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Archive for March 2020

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March 15, 2020 Posted by admin in Events

Virus Tears Through Events

The global events industry has predictably been hit hard by the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic with incalculable repercussions. Sat Bal

Foot and mouth disease all but decimated outdoor events back in 2001 but Covid-19 is already attacking indoor and outdoor fixtures. At the time of writing we're alerted that the latest casualty is Samuel Beckett's production of 'Endgame' at the Old Vic, starring Daniel Radcliffe.

The theatre's digital pages said '... given the new travel and other restrictions in place it is nevertheless becoming increasingly impractical to sustain business as usual at our theatre.'

In the film world Disney’s blockbuster remake of 'Mulan' is the latest big major release to be pulled, as Hollywood joins the anxiety, questioning the film's scheduled opening on March 27 in UK cinemas. Disney is to revert with a new date.

James Bond has fared little better with the push back of 'No Time To Die' to November, from its expected April release.

Fresh from her Brit Awards success, teen pop sensation Billie Eilish (above) has apologised for postponement of her US tour dates as health officials warn against mass gatherings of people.

Eilish said: 'I am so sad to do this but we need to postpone these dates to keep everyone safe. We’ll let you know when they can be rescheduled. Please keep yourselves healthy. I love you.”

The Who and Pearl Jam have postponed their tours but Glastonbury Festival has held fast, announcing rapper Kendrick Lamar as its third headliner, alongside Sir Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift.

Organisers said they were “working hard” to ensure the event goes ahead in June.

Coachella, one of the world’s biggest music festivals, attracted around 250,000 attendees over its two weekends last year and was set to take place in the Colorado desert in April but has now been moved to October.

Industry giants Live Nation Entertainment and AEG Presents (the corporate behind Coachella) have suspended all tours in North America in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, say sources.

The loss of the cash generating power of live performances is likely to affect the musical community in different ways, with the spectre of loss of earnings all round.

Allen Kovac, manager of Mötley Crüe, summed up: “It’s chaotic and stressful, from agents and managers to artists, their families and their support teams.”

See you at Glastonbury, Taylor?

PwC has predicted the global market for ticket sales and sponsorship for live music at nearly $29 billion in 2020, with the lion's share of revenue going straight to performing artists. Yet recorded music is estimated at $22 billion in sales, with artists’ royalties at far slimmer pickings.

Insurance providers are already facing public opprobrium for excluding coverage of Covid-19 in new travel policies. So-called force majeure clauses guard promoters and artists against 'acts of God' to cover cancellations but coronavirus's serious risk status is seeing insurers exclude it from new policies.

This was the plight of South by Southwest. The Texan festival was cancelled and, with no insurance coverage for coronavirus, was forced to dismiss around one-third of its full-time employees last week.

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Flybe 'Writing on the wall'

The Flybe administration was an inevitable result of confused business model, desultory investment and competitive pressures said analyst GlobalData. Mick Hyare

Coronavirus is being cited as a main cause for Flybe falling into administration, but the writing has been on the wall for the airline since its profit warning in 2017.

Ralph Hollister, analyst, travel & tourism at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, told us: “Flybe blamed a number of external factors for its prolonged demise such as maintenance costs, the weaker pound and rising fuel costs. However, its competitors had to deal with these issues too. The main difference is that Ryanair and British Airways possess focused business models. Flybe was caught between the two, offering short-haul flights for prices that were not necessarily low cost.

“The impact of coronavirus may have also provided the perfect opportunity for a Virgin Atlantic led consortium to stop injecting money into a business that seemed to be some way away from achieving profitability.

“Attempts by major European carriers to dominate the market have led to an ongoing price war, which has resulted in a growing list of airline casualties. One of the first was UK airline Monarch, which went into administration in 2017. This incident should have set alarm bells ringing for Flybe. Unprofitable routes should have been scaled back much sooner than they were.

“Coronavirus could determine the fate of other struggling airlines on a global scale as world-wide demand for travel plummets. Larger airlines are also not immune from the impacts of the virus. Virgin itself announced emergency measures, including cutting executive pay, and urging other staff to take unpaid leave.”