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WE RISE BRINGS MENTAL HEALTH CONVERSATION TO LOS ANGELES

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WE RISE BRINGS MENTAL HEALTH CONVERSATION TO LOS ANGELES

WEDNESDAY // MAY 23, 2018

As as advocate of spreading mental health awareness and action increasingly to the United States, we feel it is our obligation to continue to highlight the mental health events occurring in our neighborhoods. We now know the alarming U.S. statistic of those suffering from a mental health issue - 1 in 5. We now understand the severity of the issue and the resources we must continue to create in order for everyone to get the help they need and deserve.  

The WE RISE mental health festival in Downtown Los Angeles aims to change old mental health perceptions and display new systems of self-care all humans rightfully need and deserve. In a popular, national initiative to change the culture, more and more free mental wellness events are beginning to pop up around the country.

The event kicked off last weekend on May 19 and will continue through May 28. WE RISE features over 150 artists exhibiting original work to call for mental health action and present over 50 hours of workshops and creative programming. WE RISE will even hold an art lab with activities meant to improve the overall community understanding of mental health.

If you missed last weekend’s events, there are still some very important topics occurring now through the end of this upcoming weekend:

  • Suicide: The Ripple Effect Screening
  • When: Friday, May 25, 5:30pm - 7pm

The documentary film “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” outlines the aftermath of suicide and positive effects of advocacy, inspiration and hope that help keep millions alive and eventually heal. The focus is on attempted suicide survivor and world-renowned mental health advocate Kevin Hines who speaks about his incredible mental health journey.

Our industry has lost too many loved ones too soon - too many amazing and creative individuals have died by suicide. Although several were not given a second chance such as Hines, this film is sure to touch others and potentially cause life-changing differences.  

  • Breaking the Silence
  • When: Friday, May 25, 7pm - 8:30pm

This segment tackles the silence and isolation associated with conversations about suicide, despite the fact one million lives are lost each year globally. In hopes to toss the taboo, this segment aims to de-stigmatize suicide by humanizing the stories once hidden in the dark.

  • Get Free Yoga & Meditation
  • When: Saturday, May 26, 10am - 11:30am

Utilizing yoga as a tool to nourish mental health has been nothing new. In fact, the trend began in the 70s to treat depression and anxiety. According to Harvard.edu, yoga can actually reduce the heart rate, lower blood pressure and ease respiration as well as increase heart rate variability, the body’s capacity to respond to stress more flexibly.

WE RISE offers an informed yoga session with a purpose to release trauma, shame, anger and more.

Lead by: Jessamyn Stanley & JoAnna Harper

  • Mindful Kids Story Time
  • When: Saturday, May 26, 10am - 11am

A huge step in changing the stigma for our future points at how we raise our children to perceive mental health. As we’ve mentioned in our previous piece about mental health, putting our time and energy into the prevention of emotional suffering is a great start to ensuring our children are emotionally healthy to begin with. Dr. Van Dahlen previously told us how we teach children about issues such as drugs and sex but we don’t spend much time helping them grow emotionally fit.

This segment offers a mid-morning mindful reading exercise using children’s storybooks, entertainers and activists. Aimed to calm children's’ busy minds and bodies, this segment provides tools parents can implement beyond the event.

Special guest: Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

Be sure to check out these last few events of WE RISE this weekend! Of course encouraged to attend in person, WE RISE will live stream multiple segments of the festival on all social media accounts @werise_la.

To view the entire list of artists, click here.   

To view the entire event calendar in detail, click here.

ANOTHER LIFE LOST TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

 
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ANOTHER LIFE LOST TO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

WEDNESDAY // MAY 3, 2018

Last week the live entertainment industry lost yet another young, talented artist far too soon. Tim Bergling, better known as the Swedish DJ Avicii, had been pronounced dead in his hotel room in Oman at age 28. With recent news of Bergling passing by suicide, the topic of mental health once again takes center stage.

On Tuesday, TMZ reported details far too private surrounding the tragic passing of Bergling. Furthermore, TMZ's language of "committing suicide" focuses the entire blame on Bergling himself - something that immensely contributes to the stigma surrounding mental health. In turn, this stigma fuels even more tragedies when individuals are afraid to get the help they truly need and deserve. Instead, we recognize that Bergling died by suicide - something we must keep saying in the fight for mental health. 

Though the actual details are and should remain private within his family and loved ones, the news of a clear suicide waves another blatant red flag in the face of our industry - one we should never ignore. 

Bergling’s family had first released a statement thanking his loved ones and beloved fans for the public gatherings, church bells celebrating his music and the several Coachella tributes the first day of weekend 2, April 20 - the day news of his death occurred.

Three days later, the family released a second statement, alluding to Bergling’s death had possibly been caused by suicide. The open letter read:

Stockholm, 26 April 2018

Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.

An over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress.

When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.

He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness.

He could not go on any longer.

He wanted to find peace.

Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself in; he was a sensitive guy who loved his fans but shunned the spotlight.

Tim, you will forever be loved and sadly missed.

The person you were and your music will keep your memory alive. We love you,

Your family

How many beloved individuals within our industry will leave us far too soon for us to position mental health on the same level as importance of physical health?

Bergling’s fans have taken to social media sites to express outrage toward the DJ's management, accusing them as far as working him to death.

The backstory? Bergling had suffered from acute pancreatitis and a number of other serious health conditions, CBS News reported. And in 2014, Bergling had his gallbladder and appendix removed, cancelled shows to recover, and even retired from touring in 2016.  

Signs from his documentary Avicii: True Stories, released six months prior to his death, show fans his struggle to keep up with his strenuous career. More specifically, there is a video clip fans are talking about most - see the clip below.

 

In response to the resurfaced clip, fans expressed their anger in Tweets such as:

 
 

To put all blame on management or any one person isn’t exactly the way to go about the aftermath of such tragedy. In the end it’s mental health we must tackle head on and recognize when enough is enough - before it’s too late.

Looking at Bergling’s circumstances and examining just how well he was treated does spark concern for the lack of mental health care he received - if he received any at all.

One article in Digital Music News, touched on the machine Tim Bergling created: the Avicii Machine, basically “Avicii, Inc.” To elaborate, slowing down Bergling - slowing down the machine - means less income for the several people involved in his team.

Just how much money was this machine making? After “Levels” put him into the spotlight in 2011, Bergling’s 2013 hit “Wake Me Up” marked Spotify’s most streamed song ever. At the peak of Bergling’s success in 2014, he made $28 million in one year. Looking at his career as a whole, between 2012 and 2016, Bergling made almost $90 million from his music, QZ reported.

To slow the machine down while it rapidly picked up would mean slowing down the incredible income Bergling was earning - for everybody involved.

Bergling played 320 shows in one year, up until March 2016 when he decided to retire, Daily Mail reported. His documentary revealed many disagreements between him and his manager, Arash ‘Ash’ Pournouri had about keeping the machine going.

In one scene Bergling reveals to his friends about these conversations saying, ‘I have said, like, I’m going to die. I have said it so many times. And so I don’t want to hear that I should ever entertain the thought of doing another gig. And I know Arash knows this, which is why I feel extra hurt - because he has said that [I should play more gigs] when it suits him,’ cited Daily Mail.  

The film also captures Pournouri stating Bergling ‘doesn’t understand the value of money. And he doesn’t understand how his decisions affects other people very negatively’ after Bergling decided to put the state of his well being first before touring.

Bergling’s career took off in 2008 when he was only 17 and Pournouri, 26. At that young age with little experience, an artist may not know of their limits, Pournouri actually said of Bergling at Sydney’s Electronic Music Conference in 2012, Junkee reported.  

And his limits were pushed very much so. There are many instances the documentary captures with the pressure put on Bergling to continue forward, despite the mental and physical problems he suffered with on a daily basis. The documentary also revealed how alcohol battled his anxiety and stress, being a self-proclaimed introvert. The documentary painstakingly captured Bergling’s experienced anxiety and panic attacks.    

In terms of his passing, we cannot play the blame game. Of course, we can say his management put indescribable pressure on Bergling. Of course, we can suggest the dynamics within his team communication and overwhelming scheduling triggered his poor mental health and alcoholism.

