Indy venues are still struggling | Beijing’s closed bubble is attempting to maintain a zero-Covid China | Local and international shows still getting hit hard

If you build it, they will come?

In a recent statistic shared by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), indy venues are still in trouble. When music venues across the country were given the nod to reopen, owners and staff were optimistic that they would soon be on the road to recovery. Stages were dusted off, talent was booked and tickets were sold, but unfortunately, the fans have not returned. No show rates have been significantly higher than pre-covid averages.

palace theater marquee - Save our Stages

For these smaller independently run venues, ticket sales are not enough to keep them afloat. Bills are paid using money made from the sale of food and drinks during the shows, so when fans don’t show (sometimes up to 50% of ticket holders), the venue is unable to make ends meet. On top of that, suppliers and service providers are being forced to increase their rates which will make it even more difficult for the shows to go on.

The trickle down effect of grassroots venues closing could be catastrophic. Check out our blog about the impact of independent venues on their communities here.

Beijing 2022 Olympics

The Beijing 2022 Olympics will begin next week on February 4th which means thousands of people - athletes, media teams, officials, etc. - have begun arriving from all over the world. 106 of the 3000 people that have arrived in Beijing within the last month have tested positive. Around 50 of those cases tested positive upon landing in Beijing despite two negative tests being required before taking off. In addition to the tests before departure and after arrival, anyone within the “closed loop” bubble is required to get tested daily which was how the remaining 50(ish) cases were discovered.

Beijing 2022 Olympic rings

The precautions being taken at this year’s Winter Olympics are being touted by CNN as “the most ambitious Covid quarantine ever attempted.” The Olympic facilities and hotels are separated from the rest of the city by fences and security at every entrance in hopes of keeping the public safe from any potential spread. In total, the Olympic Committee is attempting to keep over 11,000 international arrivals in check while being transported between three main facilities in and around Beijing. Designated trains and buses are earmarked for transit with authorities going so far as to warn people “not to rush to offer help” in the event of an emergency. 🤨

Q1 cancellations in the UK

The live music scene is off to a rough start in the UK as well. According to a survey conducted by LIVE and reported by Access All Areas, 26% of shows in Q1 have already been canceled. The biggest reason? Lack of confidence that restrictions or lockdowns won’t be reinstated. A further 44% of international shows have been canceled because of varying country restrictions and additional complications due to Brexit.

guitar cases

The UK is expected to end all restrictions next week but with much of Europe still under the cloud of Omicron, many artists aren’t ready to begin touring yet. BUT, things are looking up come springtime. Industry professionals throughout Europe are “cautiously optimistic” that festivals will return and life will pretty much go back to normal for much of the continent come April. Fingers crossed. 🤞

Event updates

  • HARD Summer 2022 has added a 3rd day and will take place in San Bernardino, CA on July 29th - 31st.
  • When We Were Young adds a 2nd date and then a 3rd due to overwhelming demand. The festival will take place on October 22nd, 23rd and 29th with a near identical lineup on all three days.
  • Crush canceled. The SF, Arizona and southern California shows are no longer on the calendar.

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