Agents on the Move: Stories of Change | Folk Unlocked Virtual Conference 2021

Agents on the Move: Stories of Change | Folk Unlocked Virtual Conference 2021

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[Music] hello welcome everyone thank you for joining us on this panel presented by folk alliance international for folk unlocked my name is susie again and i'm on the board of directors here at folk alliance international and i'm a booking agent at ground control touring uh before we get started let's recognize the privilege of gathering online today since our activities are happening virtually let's take a moment to acknowledge the legacy of colonization and technology we use every day we use devices and internet not readily available in all communities and we use software and systems that are not accessible to all we invite you to join in acknowledging our shared responsibility to use this privilege well and for each of us to consider the roles of reconciliation decolonization and active allyship i myself am grateful to join you from portland oregon the traditional territories of the people of multnomah catholic clackamas chinook tualatin calapuya malala and many of the other tribes who have made their homes along the columbia river we hope that you will share your thoughts and observations and folk unlocked in our chat box and this panel will be available for viewing for the remainder of the conference once it's aired at its scheduled time so the overall topic of our panel today is is where we find ourselves as agents in a time of great disruption and in our collective agenting business not just in tours being cancelled but the reorganization of talent the reorganization of agents new agencies being formed and it's hard to have perspective in the middle of all of it and keep track of who's where and what they're doing now so if nothing more let's shed some light on where we're at today and try to to bring some light into the room um so as we go into our first topic i want to go ahead and start introducing the four panelists that we have speaking today a range of experiences of 20 to 30 years here some really great voices in the aging industry and world and i would like to introduce everybody and sort of touch base on how the pandemic has changed your job where are you working now what has changed for you in the role of agenting um and so i'd love to start with allie hedrick please from arrival artists and i'm muted sorry my name is ali hedrick i've been an agent for 25 years uh i got my start at billions um back in the 90s uh and i worked there for 21 years and then for a year and a half i moved over to paradigm uh and then once covet hit one third of the staff got furloughed and i was one of the agents that got furloughed and um after conferring with some of my other colleagues decided to start my own agency a rival artist with five other partners um uh started with uh it was really kind of a hard decision but the more i thought about it it it was nice to implement some changes and do things a little bit differently with a rival um and uh yeah here we go thank you ali and uh next i'd love to introduce amy davidman coming from tda agency hi i'm amy davidman um i've been doing this for a little over 20 years now i got started at the bowery ballroom and went on to high road touring and the windish agency paradigm and here i am at tba um i too was part of the deconsolidation of the larger agency at paradigm last year and got together with four other um agents who i was at the windish agency with and we launched in september um it's actually been a really exciting time through a very um challenging global time and um it it's it's been really nice to wake up every day and feel that silver lining um and feel positive and excited and ready to um be flexible and open about how i can be here for my clients and my team and um and even all these lovely people on this panel thanks thanks amy um and frank riley uh from hiro touring hello hi suzie um well i've been sitting in this chair for about 20 years here at high road touring we started in 2000. the biggest change for me um with the pandemic was i accidentally landed in a slot of heading a organization called neato the national independent um talent organization it absorbs all my time we've lobbied successfully to congress to enact a bill which was called save our stages and it's now called um shuttered venues operators grant and with some luck and a lot of a lot more hard work i think we can help a lot of independent venues stay in business and a lot of independent agencies too um thank you thanks frank and uh last but not least michael morris coming from mint hello um thank you for having me i'm excited to be a part of the panel um i have been an agent for close to 20 years as well i got my start as a student promoter um i worked for bill prent grant presents in the marketing department and then started at a small agency called rosebud in san francisco about 20 years ago and uh my journey has taken me now i'm in chicago i was most recently also at paradigm talent agency and i was honored to be a part of the furlough uh back in march along with amy and ally uh it's been a personal journey uh in trying to um you know figure out both the landscape and both my um my personal moves but ultimately um i've ended up uh with a i'm a founding agent at a new agency called mint talent group uh that was started by agent c j strock phil egenthal and patrick mcauliffe um and that has been really exciting and a definitely a positive thing to work on during this time so um here we go thank you well thank you all for joining us i mean all of your voices are so important we appreciate hearing um the new landscape ahead