Tag: June 2020

Historic Theaters: Worth Checking Out

HALL NEW: The 1,000-seat Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall is undergoing nearly $15 million in renovations. (Courtesy Carnegie of Homestead) Pittsburgh-area music hall part of historic library You can find all the classics at the Carnegie of Homestead Library — William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway. In the same 122-year-old building, at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, you can see some other classics perform live — Arlo Guthrie, Boz Scaggs, Ted Nugent. How did “Wango Tango” wind up sharing space with “Pride and Prejudice” in the Pittsburgh-area borough of Munhall? It goes back to Andrew Carnegie, a Pittsburgh steel tycoon who built more than 2,000 libraries around the world between 1883 and 1929, and more recently a timely decision by the library’s board and a push from a promoter in the region. “We’re a public library by trade,” said Carol Shrieve, Carnegie of Homestead’s executive director. “We’re one of […]

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Floridians Flock To Fresh Air

GRAND CENTRAL FLORIDA Rapper Wiz Khalifa performs at Rare Festival, an electronic dance and hip-hop music festival, on Oct. 6, 2018, at the Orlando Amphitheater at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. (Getty Images) Amphitheaters and Pavilions Could Lead Post-Coronavirus Reopening When concerts and other live events return, look for gates, not doors, to reopen. While tiny clubs seem poised to return first, amphitheaters, pavilions and other outdoors spaces will likely follow close behind — and well ahead of their roofed indoor brethren. Though they share risky spots, like concessions, restrooms, and ingress and egress points, outdoor spaces more easily lend themselves to the social distancing guidelines that public health officials recommend to curb the spread of coronavirus, and without ventilation systems or low ceilings, probably pose less risk of circulating airborne pathogens. Top Stops For All Capacity Categories: Florida From a business perspective, amphitheaters make sense for artists, promoters and venues […]

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Mobile on the Move

BUCKS STOP HERE: At Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, officials are developing a more extensive mobile ordering system for concessions. (Don Muret / Staff) When fans return to sports venues,  they’ll see more touchless options for ordering and buying Concessions The global Pandemic of 2020 could finally be the tipping point for greater adoption of mobile payments in sports concessions as part of a new age in contactless food service at arenas and stadiums across North America. As teams and their food providers push toward a cashless business model in general, the mobile payment piece is a critical part of their overall strategy to protect fans and staff in the post-COVID-19 environment, while expanding data in customer buying habits to generate higher revenue. “There’s a huge focus on enabling mobile ordering and pushing fans to do that,” said Geoff Johnson, chief innovation officer with Bypass, a mobile point-of-sale supplier. “It could […]

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Traditional Security Risks Haven’t Left the Scene

STAYING VIGILANT: Traditional threats to events must still be accounted for. (Getty Images) Experts stress that we shouldn’t let our guard down during pandemic As the coronavirus pandemic occupies the attention of venue managers and related business operators, some in the industry say it’s important that no one lose sight of the kinds of security risks that were top of mind prior to the current crisis. The events of Sept. 11, 2001; the Boston Marathon bombing in April, 2013; the November 2015 attacks on the Bataclan nightclub in Paris and Stade de France in Saint-Denis; and the October 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival are examples of the kinds of events that have kept those involved with staging sports and other live events awake at night. And as the industry inches its way back toward a resumption of operations, the sad reality is, there are those who would take advantage […]

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Family Fun Hub Plants Its Flag

THE LIGHTS OF BRANSON:  Nighttime view of Highway 76, where many of Branson’s  37 theaters are located. (Getty Images) Branson, Mo., with open arms and venues, welcomes back audiences eager to be entertained Memorial Day weekend 2020 was a watershed moment for Branson, Mo., the self-proclaimed “Entertainment Capital of the World”— which, if you could add the words “Wholesome Family,” would more accurately describe the programming. Branson has reopened some of its roughly 40 venues ahead of most U.S. markets after state officials put an aggressive plan in place for restarting Missouri’s economy, including this slice of homespun Americana in the heart of the Ozarks, a tourist destination flush with lakes and mountains. In late April, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson released his “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan, which called for an early May reopening with expanded COVID-19 testing, increased PPE, monitoring health care capacity and improving the ability to locate […]

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Safe and Sound

L.A. LIVE: Dodger Stadium sits waiting for baseball to begin. As sports venues reopen, many will seek a new health-safety certification rating formed by experts across multiple industries. (Getty Images) Interdisciplinary collection of experts formed to create certification program for sports and entertainment venues Venues and live events can’t be made fully safe in the age of COVID-19, but a new initiative tied to the International Well Building Institute can go a long way toward making them safer for everyone, says an expert and co-chair of a panel formed as part of the program. Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, chairman of Sport and Sustainability International and science adviser to the New York Yankees, is among 40 industry professionals, team officials, scientists and other experts who have formed the Well Advisory on Sports and Entertainment Venues. The goal is to develop a new health-safety certification program, the Well Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations […]

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Inching Our Way Back

GAME OF INCHES: The NFL regular season kicks off in September, but other sports have already returned without fans in the stands. (Getty Images) Live begins its comeback, using best practices that are being established even as you read this It’s unfathomable all that’s happened in the past nine weeks. The human toll is incomprehensible. It is also difficult to understand the shuttering of our multibillion-dollar industry and indeed the rest of the American and global economies. What a difference, though, a few months make. Though we are by no means Pollyannaish, there is much these days to be hopeful for as glimmers of light begin to take shape as we carefully inch our way back. Strategic planning is well underway as sports leagues, venues, promoters, artists, concessionaires, production companies, security and other sectors of the live business plan their comebacks in the safest ways possible while establishing best practices […]

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Chiefs Stick With Two Concessionaires

There’s a possibility that a big chunk of the 2020 NFL season could be played in empty venues, but one thing is clear: The Kansas City Chiefs are sticking with two concessionaires at Arrowhead Stadium.

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Historic Theaters: New Marquee Has a Job To Do: Uplift

Lexington Opera House’s custom-designed sign debuted just before COVID-19 When Kentucky’s Lexington Opera House threw the switch in March on a new sign, the script called for a steady stream of Broadway shows and local theater and music performances to parade across the marquee’s digital LED screens. Then COVID-19 made its appearance and turned the plot on its head, resulting in postponements and cancellations that left the marquee with no shows to promote. But the staff at the downtown opera house, led by director of performing arts Luanne Franklin, has found a way to use its newest addition to help residents weather the pandemic. “We’ve been providing some inspirational messages inspired by Broadway to try to lift people’s spirits,” Franklin said. Staff members comb through classic shows for lines and lyrics, some familiar and others forgotten, to find words that will offer encouragement in difficult times. New lyrics go up […]

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