But as we have discussed in multiple mental health articles before, we must apply the same to Bergling’s passing: in the end, the only one responsible for saving your mental health, is you. You must be in control of your own mental well being.

Did the years of untreated poor mental health and physical health become too much for Bergling to bear? Yes. This is where we must tackle the issue to prevent the number of fatal outcomes to mental health from growing within our industry. On the surface level, it’s easy to blame Bergling himself - for the alcoholism, for the alleged self-inflicted wound causing his death.

But - Mental health is not a surface level topic! Nor should anyone ever treat it as such.

What we do know is individuals struggling with mental health commonly abuse a number of substances in order to cope. In wake of his 2016 retirement, Bergling had expressed his personal struggles and need for help to his fans through a since deleted letter on his site regarding his retirement.  

In the end Bergling decided to keep pushing himself during his most troubling times. Clearly, Bergling had retired too late - after much of the mental and physical damage had already been done.

We have to continue to change the culture. We really have to show how much we care about the people surrounding us by continuing to check in on their lives.  

Bergling’s management should have grasped the importance of wellness over money and success. It could be safe to say if your team fails to acknowledge your overall well being first, you should reconsider the team completely. Surround yourself with others who support your mental and physical health. No precious life is worth a temporary income - no matter how large that income may be.

Instead of adding Bergling’s name on the list of a young, talented musicians tragic ending, we have to act. We must educate everyone from management, to fans to promoters to clubs to investors about the real result of untreated mental health. Everyone is talking, but when will everyone start doing?  

Remedy State: IMS Ibiza holistic program

Mixmag believes the EDM industry - but perhaps the whole music industry as a whole - needs to implement policies of their own. Create mandatory breaks from touring. Create more accessible events for touring artists such as Remedy State: IMS Ibiza holistic program featuring mindfulness, exercise, physical therapy, medical evaluation and nutrition.

This retreat is so tailored for the constant touring artist - it is founded by IMS’ Ben Turner and OWSLA co-owner Blaise James DeAngelo. The practices taking place at the program are a direct response to the touring lifestyle.

The website addresses the irony within the music industry. If music is meant to heal the mind, body and soul, why does the lifestyle support the opposite effect?

This is just the beginning. We need to establish more industry-specific retreats such as these. What if there was one day dedicated to mental health within our industry? Bell Let’s Talk Day occurs in Canada every year. But what if this day prevented any shows from occurring? What if work stopped for just one day to focus on the lives of touring artists?

It’s not that far fetched. Although religious driven, Nyepi Day in Bali, Indonesia, better known as the Bali Day of Silence, occurs every year on March 17. Literally everything on the island shuts down. Lights are shut off. No vehicles are allowed on the streets. All travel is shut down. Most tourists avoid this day altogether.

Just what if there was a day like this for touring artists? What if, for one day out of the 365 days of the year, our industry put mental health on the spotlight and silenced our loud speakers to reflect on ourselves and our loved ones?

What if, for those 24 hours we positioned self-care before money and fame? What if we recognized ourselves as human - not a machine?
 

PROTECT YOUR GEAR FROM THEFT

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PROTECT YOUR GEAR FROM THEFT

THURSDAY // APRIL 12, 2018

On Friday, March 30, 2018, a thief stole the instruments of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band guitarist, Nils Lofgren, prior to his show in Dallas, Texas. Four guitars, harps, tools and other equipment were among the items stolen from the band’s van parked at the Holiday Inn Express, FOX4Dallas reported.

Lofgren felt devastated from losing many sentimental guitars brought with him on tours around the world over the time span of 50 years and 6,000 shows. Despite the loss, Lofgren reassured fans the great show would go on, as a professional musician would be expected to do.

That same night, the guitarist tweeted, “I’m devastated by this robbery. These are my first shows out after a very difficult year. Please consider a retweet. Alas, the show must go on. @KesslerTheater it won’t be the show I was planning on. However I do plan on taking the roof off.”

Lofgren was able to continue the show by borrowing and renting what he needed to make it happen.

Lofgren told FOX4Dallas the thief broke into the van, put the equipment into his trunk and drove off. Thanks to surveillance video, police recovered Lofgren’s guitars the following Monday, and an arrest was made.  

What if this happened to you? And more importantly, what if you didn’t have the resources to have the show go on?

Musicians, performers, venue employees, drivers, touring crew, tech crew, stagehands, and just about any other occupation in the live entertainment industry are subject to losing the precious gear that pay the bills - if they don’t take the right precautions.

How the perpetrator broke has yet to be announced. The investigation of the break-in is still underway, but here are some helpful tips you should consider, provided by gigging musician and deputy sheriff, Jerry Cress, on Disc Makers Blog.

First thing’s first: Document the Sale & Insure Your Gear

If you buy equipment from a private seller, you are urged to have the original owner / private seller, provide documentation of the sale, i.e. “On this date (date), I sold (equipment), serial #_, to (your name) for the amount of (price).”

Inspect your home and car insurance policies in detail. Spend the money to receive instrument insurance.

Keep a record of every single piece of equipment in your possession.

Lock your doors

It might seem like the obvious action, but in the smallest moment you are away from your car is when this type of thief succeeds. Running in the gas station to pay in cash? Lock your car. Forgot your wallet inside? Lock your car. Running down the hotel lobby for some ice? Lock your door! Thieves are constantly on the lookout for anybody who lets their guard down, even for a split second.

Reported recently in Simi Valley, California, is news about gas station “slider thefts” who essentially will slide up to a person’s car out of sight while he or she is getting gas and snatch belongings before quickly escaping the scene.

You can see footage of this happening below:

 

Imagine filling up the tank of your touring van holding thousands of dollars of gear, only to turn around to an empty backseat. So, moral of this lesson is to lock your doors at all time, even if you’re just getting gas.

Keep a clean car and cover your windows

Don’t leave your gear in a vehicle unless you absolutely have to. As soon as you’re able to unload your gear, do so. Leaving important gear in your car on display is comparable to window shopping for a thief. Don’t tempt them. Otherwise, it may be a great idea to invest in some curtains to hide the gear you have inside.

Stay out of the dark

Avoid parking your vehicle holding gear in a back, dark lot of your gig location or hotel. Park in an area with lights, and as close to your gig venue as you can possibly get. Check on your vehicle every so often.

Work as a team

This step may remind you of being in an airport, to never leave your bags unattended. The same goes for loading in and out. In an instant, your unattended equipment can be snatched while you’re loading something else in or out. Have someone in your crew watch the rest of your stuff if you’re preoccupied with something else, whatever that may be.

Rethink your rehearsal space

How does everyone know where the neighborhood band is? They can hear ‘em. That being known, everyone then is aware of the gear inside that house in that garage. The noise complaints and cops outside the house addressing those complaints sure don’t go unnoticed, especially to a thief curious as to what’s inside.

The article also addresses the issue with garage break-ins, and the ease most garage doors have with break-ins built for emergencies. The author suggests investing in good locks or deadbolts and to cover the windows. He further suggests not storing gear in the garage is the surefire way to prevent any of the above.

Invest in lights and alarm systems

Outside light sensors usually shoo a burglar away. Also invest in an alarm system that will notify you right away if there is a breach.

THE FEMALE PROMOTER

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THE FEMALE PROMOTER

THURSDAY // MARCH 15, 2018

With the month of March dedicated to Women’s History, it seems only fitting to apply the same recognition and appreciation of women thriving in our live entertainment industry. Women have been working hard to represent in all sectors of the live entertainment industry.

Looking at a songwriters and producers study by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and Professor Stacy L. Smith titled, “Inclusion in the Recording Studio?” female artists only made up 22.4 percent of the content creators responsible for the 600 most popular songs from 2012 to 2017. Furthermore, 2017 was its lowest, coming to 16.8 percent of female representation on the charts.  

Observing female producers and songwriters over the same six year time frame and 600 songs, female writers only came out to 12.3 percent. The most shocking? Only 2 percent of the producers were female. That’s one female for every 49 male producers.