and and um for some of the folks here that have joined or have started your new agencies um it seems like with the furlough paradigm and some new ideas i was just curious if anybody wanted to talk about has the entrepreneurship um of a new agency been in the back your mind at some point or have you all just sort of seen where where the pandemic has impacted live touring and kind of where to go from there or if you want to talk about some of the the partners or teammates that are involved in the new agency formations that's great too um just wanted to get a few thoughts and and gather sort of uh where you're where you're heading from here i'll jump in um i do think that a little bit uh the idea was in the back of my head and the others at tba um about you know what a an independent agency possibility could be um i you know i think that the hardest part when you're a part of a bigger agency everybody has contracts that um you know don't necessarily line up in terms of timing the idea of really getting together um as a group um just seemed harder i mean the reality is that when you're all kind of uh untethered at the same time it becomes a lot easier to to get together and um and kind of start a new and and switch gears so so that did make it a lot easier to to jump in and and move forward and move on definitely yeah i would say that i'm pretty surprised too by the like the weight that's been lifted off my shoulders i wasn't expecting that um because it is a lot of work uh you know to build the agency but i i feel such a sense of freedom that's really nice it's like i don't need that added pressure of working for somebody else and having to you know deliver high numbers and worried about your numbers and constantly worried about um having a target on your back so it it it feels i feel freer and i'm enjoying the job more now than i was before which is kind of crazy to say uh that this during covid when i'm making virtually no money right i've always wanted to have more of a role in the operations of an agency i've worked for three agencies now one was a small boutique one was kind of a midsize independent and one was a corporate conglomerate and i can't say that you know i learned something from each of those experiences but i can't say that i was ever totally pleased with different parts of the operation at any of those spots so to kind of start fresh with other like-minded veteran agents is is exciting and um and thrilling and that's not to say i i wasn't necessarily looking for that a year ago i mean i was a good worker i was making you know my artists were happy i was doing a good job but um this at least for me personally i think is going to be a much better situation than anything i've had before and i'm it's already happening and i'm i'm looking forward to that for the rest of my career well that's great i mean i think one thing i can say about all four of you is is when this moment happened um to see everybody take action make moves and like work collectively within your teams has been really impressive even frank you know forming with the neto organization which i definitely want to talk a little bit more about later in our panel but uh seeing everyone come together and and and make sure that people are checking in seeing where everyone's at are is everybody safe what do folks need it's almost like this post storm um analogy where i feel like everybody kind of got thrown around and now we can all like check in with each other a little bit and make sure everybody's okay um another you know another obvious topic that i think we do need to talk about just because of the past year that we've had with a lot of social justice and a lot of awareness with many of the movements is there there seem there seems to be a great lack of bipac individuals as an industry as agent team teammates and with some of um some of you that have had long established agencies and some that are for you know as new leaders and new formations like how do you see um being able to collectively get some more of those voices and teammates onto your onto your teams i'll speak to that for a moment um we're actually considering how to open up the promoter world and how to develop new um new artists from international locations and finding promoters and audiences who would be part of the development so it's an idea of developing a promoter system an audi a different audience and new artists from places outside of america what's happened here is with the pandemic raging and a lot of people let go there's going to be a lot of spaces that will be opened up in ways that haven't been true for the last 20 years at least 20 years maybe a lot longer than that but i think it's a process and i think i think it needs to be thought of i hate using this word but holistically so i think you need to start with artists and audiences and then think about how new promoters could become involved in ways that we haven't considered previously and to start breaking down the barriers that have been put up over the last 20 30 40 years when i started in the early 80s the agency world was dominated by two or three pro agencies and promoters were little fiefdoms in territories and regions over the course of many years it consolidated in ways that put up unnecessary barriers to all sorts of ways all sorts of entry points to the live music community and some of those are being ripped down right now and you're seeing some of the effect of this with the new agencies that have been developed by the three people three other people on the panel here um thank you i wanted to chime in here because i do feel like one of the um something that's been very apparent to me just over this last year is my privilege to be able