Cue EDM Jurassic Park theme | Global concert rocks the world | Grassroots venues not out of the woods
Cue EDM Jurassic Park theme
Dinosaurs and Shaquille O'Neal - what do the two have in common? They were both roaming the grounds at the Lost Lands Music Festival last weekend in Ohio. Thousands of EDM fans flocked to Legend Valley for its fourth year running. Shaq (who goes by the name DJ Diesel on stage) even performed and attempted to crowd surf, but as you can imagine, it didn’t go well.
There were a couple hiccups along the way, but the festival played on nonetheless. No, there were no rogue dinosaurs that had escaped from their enclosures, but the dino themed festival still got off to a rocky start, to say the least. The campsite at the festival ended up having to close the first day after rain hit the Thornville area and organizers deemed the campsite unsafe for attendees which left early bird campers without a place to pitch their tents. It didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the crowd though, as the site reopened the following day after it was safe to do so. The weather gods were on the crowd's side the remainder of the weekend.
An overturned transport shuttle also caused a bit of chaos on the first day, injuring 9 people. Luckily there were no fatalities, but still not a great start to the 3 day weekend fest.
Global concert rocks the world
The annual 24-hour concert dubbed ‘Global Citizen Live’ kicked off on September 25 in various venues around the world. The concerts brought music superstars like Elton John, BTS, Shawn Mendes, Cyndi Lauper and Stevie Wonder together with world leaders to raise awareness on social issues such as climate change, vaccination distributions and poverty.
New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Johannesburg and Mumbai were some of the host cities for this mega concert. Pledges from European leaders like Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen addressed their plans to tackle the big issues. The New York crowd was even surprised by an appearance by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who took the stage to talk about vaccine equality.
Tens of thousands of people were in attendance around the world, some by winning tickets to the concerts by signing up on the Global Citizen app and taking action - spreading the organization’s messages on social media, signing petitions and writing letters to politicians. All attendees needed to show proof of a Covid vaccine or a negative Covid test to enter.
The Global Citizen group call themselves a ‘movement with a mission’ and advocates tackling some of the biggest world issues for its Recovery Plan for the World. The concert is definitely one of the most ambitious productions and a memorable one for sure.
Grassroots venues not out of the woods
No doubt that it’s been a tough year for the music industry on a global level. The sector is still freshly recovering from the aftermath of a year and a half of being obliterated. Slowly but surely things are coming back, but the wounds are still fresh. Independent venues are especially still feeling the pain.
As of September 29, the UK grassroots venues are facing upwards of £90 million ($121.2 million USD) in debts - money that’s owed to “landlords, suppliers, services and their supply chain”. 18 months of closures threatened to close around 500 venues, but the majority were saved thanks to public support and donations to the #SaveOurStages campaign as well as the government's Cultural Recovery Fund. Music Venue Trust CEO Mark Davyd is concerned that the hefty debt won’t be able to get paid off until at least 2024 or 2025 if things continue the way they are.
Venues have been working hard to make their spaces as Covid-safe as possible, implementing new regulations to encourage fans to return to their venues. Even the stats are showing that upon reopening on July 19, ‘grassroots music venues have contributed very little to the rise in transmissions’.
The #TakeATest campaign is urging anyone who visits these venues to get tested, as artists, staff and crews are all doing the same. Getting people back to venues safely in order to support these businesses is crucial to keep them afloat and help them out of the rut they're currently in.