What conspires from this data? Two things: Recognizing these facts and making a lasting change. Smith noted, “this is another example of what we see across the ecosystem of entertainment: Women are pushed to the margins or excluded from the creative process,” reported USC News. What to change? Both female and male industry professionals must come together and “bring new voices and different perspectives,” Smith said.

Although there is currently a lack of research among female live music promoters, the several barriers young women face in the promoting sector is no secret to the industry. These barriers include not knowing who to talk to, the fear of risk-taking, how to get the best deal and/or how to make the connections they need, Music Venue Trust reported.  

On International Women’s Day, the UK’s Music Planet Live (MPL) and Music Venue Trust (MVT) announced a major partnership and initiative to uplift young, hopeful female promoters into the industry while revitalizing grassroots music venues. Coined with the name Fightback: Grassroots Promoter, this $140,000 intervention will support its action to recruit 100 young women to put on 100 shows at 100 venues.

“There’s not enough female promoters working in the grassroots music venues, and we’re going to change that,” Beverley Whitrick of MVT said.

MVT will provide a support package of which includes the following;

  • A Gig-In-A-Box: How to book, manage & promote a show
  • Support from local Grassroots Music Venue and music industry professional mentors
  • Your own local event; in turn, your show profits will directly benefit venues in hopes to stay open

While providing an awesome opportunity for women to excel in the promoting sector, Music Venue Trust continues its mission to preserve Grassroots Music Venues, responsible for much of the iconic artists who utilized these local, British venues as a platform to musical success over the past 40 years.

These venues made it possible for artists such as The Beatles, The Clash, Kate Bush, Dire Straits and Radiohead to get recognized, and ultimately given the opportunity to share their treasured music with the world, MVT states on its website. In fact, without these venues we may not ever find another Adele or Ed Sheeran, both amazing artists who give grassroots venues current and relevant value they truly stand for.

In order to revamp the grassroots scene, harnessing a hardworking, new generation of female promoters will strengthen the music community as a whole; Music venues, aspiring artists and new promoters will all thrive immensely. Founded in 2017, this is exactly what Music Planet Live aims to achieve. For this initiative, MPL aims to provide the opportunity for promoters by removing the financial risks, pay the artists and venues alike, Richard Taylor of MPL said.  

For more details regarding Fightback Grassroots Promoter, read the full announcement here: Exciting new initiative from Music Planet Live and Music Venue Trust

For more information on how to apply to Fightback Grassroots Promoter, visit www.musicplanetlive.com to create an account, then email Music Venue Trust at [email protected] for more details.

 

"Strike A Chord" Discussion Spoke Volumes On Mental Wellness in the Entertainment Industry

  Those who participated in the panel include Talinda Bennington, Chester's wife; Anna Shinoda, Chester's band mate's wife; ESA Chairman Jim Digby, Director of Touring & Production for Linkin Park; Joey "Vendetta" Scoleri, Head of Industry Relations of Live Nation Canada; & Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., Founder and President of Give an Hour

Those who participated in the panel include Talinda Bennington, Chester's wife; Anna Shinoda, Chester's band mate's wife; ESA Chairman Jim Digby, Director of Touring & Production for Linkin Park; Joey "Vendetta" Scoleri, Head of Industry Relations of Live Nation Canada; & Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., Founder and President of Give an Hour

Strike A Chord Discussion Spoke Volumes On Mental Wellness in the Entertainment Industry

By: Dana Janssen, TourReady, Inc. 

WEDNESDAY // FEBRUARY 28, 2018

In July 2017, the music world tragically and abruptly lost the lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington. Born out of tragedy, on January 31, 2018, the Strike A Chord Discussion at Live Nation Canada focused on mental wellness in the entertainment industry and specific actions to take better care of ourselves and each other.

While working in the entertainment industry is rewarding, the lifestyle itself creates challenges to our mental health. The constantly evolving industry creates a high-pressure, stressful environment where we tend to place our entire well being on the back burner as a matter of course.

High stress, lack of sleep, chronic jet lag, poor eating habits, and a lack of exercise are just a few of the challenges touring professionals deal with on a daily basis. A 2017 American business traveler study from On Call International found that ⅓ of road warriors experience higher than normal stress levels, causing several issues including the growth or worsening of depression and anxiety.

In response to the growing number of individuals who are emotionally suffering, Live Nation CanadaBell Let's TalkWarner Music CanadaCanadian Event Safety and Event Safety Alliance (ESA) teamed up to spread mental health awareness and voice a new approach for people to easily find the help they deserve.

Those participating in the panel were those closest to Chester, including Talinda Bennington, Chester’s wife; Anna Shinoda, Author and Chester’s band mate’s wife; ESA Chairman Jim Digby, Director of Touring and Production for Linkin Park; and Joey “Vendetta” Scoleri, Head of Industry Relations of Live Nation Canada. Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D., Founder and President of Give An Hour also joined the event. Give an Hour leads the Campaign to Change Direction and is now working closely with Talinda Bennington to reach those who are in need of mental health care and support. 

In addition to the organizations previously listed, attendees of the private event included The AFC, a company that provides emergency funding for Canada’s entertainment industry; OVER THE BRIDGE, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health and addiction awareness and support resources; and TourReady, Inc., a partner of the ESA working to spread the Canadian initiatives on mental health awareness and actions in the United States.

The group disclosed personal experiences in order to discuss how to talk about mental health; recognize warning signs, changes in behaviors and triggers; seek support for ourselves; and how to help those surrounding us who are suffering emotionally and/or dealing with addiction.

Live entertainment individuals gathered before the panel hoping to make a lasting change across the industry in the aftermath of the loss of Chester. We hope to heal ourselves and those in need. The discussion on mental health has well begun reaching higher volumes and has sparked the world to listen more than ever before. People are finally talking.

Live Nation Canada furnished the discussion room with round tables, chairs, comfortable red couches and coffee tables. Each table displayed several handouts of a graphic picturing the Campaign to Change Direction’s Five Signs of someone who suffers from emotional pain and might need support.

Samantha Slattery, co-chair and executive director of Capital Presents opened the event alongside Janet Sellery, co-chair and health & safety consultant of Sellery Health + Safety.

Digging deep into sensitive topics, Sellery reminded the audience to excuse themselves if anyone is left feeling vulnerable, and offered an on-site psychotherapist for support. Digby advised the audience to take a deep breath before diving into the crucial discussion.

“We Let Our Guard Down”

There had been no overt signs prior to the loss of Chester, Digby said. The Linkin Park Family welcomed Digby in 2002, throughout the journey the family ideal continually evolved to it’s most recent place of nearly perfect. Chester’s sudden passing devastated the entire family who never saw this coming.

Not only did grief and shock overwhelm the LP family, but also their dedicated and loyal fans. The difficult lyrics, Digby said, spoke to fans in a uniquely genuine way. Fans coped with the loss of their hero heavily through social media, supporting one another through asking for help in their own lives.

The most important and alarming factor is that depression rarely has a face. There are very few “tells” and in some cases none. Though after the fact we can sometimes see indications – or “signs” of the pain or suffering that was hidden.

Some of Chester’s inner demons were known over the years and had played a crucial part of who he was. However, during the months preceding his loss it appeared as though he had things under control. “In fact,” Digby said, “this was the best, and most in control Chester we had ever seen."

The discussion presented a home video of a seemingly joyful Chester in good spirits playing The Jelly Bean Challenge with loved ones.  Digby challenged the audience to identify anything out of the ordinary in the video. No one could.

The video was shot only 36 hours before his passing.

“Our guard was down,” Digby said. “He was presenting himself as newly transformed and completely in control.”

Musicians are far too familiar with experiencing emotional ups and downs. With each performance comes the body’s own natural high. The artist connects with the audience, the audience adornment produces a chemical response including dopamine, adrenalin and cortisol, all of which need to be managed, Digby said.

Not only do artists experience these highs, but also crew members behind the scenes will and do as well in their excitement over the thrill of the job. OVER THE BRIDGE recognizes the wide range of industry professionals who may experience similar mental health challenges, including but not limited to, “musicians, booking agents, venue owners, event security, hospitality personnel, bus/truck drivers, and local crew and touring crew.”