to start an agency and also to be able to start it with people who i've worked with before who are my friends and that includes everybody in the agency not only the partners but all the employees and so that's that's created an all-white agency right and um i think that it's really important to be uh transparent about talking about what needs to happen next and for me i've felt very um aware of potential previous silence at least as a white woman and and and now in a position of leadership i really want to make sure that there that silence is broken down even if i'm not necessarily saying the right thing at the right moment um and maybe not even doing the right thing at the right moment so so that i've i've taken that really um as as a weight to carry in a responsibility to to deal with um and a conversation to keep having within the industry i really want to make sure that there are doors opening for folks who have not um had those opportunities available to them especially in the agency world and you know were it takes a while i mean really it's um it's it's actually hard that it feels like about it every day and i want the change to happen really quickly um so over at tba we did um we we are collaborating with diversify the stage and we're going to be working with their internship program um and their mentorship program um if they need us and um so hopefully we'll have a couple of interns this spring from their program um that's been really great and then i think um really just trying to have as many honestly just really trying to have as many conversations as possible make sure that you know um that it doesn't it doesn't feel like there is this silence that we can't talk about it and that i do think that even talking about it with my white colleagues for me is a really important action forward and that i hope that there's a lot more um that can be shifted and celebrated when we get to one year and then when we get to two years and really trying to think about it as just you know this is this is our future this is the future it's really important um for our business yeah amy and i have had a conversation already about them so i'm gonna echo is that better uh yeah it is it is difficult um it's difficult to figure out the right people to hire and it would be really easy for us to just go and hire the people that we've worked with before to fill support roles um arrivals trying to make sure that we interview lots of different candidates and that we train people and so we can have a more diverse company yeah i think it i think about it a lot because um i think probably like all of us on the panel um you know a lot of my clients are african-american or latin um and so it is important and it is sometimes feels difficult when you're i'm thinking about a hiring pool um but i don't know what else to do at the moment other than to expand um who we interview and who we talk to and the um and who we approach about internships and we're doing that right now and admit in terms of spring internships and kind of trying to identify uh more of a diverse pool of schools um and you know i live in chicago which is one of the most diverse cities in the you know in the country so there should be more diversity um and i do think it starts with having conversations like this and starting up new companies like this and just making it a priority and i would like to you know see how the promoter pool can expand as well uh for more minority diverse um promoters um those are harder questions but i think it's important um that the industry and the the people you know on this panel and others identify it and make it a priority and that's i think a start yeah i feel like you know all of you make such really good points i think as a poc individual myself and in the last 15 you know years of booking and in hustling you know i i this is the most um real and honest time that we're all as an industry having these conversations and i'm encouraged by it quite a bit that um the the space is created and welcome to talk about it i think we all know that you know the the conversation sometimes is that we mix our own concrete we build our own streets and we we have the ability and accessibility to get at things like that at some point in our lives and do the internships and work for free but it is a lot of the conversation these days of like how do we find more accessible ways ways that we can support people who don't have that ability um and i just want to say thank you all for continuing to fight for that and encouraging those conversations within your own team and the promoters i think like we're all sort of learning together something amy said like welcoming those conversations and and not not needing to have all the answers but learning collectively is is super important and i'm learning still all the time as well so um well thank you and and and thanks for talking about that a bit we do want to move on to topic number two which is kind of getting into more of the nuts and bolts of uh the booking and how our agent roles are changing um i i did want to start a bit with live streams just because i feel as the pandemic hit i'm sure we all were getting um slammed with what that means and if you all have thoughts or ideas of will live streaming change touring and live touring in general will we foresee more of the live stream existing past the pandemic reopening moment um do you see trends that you're open to sharing with the the artist community promoter community here um or what you're observing are you seeing new deals come out how are we gonna pick out of all of the platforms that continue to um continue to open as this time continues on so i would love to get some opinions on any of