Tag: August 2019

Metal Detectors Remain Staple of Venue Security

Walk-through metal detectors stand outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. (Courtesy AMB Sports + Entertainment) Use expands beyond major league buildings, as next-gen technology nears its debut  Standing tall, often like a giant wall, are the latest versions of the gold standard in live event ingress security, magnetometers, known as mags in the industry and to the rest of the world as walk-through metal detectors.  The device has a long history. Alexander Graham Bell invented the world’s first metal detector in 1881 after President James Garfield was shot by an assassin and Bell hastily created a makeshift metal detector in an unsuccessful attempt to find the bullet. The first walk-through metal detectors were used in the 1920s to check convicts entering prison for weapons.  It wasn’t until the 1960s that metal detectors began being used commercially, mostly in airports. They didn’t catch on as a point-of-entry tool for venues until after […]

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Live! Roundup: As Summer Heats Up, Legends Take Charge of Charts

Bob Weir and Mickey Hart perform with Dead & Company. (Getty Images) Never mind the scenarios where the old guard quietly takes a back seat to let the younger generation take over. That’s not the case in concert touring, as evidenced by the marquee names on this month’s Hot Tickets charts. With the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney each landing three sold-out concert engagements in the More Than 30,000 Capacity category — along with performances by Dead & Company, Billy Joel and Phil Collins — the old guard touring giants are alive and well in 2019. The Stones lead the charge with sold-out stadium dates in three U.S. markets topped by a $21.7 million gross from two nights at Chicago’s Soldier Field. The shows launched the band’s 2019 summer jaunt that was postponed earlier this year because of Mick Jagger’s health issues. The veteran rockers also hit the chart with […]

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Roll Out the Barrel, Bring on the Band

The Shins perform at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. (Courtesy Brewery Ommegang) As microbreweries keep opening, many include live music on the menu The explosion of the craft beer industry over the past decade has produced another hot trend — concert venues tied to microbreweries booking national acts such as Umphrey’s McGee, Jack White and Jonny Lang. Those are just three examples of live bands that have performed at craft beer halls, some of which are equipped with their own event production equipment to accommodate the acts, promoters and agents involved in routing the artists. In some markets, such as San Luis Obispo, Calif., halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the trend is nothing new. SLO Brew has been holding concerts for 31 years and expanded its operation in 2018 to include a new 600-capacity general admission facility. As the trend moved east, cities such as Charlotte, N.C., a […]

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Comedy: Q&A With Nick Nuciforo, Head of Comedy Touring, UTA

Nick Nuciforo has been the head for comedy at UTA since 2015 when he was made a partner in the talent agency. Previously, Nuciforo ran the comedy touring division at APA and he founded CAA’s comedy touring division. His UTA clients include some of the biggest names working today. The roster includes Ali Wong, Jeff Dunham, Jim Gaffigan, Sebastian Maniscalco, Chris Tucker, Flight of the Conchords, George Lopez, Jeff Foxworthy, Sarah Silverman, Seth Meyers, The Lonely Island, The Tenderloins, Wanda Sykes and Will Ferrell. VenuesNow spoke to the veteran agent about comedy touring in 2019. How’s comedy live touring doing in 2019? Fan awareness of and passion for comedic artists is at an all-time high. Our clients are breaking new ground and setting records. Who’s hot in 2019? A cross-section of artists from every imaginable genre is breaking through this year. Nate Bargatze, John Crist, Hannah Gadsby, Ilana Glazer, Bert Kreischer and The Lonely Island are all playing […]

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Comedy: The Circuit

Having a laugh at a Zanies Comedy Night Club. (Courtesy Zanies Comedy Night Club) Geof Wills President of comedy touring, Live Nation  Punchline San Francisco, 182-seat main room Punchline Philly, 300-seat main room Punchline Sacramento, 240-seat main room Cobb’s Comedy Club San Francisco, 400-seat main room Tickets: Starting at $18  How is business this year? Comedy is super strong across the spectrum in 2019 and it shows no signs of letting up. Who’s hot this year? Ali Wong, Joe Rogan, Trevor Noah, Tom Segura, Dave Chappelle, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr, Burt Kreischer, Iliza Schlesinger, Chris D’Elia, Joey Diaz, Steve Martin & Martin Short, Ricky Gervais, Theo Von, Wanda Sykes, Amanda Seales, 85 South and Chelsea Handler.  Dave Chappelle is wrapping up a record grossing two-week Broadway run at The Lunt-Fontanne. Ali Wong has a 13-show run coming to the Wiltern in L.A. and a potentially longer run at the Masonic in San Francisco. […]

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Kevin Hart: Serious Business