The problem occurs when the show is over, the hotel door shuts and the lights turn off. What happens after experiencing such a huge high followed by the quietness of a hotel room or bus bunk? Sometimes to continue reveling in the euphoric rush, substance use or other addictive behaviors become normalized.

Despite the anecdotal reports of post-performance lows and substance use and addiction to combat these lows, there is a lack of research to back the important issues that have become very normalized amongst musicians.

Ace Piva of OVER THE BRIDGE and his research team designed a study that measures musician post-performance mood response and how those individuals manage, cope and celebrate those emotions. The team is currently sorting through the collected data of the study produced under the supervision of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

“It is our duty to acknowledge it and make it ok to talk about it to try and help others help themselves or someone they care about,” Digby said. “That’s why we’re here.”

“What Did I Miss?”

Although Talinda and Chester were inseparable from the start, the two began as emotionally unhealthy in their own, separate ways. He had struggled with depression and addiction in the past, something Talinda had strived again and again to understand from her perspective - a totally unknown territory.

“We can seem so normal and so okay, and then not be okay - in an instant,” Talinda said. 

At the time of his passing, Chester had practiced sobriety for six months and was also enrolled in an outpatient treatment program.

Any relapse in the past resulted in utmost, indescribable shame within Chester.  In addition to overwhelming shame, Talinda recalled the ongoing pressure Chester experienced throughout his musical career. With each album success came the pressure to achieve an even higher success on the next album, while at the same time fighting hard for self-improvement.

His loved ones will remain unaware of Chester’s thought process during his final moments, but the only things to blame are disease, addiction and mental illness. What are some of the issues victims’ loved ones experience in the aftermath of a tragic loss such as Chester’s?

To answer this question, TourReady spoke to Van Dahlen, who, through Give an Hour, created a national network of volunteer mental health professionals who provide free and confidential mental health care to those in need including those who serve, veterans and their families.

The grief survived loved ones are left with, Van Dahlen told TourReady, is overwhelming and they wish to undo it.

“Survivors guilt,” she said, “is an actual phenomenon that we frequently see when someone dies by suicide, when there are traumas, natural disasters occur, or in the aftermath of an mass shooting.”

Both survivors and loved ones live with thoughts such as, “What did I miss?”; “Could I have prevented it?”;  “Recognized it?”; and, “Could I have seen it coming?”

The answer is that it is typically extremely difficult to prevent these traumas or tragedies.

“Ninety-nine percent of the time,” Van Dahlen continued, “the survivor couldn’t have changed [the outcome] or stopped it.”

Following the immediate aftermath, these feelings are normal and understandable. However, people will have to judge how well they can tolerate [those feelings], Van Dahlen said.

“When a survivor’s grief becomes unremitting and begins to preoccupy the individual throughout the day or late at night, people deserve proper care, support and attention to work through these feelings and reactions so that they can move on,” Van Dahlen said.

Instead of attempting to answer the why we must understand his passing as a recipe for a tragic final conclusion.

“Typically, there are multiple factors that contribute to someone’s death by suicide. In Chester’s case it may have been past traumas, the impact of addition and the loss of his close friend, Chris Cornell - how these all fit together, for Chester, we will likely never know,” Van Dahlen said.

Remaining stuck in the endlessly tangled search for answers will solely result in significant suffering within the individuals who are left behind.

Based on what we know from those closest to him, the years of untreated mental health and substance abuse led to his loss against the battle of mental health.

Thanks to the individuals who shared their experiences at Strike A Chord, the music industry continues to take a huge step forward to remove the stigma surrounding mental health, in hopes of changing the culture for future generations to come.

Changing the Culture

The stigma associated with mental health, mental illness and addiction contributes to the overwhelming emotional suffering within the individual.

Shinoda shared an entry on her personal blog the embarrassment she felt and costs associated with mental health that she, too, suffered with prior to finding what methods work best.

Shinoda discussed the issue of the mental health stigma that turns people away from seeking the attention they deserve. One simple way we can combat the stigma is to change the language we use in society when discussing mental health.

She introduced the phrase committed suicide alone heavily weighs blame on the victim for a tragic end of his or her emotional suffering. If instead, we begin to say died by suicide, we recognize a very real, fatal outcome for untreated mental illnesses.

We need to change the culture. It can feel embarrassing, and the time it takes to navigate affordable resources heightens the stigma, leaving a threat to mental wellbeing untreated. Moving beyond the stigma takes effort from everyone to look after one another in support.

Talinda said something that will resonate with me for the years to come: “When we ask ‘how are you,’ are we really asking, ‘how are you?’”

Think about the last time someone asked you this question, and what their response might have been. Did they ignore your answer? Did they look in the other direction? Did they walk away from you?  If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you know the abrupt exchange was not a positive one.

Again, we may seem so normal but we aren’t always okay.

Talinda teamed up with Give an Hour and the Campaign to Change Direction to launch a new initiative in honor of Chester’s life, 320 Changes Direction.

Being able to speak openly about these struggles encourages those in need to seek the care they deserve. This is one of the two needs the Campaign to Change Direction and 320 Changes Direction initiative aims to satisfy.

By first changing the culture of mental health, Change Direction and Talinda seek to build a new approach for those suffering to easily find help they need and deserve. In this industry, checking in with each other - caring for each other’s mental wellbeing - is crucial.

When the Campaign to Change Direction launched on March 2, 2015, their 50 partners, and now 320 Changes Direction, have pledged to educate the world about the Five Signs of emotional suffering in order to launch a public health effort for everyone – to encourage all of us to care for our emotional well being. With one in five Americans dealing with a mental health challenge, it is no surprise First Lady Michelle Obama helped launch the campaign as their keynote speaker in Washington, D.C.

Van Dahlen compared knowing the signs of a heart attack equally as important as recognizing the signs of emotional suffering.

“We would never say ‘suck it up’ to cancer,” Van Dahlen continued, “so why would we [say that] to someone who is emotionally suffering?”

Changing this stigma also lies in the hands of parents who should encourage their children to think and talk about their emotional wellbeing.

“We teach them about issues such as drugs and sex but we don’t spend a whole lot of time helping them grow emotionally fit,” Van Dahlen said. She made the argument emotional wellbeing is a bedrock for success in life, healthy relationships, families and communities.

Putting time and energy into the prevention of emotional suffering is a great start to ensuring our children are emotionally healthy to begin with.

There is hope for new pathways, Van Dahlen continued, but there is no pill to fix a mental health challenge. Although there are pills to aid mental suffering, such as an aid in sleep after a post-traumatic event, one still needs to put in the work.

Seeking Self-Help

To understand the difference between an emotionally suffering individual and one who is not, each individual’s brain differs widely from the rest. Humans have yet to understand how each and every brain works in its entirety – but this is ok because there is a lot we do know about how our brains contribute to our feelings and our behaviors.

Along with the movement to drive culture change, the second goal of these amazing organizations aims to create a new approach to guarantee easy access in finding help whenever necessary.

The ability to help ourselves is what we do understand. Humans have the capability to heal and change behavior patterns, Van Dahlen said.

During the struggle of his own mental health journey, Scoleri compared the incessant rumination plagued over his brain to spiders searching for every negative thought imaginable.

To help himself, other habits Scoleri currently practices include meditation, exercise, avoiding caffeine/alcohol, eating clean, eliminating social media, turning one’s phone off two hours prior to bed, and much more he listed on a convenient handout at the discussion.

The problem is, Scoleri revealed, is no one provided his personal list of tips for him. He had to recognize his own need for help and work for it.

The panel then displayed a quote by Maya Angelou:

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Mental health awareness training, Digby said, is a good idea. We have already seen both Canada and the UK jump ahead with government funding toward mental health first aid. And the Campaign to Change Direction launched the Five Healthy Habits of Emotional Well-being that we can all learn and practice on www.changedirection.org.

Bell Let’s Talk has created their own five ways to end the stigma around mental illness, described on the home page of their website.