those topics or any overall thoughts on some of that stuff i only have a few comments so um everybody else will jump in on top uh when when the pandemic started and the streaming uh most of it was really embarrassing it was like you know somebody in their living room with a dog wandering around and the technology was very um crude and the implementation was really horrendous i've fought it really hard honestly you know for the first few months i never wanted to look at another live stream again but what happened is that you know people met the challenge technology increased improved substantially people began to get a handle on what looked good and what sounded good and people started to be able to do things that represented them well as artists in a good way not always perfect but you know in a good way not every live show is perfect either so um it's part of it i do believe that streaming will become an adjunct to touring in the future so if you have a showcase at the bowery ballroom to announce and uh publicize and promote a new recording maybe you can spread that around the country a little bit and have your die hard fans get a chance to glimpse that show also in terms of any kind of substantive pattern of development that live streaming takes over live performances i don't think so it's an adjunct it's useful it's a promotional tool it does generate some money on occasion but i think it's going to be mostly the former than the latter that's my little perspective do you all ever do any of you see that the um streaming revenue is going to impact the offer on an artist deal at all in any venues i i don't significantly i mean i think it's it could be an add-on like frank was kind of hitting that if you have a special show a celebration a special release um the where it it's more than just um saturday night new orleans or whatever i think that you can uh definitely add something and add revenue to that um but uh i i yeah i i don't see it replacing live deals or um changing them dramatically and um i do believe that there are some venues who have already started up who will have that streaming platform ability in-house and basically be able to add a streaming ticket to a deal and that might work for some artists who will engage in that and some who won't but i don't think it's going to change uh the artist's world or their touring or anything like that just a value-added add-on thing is how i see it i think yam bands will lead the way as well because they're they're kind of their fans might go to multiple um and also who knows maybe promoters will offer guarantees i think if they start to throw some money at it you know more artists are gonna say yes to it you know that'll that'll help move it along is what i think i mean right now there's always been certain venues that have done it but it's just never quite seemed worth it it and sometimes even their deals are like after we pay our first you know our two camera guys film it then we'll give you a cut and it's like okay wait a minute we can actually do this whole thing and make nothing you know so i think maybe um you know more venues have it consistently and we can get the expenses right and maybe promoters offer something for some of the bands that it'll be more thing yeah ally you cut out just in the beginning of that too were you saying that you felt like maybe the jam band community might be more leading the way of that okay that's what i thought i heard you say i just wanted to be sure um yeah yeah that because i think that the streaming success has been more about the artist's willingness to market it and push it themselves i mean the the tickets that have come from marketing through promoters or performing arts centers let's say have been fine but the majority of the tickets are being sold through artists fan i mean artist artist fan direct contact so i think also um that's it's really gonna be you know the payoff and the benefit of that is gonna be how are how interested are artists in it and then how are they gonna be marketing it and pushing it to their fans and if they're going out on tour and every single show is gonna be streamed i can see yeah sure a jamband fan might be like oh my gosh i get to get like 15 of these um but a lot of other artists fans are gonna be like that over total overkill so it there will have to be some sense of what are you marketing what are you pushing is it because it's a special venue is it because there's like something specific that's happening with that so i think that's gonna also have to be really looked at i don't and i think artists are going to be very specific about how they want to paint that picture for their fans so it doesn't just look like a mess really right right i think that um i agree with all of you and i think that the evolution of streaming is going to continue on and you know we're not even talking yet about these ticketed the national or international live streams that our artists are doing individually i feel um you know one quick question is would you ever use a stream to um uh maybe determine or evaluate what an artist is worth on the road you know like can we take those numbers and equate them to those type of um ticket polls and venues or do they have no relation to each other is it just you know how do you all see any is there any correlation between how an artist might pull on on the road versus on a on a stream i don't know i don't think so i just don't think it's an equal thing i mean i do think that it's really helpful like i had an artist do holiday shows you know holiday focused and new year's eve focus and of course these are global right so you see it's so 70s i don't know their tickets from 77 countries and that was really cool