“I am in a place of being super ultra-focused and so are the people who support me.” — Kevin Hart (All photos by Kevin Kwan/Netflix) Kevin Hart’s ability to make an arena feel like a comedy club has helped him produce rock star numbers on tour Kevin Hart’s first gig ever was at The Laff House in Philadelphia in the late 1990s, where he played to a handful of people. On his most recent outing, The Irresponsible Tour, Hart played three consecutive nights at London’s 02 Arena, two at Chicago’s United Center and a show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.  In fact, Hart performed before a staggering 599,032 fans during the portion of the nearly year-and-a-half-long Irresponsible Tour reflected in Pollstar Boxoffice numbers for the top comedy tours June 1, 2018-May 31, 2019. That’s more than double the number of tickets sold by Kevin Bridges, who at 284,244 […]

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Alabama: Song of the South

Alabama at home on the stage. (Jenn Curtis) At 50, Alabama celebrates its singular history and its fans in venues big and small  When the Musicians Hall of Fame named its Class of 2019, something rare happened. Alabama, the working man’s country band from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, found themselves on the list. Having cut their teeth playing three long sets a night in Myrtle Beach bars, Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook understood what it means to not just get up and play, but to master your music, seeking ways to stand out, write great songs and lift people up. Manager Tony Conway, who has worked with everyone from Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks to the Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert, started working with Alabama six years ago. Knowing the impact that the boys from Fort Payne, Ala., had on today’s country music, he saw that beyond […]

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Transformer

Renderings on public display show concourse and food service upgrades plus a new box office at Wells Fargo Center. (All photos courtesy Comcast Spectacor) Comcast Spectacor’s $260 million renovation project is nearing completion at Wells Fargo Center PHILADELPHIA — Wells Fargo Center is in full construction mode this summer, but it remains open for a dozen concerts. On a Tuesday in early July, forklifts maneuvered the new Center City Club at event level. On the main concourse, temporary walls shielded work zones with arena-branded “Pardon Our Appearance” signs in boldface type.  Outside the facility, the only visible sign of “Transformation 2020,” the name for the $260 million, five-year renovation project, was the new box office under construction on the arena’s northwest side. It sits adjacent to the Broad Street entrance, facing the Philadelphia city skyline.  The old box office inside the arena on the southwest side will be replaced with […]

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A Business Plan to Crush Single-Use Cups

Rolling Stones fans can grab an r.Cup on the band’s current North American tour. (Courtesy r.Cup) With the support of bands, r.Cup greens up venues like The Amp St. Augustine  When The Amp St. Augustine replaced plastic cups with reusable cups in April, the venue saw a dramatic decrease in trash collected after each event. The Florida venue partnered with r.Cup, a reusable cup company that helps artists and venues reduce their environmental impact. Before offering reusable cups, the venue used to collect roughly 27 bins full of trash per event. That figure is now down to four bins. “It’s insane to look at the amount of trash that was leaving the amphitheater at the end of the show opposed to now,” said Ryan Murphy, former director of cultural events for St. Johns County, the municipality that runs the venue. “What used to be in those huge 27 bins was (mainly) […]

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Recruiting Tip of the Month: August 2019

Ideas and suggestions on recruiting, interviewing and placement practices in the sports and entertainment industry from Prodigy Sports. How to create a strong recruiting strategy One of the biggest challenges in human resources that a company faces is the hiring process.  The time, finances and all that goes into hiring can be overwhelming and creates pressure beyond simply finding the best talent. Implementing a detailed recruiting strategy can help make the process more efficient and more consistent. The mistake many hiring managers make is beginning the hiring process without knowing the overall goal that all parties are trying to achieve. Do you need this person to be an experienced veteran with knowledge in all types of facilities and venues or do you have the infrastructure and processes in place to take a chance with a green up-and-comer who can grow with the company? What is the primary gap in your […]

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Longtime Top Cop Bratton Still Protects and Serves

Bill Bratton speaks at the New York City Police Foundation 2017 Gala. (Getty Images) VenuesNow Conference speaker discusses his role on the homeland security panel and some favorite police movies  Veteran law enforcement officer Bill Bratton has spent his entire life on the front lines as police commissioner in Los Angeles, New York and Boston, and now as vice chairman of the 30-person bipartisan Homeland Security Advisory Council, a panel that serves the secretary of homeland security on issues of interest or concern. In his role as chairman of Prevent Advisors, the security division of Oak View Group (OVG is the parent company of VenuesNow), Bratton has made it his business to use the most contemporary solutions for preventing and reacting to attacks such as the Manchester Arena bombing after an Ariana Grande concert or the mass shooting during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas.  He […]

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