More industry specific, the AFC, formerly known as the Actors Fund of Canada, is described as the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Each year, the organization distributes $500,000 in emergency financial aid to help all entertainment industry professionals suffering from injury, illness or other personal hardships.

In addition to OVER THE BRIDGE currently sorting data from the post-performance mood response study, they have collected local mental health programs and resources, entertainment support and national crisis support/distress lines on their website, www.overthebridge.org and http://www.ementalhealth.ca.

The mental health conversation in the American entertainment industry has recently jumped on board. When asking Van Dahlen about organizations leading the conversation, she credited Live Nation and Warner Music for seizing the opportunity to build a movement within the music industry to address needs of artists, industry professionals behind the scenes and fans.

The Recording Academy MusiCares brings awareness to music industry professionals suffering from co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders and uses their platform to educate us on programs available across the nation.

Change Direction’s partnerships with Talinda through 320 Changes Direction, various artists and groups, Live Nation, the industry standards Digby continues to develop, and the supporting organizations at Strike A Chord are all faced with a huge opportunity to elevate this important issue.  

The resources are here. But it takes the individual to recognize and help him or herself as a first step in order to utilize the resources. And people in this world have the right to take care of themselves.

Shortly before Chester passed, a veteran had given him a dog tag Talinda wore around her neck bearing a message for all of us.

Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit,” Talinda read. “I found this after he passed, at a time when I needed to hear it the most. So I want to pass that to you. Now you know - we’ve shared this wisdom with you, but it takes courage. And I wish that courage to every one of you to take care of yourselves.”


Bell Let’s Talk Day 2018 resulted in over 130,000 online interactions and raised $6,919,199 dedicated to mental health in Canada becoming a stigma-free country.

Learning Resources

To learn more about the Five Signs of Emotional Suffering and pledge to share the Signs, visit The Campaign to Change Direction: www.changedirection.org

To learn more about mental health conditions visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions

To learn more about mental health organizations and statistics worldwide visit World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int/mental_health/en/

Hotlines

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Text SIGNS to 741741 for the Crisis Text Line

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-487-4889

 

Watch the full stream video of Strike A Chord here.

 

WHY SPECIALIZED PIT SECURITY IS CRUCIAL

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WHY PIT SPECIALIZED PIT SECURITY IS CRUCIAL

MONDAY // FEBRUARY 26, 2018

If you have not seen the bizarre video from earlier this month of the over excited fan climbing onto Keisha Cole’s stage to only get physically thrown off by security - well, you should. Here it is below:

 
 

In the video, the man is seen hopping the barricade to join Cole on stage and appears to try and grab the microphone from her. It didn’t take long before security grabbed the man who didn’t seem to comply with the bouncer’s orders before throwing him off of the stage.

Although no injuries were reported, the fall looks quite painful. How did this man manage to get past security? How did he manage to climb the barricade and do so without anyone noticing in time?

The video seems to show pit security fail to react in time to the over zealous fan. Sometimes the consequences won’t stop these types of fans from committing this act. For one, an individual who commits this crime may get arrested, charged with a misdemeanor, punishable up to 93 days in jail and fined as much as $500, Thomas Hardesty, Director of Security & Traffic Management for Palace Sports Entertainment told Yahoo! Entertainment.

This man may have suffered minor injuries, but others are not so lucky. In fact, a fan actually died two weeks after a 2010 Ted Nugent show after the bass player kicked the adoring fan in the head after he snuck on stage, Yahoo! Entertainment reported.

The event security, but perhaps they weren’t specialized pit security personnel. GPS Security outlined five reasons why every event needs to establish specialized pit security for us to elaborate on in response to the recent event.   

1. Lifting People Properly: Especially after this man fell (after security failed to catch him), lifting individuals from a dense crowd requires proper training and care. With the potential for injury of both the lifter and the individual, specialized pit crews are necessary since they possess the sufficient skills to do so.

2. Performers Safety / Fan Safety: When a venue hires a specialized pit crew, the performer should not be subject to any threats from the crowd. Even if the performer decides to descend to the crowd for interaction, the specialized pit crew upholds the performer’s safety. Although the intentions of the over excited fan may not be malicious, an uncontrolled fan on stage opens many doors for a negative conclusion - which brings us to another point we decided is just as important: Fan Safety.

Just like the video, security aggressively shoved the fan onto the floor. What if the fan had fallen head first or trampled on following the fall? Having a surprise fan jump on stage isn’t the first thought on the performer’s mind during their gig. Just as we mentioned before, a fan had died because of the bass player’s reaction.  

3. Safety of Crew: When a crew is in place, they not only look out for the performers/fans, but also each other. In a case where one security personnel acts alone, he or she may not have the proper backup if a fan becomes too much for one person to handle alone. Lifting and escorting an individual should be done in groups of three, eliminating the difficulty and danger of the crew member and the individual. 

4. They See Everything: From the video, it is very difficult to tell where the security’s eyes are focused on at the time of the barricade hop. An experienced pit crew knows how to constantly scan the crowd for threats while interacting casually. In addition, some pit crews may have water to keep the pit fans hydrated.

5. Team Work = Key to Good Functioning: An experienced pit crew will have a plan of action for every circumstance. The article explains if one pit crew member notices an issue, he or she will know the proper way to inform the others and seamlessly handle the situation together.

TOURING INTERNATIONALLY WITH OVERDUE TAXES? NOT HAPPENING

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WEDNESDAY // JANUARY 24, 2018

TOURING INTERNATIONALLY WITH OVERDUE TAXES? NOT HAPPENING

Picture this: You’re mentally prepared to leave the country for The Killers South American tour in about a month and a half. You’ve taken care of things at home and more than excited for the adventure ahead. Then it hits you: You need to renew your passport. Passports take about eight weeks to renew, but you’ll just expedite it for reassurance, you think to yourself.

You then head down to your local post office for passport renewal.

Denied?! What do you mean denied?!

The new Notice 2018-01 includes new rules regarding tax debts ultimately preventing one from receiving or renewing a passport, reported Robert W. Wood on Forbes. Additionally, the State Department may choose to revoke your current passport after the IRS notifies your tax debt as “seriously delinquent.”

From this Forbes article, we’ve outlined the main things you’ll need to know and do step-by-step when faced with this nightmare - or simply want to avoid it.

Two VERY important things to know:

  • A “seriously delinquent” tax debt means you owe over $50,000, but be aware this is the total including penalties and interest - so $20,000 has this ability to accumulate to $50,000.
  • The sooner you respond to IRS notices prior to this phase, and continue protest / disputing, a tax debt does NOT finalize - so stop ignoring those notices!

By law, the IRS is required to notify the State Department when things get to this point. In fact, the law was enacted three years ago but have now decided to put regulations into play.

I got myself into this mess. What now?  

  1. If possible, pay the taxes in full right away
  2. Enter into an installment agreement with the IRS
    • Paying your tax debt overtime will eliminate the IRS label “seriously delinquent” as long as payments are made on time
  3. Offer a compromise
    • You are entitled to a Collection Due Process (CDP) hearing before Appeals if the IRS sends you a notice. Click here for more details.

So it feels like life completely sucks at this point, but you don’t have to find a new job or make any drastic life changes - yet. You have to act quick, because the State Department gives you only 90 days to fix the issue before denying the passport application.

But I need my passport within these 90 days!

You then must contact the IRS yourself and resolve the issue 45 days within your application date.

The IRS made a mistake! I already fixed my tax debt! / My tax debt is NOT seriously delinquent!  

If your case falls under either of these scenarios, your next step is to file a civil action in court. Although you cannot physically go and challenge the certification or IRS decision at the IRS Appeals, you may contact the IRS Notice CP508C phone number to request certification reversal.

This has not happened to me, but the thought of it haunts me enough. How do I prevent this from happening to me?