to see all of that and it did show i guess in a sense like oh who might be interested in one of these holiday shows in some other area in the world because they typically only do holiday shows in a certain area but i still don't know that that's going to change the plan of like on the ground touring right it's an exact correlation yeah i guess we'll i'll go ahead sorry no problem it's actually been interesting to see who succeeded with the streaming shows and who has not but i think it's it's such a there's so many different variables it has to do with the audience engagement with the artist directly through their website or socials it has something to do with the age of the audience and the access to the internet it has something to do with you know how high the profile is of the artist at any one moment so it's like a lot like touring in ways so there are times when it's very strong and there's times when you shouldn't be doing it um but yeah that's my little i certainly have had a lot of managers complain that how much work during a live stream is and the payoff has quite been worth it for the amount of work that they've done i've had other managers are fine with it but i certainly have had a few that are like that wasn't yeah that was a month's worth of work for one show as opposed to like a whole tour yeah well we'll have to see where the data and more stuff comes out of that for all of us and how we how to utilize that i i wanted to move on to sort of the next topic here which was within this um sort of sphere which is like how are we seeing offers and deals change are you all getting offers um i'm sure there's trends here but we're also speaking to um the artist community folk alliance as well and i'm curious um well let's first talk about our offers changing are you seeing um the deals move around are we seeing back ends are we seeing more costs on expenses etc i'm just going to say from my perspective so far i mean i think it also again depends on the artist um you know if if you're an established artist uh chant at least in my experience those those offers so far haven't changed much uh if you were an artist who was kind of uh more of a risk it's definitely seems to be more conservative and if you're a new artist uh like most times you're gonna you're gonna have to prove yourself in terms of expenses additional expenses i'm seeing a little on the covet cleanup uh covet education uh not nothing that is dramatically changing show expenses but they're there um i have had a couple of um situations and i'm not sure if you all have had this where people have tried to add essentially an additional facility fee which they call a coveted fee which i have totally pushed back on because um from my perspective everyone's hurting everyone's suffering and so if we're going to create new revenue by just tacking on three or five bucks to a ticket price and calling it a covid relief or covered recovery um the artist should also share in that and most people have understood that and and taken it out um but i guess we'll see where that goes as an industry that's been my experience so far [Music] some of the aeg and live nation have lowered some of their offers um and uh i found that the independent promoters have not which is kind of nice i think some of the independents will do quite well and maybe get some shows that they wouldn't have definitely susie uh neato was formed um in part because i was frightened that the large corporate promoters would try to impose their will and take advantage of the opportunity to change the way deals were structured and the relationship in a weird way of promoters and agents and i've seen lots of evidence of that although what's happened over the last few months is it's become clear that the damages cuts always it cuts to the largest corporate promoters to the smallest independence to the large corporate agencies to the small independent agencies too so i think what's going on here now is we're all trying to respond in a reasonable way in a cooperative way that allows everybody to have some semblance of recovery once we get through this um there will be people that will try to take advantage as always but with a collective response and you know our faith in the artists that we represent i think we can make our way through this in a positive way so i feel yeah definitely i think all those trends are popping up in my world in life as well and i think that um you know i think that that led me to sort of ask the question of artist development and when we have new artists that might have not necessarily have you know many years of touring under their belt they're still trying to understand where they're where they're at in the touring world like you know going back to what michael said like having you know established artists we know what they're gonna do in chicago we know what ticket price we can push we know maybe the fans that will not you know that will come back to see them but how do we approach artist development when it does take a certain amount of revenue to get a team on the road to to take on national tours will we see that investment from promoters to want to still create these different careers or how do we invest in those type of artists that we believe need to have need to be amplified need to be on stages um how do you all how are you all seeing that approach now oh it's what i worried about the most is that the voices of new artists and new perspectives have been silenced this last year and apparently for the year coming we're going to have a a group of lost artists is what's going to happen and um that's going to be terrible but i think we can you know pick things back up and resume our normal uh course of