much we need our community and how much we can accomplish in the community. I think I've personally learned the best. You can have a relationship with your government. The call-and-response is your Governor. Your representative says
something, or just something you can say something back and your immune should be empowered to do. So. And so we came together to do that. And I think sending two million letters to Congress and having our voices heard and employing, every resource, we had what we have no income and we were successful. And I think that it shows the power of what the independence do. Normally, we always have our heads down. We're getting our showdown in our room but it became what we can do in our cities and what we can do in our country. And just yeah, Powers put together of each venue was
really, really successful and support it. I think we've all helped each other get through this. And financially. Tell us about the first political call. You had the first Lobby and call you had first president and I would myself and my GM Christine Korean as well as Adam Schiff, and two of his legislative days, when the front of things, I've learned as an Aldi in, the political world is a legislative director, and then I'll be in our world is a lighting director just sort of funny things everything
about, but it was with Adam Schiff live in the district and have the Traverse. If the new District, he is truly my representative and it was nerve-wracking. I was so scared, but he listened then he understood and he proceeded from Hollywood. I need to get a champion of us the whole time behind every letter reacting to sign because I signed up and less, he supported restart. We found a great support for my representative and we're really lucky. This is what's so crazy, is that you having people think low again, just putting on a show and taking tickets. But you're talking to
Adam Schiff. You're the most powerful people in the country as Lobby and Dana have you had any of those moments were just like? Oh my God. I had like, you know what I'm talking about or is this like he's crazy and what you guys are doing on this national International levels? Yeah. I mean every day it's a little bit of like oh my God, I'm doing this. But I'm really similar experience to Amy. I'm so nervous. When is it going to happen? Oh my God, drinking like, 25 cups of coffee
and it was a really wonderful experience, you know, looking like we're going to fight for us businesses that want us to get through that. And so that was one of my major takeaways you know, from the last year It was a really empowering. I'm sure, I mean, it's just unreal. It's like, you know Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, you know, Miss Smith Goes to Washington station, Wild, Wonderful anomaly and we can celebrate your victory dance, but now comes the hard part, right? Everyone's waiting for the small business administration to put
out. These rules are still falling of the Wayside. They change the name from SOS to something else. What is it now? Like, terrible acronym. What is an operator? Damn you, whose voice was so much better than swag? So, what now, what, where would you describe it? Dana Finalize. The rules regulations certainly are very anxious that I should say everyday. We are confirmed to help guide the process along. I think what I've read is that there's concern about Does the money going to places it shouldn't be and they have trouble with some
of the loans in the past is that what's the holdup they want to just make sure they're doing this right? Are you in touch with them about that? No one is certain that 15 billion is enough with all the entities. So we definitely need to provide those safeguards in place to make sure the money goes to designed it for. But at the same time, you know, it needs to happen. It's a delicate dance. The meanwhile the industry works. We are moving sort of forward we're seeing here after
being on lockdown. It was just so quickly and in New York I think they know we're seeing some of the Southern routing opening up. There's some big shows going on there. There was a show in New Zealand 660, have 32,000 their Stadium, which is just unbelievable things. Creeping back for you all Grace. Are you saying anything coming back at all? New York. Prescription Center in operation and other events to be defined at 10% capacity and are still many things that we have to procure.
Fox Nation process, that continues to happen. What about live streaming, which is, you're slowly getting a little bit of traction since increased exponentially this year will live streams out of their writing. Yes, we were part of a. We need to put on the phone with our biggest streaming adventure. And I was there any this partnership with YouTube in big-room it was the SOS pest Wilson. Six shows at Southpoint mall stream on YouTube and that event raised over $1000000 to be independent and associations. Emergency relief fund which is provided over $300 in
Bridge. Grant, the venue's I'm waiting for now the shutters venue operators, Grant, I was that passed, but that was supposed to be done within a few others. We did a show with madesi few things on the calendar, the film coming up soon. We're doing a TV show in March, but all these things are minuscule in comparison to what we normally be doing. So I kind of normal like 4 months and everything about this in November or November, we would win books. 30 days, I have 30 employees working full-time. Everybody all hands on deck, lot of Job, Lot hours, out of Revenue, lot of years old music
and now like Remember I think I have 5 days of screaming so that's like 5 8 hour days for three staff members. So it's a drastic difference to where we would normally be at any month of the year for sickly last fall with a lot. So we done a little bit. I'm excited to continue to explore with us through this year. I don't know when we're going to be reopened but I feel like we have at least a few more months. So I continue to experiment with it to for ourselves for our staff and the artist that they could fly it. You know, like they're hurting too and anything we can do to
get our doors open safely. In the meantime, it's a regular show. We're going to try You know, it's it's been interesting to started. There's been like a kind of consensus for when we're coming back and you guys probably know better than like the CDC based on when people are making their booking.com Mountain. That goes in the summer for spring. And now, it looks like where you guys seen that now, where's the, where's the mountain of Brookings now for your venues? Labor Day, Labor Day
is basically gone. We have an outdoor site but it's not financially feasible at a partial capacity is Major Festival to see if if they play really it's Labor Day in the fall and we, any of us have ever seen, you know, we would normally in September, We maximize our calendars. And I'm hopeful, we'll have all six rooms, you know, busy almost every day in the fall. So we're going to Is it going to rain? You know, it's working a lot of different reports. Right now is herd immunity and when exactly that's going to be in April, came up the other day,
like, what is April summer, could still be in play. Grace, any thoughts on that? We're opening up in summer or however, I emailed before you run. So we really have to roll this out in the fall and we're getting a lot of snow on November 12th. Remind me to call about the concrete spaces. Alright, good. I'm in the last question, you know, it's a long way to get to the to the fall. Spa still hasn't given us. Their guidelines also has some emergency funds. I think they may be giving out grants, what, what's your advice for these clubs that are
still just hanging by a thread, or in between and tell them they should do when you get that call. Amy shaking your head, what would you tell them? You need a membership. There's a lot of resources, were putting out for our newsletter so you are independent and I can join our Coalition. Please do we're doing our best to get good news and information out there and just keep an eye on the s p, a sign up for those updates, get your books in order and then look to your local governments. Also, no California's got a lot of small business grants in the works and I think we're not alone. A look at
all your options, government, private otherwise and he's getting both of us will help you. Anyway, we can Awesome. I didn't want to add to that. Tractor talk to your cat. Awesome, thank you so much the $3 here, Grace Blake, Amy magical, and Dana Frank. Thank you for the great work you do for our industry, and thank you for coming today. Thank you, Andy, and thank you someplace out. Absolutely.
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