You should have received plenty of notices from the IRS before reaching the “seriously delinquent” stage. Remember, the more you respond and continue a dispute, your tax debt will not finalize. If you receive an IRS Notice of Proposed Deficiency / Examination Report:

  1. Prepare a protest BEFORE the deadline
  2. You’ll be prompted to visit the IRS Appeals Office, where you’ll then have an opportunity to resolve the issue once and for all
  3. If you cannot resolve the issue (or fail to protest altogether), the IRS will send you a Notice of Deficiency
  4. Finally, you’ll have 90 days to file in the U.S. Tax Court. Click here for tips on how to respond to an IRS Notice.

TourReady Interviews Former Las Vegas SWAT for Insight Into Possible SWAT Building at Shooting Site

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TOURREADY INTERVIEWS FORMER LAS VEGAS SWAT FOR INSIGHT INTO POSSIBLE SWAT BUILDING AT SHOOTING SITE

THURSDAY // JANUARY 18, 2018

Keeping guests safe has increasingly become a frequent topic of discussion amongst law enforcement and all event industry employees.

Last week, MGM Resorts International released a statement regarding a discussion had with the Las Vegas Metro Police about establishing a Metro SWAT team center on the site of the Las Vegas Shooting on October 1, 2017.

The initial news came from activist Laura Loomer on her website, Medium, and soon after reported by other local news sources.

The Village site sits across from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, where 58 people lost their lives and over 500 were wounded after an active shooter opened fire from the 32nd floor. The tragedy is recorded as the worst shooting in modern U.S. history.  

The site would not be used as a SWAT training area, MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong told The Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The statement reads:

“MGM has had preliminary discussions with Metro regarding the possibility of using a portion of The Village site for the purposes of creating a facility for the Metro SWAT team. The discussions are in the conceptual stages and no final decisions have been made as to the future use of the entirety of the property. However, consistent with our history of working collaboratively with law enforcement, utilizing a portion of The Village site for law enforcement is one option we are exploring with Metro.”  - MGM spokeswoman Debra DeShong

Although Las Vegas Metro Police Sgt. Jeff Clark described the meeting as exploratory, the important discussion of safety and security at live events rose once again - as it always should.

Would implementing another SWAT facility benefit the city’s safety and security? If so, how much?

TourReady asked international security expert and former North Las Vegas SWAT point man, Dave Acosta, for his expertise surrounding the recent discussion.    

“On one hand, absolutely. Having an additional facility where police are working in and out of the building provides a faster police response to that immediate area,” Acosta said.  

But in reducing the amount of potential mass shootings in the future?  

“SWAT does not respond to mass shootings, so it is not relevant to mass shooting prevention or an immediate response to an active shooter,” Acosta said.

In fact, the first two police officers had arrived to the 32nd floor approximately 12 minutes after the first shots were fired, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Past mass shootings such as the 1999 Columbine High School Massacre, Acosta added, had changed everything when armed first responders waited 45 minutes for the SWAT team to arrive - while students were dying.

“Nowadays police academies train recruits using SWAT tactics in every academy curriculum, such as knowing how to properly clear a building,” Acosta said.

Former East Coast detective and Strip security director Dough Poppa told The Las Vegas Review-Journal he found it unnecessary for SWAT to establish another building, since two locations exist on Christy Lane and another near the North Las Vegas Airport. 

Additionally, Poppa believes the MGM’s statement is solely a publicity stunt in order to make visitors feel safer. Poppa added the decision for MGM to announce it now would be bad timing since investigations are still ongoing.   

Stunt or not, the Las Vegas Metro Police have not confirmed any plans of constructing a new SWAT facility. On the travel industry side of things, people will naturally feel safer with additional police presence in the area.

“Bottom line is, the more police presence and law enforcement structures are visible, the better people will feel,” Acosta said.


 

WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: Fun Things To Do On & Off the LDI Show 2017 Floor

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WORK HARD, PLAY HARD: Fun Things to Do On & Off the LDI Show 2017 Floor

MONDAY // NOVEMBER 13, 2017

LDI Show 2017 is just days away, and although you may be scrambling to make those final touches and changes on your exhibitor booth, this year’s conference will hold plenty of events to blow off some steam.

As a LDI 2017 badge holder, you are granted free access to entertainment on and off the LDI Show floor. By presenting your badge to gain entry into the following events, this LDI weekend in Las Vegas will surely be one for the books.

1. LDI Booth Crawl and Scavenger Hunt

  • When: Friday, 11/17 @ 4:30 PM - 6 PM
  • Where: Several booths -
    • AV Stumpfl - Booth #1461
    • Da-Lite - Booth #2569
    • Live Design - Booth #3015

This free Booth Crawl, sponsored by AV Stumpfl, Da-Lite and Live Design, includes free drinks and a scavenger hunt with a chance to win an iPad and more! When you visit these sponsored booths, be sure to take a photo of their clue and post it on one of the following social media accounts of your choice: Twitter @livedesignmag ; Facebook: /LDIShow or  /livedesign; Instagram: LDITradeshow. Don’t forget to include hashtags #LDI2017 #boothcrawl and the sponsor hashtag displayed next to their booth.

2. LDI: Live Outside Festival

  • When: Friday, 11/17 & Saturday, 11/18 @ schedule below
  • Where: Multiple stages

Emerge Impact + Music Conference and Live Design Magazine present the following musical acts scheduled below:

Friday

  • 6PM - 6:40PM: Mike Xavier, named VEGAS SEVEN’s “Best New Rapper To Hit The Scene”
    • APEX 3224 Stage
  • 6:40PM - 7:20PM: Mercey Music; plays loud rock & roll with plenty of guitar solos
    • AG Productions Stage
  • 7:20PM - 8PM: Sabriel; neosoul singer/songwriter from Las Vegas
    • APEX 4240 Stage
  • 8PM - 9:30PM: DJ Reach
    • AG Productions Stage

Saturday

  • 6PM - 6:30PM: LDI: Live Outside Dance Party w/ DJ Reach
  • 6:30PM - 7:30PM: LDI2017 Awards Ceremony
    • APEX 4240 Stage
  • 7:30PM - 8:30PM: ER Productions GUINESS WORLD RECORDS attempt for Largest Laser Show w/ British DJ, Damian Gee
    • AG Productions Stage
  • 8:30PM - 9:30PM: LDI: Live Outside Dance Party w/ DJ Vice
    • AG Productions Stage

3. LDI After Dark

If you can’t picture a Vegas trip without visiting at least one club after the show, LDI makes it happen in a big way. Get your nightlife fix all weekend long and visit these clubs - be sure to present your LDI2017 badge for free entry!

  • Thursday, 11/16
    • Intrigue @ The Wynn
    • Tao @ The Venetian
  • Friday, 11/17
    • Intrigue @ The Wynn
    • Marquee @ The Cosmopolitan
    • Hakkasan @ MGM Grand (feat. DJ Steve Aoki)
  • Saturday, 11/18
    • XS at The Wynn
    • Omnia @ Cesars Palace (feat. DJ Irie)
  • Sunday 11/19  
    • Hakkasan @ MGM Grand (feat. DJ Steve Aoki)

For more details, please visit ldishow.com.

You may also download the LDI Mobile app to plan, organize and schedule your time before, during and after the show. You may search for exhibitors or sessions, browse by product category, view events by Date, Topic, or Speaker. You can even create your own schedule by adding events to your personalized schedule. 

THE LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: How Will the Live Music Industry Respond?

  (Photo credit:   Eva Rinaldi  via Flickr)

(Photo credit: Eva Rinaldi via Flickr)

THE LAS VEGAS SHOOTING: How Will the Live Music Industry Respond?

Wednesday // October 4, 2017

“Pray for Paris,” “Pray for Manchester," “Pray for Orlando," and now, “Pray for Las Vegas”. The slogans ring all too familiar, and prior to each event, all unprecedented.

Of course, none of these attacks were linked together in relation to the shooter, motive, nor region.

The Bataclan attack was part of a series of coordinated Paris terrorist attacks on November 13, 2015, where 89 of the 130 killed were attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert.

On May 22, 2016, 22-year old Salman Abedi bombed the outside foyer of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 and injuring 116.

The terrorist attack on Pulse Nighclub in Orlando, Florida, hit closer to home for Americans when 29-year old Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 58 in the deadliest hate crime against the LGTBQ+ community and deadliest U.S. mass shooting at the time.