action we're going to have to be clever um a lot we're gonna have to do some more packaging where in places where we didn't do it for a while we're gonna have to be more cooperative with each other we're gonna have to look at opportunities that um that are appropriate for an artist even if we don't represent them you know what we need to do as independent agents is represent artists in the way that they want to be represented and it's our responsibility to make sure that we continue to develop new voices new perspectives new music new communities that's what independent to me that's what independence means it's responsibility you know the large corporate companies they don't give a what happens with small artists they only care what kind of money they can get that's the danger there that's why it's so important that the independent community take care of itself recognize each other as not their adversaries but as their brothers and sisters in arms and that's the way forward here that's the only way that new artists will get a real chance to get started again once this thing moves down the road yeah i was going to chime in and just say that i feel like right now what we can be doing since touring isn't really happening is just to continue to share with each other who what artists we're finding what they sound like what they're doing um you know i have really i was doing this before but i've really embraced like pulling in different people who i feel like are taste makers and making sure that i'm sending out press clippings or new songs or whatever that whatever's going on in that realm and just even with the agency we we started a quarterly kind of insider lookbook you know thing to send around to people within the industry i think that it that kind of collaboration and viewing all of us as a collective is going to be really helpful in terms of educating each other on who are the rising voices what are they doing and and and then yes hopefully as as frank is talking about packaging getting these folks out on the road um but there are artists that are emerging they're still making music we have to keep sharing that with each other so that those folks have a platform yeah and i would just say to any artists who are watching this panel right now you know it's on you too you got to be great i mean there was already there was already too much clutter to be in with far too much better and uh there's going to be more of it but you know i believe talent wins and um but uh consider that motivation that's great that's great thank you all um so moving into our last topic we just want to take a step back and and think about the full overall ecosystem of every market but the live touring business in general and i i think that in the last year uh you know i think a lot of that work was within the advocacy a lot of that work was within nito and um frank i i would love to for you to dig in a little bit about you know what you think the collective will become past the pan past the reopening moment but also if you could visit a little bit about what sort of funding and and what sort of things have gone through via the last coveted relief package and what industry professionals can look towards for for funding at the moment uh you know there's a story we don't need to go into it right here but you know neato was founded uh by accident um it was a response to this overwhelming crisis that nobody had any real answers for i didn't think about the future whatsoever when nito was formed i thought about disseminating information to independent agents uh in a way in a in a way that they could utilize and have some insight into what i really feared would be the crush the attempt to crush the independence and put them back you know off the table but now i see a i you know i do see a future for neato uh i do see a future for some of these organizations that have formed you know we can speak uh on behalf of artists on behalf of independent agents on behalf of independent venues because we are the lifeblood we are the place where things begin we are the place where artists develop their careers and become voices and you know end up in the larger larger world you know locally regionally nationally and internationally again it's our responsibility in terms of legislation there is a bill that was signed it's a miracle we were told over and over again that nothing would be carved out for a specific industry and yet john cornyn amy klobuchar wrote a bill called save our stages it got an enormous amount of backing in congress in the senate and in the house and a miracle of miracles the ex-president signed it on december 28th the danger now is how it's implemented and who actually benefits from the bill the bill has been broadened to include a lot of other shuttered industries including museums and independent restaurants and i mean independent theaters other organizations and there's only so much money in the pool that can be drawn out there is a provision that says that it can be replenished but nobody knows how that'll be implemented people that are eligible have a real shot at getting some money that will allow their companies their venues their organizations their agencies whatever to get some funding to survive through some part of 2021. there are other provisions in the bill that were helpful to artists there's the extend pua which is unemployment assistance from the federal level there's ppp that can be drawn down on behalf of other organizations and artists too so we're you know there's a bunch of legislation out there that should cover the majority of people that have been you know most shuttered and most damaged from the pandemic but what we're doing here is we represent viable