Save Our Stages

Hi, it’s me again. Look, I’m not trying to be the wet blanket, I just want everyone to know, this is getting really, really bad. Like really bad for the events world.

So I’m going to say what everyone is going to roll their eyes at.

Let’s stay positive or at least let’s try to. So what’s next? What can we do to #saveourstages and #saveliveevents in general? What can you do?

Well first thing is first. Start talking about it. I haven’t been on tour since March, and this is normally my busy concert/festival season. That should be the number one red flag for concert goers everywhere. Start talking about 10 to 12 million people are still out of work. Yes, that’s only 3% of the the U.S. population, but think about the rest of the world. The percentage goes up quickly.

Secondly, you may think it doesn’t apply to you, but it does. Sure, you may not go to concerts, but have you been to a comedy or Broadway show? If we don’t do something, those smaller theaters and venues may not exist. They relay on smaller events to continuously bring revenue in.

Thirdly, even if you think that we are on the right path or if you think there is a vaccination coming out soon. Sure, that may be true. However, I talked to a good friend who is a production manager for a A-list artist. His touring schedule, doesn’t start until September 2021. Literally a year away. Let that sink in a bit.

Even if the rest of the world finally gets back to normal, we still will not be. Because of large gatherings and close proximity of people.

If you seriously want to help, here’s how:

  1. Start talking about it. Let’s get this conversation to go viral and help this industry out.
  2. Donate. To your favorite organizations, bands, venues doesn’t matter, every penny counts.
  3. Reach out to your local, state and federal representatives. If there is something you have that’s free, it’s your voice. Speak up.

I know myself and all my colleagues have worked too hard for this industry to go down like the Titantic. Let’s #SaveOurStages and help for those #WeMakeEvents

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2020/08/25/live-event-industry-went-to-zero-income-in-march-and-will-remain-at-zero-until-next-year-bandit-lites-founder.html?fbclid=IwAR2PdmgdTcj5iIQCLR4FbLMMxoN0xys9qtjlKkRQBbwGkoMFxV1pM_wh8pQ

We Are Not Coasting

An acquaintance (who works in the events world) who I know through coworkers and such was lucky enough to work for her mom’s company during this tough time. So when she asked me what I was doing with my time her response was, “Oh, so I guess you’re just coasting.”

First off, that is one of the most insensitive things you could ever say to someone during this pandemic. I know I can be harsh and blunt, but I’m not about hurting anyone’s feelings. Especially when the entire events and entertainment world is at a standstill. And millions of people are still out of work because of the pandemic.

Secondly, if you are that person that thinks that people like us should just “get another job” because we are “coasting”. Let me put it into perspective for you.

I have been working in the events world for the last 10 years. I’ve dedicated my life and made a lot of personal sacrifices to get to where I am today. 10 years may not seem like a lot, but that is 1/3 of my life. Essentially, my entire 20s has been dedicated to putting on events. So to tell someone like me or anyone else who works in this industry to get another job, just know that is a big slap in the face to us.

Also, I don’t know what happened to being kind to people, but a lot of us are mentally struggling. We are still trying to wrap our minds around the fact that our livelihood and our careers are done. How do I know this, just look at your social media pages. It’s devasting.

I recently saw a friend, and not only did he lose his touring job. But he was diagnosed with a rare skin disease and filed for bankruptcy. So please tell me he’s coasting. Because to me, it sounds like he’s just trying to survive.

I would also like to point out, that any show/movie you are watching during this pandemic. Those people are out of work as well. So forget about the new season of whatever show you are watching in this current moment in time.

Look, I’m not trying to be mean or shame people who work normal jobs or are lucky enough to find work. I just want people to understand. The entertainment/events world is struggling. Hard.

Most of us are not getting financial support. And if we are, it’s because we actually work for an artist/actor/production company, that is lucky enough to pay their staff. That’s like hitting the lottery right now. But I would say the majority of them can’t pay their staff. With no events, means no money coming in. And I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of companies went under. It’s the sad truth.

Also, I have a lot of friends who have started their own small businesses just to pay their bills. So if you see an old band shirt on Poshmark©, please buy the shirt from them, it might mean they have water next month.

But it’s not just the people working. It’s the local venues. It’s the small artists that have been trying to get on stage for the past 10 years. It’s the people who work at big and small venues. It’s the people who produce your favorite TV show. It’s any sporting event you can think of. I could go on and on about how many people this affects. If the entertainment world doesn’t come back like it was before, just know the economy will struggle. You can kiss the Super Bowl goodbye as well.

From the bottom of my heart, if you know someone that works in the entertainment/events world, be kind to them. Literally, ask them how they are doing. While some people may be getting back on their feet, others are trying to figure out how to pay the bills.

What Next?

As we approach the phases of getting back to “normal”. We still don’t know what normal will be. We also don’t know what it means for live events and concerts.

So where do we go from here? A lot of people have been wondering that and quite frankly, so have I.

I know there are a lot of artists going rogue on the streaming and social media. That’s great! Keep the music alive! I know drive-in concerts are now becoming a thing. I know there are a couple of different streaming platforms that are happening and are in the works.

Will this become the new normal? The way we experience events becomes this social distancing and separating of people?

To tell you the truth, I’ve been reading a lot about what others in the industry think. And I have to agree with a lot of them. Regardless of how the events world is going to change, it’s never going to be the same as a live show with a cheering crowd.

There I said it. Eventually, can we get there? I’m hopeful, but enjoying a loud, noisy concert with the crowd singing at the top of their lungs will never be the same.

Go the Distance

So I worked on my very first music video. Like legit music video with a very well known country artist. And I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work, but I really like it and what film entails.

However, as much of an animal I am when it comes to working, I will say I really, really do enjoy working my live events.

I guess the thrill of getting it right on the first time is just an adrenaline rush. When you work with film, you have to get the shot from three to five different angles. Which is fine, but that means you have multiple opportunities to get it right. When you do events live, you either get it right or you don’t.

But I’m very happy I’m getting more film work. Because now I can officially say I have experience on tour, festivals, corporate events, venues, reality TV and music videos. Which for me is a big deal because lets be honest, everyone wants a piece of the pie. I’m lucky to get a slice.