The 2017 Las Vegas Strip Shooting, or the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shooting, took Pulse’s spot when 64-year old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, overlooking the crowd of 22,000 concertgoers. On October 2, 2017, Paddock fired shots for ten minutes, killing 58 and injuring 530 innocent people.

The only thing that connects these events together are the events themselves. We attend music events to celebrate music, life and loved ones. We put aside about our troubles, disagreements and hardships in our lives for a few hours, or sometimes a few days at a festival, to unite in the form of music.

Live Nation, the same promoter for the Ariana Grande concert where the Manchester attack occurred, has promoted Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas for four years. On Monday, the company issued a heartfelt statement regarding support to victims and their families following the aftermath of the horrendous tragedy. The statement also thanks first responders and other employees.

The company also states, “And while we are stunned and grieving over this incomprehensible act of violence, we know that this is a moment when we must come together to prevent more tragedies like this from occurring.”

Each of these events then questions the effectiveness of security. How do we secure the inside? How do we secure in the perimeter?

And now, an even more frightening question: How do we secure an aerial attack several football fields away and 32 stories high?

There are two areas to focus on. First, how do we prevent individuals from transporting several boxes of high-power ammunition into an upper-level hotel room? And how do we protect innocent concertgoers on the ground from the external danger? 

Regarding hotel security, none of the hotel employees noticed anything out of the ordinary in Paddock’s hotel room or behavior. In fact, Steven Adelman, vice president of the Event Safety Alliance, said “[Paddock] would have eluded attention anywhere,” CBS reported on Tuesday. He added that the only sure-fire way to prevent weapons entering hotels would require impractical airport-style surveillance.

Mac Segal, head of Hotel and Fixed Site Security Consulting at AS Solution, told USA Today that hotel security would never anticipate this type of attack.

The ESA’s statement on the shooting reads, “Our industry is more united and resolute than ever in the advancement of robust security protocols to ensure the safety of our cherished guests, artists, and crew. However, sometimes there is never enough..we will continue together to advocate for increasingly effective safety measures at events around the globe.”

When something this devastating occurs due to the threat external to the facility, event promoters find it more difficult than ever, if not impossible, to predict or take account for what is going on outside of your facility.

“The venue, Live Nation, and the various promoters are all focused on securing the facility. This threat was external - via the hotel, where they have no jurisdiction or operational control or ability to manipulate the variables around security…” said Chris Robinette, CEO of Prevent Advisors, a security consulting company, Variety reported.  

Therefore, this type of attack calls for large outdoor event organizers to observe event regulation in regards to evacuation procedures and the event location, such as events next to high-rise hotels.

Standing room festival seating easily sparks chaos in response to a disaster such as this.

“There are no aisles, no direction and the crowd density is high. A lot of people are all leaving at once, they can’t find a way out and there is no one to give direction,” said Paul Wertheimer, head of Crowd Management Strategies, to USA Today.

Segal added the lack of pre recorded announcement at Route 91 Festival accounted for much of the confusion for the attendees in regards to some kind of direction on where to evacuate.  

As for events adjacent to high-rise buildings and hotels, security professionals and promoters suggested expanding the perimeter around these types of targets, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. But, Adelman adds, “Do you not hold festivals near hills or tall trees?”

All of these questions are seemingly becoming the new norm for security professionals, event venues and event promoters. Robinette urges that working with law enforcement officials in the area of the event and security professionals in surrounding buildings must both have a plan to respond to any catastrophic event.  

Living in a world where we cannot prevent or predict every threat may be the inevitable. As for concertgoers, music brings people together in joy. Whether or not these events stop people from obtaining that joy, our law enforcement and security officials must put disaster plans into place now more than ever.

With all four senseless tragedies that are difficult to understand -- Manchester, Paris, Orlando and Las Vegas -- the one thing we know we can act on, is to be prepared.



 

 

YAYOI KUSAMA'S "INFINITY MIRRORS" TO RETURN TO THE BROAD

 "Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away", 2013.  (Source:   The Broad   )     

"Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away", 2013. (Source: The Broad)

 

YAYOI KUSAMA'S "INFINITY MIRRORS" TO RETURN TO THE BROAD

WEDNESDAY // SEPTEMBER 13, 2017

For those who have only experienced Yoyoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away” exhibit on Instagram, do not fret. The Broad Museum in Los Angeles is holding the show once again this upcoming October through January 2018. Even better, Kusama is exhibiting six additional infinity mirrored rooms, LAist reported back in August.

We know what you’re thinking, “but tickets sold out two weeks ago." 

On Monday, the museum announced an added 40,000 tickets for the special exhibition will go on sale on Monday October 2 at 12 p.m. for $25 each.

It is important to note that the ticket sale process is different this time around. At 11 a.m., The Broad will hold an online waiting room on its website. Come 12 p.m., the museum will inform you whether or not you have received access to buy tickets.

In other words, the museum will select a lucky 40,000 people at random. If you become not-so-lucky, 50,000 standby tickets will be available throughout the exhibition’s duration, at $30 a pop.   

Access the waiting room by visiting https://www.thebroad.org/

For first-timers, here is some information you may need to know prior to attending:

  • The museum only allows visitors 30 seconds for each of the six rooms, so snap your photos quickly.
  • Outside of the Infinity Mirrors, Kusama’s other works of art, dating back to 1965, is available for viewing as long as you please
  • During the exhibit’s two-month run, the hours are as follows:
    • Tues/Wed: 5-7 p.m.
    • Thurs/Fri: 10-11 a.m.; 8-9 p.m.
    • Sat: 9-10 a.m.; 8-10 p.m.
    • Sun: 9-10 a.m.; 6-8 p.m.

Kusama, an 88-year old Japanese artist, is known for bringing us into her iconic kaleidoscopic spaces, or better stated, Kusama’s world.

Her 2013 exhibit, “Infinity Mirrored Room -- The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away”, features dozens of hanging LED lights from the ceiling and is covered in mirrors. Kusama used various media, including wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls and water.   

About Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929 at Matsumoto, Nagano prefecture, Chubu, Japan. According to The Broad, Kusama was diagnosed with a mental illness which caused her to experience hallucinations. These hallucinations caused distortion with colors and shapes in her vision of the world. Her work is viewed as someplace between representation and abstraction. For Kusama, her work is merely representation, but for others, clearly abstraction.

The Broad notes her 33 ft. long by 10 ft. high abstract painting at the Stephen Radich Gallery in New York in 1961. At this time, artists expression works on large-scale canvases , and Kusama’s painting was significant because of the tiny brush strokes that created it.

Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room -- The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away 2013, creates a multitude of lights that reflect and visually expand the entire room. This sense of infinity represents Kusama’s view of the world since her early years of age. Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room” was so successful and widely popular, even Adele used it as her music video backdrop for “When We Were Young”.  

According to the LA Times, the new exhibition with the six additional rooms titled, “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors”, displays a 70-year old portfolio of Kusama’s work.   

#HURRICANEHARVEY Damages Houston's Theater District, NY's B'way❤ Concert to Fund Repairs

 

 

#HURRICANEHARVEY Damages Houston's Theater District, NY's B'way❤ Concert to Fund Repairs

FRIDAY // SEPTEMBER 7, 2017

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast, leaving behind a path of destruction and devastation among millions of residents across the Gulf Coast. According to CBS News on Monday, the Category 4 hurricane has caused a death toll of 63 and may continue to grow as search efforts progress.

Last Thursday, ABC News reported that Harvey  has destroyed an estimate of 30,000 to 40,000 homes. In addition, about 15,000 calls for assistance have been made to the Houston Fire Department and more than 1,000 rescue related calls per hour to the United States Coast Guard.

Houston’s theater district experienced massive damage and flooding prior to fall performance season planned for next week, Live Design reported on Wednesday. In response, the New York broadway community will present B'wayHouston: A Concert To Rebuild Houston's Downtown Theater District on October 9 at New York's Midtown Manhattan’s The Green Room 42 at Yotel, Playbill.com announced on Tuesday. 