vital businesses for communities we're not looking for a handout none of us are or we wouldn't be here we wouldn't have our jobs right now so what we really need is repeat the implementation of the vaccine as many inoculations as possible as quickly as possible and allow us to get back to our jobs to open doors safely to make sure audiences are safe to make commute make sure communities are safe make sure artists are safe and get back to work that's the future and um that's what that's what i think we're all looking for at this point in the short term do you feel like there's more funding that is coming down the road other other sort of bills and proposals that are being talked about there's a 1.9 trillion no did i say trillion yeah 1.9 trillion dollar package in congress right now that will be voted on that does include additional provisions including the possibility of replenishing the svog save our stages grant so there is more money there there's included in that 1.9 trillion dollar is an extension of the pandemic unemployment assistance provisions too which means extending the federal funding for unemployment there'll be additional ppp funds that'll be available there too so yes there's more money in the pipeline for the future but it has to make its way through congress and for somebody that sat tortuously through august september october november and december told repeatedly by representatives in congress that something would change it took months and months and months of advocacy to get that thing through and then finally a very recalcitrant president signing the bill and getting it through congress so i hope it's imminent i don't count on it being imminent but i believe it's out there and with the change in congress i think it's possible now when the when now you know once we see the doors open i mean i i do all sort of feel like the vaccine is is the ultimate answer are you all considering a lot more of these socially distanced shows are your artists considering that or well both um some of my artists will be playing spring summer outdoor socially distant pods drive-ins that sort of thing some of my smaller artists are definitely open to indoor socially distance type situations um but yeah ultimately to get back to mass gatherings i don't see the quickest way is through the vaccine i will say in my little world the vaccine rollout is going very well my wife has been vaccinated she's a medical social worker several of my clients uh who are some of them are older have been vaccinated my my dad has been vaccinated so uh my immediate rollout is going very well it's just the rest of the thing that has to catch up so yeah um and and once and and once the doors do open what are we all expecting are we seeing like a slow i mean from some of the promoters that i talk to they seem like um any sort of social distance show is doing pretty well but um how do you see things do we see fans coming out in drawer droves do we see people being hesitant is it all dependent on the artists um are you you know are you eager to book to full capacity those things you want to add i mean do we see like business coming back strong i guess people want to go shows yeah people i mean when when it can happen people will be buying tickets and i do there there obviously are people who are buying tickets to socially distance shows and drive-ins i think depending on the demographic really is kind of showing us how popular it is with you know depending on the fans or you know how risky they're willing to to go with it but yeah vaccinations and um and and making sure that venues are set up with um proper airflow and filters and that there's um you know some real plans in place just to make sure that everybody's safe um you know i obviously it's different state by state venue by venue and even artists by artists like what their level of um comfort is in terms of getting back to to seeing things you know at full capacity um but no i don't have one artist who's asking for any sort of full capacity anytime soon i mean obviously we're booking shows um in you know at the end of 21 and into 22 as if it's normal back to normal yeah nobody knows how to do it any differently um but but yeah i mean i think a lot has to happen um for people to feel comfortable to go do that and you know in my personal sphere vaccinations are not going well i mean nobody everybody around me is trying desperately to get a vaccination and you know um yeah my sister who's kind of in the medical sphere a little bit on the edges has has gotten it so it's i think it's a total mess i'm just very hopeful that over the next couple months there seems to be a little bit more of uh of a roll out system that we can all depend on throughout the summer and that's when it's gonna it needs to be full force through the summer for all of us to get vaccinated i i feel once things do start up i think you know people are going to come out in droves but i think the problem is is it's going to be you know three year three years of touring crunched into one year and there will definitely be some losers um but i do think people are so desperate to see live music that if they were on the fence before about going to a show that they're gonna they're gonna go right you know pretty optimistic about that there is the issue of the economy you know and what that you know how that affects people there you know there's a limited num amount of money that can be used for entertainment and after that initial blush with everybody touring the competition will be fierce and ali's right there'll be some things that don't do well a lot of things that don't do well just one comment on so socially distance and um smaller events you know smaller capacities reduce capacity venues you know our business is based on margins and when you shrink the margins touring becomes unaffordable uh it'll start by regions because that's more affordable but touring across the country yeah you know i'm starting to i'm not going to give it up all the way but i'm starting to realize that 2021 is not a very likely time for full-on national touring i think there'll be plenty of regional touring so that's the southeast continues to open up and lead the way um in both deaths and i guess bravery i don't know how you put it but um i think there'll be a lot of regional touring in the southeast i think there'll be other areas where it'll open up and i think there'll be air is where it's a lot more cautious um but sooner is better that's for sure but only with safety in mind yeah i will say too that i you know no one none of us know for sure yet i mean i agree that once things start to open up there'll be a ton of goodwill and people won't want to get back and gather not just for shows but at restaurants or sporting events or whatever they do i i am a little concerned too um about the economy i don't think 10 million people just go back to work when the vaccine is um you know put back in place i'm a little concerned for you know my older audiences even if they you know have been fully vaccinated um you know what is their capacity or uh to go you know sit two hours indoors um so i think there's gonna be a little bit of a feeling out process um as opposed to just hey um we can go back to shows um i hope i'm wrong but i think there'll be a correction in the next year and a half yeah well i think that you know as agents and and working with our promoter partners and then our managers is just trying to collectively come up with what is responsible for the ecosystems for all the markets for how we approach our teams and and make sure that things are safe and affordable for our artists as well so i do think it will be more prevalent in a lot of our conversations like i don't know if i i want to hear the promoters tell me they're going to flip the room three times because there's enough shows to do that with or enough tours it kind of freaks me out so but at the same time i understand they're trying to get as much in and done as possible we'll all have to kind of draw the line and have those honest conversations um so just wanted to add maybe if you have one or two covet hobbies that have popped up in your lives things that um have uh you know pulled you in if you have any final thoughts with that i'd love we'd love to know a little bit of what you guys are spending your time on um other than rebooking dates um parenting parenting puppy coffee was that michael poppy we have a one-year-old that we got that we got in april now i go to the dog park two or three times a day very sweet very zen to watch your dog run around in the cold i i gotta say that you know without going not having to go out to shows all the time and not going out at night at all i spent a lot of time rediscovering old loves of music and i've been digging deep in my past and uh it's been actually eye-opening and i've actually paid attention to you know the lyrics and songs of new stuff that's coming through in ways that i hadn't done in a long time and um it's been a happy that's been a happy um discovery or rediscovery for sure come on ally what do you got a lot of a lot of cooking uh lasagnas and baking i refinished some furniture every single drawer in my house has been organized my closet my garage everything is high hum curtains i mean i just the projects are never ending i think i might even paint my house myself which is insane as soon as the brain stops and making plans for that at least like a section of it so come to my house yeah but yeah i just like never said idol though i certainly yeah you know you can all come over to my house and uh i'd be happy to make you dinner i got a lot of practice the last year so that's for sure yeah a lot of cooking yeah that's great that's great i've been i feel like we're all like organizers so i've been doing massive organization as well and then just like trying to learn every dish my mother has made so doing a lot of face time as she talks me through it but um i'm glad you all are healthy and and doing the best you can out there and hanging in there and just want to thank you all again michael ally amy frank for joining sharing your thoughts sharing your expertise staying connected in the community with us we really really appreciate it i just want to say thank you all for coming and attending the panel the session will continue to be available as a recording on folk unlocked all week long please take a moment to provide any feedback about today's conversation by posting comments in the chat and just a few topics to review real quickly that you know popped out to me was you know taking care of each other checking in making sure everybody's safe and okay the entrepreneurship that continues to lead us forward the advocacy that continues to lead us forward the awareness and the hard conversations around bypoc issues in race and an accountability that we all have to continue fighting for that conversation and understanding collectively together and how we will continue to evolve artist development and and give us some space to create new careers and new voices out there as independents and finally folk unlocked is made available as well as a pay what you can price point thanks for the thanks to the generosity of our donors that folk alliance if you like to support the work donations can be made at folk.org

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2021-11-06 17:59

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