One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to repair efforts at the Houston Theater District. For those who cannot attend, the event will stream live with an online link to donate. Ticket prices begin at $100. You may purchase tickets here.

Hosted by Seth Rudetsky, the lineup presents big names from Broadway in order to provide aid for the Houston Theater District's recovery. The lineup includes the following: Ali Stroker, Jessie Mueller, Nikki M. James, Andy Karl, Orfeh, Tony Yazbeck, and more, listed on Playbill.com.

 

The Houston Theater District needs all the help it can get. On the theater’s Facebook post last Monday, Theater District Houston Board Chair Perryn Leech and CEO Kathryn McNiel discussed the following buildings that experienced the most damage: 

 

The Wortham Theater Center

High water levels damaged the front of the theater due to a low level. In addition, water surged onto the Brown Theater stage through the back of the house. Fortunately the Cullen Theater stage experienced little damage but unfortunately the building’s basement is full of water.

Jones Hall for the Performing Arts

The rehearsal room which is located in the basement, experienced the worst damage and currently contains standing water.

The Alley Theater

The good news: lobby areas and Hubbard Theater are both in good condition; the bad news: The Neuhaus Theater, lobby and electrical systems are fully submerged.

The Hobby Center

The loading dock area of the foyer in Zilkha Hall experienced some water penetration.

In addition to these buildings, the district’s garages are completely submerged underwater.

 

The end of the Facebook post  reports, “Officials will continue to assess the buildings over the coming days and updated reports of conditions will be issued as appropriate.”

However, this is not the first time Houston’s Theater District has experienced substantial flood damages. Although Tropical Storm Allison in June 2011 was not considered a hurricane, the storm trapped tremendous amounts of water, the The Washington Post recalls in an article that compares Harvey to Allison.

In September 2011, Houston Chronicle reported that Jones Hall, Wortham Theater Center and the theater garages cost the city more than $27 million, with more than $7 million spent on the Alley Theater. The 250 million gallons of water took 50 days to pump out of all the garages. After that, workers pulled out 150 vehicles and worked a vigorous two months for seven days a week. Short after, the both the district and the garages opened up to the public again.

Back then, individuals had proposed building a wall against Buffalo Bayou or establishing heavy doors as a tunnel system closure to prevent the flow of water.

Unfortunately more than a decade later, the theater could not prevent such a catastrophic storm such as Harvey. For now, the broadway community is stepping above and beyond to support each other in a crucial time in need. 

 

 

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE: TRUCKING HAZARDS, CROWDS, AIRBNB GIVEAWAY & FESTIVALS

 © [@leekris] / Adobe Stock

© [@leekris] / Adobe Stock

Today's the last day to enter Airbnb's Total Eclipse Giveaway!

THURSDAY // AUGUST 10, 2017

What is it?

According to NASA, on August 21, 2017, North America will see an eclipse of the sun. Anyone lucky enough to fall within the Path of Totality will see a total solar eclipse, where the moon completely covers the sun for approximately two minutes and forty seconds.

The Path of Totality covers the following 14 states: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The last time a total eclipse has occurred in the United States was in 1979.

Traffic Hazard Concerns

Freightwaves.com reported that the eclipse may cause potential dangers for all Americans on the road involving distracted drivers and a total eclipse of the road, causing people to pull over on dangerous shoulders.

In fact, the Federal Highway Administration released a fact sheet that says 200 million people, or a little less than ⅔ of the country, live within the Path of Totality. They also advise that August 21 is not the day to schedule work zones and detours. Click here for a list of driving safety tips during the eclipse.

Crowds & Festivals

According to KGW, more than 100 festivals and events will take place in several cities across the country before and after the day of the eclipse. Keep in mind, the eclipse will only last two minutes and forty seconds. That doesn’t stop these towns from throwing some serious parties.

Oregon is the very first state to view the total eclipse. The Oregon SolarFest in Madres is a four-day festival to celebrate. The small town’s 325 hotel rooms and 5,000 campsites have been fully booked for over two years. Oregon’s Willamette University will hold a viewing party with American Astronomical Society scientists who are willing to answer one-on-one questions.

Jefferson, Missouri is holding a three-day festival including pub crawls, fun runs, street parties and BBQs. SolFest 2017 in Nebraska will celebrate with food, drinks and various forms of entertainment.

The Amelia Earhart Airport in Kansas even offers plane rides at their Eclipse Air Fest. First Tennessee Park will boast science demonstrations and performances by the Nashville Symphony. South Carolina, is the last state to view the eclipse, with viewing parties in Charleston museums, and wrapping it up with a DJ beach blowout on the Isle of Palms.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, Krispy Kreme is offering a first-time-ever chocolate glazed eclipse-themed donut. This tasty treat is available from August 19 to August 21.

Airbnb Total Solar Eclipse Experience Giveaway

Hurry up and enter before 11:59pm tonight (8/10), for a chance to win the ultimate experience for two in a geodesic dome situated in the Oregon wilderness. The trip includes boarding a private jet to view the eclipse above the clouds.

One day prior to the eclipse, two lucky winners will dwell in a geodesic dome near Smith Rock. The dome will be furnished with several telescopes on the observation deck.

Hosted by Dr. Jedidah Isler, a National Geographic Explorer and international scholar, you will spend dinner under the stars and ask her any questions about outer space. You will also have a chance to meet Babak Tafreshi, a National Geographic photographer and science journalist, who will teach proper skills on photographing the sky.

The next morning, you’ll launch into the sky on a private jet and fly along the Path of Totality, being one of the very first people to view the eclipse of a lifetime.


Enter here: https://www.airbnb.com/night-at/solareclipse

 

FREE MOVIE MONDAYS

  (Photo by Joesan Diche)

(Photo by Joesan Diche)

Kick the Monday Blues at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

FRIDAY // JULY 21, 2017

Returning to work after a weekend of fun is always tough, especially during the summertime. Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, CA, has you covered with easing the Monday blues by opening their lawn to the public for free Movie Mondays through August 7.

There are only three Movie Monday events left for the remainder of the Summer. Movies include: 

  • July 24: Stand and Deliver (1988)
  • July 31: Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  • August 7: School of Rock (2003)

The public may set up their chairs and blankets on the lawn at 5:30 p.m. before the movie begins around 8 p.m. You can locate the center’s map here. You may bring snacks, or pick from various food trucks on-site. This Monday’s trucks include Richeeze Grilled Cheese Truck, Ninjas with Appetite, and Chunk-n-Chip.

Segerstrom Center of the Arts is a 14-acre campus that both enlightens and unites the community with inspiring performances and artistic education. The center offers various theatre camps and classes, including Summer at the Center’s camp to empower high-risk high school students, and even a new dance and music school for children with disabilities. Segerstrom Center for the Arts has a reputation for giving back to the community, and Movie Mondays is only a fraction of its selfless actions.

For more information, visit https://www.scfta.org/MovieMondays .

CONCERT TICKET SALES A 'FIXED GAME'

CONCERT TICKET SALES A 'FIXED GAME'

You want to see Coldplay or the Foo Fighters. Maybe your kids want to see Justin Bieber and you’re being a fantastic parent. Picture yourself, credit card in hand, waiting for the minute a concert ticket goes on sale. Exactly on time, you hit that BUY button but guess what? You’re shut out. The show is already sold out.

Ever wonder how entire arenas sell out so quickly?

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It’s that time of year again – the time to celebrate, discuss, and critique the artists that are chosen to represent the best in music of the year. The nominees for the 58th Grammy Awards have been revealed, and though it’s accompanied by the usual snub accusations, the nominees this year have critics saying “This Is Not the Year to Complain About the Grammys”. 

This year’s nominations cater to both mass appeal and current tastes in music, without completely succumbing to Top 40 radio...

WILL THE PARIS ATTACKS CHANGE CONCERT SECURITY?

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The horrific attacks in Paris on November 13th reverberated through the live music industry this week as many concert promoters, venues, and concertgoers began questioning the current safety measures in place in the US.

"It's a scary time that we live in," says a prominent artist manager, who requested anonymity for a Rolling Stones article...